Written by Jason Butcher, Client Director, Professional Risks.

In recent years, most law firms have experienced challenges arranging their Professional Indemnity Insurance; either due to increasing rates, a lack of competition from insurers or simply not having a clear understanding of the market conditions early enough before renewal.

This left most practices facing both increased premiums and limited choice. Amongst the hundreds of law firms JM Glendinning currently arranges PII for, nearly all stayed with their existing insurer at the April and October renewal periods last year.

Where you are presented with limited insurer options for your renewal, it becomes even more imperative that you understand your underwriter’s view of your firm, are comfortable with which insurers have (and haven’t) been approached and why, and that you have a good sense of how your firm ranks amongst your peer group. Only then can you have some assurance that your PII policy represents good value.

In the current tough market conditions, it becomes easier for brokers to ‘blame’ the prevailing climate and simply present you with a price. A specialist broker should be able to provide lots of assistance with the above, manage your expectations and ensure you are kept informed.

The value of knowing where your PII premiums and access to the market sit against your peers cannot be undervalued. Given our independence, access to various insurers and long standing specialism in Solicitors’ PII, we are able to provide accurate benchmarking for firms of all sizes. By simply reviewing your last renewal submission and current policy information we can:

  • Give you our view on the approx. premium you should have paid at last renewal and if the premium you did pay is consistent with the market
  • Advise which insurers will have an appetite to quote for you next time
  • Estimate the rate / premium you can expect at your next renewal
  • Identify claims trends, positive risk management features and commercial factors which affect your premium and advise on a strategy to improve any of these where necessary

The above will give you a view of where your business sits against other firms – typically we act for many firms with between £1M – £20M of fee income. When providing this service, we do not share your information with insurers and promise to always be transparent; even if the outcome is that your current arrangement is the best, we will tell you.

It is often better to conduct a benchmarking exercise away from renewal, so that you have time to digest the feedback and prepare a plan for your next negotiation.

Should you wish to benchmark your PII premium, then please forward the following:

  • Your last completed proposal form
  • Six years claims summaries. If you do not have these, we can assist in obtaining them
  • Your current PII policy schedule and documents.

Equally, if you simply wish us to provide alternative quotations ahead of renewal, we can do so using the forms submitted to your current broker. Please contact us on the details below if you would like to discuss.