PI insurance renewal season noteworthy for low ARP figures

This professional indemnity renewal season has been noteworthy for low Assigned Risks Pool take up figures, professional liability insurance experts recently said.

The ARP, which is the business liability insurance provider of last resort for those solicitor firms unable to secure proper cover by the end of the renewal period, is now only open to solicitor firms for a six month maximum, thanks to changes in the Law Society.  According to insurance broking firm Brunel Professional Risks, these new rules have had a positive effect on the profession for the 2011-2012 insurance year, as far less solicitor firms have needed to resort to the ARP than usual.

Brunel Professional Risks managing director, Russell Lane, remarked that less than 60 firms made applications to enter the ARP this renewal season, though he did state that there are other firms that most likely fell into the Assigned Risks Pool by default.

Brunel managed to keep several firms from having to resort to ARP applications through the provision of risk management advice and services, the managing director said, through a combination of external specialist partners and Lexel qualified in-house team members.  Mr Lane also said that it seemed as if many weaker firms, with less than stellar claims records, simply closed their practices and wound down ahead of the October renewal deadline, which was good news for both the insurance market and the legal profession, as the elimination of these poor quality firms will leave both better off.

The professional indemnity specialists also remarked that in excess of 150 solicitor firms found their insurance policies through Brunel, with the firm’s new wholesale broking arm providing a ‘significant’ number of professional indemnity markets accessed by insurance brokers for their clients.

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