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DBS fees rocket by 65% to pay for PI

DBS is raising its fees by 65 per cent and withdrawing its run-off cover to members to meet the escalating cost of professional indemnity cover.

The network blames the spiralling cost of PI cover, which has increased by 60 per cent from last year, and higher FSA fees for the rise.

Members have attacked the move, claiming that, due to the lack of notice given, they are tied into paying the new higher fees until the end of July 2003 as they are contracted to serve a three-month notice period and pay all fees for the rest of the year up front.

DBS is encouraging those wanting to leave the network to buy their own run-off cover as it is withdrawing from this protection.

A typical sole trader who previously paid £200 a month will now face charges of £330.70 a month while a two-RI firm which previously paid £288 a month will now pay £475.95.

DBS PR and communications manager Sue Lewis says: “This is an amazing deal for DBS when others in the industry are facing rises of up to 300 per cent.”

Halton Insurance Services director Mike Fry says: “Everyone is up in arms. A number of DBS members I know have had quotes for PI cover for themselves which are lower than DBS. Everything is stacked in DBS&#39s favour. I love this job but it does not help when you get kicked in the teeth.”

Whitechurch Network managing director Ian McIver says: “DBS members are trying to minimise their own PI costs by having ex-members set up run-off cover where it is not strictly necessary.

“All business written under the auspices of DBS is the liability of the network, regardless of whether or not the member who wrote it is still there. The only thing that ex-members are liable for is the excess, not the whole amount.”

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