Insurer issues – British Insurance Brokers' Association https://www.biba.org.uk The British Insurance Brokers' Association is the UK's leading general insurance intermediary organisation Fri, 19 Oct 2018 11:00:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 The Discount Rate Change and Limits of Indemnity https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/discount-rate-change-limits-indemnity/ Fri, 05 May 2017 15:20:49 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/?p=26858 We provided an update on the change in the discount rate from 2.5% to -0.75% on 28/2/2017 – click here > The Government have now

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We provided an update on the change in the discount rate from 2.5% to -0.75% on 28/2/2017 – click here >

The Government have now issued a Consultation paper ‘Personal injury discount rate: how it should be set in future’ which closes on 11 May 2017 click here > to which BIBA will be providing a response highlighting the impact on insurers’ reserves, the likely increase in insurance premiums and the potential for underinsurance in liability limits..

The consequence of the change in discount rate has resulted in significant increases in insurers’ claims reserves on current policies for catastrophic personal injury – Willis Towers Watson, the global advisory firm, estimates the impact of the change on insurers as a material one-off reserve charge of approximately £5.8 billion.  BIBA attended an industry stakeholder meeting to discuss the consultation and a case was highlighted for an SME business whereby a claim reserve for a personal injury on a public liability policy was increased from £8million to £15million, due to the change in the Discount Rate.  The SME purchased a limit of £10million and the likely consequences will be the bankruptcy of the SME.

Publically available information on Public and Employers’ Liability injury claims is limited, but we have been advised of the following incidents –

  • PL claim – child severely injured by vehicle on construction site, contractor responsible for traffic management found to be negligent. Claim reserved at £9million originally, following change in discount rate reserve now increased to £20million.
  • PL claim – child injured by falling bough from a tree in park. Claim settled prior to discount rate change at £5million within the primary PL limit – claim would have been significantly higher post discount rate change.
  • PL claim – property owner’s policy – tenant fell down external stairs of building suffering severe injury. Claim reserved at £4.5million originally, following change in discount rate reserve now increased to £6.5million.
  • EL claim – Claimant aged 19 at accident causing tetraplegia. Reserve originally £9million, increased to £20.1million following discount rate change.  EL limit of indemnity £10million.
  • EL claim – Claimant suffered spinal cord injuries leading to complete paraplegia following an accident at work.  Reserve originally £15million, increased to £27.5million following discount rate change.  EL limit of indemnity £10million.

We have seen a number of publically reported high-value motor insurance claims, including –

  • Collier v Norton (click here to see BIBA Legal Supplement) settled at £23million before the change in the discount rate.
  • claim settled on the date that the change in the rates was announced, using the new -0.75% rate settled at £28million, click here
  • Manny Helmot, settled in 2010 at £14million pre discount rate change.
  • Wasim Mohammed, settled in 2010 at £11.15million pre discount rate change.

and also high value medical malpractice claims, including –

  • Maisha Najeeb, settled in 2014 at £24million pre discount rate change.
  • Milly Evans, settled in 2014 at £10.8million pre discount rate change.

Members may wish to consider reviewing liability limits of indemnity with their clients.  Indemnity limits are commonly £10million for Employers’ Liability, and anything from £2million and above for Public and Products liability (although we understand that there are still some e-traded Public Liability policies available with limits of £1million).

BIBA members may wish to consider using BIBA’s Professional Indemnity Initiative Volume 6 ‘Managing Under-Insurance a Guide to Prevention’ in assisting in raising awareness.  Pages 34-39 of the Guide – ‘Liability – special considerations’ – discuss liability limits of indemnity.  Please see a link to the guide here >

In considering limits of indemnity, members may also wish to consider –

  • Property damage and product liability claims may also result in significant losses.
  • The adequacy of limits of indemnity for losses occurring today that may manifest themselves in the future – will the limit of indemnity in place currently be sufficient for claims that may arise in the future? Asbestosis and Mesothelioma claims are being pursued today from exposures many years ago against EL policies with limits of indemnity arranged with limits of indemnity as low as £100,000.
  • We understand that some insurers’ response to the change in the discount rate is to reduce the limits of indemnity that they provide for primary layers.

BIBA have in place a Scheme for members with CNA Hardy for Excess Layer Public, Products and Employers’ Liability, with the ability to underwrite limits up to £20million in excess of the primary limit for organisations with turnover not exceeding £50million.  CNA Hardy can provide short-term or longer terms policies to ensure that their policy falls in line with the primary insurer.  Click here >

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Discount Rate Review – Reduction to -0.75% https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/discount-rate-review-reduction-0-75/ Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:39:41 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/?p=26306 The Lord Chancellor has announced (27/2/2017) a reduction in the personal injury Discount Rate from 2.5% to -0.75% and will be effective from 20th March

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The Lord Chancellor has announced (27/2/2017) a reduction in the personal injury Discount Rate from 2.5% to -0.75% and will be effective from 20th March 2017.

The Rate change is based on a three year average of returns on Government index linked Gilts.

