Treasury to quiz insurers over coronavirus response

Chair of The Treasury Committee, Mel Stride, has written to Huw Evans, director-general of the Association of British Insurers to question how the insurance sector is responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The move comes in the wake of the Financial Conduct Authority’s guidance to insurers last week urging flexibility and good communication.

The questions asked by the committee include how many ABI members have ceased to offer a product since the onset of the crisis and what products these are. It is also asking for details of how many members have changed the terms of a product while it is in force, at renewal and at initial purchase.

The specific questions asked in the letter are:

-How many of your members (by type of cover, eg. commercial, travel) have ceased to offer a product since the onset of the crisis?

-Where products have ceased to be offered, can you provide the type and number of products that have been taken out of the market?

-How many of your members (by type of cover) have changed the terms of a product:

--While it is in force (number of products and type)
--At renewal (number of products and type)
--At initial purchase (number of products and type)

-Can you provide examples, by product, of how policies have changed, while in force, at renewal or at initial purchase?

-Can you provide, on a weekly basis since 1st January 2020, the aggregated number of policies sold by type of cover, separated by renewal or initial custom?

-Can you provide information on how firms have communicated to customers, both current and potential, how things have changed in the market, and where exclusions, or changes in when policies can be called upon, have also changed?

-Can you provide an estimate of the amount of money, in aggregate, your firms expect to pay out for business disruption in the face of the coronavirus?

-Can you provide details of the approach that your members are taking in respect of business interruption insurance, given the government’s recent announcements concerning the effective moment of the requirement for businesses to close?

-Can you provide details of the approach that your members are taking regarding the provision of cover for the costs to business relating to COVID-19 and where there may be some flexibility shown in respect of this element of potential cover?

-Given that the NHS has secured an agreement to use private hospital facilities and staff, what are the implications for the cover that firms are able to provide to individuals with private health insurance policies?

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