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No easing in professional indemnity insurance problems

The CLC’s second annual survey on the issue found that the cost of premiums is continuing to harm construction businesses and limiting the ability of firms to work on building safety remediation.

The cross-industry survey revealed no real easing in the PII cover available to the profession since the group carried out its first survey a year ago. The 2022 survey, which received 652 responses, found that although high-rise residential work represents just 5% or less of workload for two thirds of firms, many are still suffering from increased premiums and excess levels, coupled with wide-ranging exclusions on cover.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) PII group. is particularly concerned that the situation is having a disproportionate effect on the ability of SMEs to take on work where cover for fire safety is required, to pay their premiums and to meet their claim excess in the event of a claim.

The results revealed:

  • 17% of respondents are paying more than 5% of their turnover for their annual premium; 5% are paying more than 10% of their turnover for their premium.
  • 22% of respondents are still unable to buy the cover they want or need (a slight improvement on 29% in 2021).
  • 68% had restrictions on cover for fire safety (the same as 2021).
  • 24% have lost jobs as a result of inadequate PI insurance (compared with 31% in 2021).
  • 30% have changed the nature of their work due to inadequate PII (compared with 29% in 2021).
  • 42% said that the experience of buying PII was significantly worse than their last renewal.
  • 33% have been declined insurance by three insurers or more. (This was 44% in 2021.)
  • 67% have secured a claim excess that is 2% or less of their turnover. (64% last year.)
  • 12% have an excess that is 21% of their turnover or more. (4% said this last year.)

Samantha Peat, managing director of insurance firm Wren Managers, is chair of the CLC PII group. She said: “The market conditions for PII cover remain extremely tough for construction firms, particularly SMEs, and in the light of energy price rises and materials inflation, these are worrying times. The CLC PII group will continue to work with government and insurers to try and ease the situation.”

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