This will mean that insurers, when settling claims to claimants with catastrophic personal injuries, will be required to pay increased compensation sums.  Claimants with long life expectancies may expect lump sum awards increased by 50%, or even higher depending on circumstances, when the new rate comes into effect.

The reduction in the Rate will likely have a substantial impact on motor and liability insurance premiums for both consumers and business.

In announcing the change the Lord Chancellor accepted that the reduction will have ‘significant implications across the public and private sector’, but went on to say ‘the law is absolutely clear – as Lord Chancellor, I must make sure the right rate is set to compensate claimants.  I am clear that this is the only legally acceptable rate I can set.’

A further consultation, to be issued before Easter 2017, on the Discount Rate was also announced  to consider options for reform including whether an independent body should set the rate in future, whether there should be more frequent reviews and whether the methodology of assuming claimants will only invest in Government Gilts is appropriate.

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BIBA supports launch of AXA’s fraud prevention guide https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/biba-supports-launch-of-axas-fraud-prevention-guide/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/biba-supports-launch-of-axas-fraud-prevention-guide/#respond Sun, 23 Aug 2015 23:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/biba-supports-launch-of-axas-fraud-prevention-guide/ AXA is collaborating with the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba) to open up a new front in the fight against fraud, educating customers on the

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AXA is collaborating with the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba) to open up a new front in the fight against fraud, educating customers on the definition, consequences and wider impact of committing fraud.
Making Fraud Prevention Clear uses the successful approach adopted for the award-winning Making Claims Clear initiative by delivering concise, easy to understand information to customers via their broker to encourage a broader discussion of the topic and the related risks.
 

Within the short document, customers are given examples of what fraud is (including making exaggerations on claims and misrepresenting risks), the impact it has on premiums and other customers, the measures AXA takes to protect itself and customers from fraud and the obligation upon insurers to pursue fraudulent activity where it is identified.


This is the first in a series of four planned documents to be shared with customers, by brokers, at the point of sale. Future iterations will advise brokers and customers on the fraud investigation process, explain technical terminology, explore collaborative approaches to fraud prevention and possible sanctions as a result of committing fraud.
 

Richard Davies, AXA’s Global Chief Fraud Control Officer, said: “AXA is committed to being as open and honest as possible with its customers and brokers and we have a responsibility to do that in every aspect of our operations, including fighting fraud.
 

“Of course detecting and prosecuting fraud is a vital element of tackling the problem but we need to go beyond this one-dimensional approach and focus on the source. Many people don’t realise that being less than truthful about how they represent their risk or whether they have had any convictions is committing fraud and what the repercussions of that are.”


Steve White, Chief Executive of Biba, said: “The cost of fraud to the industry runs into more than £2bn per year and affects what honest policy holders have to pay for their insurance. Biba is committed to tackling and reducing this problem and this forms part of our 2015 manifesto. We applaud the initiative to help brokers to make clear to their clients the nature of insurance fraud.”


Davies explained that the intention of Making Fraud Prevention Clear was to provide an extra layer of protection to AXA’s traditional anti-fraud tactics.


“We know it is not necessarily going to tackle the issue of organised gangs but we do hope that the information we are providing will at least make people stop and think before they make decisions that could have serious long term implications for them,” he said.


“Fraud is one of the most potent threats facing the insurance industry and we must look to use every tool available to us to root it out and make our industry one of the most robust when it comes to fraud protection. That includes giving our customers as much clarity as possible and we will continue to do that,” Davies added.

Click here to download guide

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Update for members on International Energy Group V Zurich https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/update-for-members-on-international-energy-group-v-zurich/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/update-for-members-on-international-energy-group-v-zurich/#respond Mon, 25 May 2015 23:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/liability/update-for-members-on-international-energy-group-v-zurich/ The Supreme Court has handed down their long awaited decision on the above case. Whilst from a broker’s point of view and that that of

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The Supreme Court has handed down their long awaited decision on the above case. Whilst from a broker’s point of view and that that of their clients it is on the whole disappointing there is some limited good news.

The Facts

The case concerned an employee, Mr. Carré, of Guernsey Gas Light Co Ltd (now owned by International Energy Group (IEG)) who was employed from 1961 to 1988. He subsequently contracted and died of mesothelioma. His employers settled his claim in 2008 for £250,000 plus £15,300 for his costs and incurred £13,150.60 in defence costs.

Having paid the claim IEG then sought to recover from the EL insurers on risk between 1961 and 1988. They were able to identify 2 insurers, the Excess on risk from 1978 to 1980 and Midland Assurance Ltd (now the Zurich) on risk from 1982 to 1988. They could not identify who the insurers, if any, were for the remaining years.

IEG brought their case against the Zurich in January 2012 claiming the whole of the amount paid to Mr. Carré plus their defence costs. The Zurich offered to pay 22.08% of the amount paid to the claimant and the same percentage of the defence costs. This represented the proportion that the 6 six years of cover bore to the total period of exposure of 27 years. (72/326ths).

The Court accepted the Zurich’s argument on the compensation claim but not on defence costs ordering the Zurich to pay 100% of the defence costs. The total came to £71,729.84.

