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Claims trends

13 December 2012

The pie graph shows the distribution of claims by claim type for the 2011 year of insurance as at 30 June 2012.

 

Comparative Analysis: Claims notified 2007 to 2011 as at 30 June 2012
Year 2011 % of total 2010 % of total 2009 % of total 2008 % of total 2007 % of total
Conveyancing 188 34 154 31 279 46 293 55 100 33
RAF Prescription 118 21 101 21 118 20 94 18 71 23
RAF U/S 39 7 39 8 35 6 18 3 13 4
Litigation 80 15 77 16 55 9 62 12 58 19
Other 125 23 121 24 113 19 62 12 61 20
Total 550 100 492 100 600 100 529 100 303 100

 

T his table compares the numbers of claims per claim type registered in the first twelve months of the past 5 years.

The number of claims notified in the 2011 year as at 30 June, is higher than the numbers for the same 12-month period in all previous years other than 2009. This is an increase of 12% on the number for the same period in 2010.

There is a 32% increase on the total incurred value* for the same period in the 2010 year (*This is the sum of the amounts reserved and payments made.).

There has been an increase of 81% in the number of claims notifications between 2007 and 2011, which cannot be justified by the 24% increase in the number of practices in the same period.

Conveyancing
The total incurred value of conveyancing notifications remains stable and is well below those in 2008 and 2009. However, the number of conveyancing notifications has increased by 22% year on year. (There are fewer notifications registered in both the 2011 and 2010 years than for the same period in the 2009 and 2008 years.)

Included in the 188 conveyancing claims were 42 notifications of unauthorised payments of trust money with a total incurred value of R6 716 943. This is approximately 28% of the value of all conveyancing matters for the period and 9% of the total incurred value of all claims registered in the 12-month period.

Please see our article on the Unauthorised payments of trust money in the February Bulletin (1/2012).

Conveyancing-related claims in other jurisdictions
According to an articIe by Catherine Baksi, which appeared in the Law Society Gazette on 10 September 2012, in the UK around 50% of the value of all professional indemnity claims against solicitors currently arises from conveyancing matters. Over the past few years, between 6 and 16.5% of claims arose out of mortgage fraud.

Looking at the claims statistics in the Australian publication LawCover around 41% of their claims arise from conveyancing matters (mortgage and lending and property).

Other claim types
The percentages of claims in the other claim types shown in Table 1 remain fairly stable. However, there is an increase in the numbers of claims arising out of general prescription (43) which forms part of the “Other” claim type.

Risk Alert Bulletin Nov 2012

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