Since the end of the common renewal date, solicitors’ PII is no longer just about September
This blog post was also featured as a column in the February 2015 issue of Legal Practice Management magazine. To read the issue in full, download LPM magazine.
It seems strange to be writing about upcoming professional indemnity renewals in January, but since the end of the common renewal date, solicitors’ PII is no longer just about September. It’s unclear how many firms have moved away from the traditional 1 October renewal, but there will certainly be a significant number. It’ll be interesting to see how the market adapts to this new set of circumstances – a market that was traditionally focused on one single date. Will there be any pricing implications? Will it become more or less challenging for firms to source competitive quotes?
It can be argued that having a single renewal date near insurance companies’ year end created many advantages for law firms. The sheer volume of business available in such a short period was a significant temptation to underwriters with an appetite for income. This certainly created competition and drove prices down. The pressure that this also put on underwriting resources almost certainly allowed some firms to obtain cover when they otherwise might have struggled if underwriters had more time to consider each risk instead of focusing on income. With no single renewal date, this scenario will no longer occur and, should the market harden, it’s possible you’ll see the situation experienced by surveyors in the PI market, where rates increase dramatically or insurers withdraw from the sector completely.