The availability and cost of professional indemnity insurance (PII) for property valuers will be considered as part of the remit of an independent commission set up by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The commission has been established following calls from valuers, property lenders and insurers to investigate the challenges facing the UK valuation profession.  These include the shortage of valuers, delays in valuations, high number of professional negligence claims and high premiums for professional indemnity insurance.

The commission will be chaired by former MP and ex-FSA board member Dr Oonagh McDonald CBE.  It will invite representations from all parties involved in property valuations, including surveyors, lenders, insurers and regulators.  RICS has set out the following issues for the commission to consider:

  • To inquire into the availability of valuers in the market willing and able to undertake valuations
  • To inquire into the level and transparency of fees paid in relation to risk and reward and the potential impact of low fees on standards
  • To review whether the process for procuring valuations is fit for purpose
  • To review challenges of availability and price of PII
  • To make recommendations to ensure the appropriate balance of risk and reward to protect standards best serve the public interest

The remit of the commission is available here.  Surveyors can contribute written evidence by 30 September, 2013 RICS is expected to publish an interim report of its findings in November, followed by a full report in early 2014.

Articles on the independent commission have been published in Estate Agent Today and Money Marketing.