2011 marked a turning point for claims at Lawyers Mutual. From 2008 through 2010, we experienced a spike in claims that grew out of the real estate boom and subsequent crash. During those years, real estate claims accounted for more than one-half of all claims in both claims count and dollars incurred on claims. In 2011, real estate claims contributed to only one-third of our total claims. Real estate was not the only area where we experienced a decrease in claims. We saw a decrease in claims count and dollars incurred in almost every practice area. As a result of this decrease and successful resolution of a number of large claims, we were able to achieve an underwriting profit, making it possible to declare a dividend for the first time since 2006.
When not handling claims or assisting in claims repair, our seven claims attorneys travel throughout the state providing education and risk management to law students, lawyers and legal professionals. We know that preventing problems on the front end is better for all of us. But when a problem arises, no other company provides the claims repair and claims handling assistance that Lawyers Mutual offers.
Our focus in 2012 continues to be on our insureds. At Lawyers Mutual, we are lawyers helping lawyers.