Where does the buck stop? In the case of Independent's beleaguered policyholders,
it seems to land on their doorstep and then some.
The attitude of Independent's three panel solicitors' firms to hound all and sundry for their legal fees smacks of insensitivity, if not greed. Of the 2,000 demands sent, the majority will be commercial policyholders which will include large corporations or at least financially sound establishments.
But there will also be a large contingent of small, one-man bands, registered as limited companies. Ironically, there is a good chance they would have been encouraged (probably by their solicitor no doubt) to take a commercial policy to cover all eventualities and cajoled into taking this package because it offered more security.
Companies like crane hire operator Baldwins, which has written off £1m after attempting to replace its Independent Insurance cover, are the most likely victims.
Already faced with the prospect of being uninsurable or a dangerous risk, these companies have to face further hassle by fighting off Independent's own creditors.
After receiving the letter that said Independent “had a right under your policy to appoint us to act as your solicitors”, many policyholders will be surprised, bemused and angry. They would have had no input into which firm was used, on what terms and for what work they were engaged.
Let us hope some restraint and leniency is shown by the legal firms involved to those companies and individuals suffering the aftershock of Independent's collapse and contending with the myriad of problems incurred by the whole sorry affair.