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PII costs fall – but attempted fraud is rampant, Law Society reveals


Professional indemnity insurance renewal in 2015/16 was plain sailing for most firms, with average costs falling 8% year on year, latest research reveals.

The Law Society survey of 560 firms also found that one-third have abandoned the traditional October renewal date.

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More than three-quarters (76%) of firms, ranging in size from sole practitioners to 25 partners, found the renewal process easier, up from 62% last year. Nearly two-thirds stayed with the same insurer and 86% were very or fairly satisfied with the way their insurer had handled claims.

Law Society president Jonathan Smithers (pictured) said firms should make the most of a competitive market and surplus capacity.

‘Firms should take advantage of these favourable conditions and shop around for cover when renewing,’ he said.

Almost a quarter of firms reported being targeted by scammers in the last year, with fewer than 10% of the attempts resulting in theft of client account monies. Insurers paid up in full or in part in around one-third of cases.

The median cost of run-off cover went up from last year’s 250% to 300% of the annual premium.

Smithers said this increase – as well as the proposed closure of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund in 2020 – will create challenges for partners in small firms wishing to retire.

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