The quality of your solicitors professional indemnity insurance underpins your integrity and reputation among your clients. As a regulatory requirement, it is critical that your cover performs effectively for you and your practice. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team is committed to providing excellent service, working on your behalf to provide impartial, cost-effective cover that is tailored to your own unique circumstances.
Tailored solicitors professional indemnity insurance for your whole practice
The quality of your solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance underpins your integrity and reputation among your clients. As a regulatory requirement, it is critical that your cover performs effectively for you and your practice.
As the leading provider dedicated to solicitors' PII, it is perhaps no surprise that Lockton accounts for 30% of the insurance premium placed with the top ten rated insurers. Our team proudly represents more than 1,500 solicitors’ practices of all shapes and sizes across England and Wales, placing more than £115m in gross written premiums into the solicitors’ PII market annually.
Our dedicated and knowledgeable team is committed to providing excellent service, working on your behalf to provide impartial, cost-effective cover that is tailored to your own unique circumstances.
What we bring to your business
Competitive quotes from across the market
Lockton clients benefit from extensive insurance market access, including exclusive access to up to seven A-rated insurers
We negotiate hard on your behalf to secure the best long-term solutions
Whether you are a sole practitioner or magic circle firm, our team will secure comprehensive cover for your practice
Our dedicated solicitors' team is one of the largest in the country, and works year-round to service our clients' needs
We provide you with a dedicated Account Manager who will be your first point of contact at all times
Utilising a combination of in-house expertise and external specialists, we produce regular, relevant content to help strengthen our clients’ knowledge of emerging risks
Our risk managers are committed to helping our solicitor clients reduce their burden of risk and compliance
In the event of a claim, you can utilise the services of our experienced claims team and, should the need arise, the support of our claims advocates
Lockton’s in-house advisors are led solely by the desire to secure the best deal for you
We benchmark your PII arrangements against others in your immediate peer group where turnover and risk profile are similar to your own business
Inside your client portal
As a client you will gain access to our exclusive solicitors’ portal, designed to enrich your Lockton experience and simplify your everyday processes. This secure portal includes a library of documents, templates, guidance notes, checklists and videos covering a wide range of risk and compliance topics, as well as regular news and risk alerts. With 24-hour access to policy documents, informative insights, and online renewal forms, you’ll have everything you need when you need it, so you can focus on doing what you do best.
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Solicitors professional indemnity insurance FAQs
What contributes to the cost of Solicitors Professional Indemnity Insurance?
Do the fees for my law firm have an impact?
Yes, the turnover for a law firm is one of the two key rating points for an underwriter when calculating the premium to charge for a solicitors professional indemnity insurance policy. Underwriters will tend to charge a premium as a percentage of a law firms last completed revenue, should fees increase or decrease at future renewals, this may result in a premium reduction, but not a reduction by way of percentage against the law firm’s revenue.
What about the work that I undertake?
Yes, the work undertaken by a law firm is the second of the two key rating points for an underwriter when calculating the premium to charge for a solicitors professional indemnity insurance policy. Underwriters will consider what work a law firm undertakes, and for each area of practice they will place a level of risk for the respective work. For instance, commercial and residential conveyancing tend to consistently score highest on a solicitors professional indemnity insurance risk matrix for an underwriter.
Will a paid claim adversely impact the premium?
The impact on the cost of solicitors professional indemnity insurance will depend primarily on the cost of the claim relative to the premium, the greater the proportion the more likely the claim will serve as a catalyst for an increase in the cost of solicitors professional indemnity insurance. Secondly, a professional indemnity insurer will also consider the nature of the claim, whether the issue is a systemic one, and whether adequate risk management measures were in place prior to the claim. The more positive the professional indemnity insurers view is, the less adverse the impact on future costing for the law firm will be.
Do I need to use an insurance broker to buy Solicitors Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)?
To access the majority of solicitors professional indemnity insurers, law firms will need to go via an insurance broker. Insurance brokers are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and carry their own professional indemnity cover.
