The Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) has set a compulsory level of cover for each legal practice of £2m for sole practitioners or regular partnerships and £3m for LLPs, incorporated practices or other recognised body - this is often referred to as the primary layer of insurance or primary cover.
PII is compulsory, meaning Solicitors are not permitted to practice without it.
Policies must also be underwritten by a qualifying insurer (QI) committed to the conditions laid down by the SRA, and the cover provided must comply with the SRA's Minimum Terms and Conditions (MTC).
Top Up Insurance
Top-up Insurance or Excess Layer Insurance is relevant to a large range of professions and businesses. It refers to insurance over and above the minimum insurance required.
The exact amount of cover you may need will be dictated by a number of factors, including:
- The type of work you undertake
- The size and demands of clients for whom you work
- The types of clients for whom you work
Taking these factors into account many firms choose to select cover in excess of the mandatory limits.
It is important to regularly review the amount of cover you purchase. For example, the amount of cover your practice selected last year may not be appropriate for this year. Changes to your practice, type of work and client base will undoubtedly affect the limit of indemnity you choose for your practice.
How much will it cost?
The first £2,000,000 of cover is usually the most expensive. Generally, the more Top-up Insurance an insured takes, the cheaper it becomes at the higher levels.
The actual cost of cover will depend on a number of factors, these include:
- A practice's claims history
- A practice's level of fee income
- The type of work a practice conducts
- The number of principals and employees
- The amount of excess chosen
- A practice's risk management regime