Other providers moving to supply cover

Over half of the 1,900 sole practitioners who have taken out professional indemnity insurance (PII) with Quinn Insurance have not applied to the broker trying to obtain substitute cover.

Broker Prime Professions said 1,000 of the practitioners it placed with Quinn at the last renewal have not yet filed proposal forms.

The broker has urged practitioners to file these forms promptly, though states that clients are free to employ other brokers.

Quinn, which was yesterday barred from re-entry to UK commercial lines, confirmed last month that will stop offering solicitors' PII.

A Quinn Insurance Limited spokesman said: "We would have no information or no way of knowing if our existing Policyholders have progressed their PII insurance for the upcoming renewal date with a broker as we would not be party to any such discussions."

Prime has an agreement with Travelers to provide cover to a number of sole practitioners.

Martin Ellis, director of Prime, said this week that around 300 sole practitioners previously with Quinn now have PII cover for the next indemnity year.

Prime indicated that Travelers would adopt three-quarters of the sole practitioners, but market sources suggested that the insurer will adopt less than a quarter.

Nick Pointon, managing director of broker PYV Legal, one of Quinn's insurers for smaller law firms, said: "Current quotes are going out on a daily basis and we hope to have all of our renewal clients placed by the renewal date."

Pointon said that that PYV is seeking, or has successfully sought, cover for 'hundreds' of firms earlier insured by insurers that have left or reduced their exposure to the solicitors' PII market.

He added that firms have largely been good at submitting proposals this year.