Following last year’s successful one-day seminar for intermediaries on conduct of business, the Commission recently held an interactive seminar which was attended by approximately 85 representatives from insurance intermediaries, insurance companies, insurance managers and retail banks.
In selecting the topic for this year’s seminar, the Commission recognised that significant changes will be faced by the insurance industry this year with the coming into force, on 12 August 2016, of the United Kingdom’s Insurance Act 2015* “the Act”. The Commission was therefore very pleased that its two guest speakers have already provided masterclasses on the Act to UK insurance broking firms and have published material on this subject.
Robin Wood, founder of the RWA Group and Roger Franklin, a partner in Edwin Coe LLP’s insurance group who both participated in last year’s seminar organised by the Commission, agreed to return to Guernsey this year to lead a masterclass on the Act. Although this principally addressed the implications for local insurance intermediaries and their clients, it also considered the implications for insurers. Whilst the majority of attendees were from Bailiwick insurance intermediary firms, some domestic insurers and insurance managers also attended the event.
A key learning point from the seminar was the impact that this UK Act will have locally as the majority of commercial insurance policies for local policyholders are written under UK law. Also, in time, UK precedents will be generated based on the Act and are likely to be considered by the courts locally, hence an understanding of these developments is timely for local licensees.
In so far as a commercial insurance policy is written under UK law, anyone advising, arranging or amending a commercial insurance policy will need to be aware of the Act’s consequences in order to ensure adequate coverage such that insurance claims are met. The speakers particularly emphasised the importance of fair presentation, assessing the insured’s and insurer’s knowledge, warranties and the ability of an insurer to contract out of the requirements of the Act. Practical tips on the extent of advising clients on their obligations under the Act were discussed throughout the event with the audience keen to understand the impact on the local market and the changed responsibilities of each party involved in arranging or buying insurance.
An update was also provided on other relevant forthcoming changes in the UK, through the Enterprise Act 2016 in October and No-Claims Discount protection insurance in August 2016.
Feedback from attendees confirmed that the dynamic presentation was well received with a number of learning points taken away.
Speaking after the event, Rosemary Stevens, Deputy Director who heads up the Commission’s Conduct Unit which arranged the seminar, said “Having identified the impact of the UK’s Insurance Act 2015 on the Bailiwick, we were delighted that Robin and Roger were willing to deliver this masterclass in a timely, relevant and comprehensive manner. It was similarly pleasing to see that all Bailiwick insurance intermediary firms participated in the event. We intend to continue to organise such events in the future and are looking for input from industry to enable the Commission to deliver content that is helpful and relevant to firms and their customers.”