Politicians have at last noticed insurance, says Andy Cook

' At last week's Insurance Times management briefing Making Money from SMEs, Conservative shadow treasury minister Richard Spring told 200 brokers and insurers that the Tories would, if elected, severely curtail the powers of the FSA. He also vowed to reverse the risk avoidance and blame culture which has fuelled liability claims.

But look closely at what the Labour Party is saying and a pattern emerges. Prime minister Tony Blair has said that managing the nature of risk in daily life will be a central plank of the Labour Party election drive. Again the emphasis is that people should be more conscious of taking responsibility for themselves, rather than blaming and claiming.

And the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, will next week put some flesh on the bones. After announcing government policy on the perceived compensation culture at the Insurance Times Future of Personal Injury Claims conference in November 2004, Falconer is set to talk about better ways for people to manage risk in their lives rather than resorting to insurers' claims reserves He will also target reform of the legal framework surrounding personal injury claims.

With our industry's issues moving to the top of the political agenda, I am delighted to announce that Insurance Times will run a follow-up to our Future of Personal Injury Claims on 5 July at One Great George Street.

To reflect the new political focus, the event will be called The Future of Claims: Managing Risk in Daily Life. It will look at how personal injury risk can be managed through prevention. And how claims can be controlled more efficiently once they do happen through rehabilitation and improved legal mechanisms. If you would like to get involved in this event please get in touch with me on 0207 618 3413 (email:
andy@instimes.co.uk ). IT