Law Society takes first step towards PII common proposal initiative

The Law Society is seeking industry-wide support from insurers and brokers as it takes its first steps towards a common PII proposal regime.  It is asking brokers and insurers to use its professional indemnity insurance composite proposal form.  
The Society believes that a common proposal form will make life easier for its members during the PII renewal period.  If further industry support for this is gained, solicitors will not have to fill out multiple forms.  
The insurance industry is yet to unanimously sign up to a common form approach, but the Law Society has secured support for its composite proposal form amongst some of the major names providing PII coverage to solicitors.
Desmond Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society commented:
“This is the first step towards a common proposal form, which is the ultimate aim for making it easier for our members to obtain quotations from different insurers during the PII renewal process.
“The need to fill in the same or similar information about the firm to satisfy the requirements of different insurers seems unnecessarily time-consuming and extremely frustrating.  The experience of solicitors in Ireland (a market populated by many of the insurers active in our market) last year, where the common proposal form helped solicitors get better value premiums, has reaffirmed our determination to help our members by the introduction of a common proposal form.
“Some, though not all, insurers and brokers have helped design this form.  The result is a composite form that has a sufficient degree of commonality that it should be broadly acceptable to qualifying insurers with minimal supplementary questions.
“From working with those insurers and brokers willing to collaborate we are seeing parts of the PII sector embrace this approach, for the benefit of our members.”
Insurers and brokers who have not yet signed up to the new form are being encouraged to do so by the Law Society, which intends to publish and update details of those who will accept the composite proposal form on the Society’s website throughout the renewal process.  It is hoped that the first list of insurers will be published later this week.  
The Society believes that this will be a ‘living document’ which can be developed in the future.
Solicitors are urged to ask their broker and insurer if they accept the new form when looking for PII cover.  The Society believes that the power of the profession is strong when it adopts a common theme and works to achieve it, pointing to the recent agreement with the HSBC on its lender panel as an example.  
Feedback from those who use the common proposal form this renewal period will be welcomed by the Society.
The Law Society’s Composite Proposal Form can be downloaded here.
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