Your journal has now provided Nick Bamford with the opportunity to complain about his treatment at the hands of the wicked Professional Indemnity underwriting market twice in four weeks, yet there is another side to the story.
At the eighth hour, I was asked to meet with Nick and his broker with a view to offering terms on behalf of Magian Mutual as an alternative to the holding insurers, with whom Nick expressed dissatisfaction.
I agreed and participated in what I consider to be a positive discussion, resulting in an offer of cover considerably below those that Nick, ultimately, chose to accept.
For obvious reasons, I am not at liberty to divulge the actual figures, but the premium saving over the commercial premium voluntarily paid by Nick's firm would have been worth investing against the slight possibility of a retrospective call.
I accept that there are (resolvable) arguments for accepting the certainty of commercial terms over similar terms offered by a mutual, but not if you genuinely believe that those premiums are too high. On that basis, an overpayment of premium will result in considerable profit to a commercial insurer, or a share of a profit distribution for a mutual member. We are confident that our statistics indicate that this is a distinct possibility.
I do not know why Nick chose to pay a premium much higher than a genuine alternative offered by Magian Underwriting, but to do so and then complain so volubly about it is somewhat disingenuous.
As an aside, at the end of our first underwriting period, I would like to take this opportunity if I may to thank those IFA firms that elected to become members of the Mutual since May 2003.
I am sure that, when it comes to the time to renew their membership during the next year, they will not regret it.