No looks forward to the professional indemnity renewal. But, it is essential to present your practice in the best practice light
This blog post was also featured as a column in the June 2015 issue of Legal Practice Management magazine. To read the issue in full, download LPM magazine.
No one tasked with completing the professional indemnity renewal looks forward to it. But that little form is the crucial bit of information your broker will use to ‘sell’ your practice to underwriters. It’s essential, then, to present your practice in the best possible light.
It might be obvious, but a clear and well-presented proposal form is crucial – first impressions count. Handwritten forms are fine, as long as they’re neat. A form that’s been rushed and is generally poorly presented will not reflect well on the business. As proposal forms become more readily available online, this is an issue becoming less relevant.
Consistency in a firm’s proposal form is also important and can make a positive difference to an underwriter – the information, and particularly the numbers, must add up. An area where firms often let themselves down is in the conveyancing section. The fees declared here sometimes don’t match up with the percentages declared in the practice areas section of the form.
The proposal form, by its nature, is limited and can’t suit every type of law firm. Remember that in most cases there’s a human at the other end who reads what you write. Don’t be bound by the form’s limitations. Offer more about your firm and write additional notes. For example, insurers will be interested in how you supervise consultants or those working from home. They will want to know that you have sufficient and robust accounting procedures in place to ensure that no one individual could empty the client account. In short, they want to know about supervision and lines of accountability.