The one-time biggest insurer to law firms cut its commitment to the legal sector dramatically in 2014, new figures have revealed.

XL, which grabbed a market share of 16% in 2013, is insuring just 2% of law firms this year, according to data from the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The firm confirmed last summer it had withdrawn cover for law firms with one to three partners.

The insurer’s mass market exit left two firms, Travelers (12.3%), and QBE Insurance (14%), to increase their share of the PII market and together account for almost a quarter of all law firms. QBE increased market share in a year by 29%, while Travelers grew its presence by 12%.

In total, 26 insurance firms entered the solicitors PII market in 2014, compared with 22 the previous year. This year was the first in which insurers were not required to pay for the assigned risks pool for firms that could not secure cover on the open market.

The SRA recently published its consultation paper on whether to restrict the next renewal period to rated insurers only.

A study found potential inconsistencies in protections for clients depending on the status of the insurer. The consultation closes on 24 March.