Podcast  

How coronavirus has affected PI insurance

 

Some insurers in the professional indemnity market are willing to offer advisers an extended renewal deadline, the chief executive of the Personal Finance Society has suggested. 

The coronavirus crisis has exacerbated concerns over the already hardened professional indemnity insurance landscape, despite the Financial Conduct Authority insisting the market was still open for business. 

But speaking on the FTAdviser Podcast this week Keith Richards warned cover was not as readily available as the regulator implied. 

Mr Richards said: "I met with a number of PI brokers and insurers last week and have reassured both the FCA and the Treasury that the market isn't open for new business in the way they seem to be implying."

But the PFS boss said he was aware of some insurers who were prepared to extend professional indemnity cover and push the renewal deadline back to a later date in certain circumstances. 

Mr Richards added: "Get in touch with your insurance broker or directly with the insurance firm and they will give you guidance, they are not there to be awkward. 

"The challenge clearly is the uncertainty of what may happen as a result of the coronavirus and changes in the market.

"Clearly there is some worry amongst insurers - there is only about five insurance companies that offer professional indemnity cover for the profession, so if one or two get spooked it really does reduce capacity and availability."

But despite the challenges faced by advisers in the current environment, Mr Richards said the advice industry had responded and adapted "remarkably well" to the challenges thrown up by the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: "Who would have thought that we could have the whole of our teams working remotely from home, who would have believed that out clients would have responded in the way that they are." 

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rachel.mortimer@ft.com