SOLICITORS in the United Kingdom paid £15 (AUD$27) million more in professional indemnity insurance in the past year, new figures show.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority figures reveal that the cost of insuring the profession rose from £226m in the 2008/09 indemnity year, to £241m in 2009/10, a rise of 7 per cent.
As the payouts increased, so did the number of big players in the market. Four new insurers entered the market this year, including XL Insurance, Allianz, Inter Hannover and Lemma. Together they were paid £41.5m in premiums, a 17 per cent market share.
The biggest insurer of solicitors, however, was AIG Europe, which scooped 15.2 per cent market share. It was followed by Travelers Insurance Co, with 13.4 per cent and Zurich Professional, with 12.8 per cent.
Insurance costs had otherwise been dropping in recent years. Before 2008-09, when the solicitors’ indemnity fund was abolished, insurance costs fell by up to 10 per cent each year.
Commentators have recently said the introduction of four new insurers into the market helped to keep the market competitive.