Inadequate pricing prompts market leader to pull back


Insurer XL plans to “significantly” reduce its share of the UK solicitors’ professional indemnity (PI) market at the upcoming renewal on 1 October.

XL has topped the UK solicitors’ PI market table for the past two years. In the 2012 renewal, it wrote £39.4m of premium, giving it a market share of 16.4%, according to figures from the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

However, it plans to make cutbacks in 2013 because market conditions are pushing prices too low in some areas.

XL said in a statement that it is continuing to review its solicitors’ PI book and is working on pricing and underwriting guidelines that will allow it to write the business profitably over the long term.

The statement said: “Unfortunately, current market conditions are not allowing adequate pricing in certain areas of the solicitors class. As such, we are significantly reducing our market share for the upcoming renewal season.”

Top 10 solicitors’ PI insurers by market share in 2012

1. XL Insurance, £38.4m (16.4% market share)

2. Travelers Insurance, £26.2m (10.9% market share)

3. QBE International, £26.1m (10.9% market share)

4. Zurich, £21.2m (8.8% market share)

5. Inter Hannover, £20.7m (8.6% market share)

6. Chartis Insurance UK, £19.8m (8.2% market share)

7. Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty, £16.7m (6.9% market share)

8. Balva Insurance Company, £16.4m (6.8% market share)

9. Barbican Syndicate 1955, £9.9m (4.1% market share)

10. Aviva Insurance, £7.3m (3% market share)

Source: Solicitors Regulation Authority