Ten brokers and nine professional indemnity insurers have agreed to use the Law Society’s prototype standard application form, Chancery Lane announced yesterday.
The eventual aim is to allow solicitors to fill out a single PII proposal form that will be accepted across the insurance industry.
The brokers are Aon, Bar Professions, Giles Insurance, Hera Indemnity, Howden, Marsh, Prime Professions, QPI Legal, Wesleyan and Windsor. The insurers/managing general agents are APRO Management, Chartis, First Title, Hannover, Indemnity Risk Solutions, Liberty, Monitor Insurance, RSA Insurance, and WR Berkley. The Law Society hopes to add more in the coming weeks.
However, this is not yet a truly common form and the Law Society said some insurers will require more detailed questionnaires for specific work types, such as conveyancing and financial services work. Other insurers may ask supplementary questions based on certain answers. However, about 70% of the questions are the same for all insurers, it said.
Law Society chief executive Des Hudson added: “The need to fill in the same or similar information about the firm to satisfy the requirements of different insurers seems unnecessarily time-consuming and extremely frustrating. The experience of solicitors in Ireland – a market populated by many of the insurers active in our market – last year, where the common proposal form helped solicitors get better value premiums, has reaffirmed our determination to help our members by the introduction of a common proposal form.
“Some, though not all, insurers and brokers have helped design this form. The result is a composite form that has a sufficient degree of commonality that it should be broadly acceptable to qualifying insurers with minimal supplementary questions.”
The society said the new form is a ‘living document’ and is designed with a view to developing it in the future. The 13-page document comes as an editable PDF as “we did not have sufficient time or support from insurers and brokers to develop an online form for this renewal”.
The society is urging solicitors to ask their broker and insurers if they accept the form when seeking PII cover, pointing to the power of the profession when it works on a common cause, such as the campaign against HSBC’s restricted lender panel.
For more information and to download the form, click here.
Meanwhile, Prime Professions has been reappointed as the preferred broker for the Solicitor Sole Practitioners Group. The broker also revealed that it is in talks with a number of insurers with the aim of bringing new schemes into the market for sole practitioners.
Director Martin Ellis said: “We are working closely with a number of parties to develop insurance packages that provide innovative solutions to the challenges faced by sole practitioners at this time. We hope to announce more in the coming weeks but in the meantime would advise sole practitioners to consider their options carefully before rushing into early renewals.”