20 sign up to composite form as PII renewal gets under way
The Law Society has published a list of brokers and insurers accepting its composite proposal form for professional indemnity insurance as brokers warned solicitors to start sorting out cover early.
So far brokers Aon, Bar Professions, Brunel, Giles Insurance, Hera Indemnity, Howden, Marsh, Prime Professions, QPI Legal, Wesleyan, and Windsor have indicated that they accept the form, but some require supplementary information.
Insurers accepting the form include APRO Management, Chartis, First Title, Hannover, Indemnity Risk Solutions, Liberty, Monitor Insurance, RSA Insurance (not accepting new business), W.R. Berkley. Some may require more information and others will still require their own forms to be completed before they give a final quotation.
The Society unveiled the form last week in an effort to simplify the process of obtaining multiple quotes.
Three months before the 1 October renewal deadline, broker Brunel has advised firms to ‘get cracking’ if they want to secure the best PII deals. ‘In the past we’ve seen some practices leave their PII renewal to the last minute in the hope of snapping up a cheap late deal from insurers,’ said Trevor Moss, director. However he said such a ‘high-risk strategy’ could end up with firms falling into the assigned risks pool (ARP) if they cannot secure cover.
Moss said that many insurers have found it tough to make a profit from the solicitors market, so are going to be very selective about the practices they want to take on, seeking those with good claims records and effective risk management procedures. When seeking cover, Moss said firms should demonstrate that they have effective risk management procedures and ensure that their practice management accreditations, such as LEXCEL, are clearly shown.
Meanwhile, Prime Professions, which has been reappointed as the preferred broker for the Sole Practitioners Group, said it has signed an exclusive deal with insurers Liberty to provide cover to sole practitioners.
Richard Brown, a director at Prime said it is a very positive sign that an A-rated insurer is prepared to insure sole practitioners, subject to underwriting conditions. He said: ‘Liberty has looked at sole practitioners and taken the view that they are not the bad risk that some people though they were.’
Prime also hopes to be able to announce a deal with another insurer to provide cover for one-to-three partner firms.
Brown warned that getting cover from the right insurer this year will be more important than it has been in the past, due to the ending of the ARP next year.
‘Firms that cannot get re-insured or find other cover will be forced to close down and go into run-off. So it’s important they get an insurer who has been in the market and has the strength to offer cover into the future,’ he said.
The Law Society has launched its 2012 guide to insurers, which includes a new section on insurers’ financial security ratings. It will be updated throughout the renewal season when new insurers enter the market. More details can be found on the Law Society site.