Insurance Act – Time for change

The law on commercial insurance is changing. Whilst the “old law” will continue to relevant for a short time the Insurance Act 2015 applies to policies incepted or renewed from 12 August 2016 and is designed to change the law to reflect modern business relationships and to rebalance rights and remedies when things go wrong.

The provisions of the Insurance Act 2015 were developed by the Law Commission over several years as a result of extensive consultations in which BLM took part fully. Our lawyers have worked with industry bodies such as the CII, the ABI and MGAA and of course with many clients hosting events and seminars to consider the changes and address the impact. Much of the feedback received is included in the pages of this section of our website and within the various documents linked to those pages.

We have revised, updated and now publish the final edition of a short guide to the Act which sets out some of the key points in a brief and accessible format. The Enterprise Act 2016 introduced a significant amendment to the Act relating to “late payment” of claims. Whilst this amendment applies to policies incepted from 4 May 2017 we felt it of sufficient consequence to produce a separate supplement focussing in some detail on the claims issues that it highlights. We hope you find both of our “Time for Change” documents useful, relevant and thought-provoking. We also encourage you to explore other areas of our website including a brief film of an interview with Post Magazine highlighting some of the changes, our Insurance Act flowchart, our “publications” pages which includes a briefing document for Directors and to our FAQs.

Reform of insurance law has been comprehensive and included a review of the rights of third parties when a policyholder became insolvent. The Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 came in to force on 1 August 2016 and (a) significantly broadens the categories of people who are obliged to provide information but also (b) changes the process in which a third parties’ rights may be enforced. To assist we have prepared a TPRAIA flowchart that assists with both new processes.

The former Law Commissioner for Commercial and Common Law, David Hertzell is a BLM Consultant and has been working with the team at BLM to inform, educate and prepare the firm's customers on the Act. In recognition of his work reforming 100 years of insurance law David took home the Claims Achievement Award at the 2015 Claims Awards, he also took home the final and prestigious Achievement Award at the 2015 British Insurance Awards (BIA).

The Insurance Act 2015 was the culmination of many years of work by the Law Commission and as the first major piece of legislation on commercial insurance in a century we draw to your attention the closing comments of the Right Honourable the Lord Woolf, chair of the Special Public Bill Committee of the House of Lords considering the Insurance Bill, 15 December 2014:

"I also know, as I think all the members of the Committee know, that David Hertzell, who has been the author of its monumental report and done a huge amount of work in connection with the Bill, is about to retire [as Law Commissioner]. It is a wonderful testimony to the qualities of his work in the Law Commission that we have been able to deal with the Bill in the way that we have. We all, including the public, should be indebted to him, because the Bill is important both to the commercial world of insurance and to those who resort to that world to protect themselves against the hazards of commercial life. The Bill should bring the law up to a state that better represents the needs of insureds and insurers."

Please contact us if you would like further details:

Alistair Kinley - alistair.kinley@blmlaw.com
Terry Renouf - terry.renouf@blmlaw.com
John O'Shea - john.o'shea@blmlaw.com

BLM's RED blog provides the latest information and expert analysis on these issues:

 
 

Who to contact


Alistair Kinley

Alistair Kinley

Director of Policy & Government Affairs,
London



John O'Shea

John O'Shea

Partner and head of property damage,
London



Terry Renouf

Terry Renouf

Consultant,
London



Insurance Act – Time for change Team

Alistair Kinley

Alistair Kinley

Director of Policy & Government Affairs,
London


John O'Shea

John O'Shea

Partner and head of property damage,
London


Terry Renouf

Terry Renouf

Consultant,
London