Speaking at the BIPAR (European Federation of Insurance Intermediaries) annual conference in Madrid today (1 February), Andrew Agnew, Chair of LIIBA said that the primary objective of any Brexit discussions is that clients must not suffer.
One of the most critical issues is contract continuity. In the event that no transition or trading arrangements are in place once the UK leaves the EU, servicing ongoing insurance contracts will fall under the governance of local conduct regulations in the remaining EU countries. In some countries that will mean that it is potentially in breach of regulations to pay a claim.
Andrew Agnew said: “There is a very real risk that clients who bought policies in good faith may end up in limbo, uncertain as to whether those policies will be fulfilled. Insurers transferring liabilities to EU subsidiaries may not be the perfect answer because of the time and complexity involved. We believe this route could still leave clients unsure of their position.
“Surely, we can all agree – UK and EU27 – that clients with existing contracts, wherever they may be, should be paid claims and we should join in lobbying the EU negotiating team and UK government to find a way of doing that, irrespective of the wider picture.
“We also believe it is in clients’ best interests to have the option to access the speciality markets based in London for the risks that are best dealt with there. This means that unimpeded cross-border trading must be maintained. We ask for help from those in Europe that share that same belief to ensure that financial services are not excluded from any future trade agreement.”