Malcolm Tarling a Spokesman for the Association of British Insurers has informed Today’s Conveyancer that there are on going discussions between the ABI and the Solicitors Regulatory Authority to try to address the growing concerns associated with the solicitors professional indemnity insurance market. A meeting next week would hopefully constructively address some of the concerns of both solicitors and insurers.
In an article appearing in the Times Online many insurers have complained that the minimum terms imposed by the SRA on qualifying insurers are unfair. The article highlights that insurers are unable to void policies even where a solicitor has failed to pay the premium or has lied on his proposal form. In the article Mark Ellis of Prime Professionals states that no other industry or profession is able to behave in such a way and still be covered.
Malcolm Turling stated that the minimum terms imposed created a situation where premiums were higher in the solicitors market than other similar markets. He also noted that there had been a significant increase in mortgage fraud related claims and as in any other market where the terms of the insurance are challenging and claims rates are high premiums are likely to follow.
The advice of the ABI to solicitors practices is that where there are risk management procedures in place within firms these procedures should be highlighted to brokers and in proposal forms so that insurers can see that firms take risk management seriously.