AVMA ends exclusive agreement

Action for Victims of Medical Accidents (AVMA) is extending its exclusive insurance arrangement with Litigation Protection to include both Amicus Legal and Saturn Professional Risks.

Since 1996, Litigation Protection has offered discounted policies solely to lawyers on AVMA's panel and the charity has handled the insurer's risk assessment.

An AVMA spokesman says the charity has been looking for opportunities to extend the work of its successful risk assessment department, which also assesses cases for the Legal Aid Board.

Amicus has been the first to grasp the opportunity, creating a whole new policy for the AVMA panel and offering a 30 per cent discount.

“AVMA has very good quality control, says Amicus director Christine Malkin.

“In terms of risk to an insurer, it is attractive.”

Under the policy, damages are ring-fenced, so if a client is suing multiple defendants and wins damages from one but loses to another, those damages cannot be taken to pay the other opponent's costs.

But Deri-Ann Clark, director of Saturn, questions the policy's viability.

“It says: 'If you lose, we lose,' but also: 'If you win, we lose.' That doesn't seem very clever. Somewhere along the line insurers actually have to make money.”