IEG appealed to the Court of Appeal in February 2013 who allowed the appeal and ordered the Zurich to pay 100% of the compensation plus 100% of the defence costs totaling £278,451.60.

The case was heard under Guernsey law and it was taken that Guernsey common law in this respect was the same as English common law. However, Guernsey has no equivalent to the Compensation Act 2006.

The Appeal

The Compensation Act 2006 was introduced into English law partly to overrule the decision in Barker v Corus UK Ltd in 2006, which had decided that compensation in mesothelioma cases was proportionate to the period of exposure. By Section 3(1) and (2) the Act makes any employer who has negligently exposed an employee to asbestos 100% liable for the compensation.

As the appeal was based on Guernsey law the Supreme Court had to look at the position ignoring the Compensation Act 2006 and on this basis they concluded that the Zurich was liable only for their proportion in line with the common law position as set out in Barker but 100% liable for the defence costs. The reasoning for the ruling on defence costs was that they would be the same whether they were involved with a 6-year period or a 27 period and that they were “incurred with the consent of the Company (the insurers) in defending any such claim for damages”.

This reinstated the decision reached in the first instance.

The Compensation Act 2006

The Supreme Court did go on to consider what the position would have been had the Compensation Act 2006 applied. They were of the opinion that the Zurich would initially have to pay 100% of the compensation award but then could seek recovery on a pro-rata basis from other insurers and solvent employers for any uninsured periods of exposure but would not be able to recover from their insured any of the defence costs.

Conclusion

Whilst perhaps disappointing from our clients viewpoint it must be accepted that it did seem unfair that having identified just one insurer for a comparatively short period that insurer should be asked to bear 100% of the claim. The Zurich had only received premium for part of the period of exposure and it was not the fault of the insurer that the insured could not trace who the other insurers, if any, were.

The good news is that the insurer will be liable for 100% of the defence costs even where they may only be on risk for a short period of exposure.

This is only a very brief summary of the case and the legal position. An excellent summary of the legal position including previous cases is available on the DWF website at http://insurance.dwf.co.uk/news-updates/2015/05/supreme-court-judgment-zurich-insurance-plc-uk-branch-v-international-energy-group-limited/?utm_source=Legal_update_Zurich_V_IEG_May_2015&utm_medium=e_brief&utm_campaign=Zurich_V_IEG_May_2015

This guide been produced by Peter Franklin, Chairman of BIBA’s Liability and Accident Committee,  we would like to thank him for producing this update for members.

For more information please contact

Mike Hallam
Head of Technical Services
hallamm@biba.org.uk

Martin Bridges
Technical Services Manager
bridgesm@biba.org.uk

 

 

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FSCS protection for European Risk Insurance Company (ERIC) customers https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/fscs-protection-for-european-risk-insurance-company-eric-customers/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/fscs-protection-for-european-risk-insurance-company-eric-customers/#respond Mon, 28 Apr 2014 23:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/information-for-members/fscs-protection-for-european-risk-insurance-company-eric-customers/ The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has said that the vast majority of UK customers of European Risk Insurance Company hf (ERIC) are expected to

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The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has said that the vast majority of UK customers of European Risk Insurance Company hf (ERIC) are expected to be covered by the scheme, now that the Icelandic insurer has been declared in default.

This means that FSCS may be able to pay claims against the firm. The FSCS is working with the resolution board of the firm to assess the position of UK policyholders who may qualify for FSCS protection and on the handling of claims. 

The resolution board was appointed on 12 February 2014 by the Icelandic regulator, the Financial Supervisory Authority (FME), to assume all the powers of ERIC’s board of directors and to manage ERIC’s affairs in consultation with the FME.

The FSCS protects policies taken out in the UK in respect of EEA risks and policies taken out in the EEA (including Iceland) in respect of UK risks.

More than 24,000 people in the UK may have insurance with ERIC.  The FSCS will protect many of the policies ERIC sold in the UK to individuals, small businesses and any policyholder who purchased compulsory employers’ liability cover. ERIC sold a variety of policies which qualify for FSCS protection.

The FSCS protects compulsory insurance, such as employers’ liability insurance, in full. FSCS protects other general insurance policies for 90% of the value of the claim with no upper limit. 

FSCS Chief Executive, Mark Neale, said: “We’re working closely with ERIC’s resolution board in Iceland on paying claims. FSCS will pay any protected claims as quickly and efficiently as possible. For the time being we understand existing policies remain in force.”

ERIC policyholders with questions about their policy should contact either their insurance broker or the European Risk Insurance Company on email: claims@erichf.com.

FSCS will publish updates on its website as necessary.  A Q&A page about ERIC can also be found at the link below:

http://www.fscs.org.uk/what-we-cover/questions-and-answers/qas-about-european-risk-i-j2b35td17/

 

 

 

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Motor Panel Digest’s 19th March 2014 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/motor-panel-digests-19th-march-2014/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/motor-panel-digests-19th-march-2014/#respond Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/motor-panel-digests-19th-march-2014/ Committee issues The new Panel members were welcomed. John Close, Andrew Fletcher and Damian Collett have joined. Election of new Chairman A special thank you

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Committee issues
The new Panel members were welcomed.
John Close, Andrew Fletcher and Damian Collett have joined.

