As summer explodes upon us with temperatures reaching the dizzy heights of double figures we turn our attention to the Solicitors PII season.
This year will be the first where policyholders can choose to switch their renewal date away from 1st October. The pros and cons of such a move are not yet clear.
More importantly, it will be interesting to see if the abolition of the Assigned Risk Pool (ARP) …to be replaced by the Extended Renewal Period (ERP) will entice new capacity into the market place. An injection of “quality” capacity would be most welcome.
The quality and security of insurers is of course a hot topic currently. In recent years we have seen both Quinn and Lemma entering administration and most recently Balva has been sanctioned by its Latvian regulator. Balva has a 7% share of the solicitors PII market in the UK.
The SRA has written to about 1,300 firms using Balva to inform them there are no implications for their existing policies. The letter states that the restriction does not affect Balva’s obligation to provide cover for up to 90 days after 30 September if firms cannot renew their insurance, nor does it affect the provision of run-off cover if a firm closes without a successor practice. This of course assumes Balva will be present to meet its obligations in future. And this is a difficult judgment for a broker or solicitor to make given that Balva is unrated.
Now, more than ever it is important to be insured with a stable, secure and quality insurer. The market for solicitors PII can sometimes be shrouded in mystery with rumours of “exclusive” markets and deals and “new market entrants”.
If you have any queries please contact one of our Solicitors PI Team; Ian, Andy, Sam or Dane.