Can I advise on matters after my PII expires?

I’m a sole practitioner having difficulties renewing my professional indemnity insurance (PII). I’ve had several quotes that are too expensive. I’m thinking about closing down my practice. Can I continue to advise on matters after my current PII expires?

Yes. If you’re unable to renew your insurance, the SRA will provide you with a limited period of time to find cover or close down your practice in an orderly fashion.

Your current insurer is required to provide you with up to 90 days further cover.

These 90 days are divided into two distinct parts:

  • the extended indemnity period (EIP) – the first 30 days
  • the cessation period (CP) – the subsequent 60 days

During the EIP, you can continue to practise as normal and try to obtain qualifying insurance.

If qualifying insurance is obtained, the new insurer must backdate the policy to the start of the EIP.

If not, you’ll enter the CP during which you’ll be unable to accept new instructions and can only perform work in connection with existing instructions while you make the necessary arrangements for the orderly closure of your practice.

However, you’re still permitted to seek qualifying insurance while you’re in the CP. If you’re successful in finding cover, it must be backdated to the start of the EIP.

If you’re unable to renew your PII by the end of the CP:

  • you’ll have to cease practice, and
  • your current insurer will be required to provide you with the mandatory six years run-off cover

The run-off cover will be deemed to have commenced from the start of the EIP.

You’ll be expected to pay for this cover, the price of which is typically two-and-a-half to three times your last premium.

Disclaimer

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

Have you got a practice question?

Call the Practice Advice Service on 020 7320 5675 or email practiceadvice@lawsociety.org.uk.

The Practice Advice Service is staffed Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

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