November 30, 2014

It’s always nice to read something an insurance salesman has taken the trouble to write all by themselves. Bankstone News had the chance to do exactly that, at least it thinks it did, when the latest issue of forward-looking law mag Legal Futures gave Stevie Rowley of Alley Ants Legal Protection a public platform from which to air his views.

Given that the piece was headed “ATE insurance! What is it good for?” BN jumped to the lazy assumption that Stevie wasn’t a big ATE fan. How wrong that turned out to be! “Unlike the Edwin Starr’s 1970’s song ‘War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing’,” Stevie writes, “I hope you’ll agree that the same cannot be said for ATE insurance, which continues to provide valuable protection for customers and law firms, even post LASPO.”

Stunned at having its expectations so abruptly and comprehensively overturned, BN struggled to take in what had just happened. Edwin Starr’s song asserts categorically that war is good for nothing. What Stevie is about to do, however, (unlike the song) is to suggest that ATE insurance is good for something (i.e. protecting customers and law firms “even post LASBO”).

The rhetorical flourish is quite breathtaking. With his strikingly apt popular culture reference (perhaps it was playing on his stereo system as he wrote?) and his engagingly counterdirectional line of argument, Stevie had Bankstone News hooked right from the off.

Having had this tempting taster, BN feels sure you’ll want to read the piece yourself. So we’ll try not to spoil it for you; but essentially Stevie argues that although it’s possible that “the goal posts may have moved” post LASBO, “the need to ensure the client is aware of their risk exposure when bringing a claim for damages is still prevalent”.

“The question now, however” he suggests like some latter-day Prince of Denmark, going on generously to propose several questions for the price of one, is: “at what point in the legal journey is the client at risk, to what extent is ATE insurance provided, and how much of this risk is the law firm prepared to absorb, or is capable of absorbing.”

Or is capable of absorbing… Aye, there’s the rub! Stevie brings his meaning vividly to life by comparing a law firm to a human foot. “There is no longer a ‘one shoe fits all’ approach to ATE insurance” he affirms reassuringly, like some wise old cobbler. What law firms need to do, he insists, is they “need to understand their own risk exposure, as well as that of their customers.”

Now, when it comes to law firms and insurance, Stevie’s clearly an observant commentator. “I’ve noticed,” he reveals, “that law firms tend to have a number of insurance arrangements, with differing ATE providers for the same case type, which leads to cover being arranged on a standalone basis.”

This, he admonishes gently, is no way to carry on. Stopping diplomatically short of deriding his prospective customers’ judgement, Stevie explains that law firms really need to bundle up all their ATE purchasing requirements and come to Alley Ants Legal Protection with them. That way, he reveals, they can benefit from the manifold advantages of “insuring by portfolio”.

What are those benefits, you may ask. Bankstone News would not deny you the pleasure of finding out for yourself. But we won’t be spoiling your pleasure too much by revealing that they involve elements of flexing, making overarching customer propositions more compelling, and supporting law firms’ “growth strategy and ambition”.

Plus some welcome premium income for Stevie and his team.

A true win-win, you’ll probably conclude.

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Edwin Starr performing (possibly) his smash hit single “War, huh, yeah, What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, Woah-woah-woah-woh, War, huh, yeah, What is it good for? Absolutely nothing” back in the 1970’s.

 


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