The Irish Insurance Federation (IIF) has introduced a code for improving communication between commercial policyholders and insurers.

Under the guidelines, insurers must issue renewal terms at least 15 working days before renewal when insurance is arranged direct with the policyholder.

It is expected that the OFT will be monitoring the progress of the IIF move.

This follows reports that it is talking to insurers and brokers about service standards in general and renewal terms in particular.

The Irish guidelines also address safety at work and on the road, and the handling of personal injury claims, setting out what steps need to be taken by both insurers and policyholders in the event of an accident, and in claims handling, litigation and settlement. Insurers have also committed to fight spurious or exaggerated claims and pursue the recovery of costs in these cases.

IIF vice-president Paul Donaldson said that he hoped the guidelines would help to "bring confidence back into the insurer business relationship".