Professional Indemnity Insurance Management

2015/16 Annual Report

The Professional Indemnity Insurance Committee has, as required by the Legal Profession Act, put in place the PI insurance arrangements for the 2016/17 financial year. The negotiations were similar to previous years, but more complicated with QBE being replaced as lead underwriter due to price considerations.

The insurance placement includes consideration of the actuarial report prepared by our actuary, advice of our broker and Law Mutual (WA) staff.

Ultimately, the annual contribution rate decreased by an average of more than 10%, primarily due to improved claims experience and prudent capital management. The Committee hope to be in a position to stabilise or further reduce rates in future years. However, this as always will depend on claims outcomes and underwriting market conditions. Claims numbers in the last two years have shown a slight decrease on the five year average.

The Committee has continued its focus on risk management initiatives that will, over time, lower the incidence and cost of claims leading to more stable contributions subject of course to the underwriting market. While the most visible sign of this was the successful 2015/16 risk management seminar programme. The Committee have continued to increase the risk management resources available to Law Mutual (WA). A comprehensive risk management programme strategy has been approved that includes:

• the appointment of a Manager, Risk;
• the development of risk advisory services; and
• a targeted risk management seminar programme.

Law Mutual (WA) has highly experienced insurance capabilities that enabled the Committee to fully analyse the professional indemnity insurance arrangements to ensure they are fair and equitable to practitioners and their clients while maintaining a very broad coverage at a reasonable cost.

The first results of this have already been seen in the lowering of rates for the 2016/17 insurance year. The analysis will be ongoing.

Financially, Law Mutual (WA) is in a very sound position and neither the annual audit nor actuarial reports for 2015/16 were qualified.

Finally thank you to all committee members, Law Mutual (WA) and Law Society staff for their diligence and contribution for what has been another challenging but rewarding year.

For more information about this committee please email info@lawmutualwa.com.au