More than two thirds of brokers polled are in the dark about the Act BLM has said

Houses of Parliament

Some 70% of brokers feel that insurers have not provided enough guidance around the upcoming Insurance Act, a poll by law firm BLM has found.

The first Broker Pulse quarterly poll found that brokers felt they were unable to assist customers with guidance on the duty of fair presentation and the issues around the knowledge of the insured, including the brokers as their agents.

The Act, which comes into force in August, places on brokers a duty of fair presentation, but brokers are still unclear about what will be deemed sufficient information under the new legislation – over and above what they currently provide, the study said.

BLM partner and head of the broker sector Helen Devery said: “The Insurance Act seeks to clarify commercial insurance law, but brokers are telling us that there is a need for greater clarity for them and their customers.

“At BLM we feel this could come in the form of an industry standard or specialist market guide. With less than a year until it takes effect there needs to be closer collaboration between underwriters and brokers to ensure they are able to deliver services and solutions for their clients that are fit for purpose and meet the requirements of the legislation.”

The Q1 Broker Pulse also found that 73% of brokers believe the new Sentencing Council guidelines coming into force in February 2016, will influence policies and underwriting.

This is because it will introduce unprecedented fines for breaches of health and safety law based on revenue.

The financial risk to businesses and the increased risk of loss of liberty to directors and managers under these new guidelines could lead to more cases being contested to trial, and therefore a possible increase in costs for insurers.

The poll also found that only 48% of brokers believe there is genuine appetite amongst their customers for cyber insurance and risk strategies.

This is despite 89% of brokers ranking it as one of the top risks their customers are facing, and recent high-profile data breaches that have devastated a range of companies.

The survey polled 60 insurance professionals with job titles ranging from claims manager to senior vice president.