County Insurance Consultants know that securing professional indemnity insurance (PII) is a major headache for many solicitors.
This year alone a total of 185 solicitor firms have applied to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for the extended indemnity period (EIP) of insurance as they failed to obtain cover before the mandatory annual deadline on the 1st October.
The news follows the collapse of the insurance provider Berliner on 10th September 2013, who predominantly served small firms operating within the legal market. Despite the fact that 10 of these 185 firms have since obtained cover, the remaining 175 now face the prospect of going to an unrated provider or cease trading altogether.
Not the first time
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that solicitors have experienced a frenzied search for an insurer. In fact, many firms had to switch to Berliner after the Lativian provider Balva, went into liquidation over the summer.
The market was also disrupted by similar problems in 2012 when Lemma collapsed, while Quinn Insurance went into administration in 2010.
The surplus demand for PII due to firms like this leaving the market, has resulted in the remaining providers being particularly cautious with regards to who they will underwrite. If you do not fit a certain profile or if your risk profile is blemished is any way, you are likely to find it extremely difficult to come across a provider that will cover you.
Director at the County Insurance Group, Alastair Christopherson explains:
“We have just been through one of the toughest seasons with regards to Solicitors Professional Indemnity Insurance, following the demise and decision to no longer be involved in the SRA sector by 6 Insurers. The reduced capacity placed over 30% of the SRA market in a position of having to move Insurer and with this creating a major administration problem and demand outstripping supply scenario”
“A good number of firms have unfortunately been left without cover and for clients now in the secure position of having placed their Insurance Program for another year they should be thinking ahead. In 2014 the common renewal date will no longer be forced and so it is our recommendation for clients to consider extending their renewal dates to take advantage of a more stable underwriting review and understanding to the Solicitors firm’s needs.”
Don’t leave it until next year – get support from a leading broker!
If you have ever found it difficult to obtain professional indemnity insurance then getting the support of a leading broker can really help.
County Insurance Consultants has over 10 years’ experience of providing professional indemnity insurance to solicitor firms and have an excellent understanding of the risks facing the industry.
We have good working relationships with a large panel of reputable underwriters and will know exactly who is best to approach in order to secure reliable, competitively priced PII for you.