A-rated insurer AmTrust Europe has announced it will enter the solicitors’ PII market for four- to 10-partner firms.

The London-based insurer believes there is a gap in the market for smaller practices.

According to the Law Society’s PII guide for 2012/13, there were 15 insurers in the market for four- to 10-partner firms, of which one, Balva, has since been barred from writing new business.

Of the remainder, just 11 had a financial security rating. John Wooldridge, director of broker Howden Windsor, which has an exclusive arrangement with AmTrust, said firms are looking to access ‘rated and reliable insurers’ after a number of high-profile collapses in recent years.

‘Solicitors will look for financial security this year,’ he said. ‘AmTrust thinks the time is right to provide much-needed capacity to an area of the market that has not been popular with many established insurers over the years.’

Wooldridge said the firm does not have unlimited capacity, but is capable of being one of the larger firms in terms of market share.

As well as solicitors looking for financial security in their insurer, Wooldridge said insurers will be closely scrutinising law firms amid ongoing financial uncertainty in the market.

‘Client insolvency is a concern for everyone. All insurers will be asking more questions about the financial stability of the lawyers they underwrite,’ he said.