Westminster Business Forum

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Next steps for the UK insurance industry - regulation and reform, consumer protection, climate change, COVID-19, and priorities for a new relationship with the EU

February 2021


Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will consider key issues for the future of the UK insurance industry.


It will be an early opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to assess the new market and regulatory environment following the end of the transition period, and with the FCA setting out proposals for reform following its market study into the pricing of home and motor insurance.


Areas for discussion include:


  • the regulatory landscape post-Brexit, and the future of Solvency II in the UK
  • looking ahead to insurance sector priorities for agreement with the EU on regulation and equivalence
  • the FCA’s proposals
  • climate change risks
  • data and the use of AI
  • the continuing impact of the pandemic and the Supreme Court decision over insurance liability

The conference is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from HM Treasury, HMRC, the DfT, and Defra.


The agenda:


  • The future of the UK insurance industry post transition and in the wake of the pandemic
  • Regulation and general insurance pricing practices - key points from the FCA’s findings
  • The way forward following the FCA proposals - consumers and insurance markets, competition and competitiveness, and preparing for the future challenges for the industry
  • Sustainability and climate change - resilience measures and investing in ESG assets
  • Data and ethics - improving consumer confidence and knowledge of the use of data
  • Supporting business - adapting to the post-Brexit regulatory landscape and supporting the industry post COVID-19
  • Next steps for policy affecting the insurance sector - the regulatory landscape post-Brexit and the outcomes from the Solvency II review

Key areas for discussion:


  • the regulatory landscape post-Brexit and the future of Solvency II in the UK:
    • the way in which insurance regulation operates in the UK following the end of the Brexit transition period, with government launching a review of Solvency II
    • simplification - how the rules can be adapted to meet the needs of the UK insurance market, for example in risk margin, criticised by some in the insurance industry and the PRA
    • reducing volatility - looking at insurance firm balance sheets, and increasing the choice and affordability of insurance products
    • long-term infrastructure projects - making it easier for insurers, with concerns from some in the industry that Solvency II makes this difficult and overburdens with reporting requirements
    • operating globally - how international commercial insurers are setting their strategies post-Brexit, and priorities for the services sector’s relationship with the EU 
  • the FCA’s proposals:
    • customer relationships - strategies for ensuring that consumers are fairly treated and building a culture of trust
    • impact on competition:
      • prospects for the proposals will make the market more competitive and lower prices in the long term as intended
      • possible risks of higher prices for newer customers and a reduced incentive for customers to switch, which could create barriers to providers entering the market and expanding
    • impact on other markets - the future of renewal pricing in other sectors being investigated by the FCA and Ofcom, such as anti-virus software products, mobile and broadband contracts
  • climate change risks:
    • progress on adapting - how the insurance industry is responding to climate change and supporting customers in getting the insurance that fits their needs
    • flooding - the future role of Flood Re and options for measures such as subsidies for consumers at increased risk, such as living on flood plains
    • costs and pricing - how the industry is dealing with the likely continued burgeoning of provisions in policies taking account of climate change risks
    • the role of the industry in climate change:
      • improving sustainability and the profile and public perceptions of the sector in relation to the fight against climate change
      • ensuring Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria can be addressed by insurers within their own businesses and to encourage sustainable economic development
      • insurers as ethical investors whilst also securing the best returns on investment for shareholders, including pension investors
  • data and the use of AI:
    • Government’s wide-ranging data strategy:
      • looking to unlock the value of data across the economy, secure a trusted data regime and ensure the security of data infrastructure
      • the impact on the insurance sector and how it can potentially innovate and benefit
    • consumer data - ensuring the ethical use of personal data by the industry, improving customer confidence and the information provided to them, and tackling mistrust
    • machine learning and AI:
      • how players in the sector are adapting and improving their use of data to take advantage of the new technologies and customer expectations
      • managing the future use of algorithms with concern that their use can result in unfair outcomes for customers 
  • COVID-19:
    • impact - the effect of the continued pandemic on the industry with initial estimates having suggested that insurers expect to pay out over £1.2bn in claims to affected businesses and individuals, and the Supreme Court ruling that insurers must pay small businesses for claims as a result of being forced to close because of the pandemic
    • issues related to specific classes of other insurance products - such as trade credit insurance, with the Trade Credit Reinsurance Scheme extended to June 2021

The background to the discussion:


  • FCA sets out proposals to tackle concerns about general insurance pricing - the final report of the market study into the pricing of home and motor insurance, with:
    • concerns - that these markets are not working well enough for consumers
    • proposals for reform - through enhancing competition, ensuring consumers receive fair value, and increasing trust, including:
      • customers will pay no more for renewals than if they were new to their provider and using the same payment channel, such as online
      • the aim to lessen the reliance on consumer inertia to enable increasing renewal price to consumers over time
    • consulting on further recommendations - to make it easier to stop automatic renewal across general insurance products, requiring data sets from firms to verify that rules are being followed, and new product governance rules requiring firms to consider how they can deliver fair value to consumers over the long-term
  • Supreme Court judgment in FCA’s business interruption insurance test case - the FCA working with insurers to settle business interruption claims for small businesses who had to close during the first national lockdown in 2020, following the FCA test case in the Supreme Court
  • potential rule changes following Brexit and the Solvency II Review:
    • the end of the transition period - which sees the Government able to set its own insurance regulations and potentially move away from those set out in the EU’s Solvency II
    • Solvency II Review: Call for Evidence - the Government examining the regime that currently regulates the prudential regulation of insurance firms in the UK, with the aim of:
      • fostering a vibrant, innovative and internationally-competitive insurance sector
      • improving protection for policyholders
      • ensuring the soundness and security of firms and support growth in the sector
  • Independent review of flood insurance published - Amanda Blanc’s review, commissioned by government on why many of those affected by flooding in 2019 did not have sufficient insurance, and finding  gaps in consumers awareness of their options in areas at risk of flooding
  • Government proposes further support for flood resilience measures - recently published consultation on flood insurance, including proposals for households to receive discounts if they have taken measures to protect their property, and for a new, lower-priced premium option in the Flood Re scheme
  • Government publishes new strategy to kickstart data revolution across the UK - launch of the Government’s wide-ranging National Data Strategy
  • The Price Of Accuracy: Consumer Attitudes To Data And Insurance - from the ABI, finding consumer distrust and relatively little knowledge of how their insurance policy is priced and what their insurers know about them

Policy officials attending:


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the Defra; the Department for Transport; HM Revenue & Customs; and HM Treasury.


Overall, we expect further speakers and other delegates to be an informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials from the Cabinet Office; Department of Education, Department for Work and Pensions; Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and other relevant Departments, as well as business associations; charities and community groups; employers and industry representatives; Institutes of Technology; employment lawyers; local authorities; universities; trade associations and chartered bodies; trade unions; think tanks; academics, and reporters from the national and specialist media.


This is a full-scale conference taking place online***


  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference



This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles