Intouch Spring 2019 - Getting to grips with the IDD
How can you demonstrate to your clients that you’re acting in their best interests and meeting their needs when obtaining legal indemnity insurance?
Over the last few weeks, we’ve regularly been asked questions about the recent Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD), which came into force in October 2018. All solicitors want to meet their clients’ needs while remaining compliant but not unusually, the IDD has set no definitive guidelines and as such, much is left open to interpretation.
On one level, firms are largely ignoring the legislation and carrying on business as usual, while at the other extreme, some feel the need to change established practices and obtain multiple quotes when legal indemnity cover is required. As ever, the truth lies somewhere in-between.
What do the big cheeses say?
The whole emphasis of the IDD is to shift consumers’ focus away from just price and look at all the factors which help satisfy your clients’ needs.
The CLC and the SRA have each issued guidelines: the CLC acknowledges how few providers there are in the legal indemnity market and therefore recognises that quotes may be obtained from a single company; while the SRA guidance highlights that the IDD requires:
that all proposed insurance products must be consistent with clients’ demands and needs
that if a firm advises on a certain product, they must provide “a personalised recommendation explaining why”, ensuring the clients demands and needs are identified, and that the product matches those
The focus is very much on making sure “that the client is given objective and relevant information about a policy in good time prior to the conclusion of the insurance policy”.
The new Insurance Product Information Document (IPID) helps to do exactly that, giving the client a clearer, and more consistent, level of detail about the policy up front.
What do we say?
If you’re going to choose one company, it has to be Countrywide. We have a proven track record of providing unparalleled customer service and market leading products designed to best suit your clients’ needs.
The following outlines some of the many factors that you and your clients will benefit from when dealing with us:
Countrywide is an established market presence, having been in business since 1994
Unrivalled service standards; a one hour response to every email enquiry and if you call us, emailed confirmation of your quote will often arrive before you’ve put the phone down!
You have direct access to the largest team of experienced underwriters in the market who will provide great service and competitive premiums
Premiums are bespoke according to the individual risk and not priced generically to cover broad limits of indemnity
We have our own, hugely experienced, in-house claims team which is regularly tried, tested and highly-regarded
We’re pleased to say that our IPID has drawn praise from different quarters and it reflects the style of our plain English policies, where clarity is our watchword. Our documents also include a Demands and Needs statement that you can adapt and amend for your clients
Our quotation system, Elite, offers easily the most comprehensive and flexible online service available in the marketplace
All policies are from an ‘A’ rated insurer, Liberty Legal Indemnities, which is UK regulated, with a UK presence.
To sum up
Legislation and the regulators are encouraging consumers to move away from a focus on price alone, by considering the quality of cover and claims service too.
With Countrywide, you get the benefit of a clear and concise policy, from an ‘A’ rated insurer regulated in the UK, and at a competitive premium. In addition, with the quality of service provided from our Underwriting and inhouse Claims teams, it means that when you obtain a quote or policy from Countrywide, you can be 100% confident that you are acting in the best interests of your client.