Reflecting that law firms recognize the need to start the renewal process for their professional indemnity (PI) insurance early, Aon, a leading insurance broker, was keen to work with the profession and received nearly four times the number of proposals at the beginning of August than the same time last year. Firms saw a real possibility of a lack of available insurance coverage in the lead up to the October 1 renewal date.
Aon, which now arranges the PI insurance for more than 40% of sole practitioners, found that this trend continued throughout the renewal season, with nearly 200% more proposal forms received by 1 September than the same time in 2009.
Andrew Gough, executive director of Aon Risk Solutions’ national professions team, commented: “In the lead up to the PI renewal date lawyers were concerned about the state of the insurance market, we worked with the profession, local law societies and through the Law Society, Insurance Matters, publication to make sure firms knew that getting proposal forms in early can have a positive effect on getting coverage and the premium offered. When fully completed proposals came in we worked hard to turn around quotes quickly, meaning for most of our new clients they could relax early into the renewal season knowing that they had their PI in place for 2010/2011.
"Risk management is now high on the agenda for many firms that previously may have taken a last-minute approach to their PI cover. If firms are worried about next year’s renewal, they should start working with their broker now to implement a robust risk management plan. We know firms who engage in managing their risk do have a better claims record. We are already seeing a lot of interest in the risk management programme Aon runs in conjunction with XL Insurance, which provides a quality assurance gap analysis based on Lexcel, the Law Society’s industry quality assurance standard.”