Speaking at the BIPAR conference in Madrid, the chair of LIIBA outlined his priorities on Brexit discussions

Andrew Agnew, chair of the London and International Insurance Brokers’ Association (LIIBA), has said that clients must not suffer because of any Brexit discussions.

Speaking at the BIPAR (European Federation of Insurance Intermediaries) annual conference in Madrid, Agnew said one of the most critical issues is contract continuity.

If 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. As a result, some contracts may be in breach of regulation, and will not be valid for a claim.

Andrew agnew

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.”

He continued: “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.”

The current deadline for the UK to leave the EU is 29 March 2019, so any policy taken out after 29 March 2018 will straddle the deadline.