Election of new Chairman
A special thank you to Allan Briscoe for his dedication and commitment to the BIBA Motor Panel as Chairman.
George Nicol was confirmed as the new BIBA Motor Panel Chairman and KF seconded his appointment. A deputy will be appointed in time for the next meeting.

Matters Arising

MID replacing certificates of insurance
The deregulation bill was discussed.  Implementation due in August 2014.  No requirement of Certificate for Cancellation.  MID to be involved with a possible long term move to MID’s as proof of insurance. 

MyLicence MTA’s
Mid-term adjustments will only be based on NB renewal data, not the latest information if there is a mid-term convictions.

Government Investigation into Motor Insurance

Transport Minister meeting – 9th January

Issues discussed included the Motor Summit, CIE, MyLicence, changes in LASBO and the young driver Green paper, young drivers, telematics, drink driving, sign posting for young drivers.

Nick Robins meeting – 27th March  
Nick Robins is a new Policy Lead, Insurance and Licensing individual at the DFT and there is a BIBA meeting taking place next week with him.  

Competition Commission hearing on 27th February, BIBA submission and transcript.
BIBA representatives attended the Competition Commission hearing. The main points raised were; Price Comparison websites, claims, Add-ons, quality of repairs, referral fees, NCB and MFN clauses. BIBA’s full response is available for members @ www.biba.org.uk

Young Drivers, Ministerial event on 27th January
BIBA presented on Telematics at this event. Importance of feedback on telematics effectiveness stressed.

FCA investigation into Motor Legal Expenses Insurance, BIBA guidance
BIBA produced a briefing on this which was sent to the FCA and is on the website available for members. https://www.biba.org.uk/PDFfiles/Contents/3538mleimemberguidance.pdf  The work the FCA did in this area was a pre-cursor to the market study on add-ons – the draft findings of which, have just been published. http://www.fca.org.uk/static/documents/thematic-reviews/tr13-01.pdf

FCA investigation into add-ons including GAP Insurance
Solutions suggested.

FCA investigation into Dual Pricing
Linked to the FCA’s work on Conflicts of Interest (COI).

FCA investigation into auto renewals
Again link it to the work on Conflicts and Dual Pricing, to get a bigger picture of the potential customer detriment in the round, that the FCA may be seeing. 

FCA complaints handling review
Complaints handling – Not expected to deliver anything before Q4 2014, to tie in with European developments.  FOS made several points of housekeeping

MOJ Whiplash – Ministerial meeting
One of several scheduled, outlined new panel of independent medical practitioners to review potential claimants.   

MyLicence
Latest minutes

Meeting attended. The Government will be getting rid of the paper counterpart licence by mid 2015. Mylicence will take on this role by the end of 2014.  Encouragement to market to embrace.

Deloitte VAT on referral fees
Deloitte came in to speak about a potential VAT risk. Deloitte produced a document informing members of what to do and it is passworded on the BIBA website. https://www.biba.org.uk/UploadedFiles/1151bibacrf.pdf

HMRC are also investigating IPT on the full original premium even if it has been reduced by a cash back offer. 

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, LASPO reforms from 10th March.

The reforms on the whole reduce the rehabilitation periods for most offences to fall in line with Government initiatives.

Classic Cars – Agreed Value
People get an evaluation and an agreed value. They do it at the beginning of the policy but don’t always provide updates on renewals, this concern is widespread. The Panel felt insurers and brokers needed to be more proactive in this situation.

Validation
The Panel raised the issue of brokers validating data at the proposal stage and how it reduces E&O claims.
 
IFB Proposition
IFB is considering offering discounted charges for smaller brokers but with the possibility of less information.

BIBA await the written proposal from the IFB and will be inviting them to the June Motor Panel meeting.

RTA Code of Conduct
BIBA has publicly supported the new RTA Code of Conduct and will be looking to do something for their own members in this regard in due course.
 
Conference 2014
Outline of the motor session including chairing and participants. http://www.campaignpartners.co.uk/biba/

 

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‘Get a Real Deal’ campaign led by the Insurance Fraud Bureau https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/get-a-real-deal-campaign-led-by-the-insurance-fraud-bureau/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/get-a-real-deal-campaign-led-by-the-insurance-fraud-bureau/#respond Thu, 21 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/get-a-real-deal-campaign-led-by-the-insurance-fraud-bureau/ BIBA are supporting a campaign led by the Insurance Fraud Bureau to help educate the public to help them avoid becoming a victim of insurance

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BIBA are supporting a campaign led by the Insurance Fraud Bureau to help educate the public to help them avoid becoming a victim of insurance fraud.

The campaign, called ‘Get a Real Deal’ features an animated video which aims to raise national awareness about the risks of buying insurance from non-bone fide providers. One of the tips that the campaign suggests is to use an insurance broker from BIBA’s Find a Broker service.

