As the annual renewal date for solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance grows ever closes, the current market leader for professional liability insurance has made the announcement that it wil no longer be writing new business in this particular sector.
Business liability insurance specialists Chartis UK made the announcement shortly after it strongly and publicly criticised plans put forward by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority’s to reform the Assigned Risk Pool, the industry’s insurer of last resort. The most recent SRA figures reveal that Chartis is currently participating in 17.4 per cent of the policies covered by the ARP, which is up by more than two percentage points from last year’s figures.
Chartis UK financial lines vice president, Steve Bonnington, remarked that the firm’s analysis indicated that it would most likely be quite a bumpy ride transitioning out of the recessionary economic landscape. This could mean a persistence of poor claims experience not only in the ARP but in the solicitors’ professional indemnity market as a whole.
In combination with the continued presence of the ARP and few changes to the minimum terms and conditions, this poor claims experience will keep the market in a challenging position, Mr Bonnington said. This has led to the regretful decision on the part of Chartis UK to begin moderating its deployed capacity within the sector.
As the insurer has decided to focus on renewals from its existing book, Chartis will not be writing new solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance business for the coming renewal season. The Chartis executive urged both solicitor firms and their brokers to send in their proposal forms as early as possible in order to avoid any challenges in securing cover as the October 1 deadline looms ever closer.