With effect from 26 June 2017, Hong Kong’s independent Insurance Authority (“IA”) assumed its regulatory responsibilities and replaced the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (“OCI”) in regulating insurers. The IA will be a much more powerful regulator than its predecessor, with enhanced authorisation and supervisory powers, as well as inspection, investigation and disciplinary powers over insurers.
The PRA has published a consultation paper (CP8/17), which includes proposed amendments and optimisations to the Senior Insurance Managers Regime (SIMR). It also includes a proposal to strengthen governance through requiring insurers to take steps to encourage board diversity. This CP is relevant to all Solvency II insurance firms (i.e. UK Solvency II firms, the Society of Lloyd’s and Lloyd’s managing agents, and third country (re)insurance branches), and to large non-Directive firms (large NDFs).
High Court refuses to order pre-action disclosure of a defendant’s public liability insurance policy
In Peel Port Shareholder Finance Co Ltd v Dornoch Ltd  EWHC 876 (TCC), Peel Port Shareholder Finance Co Ltd (Peel Port) applied for pre-action disclosure of the defendant’s insurance policy under Civil Procedure Rule 31.16. Peel Port was not able to rely on the provisions in Third Party (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 because the defendant was not insolvent. Peel Port argued that it was highly probable that rights against insurers would be transferred to them under the 2010 Act in due course. They argued, therefore, that the court should exercise its discretion to grant disclosure of the defendant’s insurance policy at this stage to help avoid litigation and wasted costs. Mrs Justice Jefford refused to exercise her discretion to grant disclosure in anticipation of such a transfer of rights.
The Court of Appeal has upheld the decision of the Commercial Court that a reinsurer failed to establish that material non-disclosure of past loss statistics induced it to enter into two reinsurance contracts: Axa Versicherung AG v Arab Insurance Group  EWCA Civ 96.
New provisions in the Enterprise Act 2016 (“the Act”) which give policyholders a potential right to claim damages in the event of late payment of insurance claims, come into force this week on 4 May. The new law will apply to every contract of insurance entered into after the provisions come into force.
The FCA has published its Business Plan for 2017/2018, setting out details of the specific areas of work the FCA is prioritising for the next year, as well as key trends in, and implications for, the markets and firms regulated by the FCA, and emerging risks that may require future regulatory response.
In its 2017/18 Business Plan, released on 19 April 2017, the FCA set out its intention to undertake a market study of the wholesale insurance market. According to its Sector Views, the FCA divides the General Insurance and Protection (GI&P) sector into three sub-sectors, including wholesale, which meets the insurance needs of large, complex businesses. This article identifies the scope of the planned market study to apply to the latter category of Wholesale – insurance for large, complex businesses including multi-nationals.
Legislating for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU – the Government’s White Paper on the Great Repeal Bill
On 30 March 2017 the UK Government published its White Paper on the Great Repeal Bill: Legislating for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.
The principal purpose of the Great Repeal Bill will be to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 (the “ECA”), which gives effect and priority to EU law in the UK – thereby formally reasserting the sovereignty and independence of domestic law from the EU. The Bill will also (a) preserve, and convert into domestic law, the whole body of EU law applying to the UK at the time it leaves the EU (to the extent it has not already been implemented domestically); and (b) create powers for the Government to make secondary legislation in order to adjust EU-derived law that would otherwise no longer operate appropriately once the UK has left the EU.
Click here to read our briefing.