London-based MGA Harbour Underwriting launched this month, offering an after the event (ATE) commercial dispute insurance product.
The product is purchased after a dispute has arisen and protects the claimant or defendant by reducing the potential downside in bringing or defending a legal claim.
The MGA, formerly known as QLCC, is led by Sharon Brown (pictured above), who joined the business last year. Prior to that, Brown was chief sales officer at Miles Smith where she oversaw development and distribution of several schemes specialising in hard markets and high-risk areas.
“Harbour Underwriting is here to have a conversation with insurance brokers and their clients about how an ATE insurance policy can help to mitigate the risk of adverse costs, own side expenses and solicitors’ fees, whichever side of the dispute their client is on,” she said.
“We’re looking forward to working in partnership with more brokers to explain the many ways in which ATE can help their clients and become part of the conversation about risk mitigation.”
Meanwhile, Harbour’s underwriting team is led by Rocco Pirozzolo (pictured), who has been involved in the development of legal costs insurance policies for the past 20 years.
“History has taught us that commercial litigation increases in a recession as firms look to recoup losses, such as those caused by contract disputes,” he said.
“For brokers, the way ATE policies are traded has evolved significantly. They have always helped individuals and firms to access legal representation and, ultimately, justice. However, some firms assume that ATE insurance is still limited to covering legal fees for bringing a claim. That is not the case with Harbour Underwriting, and we are very much here to tailor individual insurance solutions to individual disputes.”
According to Harbour, ATE insurance is a vital part of a broker’s insurance discussion when evaluating a client’s risk profile, to ensure that they are giving comprehensive advice that covers every exposure, especially in an increasingly litigious society.
The firm added that ATE insurance is also an alternative to the standard insurance programme, especially with shrinking indemnity limits caused by hardening markets and reduced capacity, such as in the D&O market.