Large Law Firms: PII Market Update April 2024

Following April renewals, we look at the dominant trends within the solicitors professional indemnity insurance (PII) market. Below, we also set out key recommendations for firms when it comes to presenting their risk to insurers.

Rates ease as capacity increases

It’s been a challenging market for solicitors PII in recent years, with surging premiums, a lack of appetite from insurers to take on new clients, and an absence of market entrants. Economic difficulties, driven largely by the geopolitical environment, have further increased during the past year.

For firms, a positive takeaway from 1 April renewals is that premium rates are now stable or declining. However, market conditions are profession-specific, with specific outcomes affected by the size and profile of risk.

Professional indemnity underwriters remain wary of the ongoing economic uncertainties. Therefore, underwriters continue to be selective and careful in their approach as they look to avoid a return to the unsustainable rating of the last soft market. Scrutiny and rigor continue in underwriting practices as insurers focus on reducing volatility through best-in-class risk selection.

Underwriters are receptive to new business opportunities, however, while proving equally keen to retain their existing portfolio of business. This is resulting in a greater willingness to negotiate on premium levels and the accompanying terms and conditions.


At the primary layer level, law firms with good claims records are achieving rate improvements, in some cases very significant improvement. With regards to excess layers, rates continue to ease. We are typically seeing flat premiums, even with revenue growth of circa 10%.

There is now plenty of capacity available to achieve significant limits of indemnity. However, insurers remain focused on profitable growth and retention of well-performing risks.

The impacts of global inflation, combined with other factors, continue to drive up claims costs. Insurers remain focused on limiting their cyber exposure. As a result, insurers are continuing to adapt the cyber exclusion language for those firms using AI or Software as a Service (SasS) solutions.

Insurers are not just looking at professional indemnity risks. They are also looking at firms’ overall financial health – particularly pertinent following the demise of several firms during the past few years. Insurers are wary of picking up 6 years run off with the potential that they will receive no premium payment.

Self-insured excesses remain generally stable. Increases may be required for some challenging and/or poor performing firms, and where insurers are concerned that risk management controls may be insufficient.

Emerging Risks


Artificial intelligence has been gaining a lot of attention within the insurance community. Underwriters are concerned about potential new exposures. Insureds are also increasingly raising questions about insurance coverage and potential future restrictions. It is likely that we will continue to see many questions and concerns from clients and underwriters alike.


The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has outlined the growing threat of cyber-attacks to the legal sector (opens a new window). Law firms handle large amounts of money and highly sensitive and confidential information which makes them particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. There is SRA guidance in place for firms to follow in order protect themselves against these threats, however it is not an easy risk to manage.


Insurers remain selective, so firms need to present themselves in a positive way. Here are a few tips:

  • Increase underwriter confidence in your risk for better placement outcomes. Engage throughout the year to bring insurers along on your journey and differentiate your risk.

  • Communicate transparently and often – in person, when possible – and provide access to relevant experts across your organisation.

  • Start the renewal process early and define clear objectives.

  • Tap into available data to provide robust, quality underwriting information including, risk control and mitigation practices and actions you have taken from past experiences.

  • Include details of the firm’s growth and strategy plans.

  • Conveyancing claims remain a concern for insurers. If the fees from conveyancing (residential and commercial) are above 25%, the more information provided about the nature of the property work the better.

  • Accompany your claims history with a ‘lessons learnt’ explanation.

  • Submit your proposal form and accompanying documents well in advance of renewal.

For more information on solicitors professional indemnity insurance, visit our Solicitors (opens a new window) page.

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