Different insurance brokers offer different levels of service. A transactional insurance broker will only place solicitors professional indemnity policies with insurers, whereas an advisory insurance broker goes further and offers independent professional advice and guidance.
When choosing an insurance broker, there are three important questions:
Are they a specialist in the Solicitors’ Professional Indemnity Insurance market (PII)?
How many years’ experience does the insurance broker and its employees have in placing Solicitors’ PII?
Which solicitors professional indemnity insurers can they access directly?
How much do law firms pay for Solicitors Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)?
The cost of a Solicitors PII policy varies from law firm to law firm, as it is determined by the unique risk factors of each practice.
There are five key areas that influence the premium level:
Areas of work undertaken by the law firm
Level of gross fee income of the law firm
Claims history of the law firm
Risk management within the law firm
Structure and location of the law firm
Has The Law Society provided Solicitors Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) to law firms in the past?
Between 1987 and the year 2000, The Law Society provided compulsory professional indemnity cover to all law firms in England and Wales. This was via a mutual known as SIF (Solicitors Indemnity Fund) which was managed by the Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited (SIFL). From 1st September 2000, law firms opted to move towards an open market scheme, giving law firms choice and encouraging competition between solicitors professional indemnity insurers.
Since 2000, SIF has remained liable for providing expired run-off cover, also known as post six-year run-off cover (PSYROC), to law firms whose 6 year run-off policy has elapsed. How long this arrangement will stay in place for is uncertain, however following a recent consultation by the solicitors regulator the SRA, it will stay in force until at least September 2023 to allow full consideration of the points raised in the consultation feedback.
Do all lawyers need solicitors professional indemnity insurance?
All law firms in England and Wales are authorised and regulated by Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA). It is mandatory for all law firms to purchase solicitors professional indemnity insurance to ensure their clients are adequately protected from civil liability claims.
Common practice is to use an insurance broker as they have access to multiple solicitors professional indemnity insurers and can give specialist insight into obtaining solicitors PII. Each Insurer will have their own law firm requirements, with some preferring to insure sole practitioners and others targeting top 200 law firms.
What does solicitors professional indemnity insurance cover you for legally?
Solicitors professional indemnity insurance covers claims made against law firms in respect of financial loss which occurs due to the negligence, error, or omission in professional advice or legal services provided by your business. As trusted advisors to law firms we encourage a continual focus on internal risk management processes and procedures. Your Solicitors PII policy is there to protect and defend you from spurious claims, too.
What level of Solicitors PI Cover do I need?
The mandatory and minimum professional indemnity cover limit for law firms is either £2million or £3million. The intended status of your law firm will determine whether you require a minimum of £2 million or £3 million limit of indemnity cover. A £2 million limit is required for all Sole Practitioners and Partnerships, whereas for all Limited and LLP entities the limit is £3 million. It is common for law firms to purchase Limits of Indemnity above the SRA’s MTC.
How much does PI cost?
Solicitors professional indemnity insurance is a complex insurance product given its long tail liability nature, the cost of professional indemnity insurance will vary quite significantly from law firm to law firm. There are multiple factors that may impact upon the cost of this insurance but in very simplistic terms the two biggest drivers that influence the cost will be your activity profile and your fee income. Effectively, what work you do and how much of this work is undertaken.
Which practice areas are considered high risk and what are low risk?
There are no practice areas in Solicitors PII that are immune from claims activity, but certain areas of practice are considered lower risk, some in terms of severity – meaning the value of claims could be less and some due to the frequency, meaning that notifications are less frequent. There are areas of practice that are both lower in frequency and severity of claims these will be considered the lowest risk.
Whilst some insurers will apply the same rate into each banding other insurers will have a rating for each specific area of practice. Each Insurer will assess areas of practice or work types differently, some Insurers will see certain work-types as low frequency, but a high severity of loss, whereas others may put this in a risk banding of higher frequency and severity.
You can download our guide to learn more on how and what insurers take into consideration when insuring your business.