The broker E&O insurance market is particularly sensitive to the effects of regulatory and economic changes and it has itself been through a lot of changes in recent years. Speaking with IBTV, Richard Webb, director at Manchester Underwriting Management (MUM) spotlighted some of the evolutions seen during the hard market conditions of recent years.
“You had the hard market arriving so you’ve got the natural corrections in brokers’ E&O rates,” he said. “So, brokers for many years, their rates had been very soft. There are a lot of insurers that have come into the market and then come out because there is simply not enough premium to cover the claims they’ve had.
“For brokers, that increase really happened when COVID arrived. And so brokers got hit with a bit of a double whammy, where their rates increased both just naturally for PI and then for COVID cover.”
The team at MUM was offering COVID cover from the very start for both new business and renewals, he said, while other insurers left the market. Some of those same insurers may now be thinking of returning to the space and he urged brokers to remember those insurers which did leave – and the impact that decision had on them as their partners.
“That’s not the sort of thing you want as a broker,” he said. “What you want is an insurer that is there when you make a claim and has consistency. The marketplace is definitely starting to change. We’re coming to the end [of COVID] thankfully, so what we’re finding is right now the pricing environment and the rates for brokers, [are] definitely changing.
“And we’re mirroring that in the new business, in the renewals that we write. So this year, as it progresses, it’ll be interesting to see how brokers find the marketplace - probably a bit easier than they’ve had over the last year or two.”