One global professional liability insurance broker has recently launched a new service specifically formulated to aid smaller practices as the professional indemnity insurance renewal season for solicitor firms approaches.
Marsh has partnered with two business liability insurance providers that specialise in providing cover to small-scale firms. XL Insurance will be providing cover to firms with anywhere from four to 10 partners, while Liberty Mutual Europe’s Legal and Professional Insurance will be aiding firms with two and three partners to obtain cover as well.
Marsh announced the new move on the heels of Chartis, the current market leader, announcing that it will not be writing any new professional indemnity insurance business this coming season. Instead the insurance giant will only be writing renewal business instead.
The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority has also announced it will be amending its Qualifying Insurers’ Agreement in order to close a loophole in the rules surrounding the Assigned Risks Pool, the insurer of last resort for the legal industry. Insurers will no longer be able to dilute their representation in the ARP thanks to the new amendment, industry experts say.
Marsh UK solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance head, Janine Parker, remarked that the renewal season has been becoming increasingly stressful and difficult for a large number of firms outside of the top 100 due to rising costs. Insurance premium prices have continued to increase, resulting in the ranks of solicitor firms having to resort to the ARP swelling, she said, with many smaller solicitor firms finding it exceedingly difficult to find reasonably priced cover despite having excellent records.
Ms Parker also said that Marsh has decided to bring together the expertise of experienced solicitors’ insurance providers in order to offer measured alternatives to the yearly mad dash for insurance cover that so many of the smaller solicitor firms end up enduring as the renewal date approaches.
The initial partnership with Marsh was for the 2011-2012 renewal season, said Legal and Professional. The insurer’s managing director, George Raubenheimer, said that Legal and Professional was working hand-in-hand with Marsh in order to expand the level of service law firms with two and three partners can access.