The New Insurance Act will come into force in 2016 and in actual fact this piece of legislation is going to replace some very old law that’s been in place since 1806, would you believe, which was the Marine Insurance Act.
Now up until this new Act comes into force, some insurance companies can avoid certain claims in certain situations that in today’s times wouldn’t really make sense.
So for example, you run a large manufacturing business and one of the conditions on your insurance that you will be aware of is for example no smoking. Now you might suffer a loss that’s a theft or a storm or a flood. Now when the loss assessor comes along to look at your loss from a claim’s perspective, if they discover that someone’s been smoking believe it or not there’s been a possibility in the past that the claim could be refused simply because a condition has applied.
What the Insurance Act is going to set out to do is to make sure that all insurers treat their customers really fairly. So if you have a loss that’s not directly connected to something that makes no difference for example, they will continue to make that payment for you.
It does bring along some other changes as well, but the bottom line is for SMEs there has already been quite a lot of protection for you anyway, but going forward you’re actually going to end up with more protection.
What it won’t change is your obligation to disclose to your broker and your insurer anything that’s considered material to the risk, but insurance companies will be asking very specific questions so you should be asked questions about anything that an insurer finds to be material.
So from that perspective it really just brings old law right up to date and makes sure that all insurers treat their customers fairly.
Ageas have decided to adopt the Act early, so we are actually going live with this from 1st October because we already do treat our customers fairly anyway, when it comes to claims.