Smaller firms at risk from greater PII competition, The Lawyer report reveals

New entrants in the solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance (PII) market are targeting UK top 50 firms, but smaller practices are finding it harder to find cover.

As reported in this week’s professional indemnity special report, several new market entrants are keen to attract large firms to their PII roster. These include A-rated insurers CV Starr and Endurance, and A+-rated Libra. 

Meanwhile XL and Zurich are also looking to grow their coverage of the top 50 market.

Although several insurers want to grow their roster of smaller firms, several have restrictions affecting firms in The Lawyer UK 200 151-200 bracket, with turnover of less than £13m.

For example Allianz, AIG, Axis and Endurance all set limits on the maximum exposure to conveyancing work for smaller firms on their rosters.

The findings follow recent proposals from the Solicitors Regulation Authority suggesting that the compulsory cover limit should be lowered to £500,000 per claim from current levels of £3m for incorporated practices and £2m for sole practitioners and partnerships.

The proposals have been met with opposition from the sector, with some brokers and underwriters arguing that lowering the compulsory cover limit could leave a firm with inadequate cover.

While this year is the first time there is no set period for renewal of PII, brokers recommend that firms should renew promptly and demonstrate thorough due diligence in the renewal process.