The HM Treasury has introduced the Insurance Bill to Parliament, which will update the 100 year-old rules governing contracts between businesses and insurers.
The new bill introduces a more modern legal regime which aims to increase transparency and certainty over the rules that govern contracts between insurers and businesses and reduce the number of legal disputes over time.
The UK government said: “This will mean that British insurers are better equipped to compete against their global competitors, some of whom have already introduced more modern legal regimes for insurance, while businesses are expected to benefit by around £100 million over the next ten years, as a result of factors such as lower litigation and transaction costs.”
Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrea Leadsom, said: “Britain’s insurance industry is a major success story, employing over 300,000 people across the country, helping millions of British people and businesses every day and exporting across the globe. We want the industry to continue to grow and provide better services to customers, which is why we need to bring insurance contract law into the 21st century.
“The Insurance Bill that the government is introducing today will ensure that Britain’s insurers can succeed in the future, while business customers can take advantage of lower costs.”
Maurice Tulloch, chief executive officer of Aviva UK & Ireland GI, said: “At Aviva, we’ve been pushing for some time for contracts to be easier to understand and provide greater clarity for customers. Underpinning this is reform of insurance law to make it more relevant for today’s businesses.
“The bill is a very welcome development which will deliver significant benefits to both customers and the industry, helping make the UK a great place to do business.”
John Hurrell, chief executive of Airmic, the UK’s risk management trade body, said: “We welcome this legislation as it addresses serious shortcomings in the legal framework. The UK is unique amongst advanced economies in that our current legal framework potentially penalises the purchaser of commercial insurance and creates uncertainty over whether policies bought in good faith will pay out in the event of a claim.
“The new legislation provides much needed clarity which will be good for business and will help to maintain confidence in the London insurance market.”
HM Treasury, Europe, Andrea Leadsom, Aviva, Airmic