Often, your Solicitor's Professional Indemnity proposal form is the only link between you and the potential insurer, so it's vital they work hard to create a good impression of your business. A poorly completed, untidy form will not help you secure the most favourable terms. Here we look at the dos and don'ts for proposal forms.
Keep it neat and tidy
Neatly handwritten proposal forms are acceptable, but try to complete it online wherever possible. You may need to print the proposal form first and complete a draft copy by hand. Bear in mind that an underwriter will often review dozens of proposal forms in a day and a clear, concise form will be far easier for them to read and understand.
Allow yourself plenty of time to complete the form. If possible, start to complete the proposal form a minimum of two months prior to the renewal date and don't forget to save a copy of the form once completed. It's also a good idea to have a copy of the previous years' proposal form for reference - if you haven't kept a copy, ask your broker for it.
Explain your claims
Ensure that you have your claims history to submit with the proposal form. This needs to be up to date and usually no more than a month old. Start the process of obtaining claims history reports well in advance, especially if you have been insured with various different insurers. If you have had some high value claims in the past, provide an explanation of these, the lessons learnt and the risk management procedures that you implemented as a result.
Proposal form checklist:
- Frequently firms to have more than one trading name. Ensure you list all of yours on the proposal form
- Make sure the work splits always add up to 100%
- Check that you have entered the correct fee income for the firm for each of the corresponding years
- Do not leave questions blank unless they are not applicable
- If the proposal form asks for additional information, make sure that this is attached to the form and correctly cross referenced
- Don't forget to sign and date it! This needs to be done by a Partner, Member or Director
- Ensure there are no spelling mistakes and that figures are correct
- Ensure that more than one person checks the form before submitting it your broker. Over 60% of the proposal forms we receive are incomplete or contain errors
- If there are any questions which you are unsure about, contact your broker for advice.
A well completed proposal form will give an accurate reflection of your business and help in getting a speedy quote. An experienced PII broker will help guide you through the process and give advice on any particular issues you face.