In recent years, the professional indemnity insurance market for the legal sector has experienced fluctuations in premium rates and insurability challenges. However, the current landscape presents a more favourable scenario with the entry of new insurers, each striving to establish their presence and attract clients.

Within the past year, three new insurers have entered the solicitors’ PII market, bringing with them competitive offerings and a keen interest in underwriting certain types of practices. These insurers, all boasting A ratings, are eager to build their portfolios and are therefore quoting highly competitive premiums for suitable risks. It’s worth noting that new entrants typically aim to rapidly acquire a minimum level of written premiums to cover their operational costs. Consequently, now is an opportune time for businesses to take advantage of the favourable rates offered by these insurers.

Despite this positive shift, many smaller firms overlook the importance of providing comprehensive supporting information alongside their proposal forms when approaching insurers. Without this crucial data, they may receive less favourable rates determined solely by automated systems, which may not accurately reflect their risk profile.

In addition, the vast majority of solicitors PI brokers have sold to much larger concerns, and their focus is often on getting large numbers of client renewals through on a commoditised basis, avoiding where possible the need for complications or detailed dialogue if possible. 

The potential for laziness and lack of effort has never been more relevant than now, as better rates are on offer, against a backdrop of broker temptation to retain clients with their favoured Insurer so that they continue to bank their overrider deal income. Over the past 3-4 years, reputedly 85% plus firms have remained with the same insurer and broker.

To maximise premium savings in this competitive environment, it is imperative to furnish underwriters with documented evidence showcasing the positive aspects of your business. Particularly for practices involved in conveyancing, which remains a high-risk area for insurers, providing thorough information is essential to secure favourable terms.

Given the lack of standardisation in the industry regarding the information required for optimal renewal results, collaboration with market specialists can be invaluable. By leveraging the expertise of such specialists, businesses can access benchmark guides tailored to their specific needs, enabling them to achieve maximum premium savings in the upcoming renewal cycle.

Written by Jon Cook

Quality PI Upholding Quality, Professionalism, and Integrity