Rocco Pirozzolo takes part in panel discussion at MGAA Meet the Market event in Birmingham

11 Apr 2022

We were delighted to sponsor the Managing General Agents’​ Association (MGAA) Meet the Market event in Birmingham on Wednesday, 30 March and host a panel discussion about why brokers should be talking to their clients about After the Event insurance

The panel discussion was led by MGAA CEO Michael Keating, who started by asking our underwriting director Rocco Pirozzolo to outline what After the Event insurance is and why it is important for commercial clients. Rocco explained that given that legal disputes are “part and parcel of being in business”, it is important for brokers to consider ATE insurance for their clients. This is particularly so where there is no existing cover in place or this cover is inadequate.

Michael then turned to Carol Parsons, Head of ATE Insurance at DAS UK Group, who explained the difference between ATE insurance and Before the Event (BTE) insurance. She said that “the nature of the risk insured under ATE insurance is very different” than under BTE insurance, which is reflected in the cover, premiums, and premium payment models.

Paul Wordley, the founding partner of solicitors Wordley Partnership, then talked about the expected rise in commercial litigation in the months ahead due to problems caused by the pandemic. He said a recession is “a classic cause of litigation as relationships that work well when times are good don’t work very well when they are not”. He also said that when money is tight, businesses “try to monetise disputes that at other times they may not have bothered with”.

Paul explained that solicitors have a professional obligation to advise clients about the funding and costs risks of any litigation case. After giving clients the necessary advice, Paul suggests clients speak to brokers to give them any assistance they need regarding ATE insurance. The takeaway from this is the importance for brokers of building relationships with solicitors.

Sanjay Desai, who is head of litigation insurance and litigation funding at Marsh, said, “every client will at some stage need advice on risk management in relation to litigation”. He sees his job as making sure brokers know what ATE insurance is and when it is needed. In his view, “ATE insurance is a kind of value added for brokers when talking to a client or can sometimes even be a way into a client who you know has some potential litigation but is a bit tentative”.

Michael then asked Peter Robinson, managing director of insurance brokers Prizm Solutions Ltd, to share from a regional broker’s point of view how he goes about telling his clients about ATE insurance. Peter said that when clients come to him with a problem, they expect him to give them a solution: “As brokers, we save the day, and that’s what we are there to do.”

He said the advantage of being regional is knowing all the local solicitors in the area and being able to tell them he has access to products such as ATE insurance. “If you can help one of the solicitor’s clients, that opens the door for helping other clients and sets up an income stream,” he said.

Finally, Rocco concluded the session by saying Harbour Underwriting is always open to receiving calls from brokers about clients on a no-name basis to give an indication about whether ATE insurance is likely to be available.

Thank you to our panellists Rocco, Carol, Sanjay, Peter and Paul (seen in the above photo from left to right) and panel moderator Michael for an excellent session.

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