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SRA reassures firms using Balva Insurance

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has reassured firms using Balva Insurance for its professional indemnity cover in light of the Latvian company being restricted by its regulator.

Balva was told on 1 March that it cannot underwrite any new business in the United Kingdom. This restriction however does not affect existing policies, so the SRA has written to the 1,300 or so firms that use Balva to let them know there are no implications for them at this time.

The letter states that the restriction does not affect Balva's obligation to provide cover for up to 90 days after 30 September if firms cannot renew their insurance, nor does it affect the provision of run-off cover if a firm closes without a successor practice. Firms will not be able to obtain additional policies from Balva while the restrictions are in place, so they may need to seek an alternative provider from 1 October 2013.

Agnieszka Scott, SRA Director of Policy and Strategy , said: "While nothing is certain, we felt it necessary to write to firms to allay any fears they had over their cover. The restriction is only on new business, so firms do not need to be concerned at this time.

"We are in regular contact with the Financial Conduct Authority and will continue to keep our eye on the Balva situation over the coming months."

Further information on the position with Balva is available on the Financial Conduct Authority's website.

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