The California Association of Realtors today announced plans to launch a Strategic Defense Program that will include the creation of a panel of real estate defense attorneys charged with improving the litigation climate and addressing the affordability and availability of errors and omissions liability insurance in California.

These types of policies help to protect real estate agents and consumers against lawsuits brought by consumers.

“Insurance rates and access to insurance carriers for errors and omissions insurance are directly affected by the number of claims, size of awards, and settlements paid out in California,” said Jim Hamilton, association president.

“(The association’s) Strategic Defense Program will begin the hard work of correcting the difficulties associated with obtaining errors and omissions insurance due to the state’s litigation-prone environment, with the goal of making errors and omissions insurance less costly for our members.

“The attorney panel also will be utilized as a collective think tank that will generate innovative solutions to issues facing Realtors in the litigation arena,” he said. “This will be accomplished through a newly created claims and defense litigation repository and through a series of strategic defense meetings between the attorneys and the association’s legal staff.”

Through its innovative Attorney Referral Panel, the program also will support Realtors with direct assistance by providing a list of experienced defense attorneys to defend a claim or lawsuit, as well as indirect assistance through its Risk Management Seminar Series, where attorneys offer valuable insights and strategies to minimize the legal exposure of real estate brokers and agents, the association announced.

The Strategic Defense Program is the final component of the association legal department’s three-pronged approached to member legal service, which includes legal hotline and amicus brief programs. The California Association of Realtors has about 180,000 members.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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