Weak regulation of solicitors and inflexible policy wordings

Nick Starling, director of general insurance and health at the Association of British Insurers (ABI) says in a letter to the Times that the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority is to blame for rising professional indemnity prices.

He said weak regulation of solicitors and inflexible policy wordings were the main causes.

“The economic turmoil of recent years, the restrictive terms of mandatory cover and weaknesses in the regulation of the legal profession have together led to an increase in negligence claims against solicitors, a growing assigned risks pool and rising premiums,” he wrote.

Change needed

“The insurance industry cannot deliver changes alone, but rather close collaboration with the legal profession is required. We therefore welcome the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority’s “root and branch” review of the professional indemnity arrangements. The review provides an excellent opportunity to reshape the market for the benefit of all.

“However, any changes will not take effect until 2011 at the earliest, and solicitors should be prepared for a difficult renewal this year.”