If you buy a fake insurance policy:

  • Your car may be seized by police.
  • You’ll pay a fixed penalty notice of £300.
  • You’ll have to buy valid insurance & pay at least £150 to get your car back from the pound.
  • You’ll pick up the bill for any damage you cause while driving without insurance, which could include compensation if you injure someone.

For more information, or for tips on avoiding fake insurance providers, visit: www.getarealdeal.co.uk

Click here to view animated video

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New MyLicence Driving Licence Facility Check Announced https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/new-mylicence-driving-licence-facility-check-announced/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/new-mylicence-driving-licence-facility-check-announced/#respond Mon, 18 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/new-mylicence-driving-licence-facility-check-announced/ MyLicence is an insurance industry initiative which will give brokers, insurers and other providers, the ability to make driver licence checks with the DVLA. This

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MyLicence is an insurance industry initiative which will give brokers, insurers and other providers, the ability to make driver licence checks with the DVLA. This will mean that information on the type of licence held, the number and type of motoring convictions can now be validated automatically and should help to prevent fraud, saving honest motorists around £15 per policy.

The biggest change that brokers will need to make is to start collecting driver licence numbers when quoting. Undergoing a licence check with MyLicence is not compulsory for policyholders, however some insurers may choose not to offer cover if a driving licence number is not supplied as they may suspect fraud.

The following information and guidance is available on MyLicence:

Click here for slide pack outlining the project

Click here for industry FAQs

Click here for how brokers can get involved

Click here for ABI press release

Click here for MyLicence brand guidelines

 

For more information please contact

For further information, please contact Graeme Trudgill, Executive Director, BIBA; trudgillg@biba.org.uk or Andy Thornley, Communications Manager, 020 7397 0213 or thornleya@biba.org.uk

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Latest Economic Review https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/latest-economic-review/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/latest-economic-review/#respond Sun, 30 Jun 2013 23:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/property/latest-economic-review/ 3393iib june 2013.pdf

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3393iib june 2013.pdf

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Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/consumer-insurance-disclosure-and-representations-act-2012/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/consumer-insurance-disclosure-and-representations-act-2012/#respond Tue, 19 Mar 2013 00:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/consumer-insurance-disclosure-and-representations-act-2012/ The Act comes into force on 6th April and the link to the commencement order is as follows:  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/450/introduction/made BIBA has developed a comprehensive list

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The Act comes into force on 6th April and the link to the commencement order is as follows:  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/450/introduction/made

BIBA has developed a comprehensive list of Questions and Answers which will assist members in understanding the interpretation of the Act, and these are attached.

For further information, please contact

Steve Foulsham

Head of Technical Services

T: 0207 397 0234

E: foulshams@biba.org.uk

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Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 Update https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/consumer-insurance-disclosure-and-representations-act-2012-update/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/consumer-insurance-disclosure-and-representations-act-2012-update/#respond Mon, 04 Mar 2013 00:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/consumer-insurance-disclosure-and-representations-act-2012-update/ The Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 is coming into force on 6th April 2013. Following consultation with the ABI and the Law Commission

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The Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 is coming into force on 6th April 2013.

Following consultation with the ABI and the Law Commission BIBA has sought clarification on issues raised by the membership.

Mid-Term Adjustments.

For mid-term adjustments that take place between the 6th April 2013 and the natural renewal date of the policy the Act will only apply if there are changes to the main body of the contract and not just a variation.

Examples of a variation in contract:-

  • On a household insurance if a garage is added to the insurance
  • On a household insurance if jewellery is added/changed on the insurance
  • On a motor policy if a driver was added to the insurance

Examples of changes to the main body of the contract:-

  • On a household insurance if the client moved and a different house is to be insured
  • On a motor insurance if the client sold their car and purchased another car requiring insurance  

Mixed Use Contracts

Some policies may have both a consumer and business element to them such as commercial vehicle, those working from home and twenty four hour personal accident policies. In such circumstances will these fall under the Act?

The Act refers to contracts which are wholly or mainly unconnected to the consumers trade, business or profession and will only apply to consumer policies where the business element of the policy is less than 50%. If the business element of the policy is 51% or above then the Act will not apply and there becomes a full duty to disclose. This creates a grey area as clearly this would be difficult or impossible to quantify in the majority of cases.  In such circumstances the broker can seek to obtain an agreement with an insurer to waive its rights and deal with the policy as a consumer contract. However as brokers deal with a number of insurers this may not be reasonably practicable.

Pending further direction on this BIBA would recommend to members that any policies that cannot be clearly defined as a consumer or business policy should air on the side of caution and default to a business policy with a full duty to disclose.

Unanswered questions on proposal/declaration forms

If a client does not answer/is silent on a question that has been asked by insurers when completing the proposal/declaration form the answer shall be deemed by insurers to be ‘No’. This puts a duty on the broker to always check forms to ensure that all questions have been answered and if not seek clarification of the answer from the client.

BIBA is currently working on a number of Q & A’s in order to assist members.

