Increasing demand for intellectual property cover neglected, says broker

Insurers are neglecting niche areas like intellectual property (IP) even though demand is high, according to Glenrand's Edward Williams.

Williams, who is managing director of Glenrand Intellectual Property, said inquiries for intellectual property products were flooding in, but it was difficult to satisfy potential customers.

He said insurers were increasing resources because of growing interest from potential clients, but not enough had been done yet.

"Historically, the insurance industry has been a poor provider of solutions for those seeking to protect their intellectual property," he said.

He said products like legal expenses had improved "radically" in recent years and that expertise in the market was at an all time high.

"But opportunities are being hampered by capital providers and reinsurers pressuring insurers to revert to core classes of insurance," he said.

This meant that demand was not being satisfied by supply.

"It is now possible to indemnify the gross margins, or research and development costs of a business, if intellectual property were impaired or lost following various scenarios, including a successful legal challenge," he said.

This was essential as it was thought that the majority of FTSE 100 companies woud have IP cover within five years.

Intellectual property hit the headlines this week when four piglets were cloned by the firm that produced Dolly the Sheep. The piglets have been developed to provide organs for transplants.

For such firms, intellectual property cover is increasing in importance.