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PFS plans to help advisers navigate painful world of PI

by Michelle Abrego on Feb 21, 2013 at 10:38

PFS plans to help advisers navigate painful world of PI

The Personal Finance Society (PFS) will publish a guide to buying professional indemnity (PI) insurance and launch an online tool to help advisers evidence their understanding of ethics.

The professional body has teamed up with Howden Windsor Insurance Brokers to produce a handbook to help advisers shop around for PI cover. It will include tips on how firms can improve their PI premium rates.

‘Market prices dictate premiums to some extent, but if there is anything we can do to help members get a better deal, then that’s the objective,’ said Fay Goddard (pictured), PFS chief executive.

She said the ethics tool was being launched in anticipation of incoming regulator the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) expected focus on ethics in financial services.

‘The FCA is going to be looking to see how people behave and it’s important for all staff [to be aware of ethics],’ said Goddard.

The tool would help IFAs demonstrate their understanding of ethics, she said, and form part of the PFS’s continuing professional development programme.

The tool will ask advisers to complete a series of case studies and a Q&A section consisting of 40 questions, she said.

Goddard will leave the PFS on 8 April when Keith Richards, former Tenet director of distribution and development, will take up the role of chief executive.

8 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Julian Stevens

Feb 21, 2013 at 11:47

This article seems to be a muddled pot pourri of shopping around for the best PII terms, understanding ethics and the FCA's next plan for poking its nose into how advisers run their businesses. Are the three directly related? Will PII underwriters demand that any potential applicants sit and pass an exam of their own devising on regulation and ethics?

Given the fall-out arising from the flagrantly unethical behaviour on the part of the banks and some of the building societies that the FSA is now trying to mop up and all the data showing IFA's to be the most trusted and lowest complaint-generating distribution channel, does the FCA really need to be "looking at how [IFA's] behave? Or is it just something else to add to its list of things to do to make itself look busy and useful?

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Man of Kent

Feb 21, 2013 at 11:56

As a Man of Kent, I would have nothing to do with Ethics...

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Michael Shea

Feb 21, 2013 at 12:03

It seems that a mind-boggingly simplistic view of life has been combined with a mind-numbing complexity. Since when has claims experience not dictated risk assessment and premiums? I bet William Hill would get it sorted.

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richard john brydon

Feb 21, 2013 at 13:17

I have never thought of ethics as being something that can be taught. You either have it or you don't. I did RO1 and can't recall anything in the either the coursework or the exam that defined ethics. Well not in understandable terms anyway. There was one scenario that posed the most ridiculous circumstsnce whhen ethics might be applied but the situation given was so silly that any answer could be proved wrong.

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Gillian Cardy

Feb 21, 2013 at 13:28

The irony of a guide to shopping around sponsored by a broker ... er ... who does the "shopping around" (a k a "broking")??

Plus, if the FSA / FCA decides something is wrong then individual business ethics (or qualifications) has little to do with things ... evidence the PI crisis circa 2001 and more recent issues too ...

Plus, what's the ethics of PI insurers working with firms to close them down, cap their liabilities and start over with a new company and a clean liability sheet (which leaves the liability for everyone else to pick up through the FSCS levy)??

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Simon Kershaw

Feb 21, 2013 at 13:45

PI insurance due for renewal. Therefore:

1) Fill out proposal/quotation form acceptable to PI Broker. Hint; the old RSA form works pretty well.

2) Fax/email form to as many PI brokers as you wish.

3) Receive quotes.

4) Watch amusedly as the PI brokers suddenly discount their rates to get the business.

5) Wince as even the best rate is money down the drain.

6) Diarise for next year.

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Michael Brown

Feb 21, 2013 at 14:41

@ Simon

Yes the rate comes down but did anybody ask what commission they were getting for the business?

We looked into this and although the price reduced from "astronomical" to "beyond belief" they are quite happy to take the 30% commission and would not negotiate!

Perhaps they should be under an ethical and or thematic FSA or what ever


Therefore the PFS may have some merit if it reduces our "beyond belief " costs in this area.

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Feb 21, 2013 at 16:29

Excellent initiative!! Well done PFS!

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