For further information, please contact

Steve Foulsham
Head of Technical Services
T: 0207 397 0234
E: foulshams@biba.org.uk

 

 

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Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 Recommendations https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/consumer-insurance-disclosure-and-representations-act-2012-recommendations/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/consumer-insurance-disclosure-and-representations-act-2012-recommendations/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2013 00:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/consumer-insurance-disclosure-and-representations-act-2012-recommendations/ The Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 will come into force on 6th April 2013. The Act will have an impact on documentation, question

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The Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 will come into force on 6th April 2013. The Act will have an impact on documentation, question sets and claims handling. Later this year, the FCA will consult on changes to the ICOBS rules to bring them into line with the Act, although this process is unlikely to conclude before the Act actually comes into force. This should have no bearing on firms implementation and compliance with the Act.

Following discussion with the Financial Ombudsman Service around sales practices that can be confusing for consumers, and thus potentially result in innocent misrepresentations, ABI have worked on clarifying a number of commonly asked underwriting questions for motor and property personal lines, as well as general sales practices for all personal lines. The most immediate impact of the Act is likely to be the need to update consumer documentation.

The ABI have produced the attached recommendations, supported by ABI member firms. BIBA members may wish to consider these where they provide in house products involving their own statements of fact, application forms etc.

 

For further information, please contact

Steve Foulsham
Head of Technical Services
T: 0207 397 0234
E: foulshams@biba.org.uk

 

To claim CII CPD for reading this article, please complete and retain the following form and record on your CPD log.  Click here to access the self assessment form.

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Terms of Business Agreements— Generic format https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/terms-of-business-agreements-generic-format/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/terms-of-business-agreements-generic-format/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2013 00:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/terms-of-business-agreements-generic-format/ Through the Broker Insurer Forum, BIBA and ABI have agreed upon a recommended structure for Terms of Business Agreements (TOBA) and it is envisaged that

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Through the Broker Insurer Forum, BIBA and ABI have agreed upon a recommended structure for Terms of Business Agreements (TOBA) and it is envisaged that ABI members will utilise the new format when next issuing revised TOBA’s to brokers. We believe that although the actual content contained within the TOBA will still be a matter for individual insurers, the common format will make it easier for brokers to navigate these documents, with a consistent approach to layout and headings.

BIBA will continue to work with both ABI and individual insurers following changes to TOBA wordings in an effort to ensure that these have BIBA engagement and approval.

The template for the revised TOBA is attached for information.

For further information, please contact

Steve Foulsham

Head of Technical Services

T: 0207 397 0234

E:foulshams@biba.org.uk

 

 

To claim CII CPD for reading this article, please complete and retain the following form and record on your CPD log.  Click here to access the self assessment form.

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Contract Certainty Code of Practice updated https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/business-practice/contract-certainty-code-of-practice-updated/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/business-practice/contract-certainty-code-of-practice-updated/#respond Fri, 09 Nov 2012 00:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/contract-certainty-code-of-practice-updated/ The Contract Certainty Code of Practice has been reissued to mark the fifth anniversary of its publication.  The code of good practice is a cross

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The Contract Certainty Code of Practice has been reissued to mark the fifth anniversary of its publication.  The code of good practice is a cross industry initiative designed to ensure the timely agreement of the terms of an insurance contract and provision of the insurance contract details to the customer.  It was developed in response to a challenge from the Financial Services Authority to the insurance industry to put an end to its ‘deal now detail later culture.’

The revisions are the result of consultation between BIBA, the Association of British of Insurers, the International Underwriting Association, Lloyd’s Market Association and the London & International Insurance Brokers’ Association.

The revised code shows that the insurance industry’s commitment to contract certainty remains a current and continued practice in the market.  The updated code does not differ materially from what was published in 2007, with alterations limited to cosmetic changes reflecting the passage of time eg changes to trade association logos and customer definitions.

The updated code of practice, which is dated October 2012, can be found on the BIBA website here

Should you have any further queries please direct them to:

Vannessa Young

Compliance co-ordinator and London Market Region Secretariat

Tel: 020 7397 0233

Email: youngv@biba.org.uk

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Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 Overview https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/consumer-insurance-disclosure-and-representations-act-2012-overview/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/consumer-insurance-disclosure-and-representations-act-2012-overview/#respond Wed, 24 Oct 2012 23:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/consumer-insurance-disclosure-and-representations-act-2012-overview/ The Act is hopefully due to come into force in April 2013. It is the first radical legislation changing the rules on insurance contracts since

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The Act is hopefully due to come into force in April 2013. It is the first radical legislation changing the rules on insurance contracts since the Marine Insurance Act 1906 (MIA 1906).

What contracts does it apply to?

Consumer insurance contracts defined as a contract between an individual who enters into the contract wholly or mainly for purposes unrelated to the individual’s trade, business or profession and an insurer. It does not cover small businesses. It is important to establish  the main purpose of the insurance. For mixed use contracts please see note¹ below.

What is the effect?

It abolishes the duty upon consumers to volunteer material facts.

It aims to bring the law on misrepresentation for consumers largely into line with the approach adopted by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) but without the monetary limit that applies to FOS rulings.
It also introduces “proportionality” into the contracts and sets out guidelines for deciding whether a broker is the agent of the insured or insurer.

