A massive 73% of law firms have saved money on their professional indemnity insurance (PII) since cover was made available on the open market, finds research for Alexander Forbes.

It finds 58% of firms questioned have saved up to 40% on their premiums since the scrapping of the mutual Solicitors' Indemnity Fund, (SIF). A third of the law firms surveyed have already claimed against their PII, and 84% were happy with the way their claim had been handled.

The research, conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres, showed that 93% of law firms shopped around before taking out new PII.

Some 63% believe that they got the best deal around. Less than 10% are having problems obtaining cover and the majority are happy with the number of insurers offering PII.

The research did, however, throw into question the date of PII renewal. Most of the law firms participating in the research agreed it would be preferable to review their PII before September 1, 2001.

Trevor Moss, director at Alexander Forbes Professions, said: “The renewal date for PII has proved to be the only bugbear since the abolition of SIF.”

Most solicitors agreed that price, advice from insurance brokers and reputation of the insurer were the key motivators when buying PII.