According to a recent research survey conducted by the Law Society, it was harder for solicitor firms to renew their professional indemnity insurance in 2010 than it was in 2009.
The survey discovered that a total of 36.5 per cent of respondents had experienced difficulties in renewing their professional liability insurance in 2010, while only 21 per cent had the same difficulties the previous year. Meanwhile, 69.3 per cent of solicitor firms found their business liability insurance premiums increase last year while only 62 per cent of firms experienced the same rate hike in 2009.
The Law Society’s report also found that there was a lack of any evidence that black and minority ethnic law firms were discriminated against by insurance providers during the renewal process. However, Desmond Hudson, chief executive for the Law Society, has contacted the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Association of British Insurers, and the Financial Services Authority to highlight the need for more transparent and open renewal processes.
Mr Hudson found encouragement that the survey found 95.6 per cent of BME firms reported that their ethnicity had no impact on the premium price they paid for their insurance cover. The determining factors for premium pricing for any given firm were instead found to be the number of fee earners in the firm, its claims history, and its size, added the chief executive.
The Law Society has worked hand-in-hand with the SRA, the EHRC, and others in order to make sure that the potentiality for any form of discrimination towards BMEs was snuffed out, Mr Hudson also said. The FSA and the ABI have also begun addressing the issue as well, Mr Hudson was quick to say.