It abolishes basis of the contract clauses. As a consequence, more specific warranties may appear elsewhere.

What does it change?

  • Abolishes the duty to volunteer information. Insurers will need to ask specific questions where possible and the insured must take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation.
     
  • The standard of care is that of a reasonable consumer except where the insurer is aware of particular circumstances of the actual insured where these must be taken into account.
     
  • Blanks in proposal forms. Brokers still need to be alert to blanks left in proposal forms. Insurers are likely to argue that any blanks will be taken as a representation that there is nothing relevant to disclose. The insured’s new duty means that they must take reasonable care to answer questions fully and accurately.
     
  • The Act introduces the concept of a “Qualifying misrepresentation”². This is one made without “reasonable care”. There are two categories

    • Deliberate or reckless
    • Careless

A misrepresentation made dishonestly is always to be taken as showing a lack of reasonable care.

  • If the misrepresentation is deliberate or reckless then the insurer may avoid the contract and refuse all claims and need not return any of the premiums, except to the extent that it would be unfair to the consumer not to do so.
     
  • If the misrepresentation was careless then the insurer has four options:

    • Ignore the representation and pay the claim.
    • If they would not have entered into the contract on any terms had they known the true facts then they can avoid the contract and refuse all claims but must return the premium.
    • If the insurer would have imposed additional terms had they known the true facts then they can elect to deal with the claim as if those terms applied. For example apply a higher deductible. AND
    • If they would have entered into the contract but at a higher premium then they can reduce proportionally the amount paid on the claim. So if they had required a 50% increase then they would pay two thirds of the claim.
  • Basis of the Contract Clauses are abolished.

For whom does the agent act?

The Act sets out some guidance to help decide whether the agent is acting for the insured or the insurer.

The agent is taken to be the insurer’s agent in each of the following:

  • Where the agent is an appointed representative of the insurer for the purposes of Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (see section 39 of the Act)
     
  • When the agent collects information from the consumer, if the insurer had given the agent express authority to do so as the insurer’s agent
     
  • When the agent enters into the contract as the insurer’s agent, if the insurer had given the agent express authority to do so

In other cases it is presumed that the agent is acting for the consumer unless in the light of all relevant circumstances, it appears that the agent is acting as the insurer’s agent.

Factors that indicate the agent is acting for the consumer, include

  • Undertakes to give impartial advice to the consumer
     
  • Conducts a fair analysis of the market
     
  • The agent is paid a fee.

Factors that indicate the agent is acting for the insurer include:

  • Where the agent uses only one insurer for that type of insurance
     
  • The insurance is marketed under the name of the agent or a trade name of the agent
     
  • The insurer asks the agent to seek the consumer’s custom or the insurer deals only with a small number of agents for that type of insurance

Not all these factors have to be present, it is the overall picture that is important.
These only represent three of the occasions which might indicate that the agent is acting for the insurer. Please refer to the Act for others.

What does it mean for brokers?

Brokers need to be, as usual, aware of their responsibilities. Where they are acting for the consumer this will be taken into account in deciding if the consumer has taken reasonable care, so the broker needs to make sure they advise the client of their duty to take reasonable care and perhaps remind them of the facts they should disclose, particularly if it is something of which the broker might be aware.

Where they are acting for the insurer and make a mistake then the insurer having paid the claim because of that mistake may try to hold the broker liable for their loss.

Other matters

Parts of Section 19 of the MIA 1906 are being abolished so that non-disclosure of a material fact known by the broker but not the insured will not invalidate the contract.

The Act when it comes into force will apply to England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland and will apply to contracts entered into, and variations agreed to, after the Act comes into force. Insurers cannot contract out of these changes if this would put the consumer in a worse position than they would have been under the Act.

The Act cannot come into force until after the 8th March 2013 and there is no guarantee as to if and when it will come into force. Some commentators have suggested April 2013 as a likely time.

This is only a brief overview of the new Act and for a fuller explanation go to http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/6/pdfs/ukpga_20120006_en.pdf

¹Explanatory notes which discuss mixed use contracts in S.1 can be found in the explanatory notes to the Bill http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2010-2012/0068/en/2012068en.htm

²A review flowchart of how insurers might deal with misrepresentations can be found at http://lawcommission.justice.gov.uk/docs/lc319_Consumer_Insurance_Law_Pre-Contract_Disclosure_and_Misrepresentation_summary.pdf at Page 8

 

For further information, please contact
Steve Foulsham
Head of Technical Services
BIBA
T: 0207 397 0234
E: foulshams@biba.org.uk

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Lemma Insurance https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/lemma-insurance/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/lemma-insurance/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2012 23:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/lemma-insurance/ Following the collapse of Gibralter based Lemma Europe Insurance Company and to assist members who have placed risks with Lemma, we would like to confirm

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Following the collapse of Gibralter based Lemma Europe Insurance Company and to assist members who have placed risks with Lemma, we would like to confirm the following information.

Approximately 7000 UK policyholders are affected by the collapse of this Gibralter insurer and are in line for compensation after the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) stepped in to help.

