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ABI Comment on FCA Statement on SMEs and business interruption

Commenting on the FCA statement on insuring SMEs and business interruption, ABI Director General, Huw Evans, said:

“This is a welcome step from the FCA and insurers will look to work closely with the regulator to make this process a success.

Although the vast majority of business interruption policies do not cover pandemics and the Government has confirmed it will not seek to  retrospectively amend contracts, we support any process that will provide clarity and certainty for the minority of customers who are disputing whether they should be covered.

For valid claims, leading ABI members have agreed a set of claims handling principles to ensure speedy processing, including interim payments.”

On the draft guidance for insurance and premium finance firms regarding coronavirus and customers in temporary financial difficulty:

“Any customer in financial difficulty and unable to pay their insurance premium should contact their insurer to discuss the support options available. Insurers have already put in place very significant measures to help customers in financial distress and we are pleased the FCA has recognised the difference between insurance and  wider finance by not imposing solutions designed for banks. This will help ensure firms can adopt measures that best meet their customers’ circumstances.”

On the draft guidance for firms on product value and coronavirus:

“Insurers agree with the FCA on the need to continue to review policies as the effects of Covid-19 unfold. There are still many unknowable factors in how things will pan out and we welcome a process which allows for solutions to be delivered as the situation evolves. As the FCA highlights, insurers have already taken steps in this regard in recent weeks and they will continue to do so.”

The full statement from the FCA, along with details of an accompanying package of measures is available here

Details of the ABI claims handling principles are available here

Notes for Editors

More information relating to COVID-19, including advice, guidance, and common questions relating to insurance and long-term savings products can be found at the ABI COVID-19 Hub.

Enquiries to:

Malcolm Tarling                        020 7216 7410    Mobile: 07776 147667

Laura Dawson                          020 7216 7338    Mobile: 0772 5245838

Su Crown                                 020 7216 7412    Mobile: 0772 5245297

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Last updated 01/05/2020