The post COVID-19 impact on the professional indemnity market
What impact did coming out of COVID-19 have on the professional indemnity market and what is the current market condition?
ITIC's Underwriting Director, Robert Sniffen, explores how the professional indemnity market has changed post Covid and how ITIC is here to help insurance brokers.
Leading into COVID-19 ITIC had its best two years in terms of new business growth.
In a large part this was due to the Decile 10 review carried out within the Lloyd’s market which led to a reduction in capacity and increase in premium.
Whereas before ITIC may have been viewed in the market as the expensive quote, with a broker sometimes saying ‘’we have a cheaper quote, can you beat it?’’ or told ‘’sorry, but there is a cheaper alternative.”
That changed, and all of a sudden ITIC was the “reasonably” priced insurer in the market.
Between 2020-22, across the majority of insurance providers, even where incomes were dropping, premium rates were increasing. The market was extremely “hard”. Now, as we head towards the end of 2023 the market is softening slowly and premiums are generally going through at a “flat” rate.
During that period ITIC maintained our underwriting philosophy and premium levels were only increased for clients where their income had substantially changed or they had poor loss ratios.
In life, we all look after our money, whether that be our own personal finances or those related to our businesses. Cost plays a major part of any purchase and there may be a limited budget but, in all honesty, is the cheapest option always the best? In reality, the cheaper option can turn out to be the most expensive one, particularly with insurance!
ITIC is very strong financially. The Board of ITIC review the finances regularly and look to award a continuity credit to those members who renew. As such ITIC has been able to provide credits for the last 29 years. The credits reduce the underlying cost to your client, but commission remains paid to you on the gross premium. Accordingly the generosity of the ITIC Board of Directors towards the assureds does not result in a lower commission for you.
With general costs increasing year on, there was a discussion as to whether ITIC needed to consider a general rate increase. However, it was concluded by the Board that ITIC is sufficiently well reserved (with an extremely strong financial and solvency position) to be able to weather the current inflationary environment.
This was further echoed by the fact ITIC have maintained the current continuity credit structure (15% for one year renewals and 25% in year one if a two year renewal is chosen).
ITIC’s retention rate is approximately 96%, once ITIC is chosen clients and brokers see the fairness in pricing and benefit of the credits, but also the claims handling services and free contract reviews that we provide.
Reputation can mean everything! We also pride ourselves in our loss prevention advice whether that be a circular notifying members of an immediate issue, or the Claims Review or Wire giving information on claims recently paid.
Over 80% of ITIC’s business comes via insurance brokers, therefore we continue to support and grow our relationships. We have a dedicated section of the ITIC website solely for insurance brokers which we recommend you check out! If you have any questions, or would like to discuss a risk or renewal, please contact me (Robert.Sniffen@thomasmiller.com) or your usual ITIC contact. All account executives will be more than happy to help.
- Robert Sniffen, Underwriting Director