Opinions sought on alternatives to D&O cover

Airmic has sent a questionnaire to its members requesting information about the cost of their directors' and officers' (D&O) cover.

The survey is being conducted to enable members to compare the amount paid in D&O premiums.

The results of the survey will be used by Airmic to develop plans for alternative forms of D&O cover.

Airmic recently formed a task force in an effort to address problems arising from the lack of affordable D&O insurance. Figures provided by Marsh show that D&O premium increases of 300% - 400% have been the norm this year.

"We've sent out a questionnaire to try to find out what members experience has been," said Airmic executive director David Gamble.

"We're looking to get some actual figures of how much premiums have increased."

The 70 Airmic members participating in the survey received the questionnaire this week. Within the first few days, Airmic received 15 replies.

Alternatives to traditional D&O cover being considered by Airmic include:

  • Finite insurance deals
  • Bank letters of credit
  • Captive insurance companies
  • Mutual insurance arrangements
  • Not buying insurance at all.
  • "We're interested in finding out which of our members are interested in getting involved in which options - we're looking to get a steer on which area we should be looking at," Gamble said.

    Last week, doubts were cast on the viability of Airmic's plans to use mutuals and bank letters of credit as alternatives to buying D&O insurance. Marsh said current law "imposes a lot of obstacles" to alternative forms of cover.

    The Airmic task force is also seeking guidance from brokers and insurers as to how companies can reduce the cost of their D&O cover.

    "We've been talking directly to major insurers and brokers to find out what underwriters are looking for when people come to renew their D&O cover," Gamble said.

    "This will enable risk managers to present their case in the best possible light."