Harbour Underwriting has launched this month with an ATE commercial dispute insurance proposition. This product is purchased after a dispute has arisen and protects the claimant or defendant by reducing the potential downside in bringing or defending a legal claim.
The launch of Harbour Underwriting, formerly known as QLCC, is led by Sharon Brown who joined the business last year. Sharon was previously chief sales officer at Miles Smith where she spearheaded the development and successful distribution of a number of schemes specialising in hard markets and high risks areas.
Sharon says: “I joined Harbour because I saw a tremendous opportunity for brokers in the evolving world of ATE insurance. Law firms we are speaking to are already seeing an upsurge in potential cases following the pandemic and the legal complexities relating to the lockdown. Lawyers involved in litigation are under a duty to advise their clients on all appropriate insurance and funding options, including where relevant ATE insurance. Brokers should be aware of the opportunities this presents.
“Harbour Underwriting is here to have a conversation with insurance brokers and their clients about how an ATE insurance policy can help to mitigate the risk of adverse costs, own side expenses and solicitor’s fees, whichever side of the dispute their client is on.
“We’re looking forward to working in partnership with more brokers to explain the many ways in which ATE can help their clients and become part of the conversation about risk mitigation.”
The underwriting team is led by Rocco Pirozzolo, who for the last 20 years has been at the forefront of developing legal costs insurance policies.
Rocco says: “History has taught us that commercial litigation increases in a recession as firms look to recoup losses, such as those caused by contract disputes.
“For brokers, the way ATE policies are traded has evolved significantly. They have always helped individuals and firms to access legal representation and, ultimately, justice. However, some firms assume that ATE insurance is still limited to covering legal fees for bringing a claim. That is not the case with Harbour Underwriting, and we are very much here to tailor individual insurance solutions to individual disputes.”
Harbour Underwriting believes that ATE insurance is an essential aspect of a broker’s insurance discussion when evaluating a client’s risk profile, to ensure that they are giving comprehensive advice that covers every exposure. It is another line of defence in a litigious world.
The team also believes that ATE commercial dispute insurance may help brokers when looking for alternatives to the standard insurance programme, especially where the limits of indemnity have decreased significantly due to the hardening market and reduced capacity, for example, directors’ and officers’ insurance.