UK: Pinsent Masons Insurance Briefing - BREXIT: UK Hung Parliament Might Weaken Case For Hard Brexit, Say Experts

Last Updated: 14 June 2017
Article by Nicholas Bradley, Colin Read and Alexis Roberts

BREXIT: UK hung parliament might weaken case for hard Brexit, say experts

EU law and Brexit specialist Guy Lougher of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said: "UK businesses are in limbo but must resist the urge to do nothing and wait until the dust has settled. This is not however the time for knee jerk reactions. While the parameters of the UK's exit from the EU could drastically shift in the coming weeks, last year's referendum result still stands. Those adjusting their business to prepare for a post-Brexit UK should continue as the risk of scrapping plans completely could prompt lengthy and costly delays when negotiations finally do begin." Pinsent Masons financial services expert Alexis Roberts said: "The result might mean that the prospects of a soft Brexit increases, particularly if the new government decides it has to build more consensus in parliament to get its agenda through. That would certainly be welcome to UK financial servcies businesses, as it would potentially make access to European markets after Brexit more straightforward." Read more...

Brexit to prompt new guidance for insurance regulators in Europe

The EU insurance watchdog, EIOPA, is to issue new guidelines to national regulators "on sound principles for authorisation and supervision" which may introduce restrictions on insurance operations being delegated and outsourced back to UK headquarters. The move has been prompted by concerns about regulatory arbitrage as insurers explore options to continue trading across the EU single market post-Brexit, according to a report by Reuters. The news agency was reporting comments made by Manuela Zweimuller, head of policy at the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), at an insurance conference in Dublin. Read more...

Machine learning adopted by half of top insurers

Machine learning is being used for predictive analytical modelling by over half of top insurance firms worldwide, according to research by analytics firm Earnix. The survey of almost 200 insurance executives showed wide adoption of machine learning and suggests it will bring "significant" change to the industry over the next three to five years, Earnix said.Of the firms using the technology, 70% are doing so for risk modelling purposes. More than a third of the insurers that have adopted machine learning technology use it for demand models (34%) and fraud detection (36%). Read more...

Annuity providers must prompt customers to shop around from March, says FCA

Pension providers will be required to tell customers ready to purchase an annuity whether they could receive more money if they switch to another provider, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed.The notification must also include a "clear and prominent warning" that customers should consider whether they are eligible for an enhanced annuity before purchasing a product, the FCA said, in response to a consultation on information prompts. Firms will have until 1 March 2018 to introduce the new wording, but can do so sooner if they choose to do so, the FCA said. It had originally proposed bringing in the new requirements from September. Read more...

Supreme Court: Insuring clause is a 'comprehensive scheme' to protect parties' interests

The well-established principle - that a subrogated claim cannot be brought against a co-insured party - forms the basis for the decision of a majority of the Supreme Court to uphold the broad interpretation of insuring clauses wherever these are used to provide cover for specified loss or damage for parties' mutual benefit. It is likely that, absent clear, express wording to the contrary, these types of insuring clauses will be interpreted as 'comprehensive' co-insurance schemes providing no option for parties to the contract to bring separate claims for damages, regardless of fault. This may have implications in circumstances where risks are under-insured or where an insurer becomes insolvent. If parties are keen to maintain an independent right of action for breach of a particular term of the contract then they would be well advised to make this absolutely clear in the wording of the contract. The decision is particularly significant for construction as well as marine contracts. Read more... 

High Court refuses pre-action disclosure of insurance policy to a third party

The UK High Court has said that Civil Procedure Rule 31.16 governing pre-action disclosure could not be commonly used by third parties to obtain the insurance policy of an insolvent insured because parliament has already enacted separate legislation to govern that type of disclosure – in the form of the recent Third Party (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010. The Court said that CPR 31.16 cannot be used either to obtain the insurance policy of a solvent insured because the policy, in that situation, is not relevant to any issue in the case and circumstances would need to be "sufficiently exceptional" for the Court to exercise its discretion – although Peel Port argued otherwise, circumstances were not deemed sufficiently exceptional in this case. The case provides useful insight of the interaction between the application of the 2010 Act and the pre-action disclosure rules.  Read more...

For regular comments, news and views from the insurance team at Pinsent Masons, see our insurance content on Out-law here.

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