Allianz Cornhill call on insurers to work together to streamline ATE

After-the-event (ATE) insurance could be streamlined and made more affordable under a proposal from Allianz Cornhill Legal Protection (ACLP) to have a roundtable discussion with the major liability insurers.

Citing a fundamental breakdown in dialogue between insurers on either side of the liability battle, ACLP underwriting manager Peter Dobie called on all parties to agree a set of principles on the structure of ATE insurance and premium costs.

In a statement aimed at the top ten underwriters he said: "We recognise that liability insurers are looking for simplicity and they want to keep prices down. We don't want them to feel they are being ripped off.

"What we are saying is that transparency is important because we need premiums to reflect the risks we are running."

ATE insurance makes up roughly a quarter of the £200m gross written premium legal expenses market and has become a cornerstone of many compensation cases.

But legal disputes over the cost of ATE insurance slows down many of the cases' paths through court.

AXA UK head of claims Dave Williams said: "We have seen in the past ATE premiums that can in no way be justified.

"However I welcome the offer. My only concern is that this is not seen as being anti-competitive."

According to Dobie, a streamlined ATE market will help both insurers funding legal disputes and the public fighting for compensation.

He said: "It is about access to justice. The fact that we have had so many challenges in court is because the liability insurers do not see or do not trust where these premiums are coming from."