2017 has been another challenging year for the Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance market. The competition in the insurance business sector shows no sign of easing up anytime soon, and the market will continue to see a number of organisations offering PI to the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector. Competition ranges from traditional underwriters to Managing General Agents (MGAs), from online solutions to schemes, as well as direct markets. With these competitive conditions, Tokio Marine HCC (TMHCC) has maintained a strong position in the market through the development of various underwriting solutions and service. In November our PI underwriters won “PI and D&O” team of the year at the Underwriting Services Awards for the fourth time, which acknowledged the underwriting expertise of the team.
Our regional footprint
TMHCC’s regional offices have continued to grow throughout the year. Having enlarged our underwriting presence in Manchester at the end of 2016, there is now an experienced PI team in place, enabling the underwriters to provide local support and deliver solutions to our broker network in the north of the UK.
Our underwriting footprint is now countrywide with a PI team in; Bristol, Bridgend, Birmingham, Newcastle and Manchester. There are further regional investment plans for TMHCC as we become closer to reaching the 10th anniversary in 2019 of launching our regional offices.
Expansion of Professional Multi Risks (PMR) offerings
Responding to our brokers is central to the development of TMHCC’s offerings and the development of our PMR products are an example of positively reacting. Clients, especially those in the SME sector do not want to be changing insurers and renewal dates when it comes to placing all their business insurances. Instead, clients want one policy which can be paid by a single, monthly direct debit. What started as a simple PI policy has now been extended to include:
- Employer's Liability (EL)
- Professional Liability (PL)
- Management Liability (ML)
Both ML and Cyber can be also be purchased on a standalone basis. TMHCC’s Office product is soon to be enhanced, allowing clients to combine various office coverages to create a bespoke package. The PMR cover offering is available for a wide range of professions, from Accountants to Zoologists.
The challenges facing the construction industry
The terrible events at Grenfell Tower in June 2017 saw over 70 people tragically lose their lives, has led to major upheaval in the construction industry. Whilst potential issues with cladding have clearly been identified, this matter dramatically affects a number of areas across the construction sector and their support industries, including: Building Control, Fire Risk Assessors, and Architects & Engineers. Together with general and more specialist cladding contractors, they have all faced criticism that businesses have been putting profits before safety. Building regulations are now under review and discussions about non-combustible and/or limited combustibility cladding are under evaluation. There are lots of questions that need to be answered, such as does it matter if a building is above or below 18 metres? The truth is that there are no firm conclusions on such matters. Whilst there are many changes taking place in the industry and lots of unanswered questions, our underwriters are maintaining a consistent approach to their underwriting. A number of insurers have withdrawn from writing business in this area, but our intention is to continue to evolve with whatever the changing requirements may be. Whilst we will of course remain supportive wherever possible, these challenges will require a balanced approach.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the insurance market
GDPR comes into effect on the 25 May 2018. It is certain that the regulation will have a significant impact on the way in which the insurance industry will operate and how companies obtain, process and retain personal data. In this respect, ensuring the lawful processing of data will be a challenge across all industry sectors.
TMHCC is currently putting the relevant procedures in place to guarantee that the company will be compliant with all GDPR requirements, and is in the process of ensuring that all data subjects can confidently enjoy those rights set out under GDPR.
The future of TMHCC Online
Technology is fast paced and it is vital that we adapt to the changing shape of the market and develop our technology based solutions. With a population who are used to getting everything online via a few “clicks”, why should purchasing insurance be any different? Our online platform is a major part of our offering, and developments will continue in the foreseeable future. TMHCC Online can be used for standalone as well as package products. Such offerings are suited for small businesses and micro enterprises where premiums now start at under £100, as the process reduces both the time and cost to place business. TMHCC policies are flexible and can be tailored to meet the needs of your client.
It is not a surprise to any insurer or broker to hear that premiums are low because of the competitive market environment, but this doesn’t mean that standards in policies or service should be slipping. Consistency must be maintained when it comes to underwriting and claims handling. Regardless of the business size, all companies need to ensure that the correct steps have been taken to safeguard themselves against any claims arising from professional negligence.
Whether it is a standalone PI product, an ML and Cyber packaged offering, or online solution the experienced PI underwriting team are on hand to talk through your risk(s). For more information please visit our website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org