One of the most important aspects of the new General Insurance Standards Council regulations for brokers will be to establish a paper trail when dealing with clients, according to Penny Lewis a solicitor from Berrymans Lace Mawer.

Failure to comply could leave them facing disciplinary action from GISC.

Speaking at the workshop entitled Partied Out: Are professional obligations becoming too onerous? She said that brokers needed to be extra diligent in recording all exchanges with client.

She added that if there was only one message she could convey it would be this: provide written confirmation wherever reasonably practicable.

“If you have a meeting, unless there is a very good reason, confirm everything that you say in writing. Include advice that the clients have declined.”

For, she said, if nothing is kept on record then brokers will have no case if a particular issue goes to court.

  • In the same workshop David Wilkinson, a partner at Berrymans, asked whether the recommendations made by the Protocols and Standards Group (PSG), established by the IUA and Lloyd's forum would work.

    The aim of the PSG is to identify improvement to the market's core activities – underwriting, claims, premium collections and processing.

    It is calling for a single lead underwriter, a restructured slip of business, a single claims lead and the creation of a Market's Standards Agency with a remit to collate and publish data relating to performance standards.

    He said: “The proposals will work if they have teeth. It is all very well asking practitioners to subscribe to a set of principles, but voluntary charter is quickly threatened by multi-million pound claims.”

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