Creative Controversy, late payment and the FCA

Today, Star Wars Day, May the fourth 2017, marks the completion of the reform of UK insurance law that commenced in the middle of the noughties when the Law Commission picked up the task of reforming the Marine Insurance Act 1906. That Act oversaw and provided a framework for insurance as a product that has expanded both in value and type and to policyholders that could not have been foreseen when it was enacted 111 years ago. It largely stood the test of time and its concepts were (and are) exported internationally and so underpin the sector of the UK economy that originated in and which dominates London, EC3.

The final piece of the Insurance Act jigsaw applying to all policies commencing today is the “late payment” term and gives us the chance to review some of our earlier blogs.

We wrote in December 2015 of “a contract less exceptional” where we spoke of a product that was fit for the times and less complex; a contract that was nearer to the mainstream of most commercial contracts and consumer understanding and of a better product for the industry’s customers. We make no claims of prescience but were interested to note the publication only two weeks ago of the FCA Business Plan for 2017/18 that spoke of outcomes that it sought of the GI sector’s customers being able “to evaluate and access insurance products that are suitable for their needs” and of firms in the sector demonstrating a consumer focused culture where competition was not only on price but on product features and services. We hope that our work so far and our RED campaign has gone some small way to assist you in achieving those outcomes.

Over many years BLM has responded to Law Commission and House of Lords’ consultations, trained, lectured, workshopped, filmed, videoed, sponsored, blogged, flowcharted, written Guides and CPD’d for customers, the ABI, CII and MGAA, FAQ’d, amended wordings, won awards and tweeted. We got creative with Harry and his Haulage company. Sometimes we were provocative as with our “Market for Lemons” and “Insurers’ empty promise”. We had a little fun with the Elvis Blogs (“A little less conversation…. a little more action(s)”) of Insurance Act week in August last year. Last week we  produced a commentary considering the issues that arise from today’s “late payment” term and hope that readers are now indeed “Forewarned and forearmed

Terry Renouf, partner, BLM Written by Terry Renouf, consultant at BLM

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