David Turner answers a question on applying for authorisation for start-ups

Question: "Application forms for authorisation seem to be directed solely to agents or sellers. Our organisation is seeking information regarding authorisation for a new underwriting operation. The FSA handbook and forms seem to relate only to existing insurers. For example, annual premium income is required to calculate the margin of solvency, but we can only estimate this as we are not currently authorised to provide insurance and therefore have no figures on which to base such calculations."

Answer: "As an insurer you will be applying for the regulated activities of carrying on or effecting contracts of insurance. As such, you should not use the application forms recently introduced by the FSA for general insurance intermediaries, you should use the "standard" application form for authorisation. The form allows for start-up firms who are not currently trading and specifies what information such firms can provide as an alternative to the information requested from firms already trading."

David Turner is a partner in the insurance group of law firm Bond Pearce