The FSCS is working closely with the provisional liquidator in Gibralter, Grant Thornton, to protect the UK customers after declaring it in default.  The maximum level of compensation for claims against firms is 90% of the claim with no upper limit. FSCS covers compulsory insurance (such as employers’ liability and motor third party risks) in full.

BIBA would advise all members to find an alternative provider for their clients and to pursue any claims through the FSCS who will be working with the provisional liquidators to ensure that outstanding claims are processed as quickly as possible.

Should you require any further clarification, please contact Steve Foulsham, Head of Technical Services, on 020 7397 0234.

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New EU LGV Operators’ Licence Conditions https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/new-eu-lgv-operators-licence-conditions/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/new-eu-lgv-operators-licence-conditions/#respond Tue, 17 Jul 2012 23:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/new-eu-lgv-operators-licence-conditions/ Members should note that new EU legislation was introduced in December 2011 to establish consistent EU wide conditions in order to apply and maintain an

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Members should note that new EU legislation was introduced in December 2011 to establish consistent EU wide conditions in order to apply and maintain an LGV Operator’s Licence.

The attached has been provided by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) to provide a brief overview of the new legislation and operating conditions for LGV drivers.

The road haulage industry continues to be exploited by organised criminals as a mechanism for smuggling cash, illegal immigrants and prohibited goods into the UK.

Steve Foulsham
Head of Technical Services
T: 0207 397 0234
E: foulshams@biba.org.uk

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Helping to Reduce Insurance Fraud when Customers Apply for Products -A Good Practice Guide https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/helping-to-reduce-insurance-fraud-when-customers-apply-for-products-a-good-practice-guide/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/helping-to-reduce-insurance-fraud-when-customers-apply-for-products-a-good-practice-guide/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2011 00:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/helping-to-reduce-insurance-fraud-when-customers-apply-for-products-a-good-practice-guide/ 2511applicationfraud goodpracticeguide.pdf

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2511applicationfraud goodpracticeguide.pdf

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Sanctions checking facility – coming soon! https://www.biba.org.uk/regulation-updates/sanctions-checking-facility-coming-soon/ https://www.biba.org.uk/regulation-updates/sanctions-checking-facility-coming-soon/#respond Mon, 24 Oct 2011 23:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/sanctions-checking-facility-coming-soon/ Dear member, BIBA is aware that many members are experiencing problems in carrying out sanctions checks. It is important that firms understand that having systems

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Dear member,

BIBA is aware that many members are experiencing problems in carrying out sanctions checks. It is important that firms understand that having systems and controls relating to financial sanctions is an integral part of complying with FSA requirements on financial crime.

BIBA has now agreed an automated financial sanctions client screening facility that all our members can use. This will be offered as a partially funded BIBA member benefit, providing searches at less than 7 pence per client, with bespoke deals for larger brokers with substantial client numbers.

The facility will allow members to demonstrate that the customers they do business with are not on the HM Treasury's sanctions list. The facility will become available from January 2012 (or possibly earlier) and we will provide members with further details in due course.

Should you require any further information in the meantime, please contact

Steve Foulsham
Technical Services Manager
T: 0207 397 0234
E: foulshams@biba.org.uk

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Brokers’ essential role in providing EL data https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/brokers-essential-role-in-providing-el-data/ https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/brokers-essential-role-in-providing-el-data/#respond Wed, 12 Oct 2011 23:00:00 +0000 https://www.biba.org.uk/technical-updates/insurer-issues/brokers-essential-role-in-providing-el-data/ In February 2011, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced new regulations under which insurers are obliged to publish specific data concerning commercial Employers’ Liability policies.

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In February 2011, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced new regulations under which insurers are obliged to publish specific data concerning commercial Employers’ Liability policies. This is to ensure that claimants and their representatives can more easily trace the relevant insurer.

The Employers’ Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) was set up as an independent body to build and maintain the Employers’ Liability Database – which is a central register of EL policies. Membership of ELTO satisfies obligations under the FSA regulations. It has over 130 members covering more than 98% of the current EL market share. Brokers and holders of delegated authorities are not required to become members of ELTO as it is the responsibility of insurers to comply. However, insurers rely on the broker to provide the relevant details; therefore brokers have an essential role in the process.   

The interim Chair of ELTO, Adrian Brown (also CE of RSA UK), has written to broker chiefs advising them of the broker’s responsibility in the collection and supply of EL policy information.  The IIB has agreed to distribute the letter to members with this bulletin, setting out what information is required and the timescales involved (see attachment).

A template, which members may have already seen, has been developed by the industry so that information can be collected in a uniform way.  In some cases, brokers may need to discuss their arrangements for communicating the information, as the format required by individual insurers could vary. 

In any event, it is vital that appropriate EL policy data is collected and sent to insurers in good time.

Links
FSA website: Policy statement PS11/04 – Tracing Employers’ Liability insurers http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/library/policy/policy/2011/11_04.shtml

 ELTO website: http://www.elto.org.uk

 Sample ELTO template

 

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