Q&As

What can I do if I cannot secure professional indemnity insurance cover due to practical difficulties caused by coronavirus (COVID-19)?

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Published on LexisPSL on 14/05/2020

The following Practice Compliance Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What can I do if I cannot secure professional indemnity insurance cover due to practical difficulties caused by coronavirus (COVID-19)?
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Qualifying insurance with a participating insurer
  • Adequate and appropriate insurance
  • Inability to obtain qualifying insurance
  • SRA guidance
  • Further help and guidance

Professional indemnity insurance (PII) is a vital part of protecting the financial interests of clients. The SRA is aware that some firms have not been able to secure PII because of practical difficulties due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This Q&A sets out the requirement to have adequate PII in place and contains details on the SRA’s guidance on failure to secure PII during the coronavirus pandemic.

Regulatory requirements

The main PII obligations can be found in the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules, which apply to law firms regulated by the SRA and their principals.

Law firms regulated by the SRA must have:

  1. qualifying insurance with a participating insurer, and

  2. adequate and appropriate cover

Qualifying insurance with a participating insurer

Qualifying insurance means a policy that provides PII cover satisfying the minimum terms and conditions set out by the SRA (often referred to as the MTC). The MTC are set out in Annex 1 of the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules.

Qualifying insurance must be taken out with a participating insurer. A list of participating insurers is available on the SRA’s website. Most participating insurers prefer to be contacted by broker only—the SRA’s list of participating insurers indicates where this is the case.

Adequate and appropriate insurance

Law firms regulated by the SRA must take out and maintain PII that provides adequate and appropriate cover in respect of current or past practice taking into account

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