Indemnity insurer extends quote period to 10 days, but rejects Law Society demand for 21

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By Legal Futures

2 September 2010

Acceptance period: insurer offers "gesture of goodwill"

The Law Society has squeezed a minor concession out of the unnamed professional indemnity insurer to whom it complained about giving solicitors just seven days to accept quotes.

The insurer has now extended the acceptance period to ten days, having refuted the society’s allegations that seven days contravened Financial Services Authority provisions (see story). But “as a gesture of goodwill”, the insurer has instructed its broker to extend the acceptance period.

The society said: “While we continue to reserve our position on the definition of a reasonable time period for acceptance, we are pleased at the movement made by the insurer in this regard. We maintain that acceptance periods of less than 21 days are insufficient for solicitors to properly consider a quote. We are aware that several other insurers are providing solicitors with ten or fewer days in which to accept quotes.

“We appreciate that some insurers have opted to impose acceptance periods of less than 21 days to help ensure that the value of active quotes does not exceed their premium income limit. Nevertheless, we expect that until this limit is reached, insurers should be willing to reinstate quotes for a further period of time upon request from a solicitor, without increasing the level of the quote – assuming no underlying change in the circumstances underpinning the proposal form.” The society said that “a number of insurers” have indicated that they will do this.

Earlier this week, Danish insurer Alpha Insurance A/S entered the market for firms of up to 25 partners (see here and scroll down).

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