Latest D&O Insurance Market and SPAC’s Litigation Trends

Topic: D&O Liability Insurance, Lawsuit, Litigation, SPAC

The D&O Insurance Pricing Decline – Five Consecutive Drops

Aon’s Financial Service Group’s quarterly report has unveiled a fifth consecutive decrease in D&O insurance premiums. This isn’t merely a statistical blip; the trend indicates a softening market, providing businesses with an opportunity to reassess their coverage and negotiate better terms. It also signals a potential shift in underwriting strategies and risk assessment by insurers. 

Overall, price per million for clients that renewed in both Q2 2023 and Q2 2022 saw a decrease of 21.8 percent. Average cost per million decreased 26.8 percent compared to the prior-year quarter, price change for primary policies renewing with the same limit and deductible was down 11 percent. The report also found that 94.7 percent of primary policies renewed with the same limit. 83.4 percent of primary policies renewed with the same deductible. 81.5 percent of primary policies renewed with the same limit and deductible.

Source: Aon

Aon’s D&O insurance pricing index, tracking premium changes since 2001, is a complex tool that considers various factors. It serves as a barometer for the industry, reflecting broader economic, regulatory, and legal trends that shape the D&O insurance landscape. The pricing index includes all limits purchased by publicly traded companies during the quarter. However, changes in clients renewing during the quarter, changes in limits purchased and shifts in the mix of limits between ABC limits and Side-A-only limits can affect the index’s overall performance.


Securities Class Action Litigation – A Slowdown with Caveats

Overall securities related class action litigation filing has seen a slight slow down, meaning the number of public companies sued over its public securities management (disclosure & financial reporting etc.) has decreased. Though some analysts are claiming less litigation has contributed to the decrease in D&O insurance premium, others see it as a correction from the steep price surge from 2019 to late 2021. This mixed picture creates a complex landscape for businesses to navigate, requiring careful analysis and strategic planning. The record Maximum Dollar Loss (MDL) of $2,245 billion in 2023 H1, despite the slowdown, adds another layer of complexity. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for risk management and legal strategy, as they may influence both litigation exposure and insurance costs.


SPACs Related Securities Class Action Litigation – A Dramatic Shift

On the other hand, SPAC related securities class action litigation has dipped drastically in 2023. According to Stanford LawSchool Securities Class Action Clearinghouse, since January this year, there have been 10 SPAC securities class action lawsuits filed. The number of filing dropped by almost half compared to last year’s year to date filing of 19 cases. 

Cross referencing First Cover’s internal database, out of 199 SPACs  that had deals closed in 2021, 20 had filins against them in 2022. Compared to 33 class action lawsuits filed in 2021 against 64 deals closed in 2020, where 51% of the de-SPAC companies faced lawsuits, we are seeing a significant drop which many have credited the increased SEC regulation and larger number of professional players in the SPAC world for the drop. 


Filing Timelines and Unusual Patterns – A Microscopic View

A meticulous examination of the data uncovers intriguing patterns in securities class action litigation. Most lawsuits are filed within 220-280 days after closing, a critical window that legal and compliance teams must monitor. Very interestingly, 19 out of the 25 lawsuits filed in 2022 were filed before June 1st, no suits were filed in June, July, and September, but no data has supported the seasonal filing theory. There are also no relations in different exchange platforms since litigated companies are split from NYSE and NSDAQ about half and half with 13 in NYSE 12 in NASDAQ out of the total 25. 

Understanding these patterns can inform legal strategies, enhance risk management, and provide a competitive edge in an increasingly complex legal environment.


The D&O insurance market in 2023 is a tapestry of interconnected trends, challenges, and opportunities. From pricing dynamics to litigation patterns, the landscape is evolving in ways that demand attention, understanding, and strategic action. Whether you’re a C-suite executive, an investor, a legal professional, or simply an observer of the financial world, these trends offer a roadmap to navigate the future with foresight and confidence. Explore our range of D&O insurance products tailored to your unique needs.

Stay informed, stay covered, and steer your organization with assurance in a world of complexity and change. Contact us today to discover how we can empower your journey.


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