Things were tough enough in 2020. But additionally, a combination of factors has resulted in the further hardening of the professional indemnity insurance market place. Unfortunately, the market is still going through a tumultuous period.
For instance, the tragic events relating to the cladding at Grenfell Tower. In addition, the subsequent uncertainty resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. These have resulted in a number of carriers completely exiting the marketplace. Those that have survived have had their capacity reduced, with the result being:
- Far tighter underwriting criteria.
- Lower limits being offered.
- A significant move towards cover only being offered on an ‘aggregate’ limit basis, for some professions.
Industries Impacted By The Professional Indemnity Insurance Market
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have made changes to their RICS Approved Minimum Wording. This very fact is indicative of the challenges faced by the professional indemnity insurance market. Furthermore, in respect of Fire Safety Cover, in 2020 insurers imposed blanket fire safety exclusions when offering professional indemnity insurance terms. This stemmed from a number of high profile fire safety failures. As a result, surveying firms were increasingly left uninsured for fire safety exposure on all aspects of their business. Fortunately, matters have since improved. As of 1 May 2021, insurers aren’t permitted by RICS (without specific dispensation) to exclude fire safety claims on properties four storeys or less. In addition, fire safety coverage must be provided as a minimum on an aggregate, defence cost inclusive basis.
It’s not just surveyors who have been affected by the hardening marketplace. The Design & Construct sector has faced significant challenges. Architects involved in high rise projects, basement works, swimming pools and other activities deemed to be high risk by insurers have seen premiums soar. Additionally, so have Mortgage Brokers, Insurance Brokers and other firms involved in the Financial Service industry. Many businesses have been faced with cover restrictions and unprecedented increases in premium.
Be Prepared, Be Proactive And Provide Quality Information
In response to these trends, we continue to expand our panel of insurers. However, it is important to understand that the quality of proposal form (and supporting risk information) has never been so important. In the past insurers may have asked for clarification in respect of any unanswered / incomplete questions. However, they are now more likely to just decline to offer terms. Insurers make underwriting decisions based on a variety of factors and the quality and clarity of information presented to them really can make a difference. This applies to both the levels of premium quoted and overall willingness to provide cover.
Up until 2019 there had been an over capacity of professional indemnity insurance providers. This resulted in insurance premiums not keeping pace with inflation. This created a stable and favourable environment for insurance buyers. However, this is no longer the case. The current imbalance between supply and demand has resulted in a far more stringent selection procedures. We urge all companies to be proactive, to enable them to secure the most favourable professional indemnity insurance terms possible.
It is important to note that the scope of Professional Indemnity insurance policy cover, and quality of insurer, can vary significantly. It’s not just the case that one PI insurance policy fits all. Care needs to be taken when ascertaining whether a cheaper insurance proposal does actually represent good value for money.
For Professional Indemnity Insurance Quotes for your business, please complete our Quick Quote Request form below:
If you’re not sure what your requirements are, we will gladly discuss with you to ensure that your financial interests are best protected. Please Call us on 01384 442 165 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm), or Email: email@example.com. We can provide same day quotes for many professional indemnity insurance risks.