Phew. What a month.
It's been a while and for good reason. We have had the most unbelievable month in our history. Why?
Well, we all know about the Jackson reforms taking effect 1st April and we all know that everything needed to be insured before then as otherwise the ATE premiums would not be recoverable. What no one predicted was the huge number of cases that solicitors would find lurking in their cupboards which had not been covered until now.
Let's give you some numbers. In terms of value, we did a year's worth of business in March. We are talking 10s of thousands of policies, many of them bespoke and higher value premiums due to the fact that the cases were mature. Several of our competitors couldn't cope and stopped taking new work well before the 31st. We, on the other hand, arranged insurance for our last case at 11pm on Easter Sunday. Our team was brilliant - not just in dealing with this huge volume of business but also getting systems, our website and media all ready for the change over. And... it all went smoothly.
It is a shame that firms did not have this attitude (i.e. insuring everything) from the start as if they had had, ATE insurance would have been a lot cheaper. Maybe a lesson needs to be learned here. If the new Post-Jackson policies are to remain cheap, firms need to ensure they insure everything.
What does the post-Jackson landscape look like? Well, we are offering a range of premium structures to firms and this ability to choose is proving very popular already. Clients are already agreeing to our policies in order to protect themselves and solicitors are sold on the idea of having insurance in place to protect their disbursement outlay.
It will take some time to see what the future holds and I expect a few casualties along the way - I can't see some of our competitors staying in the market for long.
We shall see.