According to a new survey conducted by the Law Society, professional indemnity insurance is harder than ever to find, with one out of every three law firms reporting problems in obtaining proper business liability insurance cover.
Lawyers have been under the gun last year, according to the survey results, and things have gotten worse in comparison with 2009 figures. The Law Society’s research findings indicated that only 63.5 per cent of law firms had no difficulties renewing their professional liability insurance cover in 2010, while 79 per cent had no issues the previous year.
Likewise, only 62 per cent of firms experienced an insurance premium increase in 2009. Nearly 70 per cent reported experiencing rate hikes in 2010.
The Law Society reported that it had discovered absolutely zero evidence of insurance provider discrimination against solicitor firms comprised of black and minority ethnic staff. 4.4 per cent of these BME firms did indicate that their ethnicity may have played a role, but the Law Society was pleased that the number of reports was so statistically low.
No significant differences in premiums paid or outcomes were found in the survey upon comparing small BME firms to their non-BME counterparts. The Law Society suggested that any renewal difficulties these BME firms experiences may be attributable not to solicitor ethnicity but to firm size instead.
According to the findings of the survey, however, the number of BME firms that found themselves resorting to the Assigned Risk Pool was disproportionate. However, this finding was declared to be a statistically unreliable one due to the relatively small number of ARP firms within the sample.