Professional Indemnity

At Solicitorassist, we arrange errors and omissions cover for work carried out by anyone within your practice which might lead to a claim against you.

In the event of a claim being made against you, we provide a professional and personal service, working in conjunction with you and your insurers to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

We have years of experience and specialist knowledge providing best advice to practices of all sizes, to source the most competitive premiums for the areas of law in which you specialise.

We understand that Professional Indemnity Insurance is likely to be one of your largest expenses after staff. We have key relationships with participating insurers to negotiate the best deal available, taking into account your individual circumstances.

What we offer

  • Access to the majority of Participating Insurers (see our crib sheet)
  • Independent, impartial and bespoke advice from insurance professionals who understand solicitors professional indemnity insurance and the marketplace
  • Assistance with risk management and claims analysis to assist in promoting your practice to Participating Insurers, thus achieving more competitive premiums
  • Year round assistance and guidance with all aspects of cover and any claims which may occur.

For further information, please contact us directly at Solicitorassist when we will happily discuss your individual needs.

The marketplace

As of May 2014 there is a new consultation paper from the SRA with a view to amending the minimum terms and conditions of the policy cover effective from 1st October 2014.

Below is a list of the key changes to the policy wording over the past 10 years.

  • You are required to purchase cover with a minimum indemnity limit of £2,000,000. If you are an LLP or Limited Company then you are required to purchase £3,000,000.
  • The policy wording changed in 2005. Cover previously had been underwritten on an ‘any one claim’ basis, so the indemnity limit applied to each and every claim. From 2005 onwards, insurers are able to apply the aggregation rule.  Very simply this states that all claims can be treated as one if they arise from one act or omission, one series of related acts or omissions, the same act or omission in a series of related matters or transactions and similar acts or omissions in a series of related matters or transactions. The wording also states that all claims arising from one matter or transaction will be regarded as one claim.
  • Since October 2013, practices can no longer rely upon the Assigned Risk Pool to provide cover should they fail to obtain cover from any of the Participating Insurers. Instead there is the imposition of the Extended Period and a Cessation Period whereby the existing insurer has to provide cover for a further three months from the renewal date of the policy. If the practice is still unable to obtain cover with a Participating Insurer, then the SRA will then close the practice down.
  • From renewal 2013, practices can now alter their renewal date for their professional indemnity insurance away from the common renewal date of the 1st October.

For further information, please contact us directly at Solicitorassist when we will happily discuss your individual needs.

Solicitor New Ventures & Start Up Practices

As a new practice, your initial submission to insurers is one of the most important presentations you will make. Without a professional indemnity quotation the SRA will not accept your new practice application form.

Your submission should include:

  • A fully completed proposal form
  • A business plan explaining how the business will start, where it will operate from, how it will attract new clients and how it will then evolve
  • A financial forecast for at least the first 12 months, preferably longer, including cash flow projections, profit & loss projections and a balance sheet
  • Curricula vitae of all principals / partners / members / directors. The curriculum vitae should also show, where possible, how actively you have been involved in running department / practices during your previous employment. You should also highlight any additional Law Society courses you have attended or are intending to attend

We will then read all your documentation and advise you of any changes or alterations we feel may be necessary prior to sending your application to insurers. All too often we have spoken to solicitors who have already used other brokers and found that their applications have been sent to insurers without being checked first. If the documents don’t concur, insurers may consider that this is potentially the standard of your work, which can prejudice your practice obtaining a competitive quotation.

For further information, please contact us directly at Solicitorassist when we will happily discuss your individual needs.

Established Practices

Professional indemnity Insurance is not something that you should look at just once a year as the policy is approaching its renewal date.

There are many steps a practice can take during the course of the year to understand where they may have potential risk management issues which need reviewing and potentially amending. Much of this can be found in the information used to complete your professional indemnity renewal proposal form.  As part of your risk management procedure, you should:

  • Request claims summaries from insurers for the last six / seven years every quarter to see if your claims experience has changed, i.e. settlement payments, increased or decreased reserves. These all have a bearing on the premium you pay
  • From the same claims summaries, review how claims have occurred and the risk management procedures which have been implemented to mitigate a re-occurrence. Check whether these risk management levels can be improved further and see if there is a common connection between the claims reported, a member of staff, a particular client or the same areas of practice.

If you only obtain your claims summaries two months prior to renewal date and discover your claims have significantly deteriorated, then you are going to be hard pushed to persuade an insurer to provide a competitive premium. It is important to obtain regular updated claims summaries which will give you time to review the information and speak to insurers where appropriate. This is something you can do with or without your broker’s assistance.

Another thing to consider if you only complete a ‘short renewal proposal form’ each year for your existing insurer, is to also complete a full one. This may sound ridiculous but each year the proposal form changes, with insurers asking different and additional questions. Many of these questions may well help you identify any potential weaknesses in your current risk management procedures and also allows you to further demonstrate your practices’ attitudes and safeguards.

For further information, please contact us directly at Solicitorassist when we will happily discuss your individual needs.