Wednesday, 24 May 2017

What’s next in ATE?

Commercial ATE gets underwriting boost.
A dedicated new underwriting team, a clear emphasis on service standards and a host of fresh ideas to assist major legal firms in adjusting to a changing yet well-established market sector, ARAG is well placed to challenge in the commercial ATE sector.

With a clear focus on new business opportunities in the range of £100,000 to £500,000 indemnity limits. ARAG has committed the resources to deliver a first class service in this competitive marketplace. Underpinning the push for growth is the development of products under the Recourse umbrella. As always, the underwriting team is happy to discuss bespoke options to tailor cover to the needs of both the legal practice and to the specific type of case. The objective is to make ARAG a first, and automatic, choice of insurer partner.

Increasing activities in this sector is part of the company’s plan to accelerate its GWP in this area of the market. With further proposed legislation changes on the horizon, legal practices are similarly taking a new look at how they will affect their businesses over the coming years. The ARAG team is poised to respond. There are currently two distinct core policy types: Recourse Complete is the well-known policy for personal injury claims – accidents at work, slips & trips, clinical negligence, industrial diseases and RTAs. It is Recourse Options, designed for non-injury cases such as commercial and personal contract disputes, that is causing the latest interest. This also covers professional negligence, wills & probate, as well as insolvency claims.

Housing disrepair
Whilst some firms may not fully diversify into commercial claims, they are likely to be looking at the areas such as housing disrepair. Since the boom in buy-to-let investment, there has been a startling increase in the number of ‘rogue’ landlords who are not looking after either their properties or their tenants. Having seen the shortage of rental properties and very little enforcement of regulatory requirements, these landlords have been ignoring ‘due care’ and putting tenants into substandard accommodation, then failing to carry out even the most basic repairs such as dealing with damp. Often, it will be tenants housed by local councils; people who have very little in the way of funds or legal expertise who are left  to pursue claims without help. There has been a substantial amount of litigation already, and it is growing all the time. 

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