The professional indemnity time bomb

You may not recall that Berliner was the unrated insurer that was supposed to take over the book previously underwritten by Latvian insurer Balva, which was on the brink of being closed down in June. The pair join Gibraltar-based Lemma Europe Insurance Company and Irish insurer Quinn in the PII doldrums as big insurance players were forced to withdraw because of regulatory complications.

Once again brokers have joined with the Law Society to condemn the use of unrated insurers in the market, a bone of contention the SRA is already looking into.

But some in the market believe it is not the unrated capacity that has proved the ticking time bomb for the firms left looking for alternative cover, but the actions of a London insurance broker that pushed the business that way.

We asked that broker, Bar Professions, for comment, but the company refused, telling us it was not speaking to the media currently.

All this shapes up into a messy end to the renewal season, with more than 1,000 firms left looking to snap up the remaining capacity available to them at a decent price.

Uncertainty, rate fluctuations, in-fighting and solicitors left out in the cold – it is shaping up to be a vintage PII year.

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