It was never going to be as straightforward as pulling a trigger and there has been much speculation as to how exiting the European Union would play out, but yesterday Theresa May laid down her plans for future of the UK, and the response from the Insurance Industry was largely positive.

Among her key objectives was the intention to leave the single market of the EU behind and focus energies on a “bold and ambitious Free Trade Arrangement”.

Steady in his belief that the insurance industry is “large and robust enough” to cope with the change, Ivor Edwards, corporate insurance partner at law firm Clyde & Co, welcomed May’s intent.

“Her specific focus on maintaining freedom to provide financial services across borders and talk of a phased approach will be welcomed by insurers and other financial services firms, all of whom crave clarity, stability and a sense that their interests are being represented,” he said.

BIBA’s Steve White noted that the contents of May’s speech gave no cause for concern.

“There is nothing that the Prime Minister has said that contradicts our position, that our members have access to a tariff-free barrier-free single market,” commented White.

The chairman of BIBA was overall “pleased” with what was outlined. “She has said all the way along that she won’t show her hand, that is understandable,” White said.

“What she has shown us has given us quite some encouragement and ticks most of the boxes that we have been asking for.”

The disclosure from Parliament was accompanied by revelations from Lloyd’s of London, who announced that they were making their own preparations for Brexit, which included a possible move to Europe. It is believed that there are five locations currently under consideration, including Dublin.

While noting that “economic confidence across the insurance professions is at its lowest level since 2011,” Keith Richards, managing director of engagement at CII, was encouraged by May’s acknowledgement of economic risk.

“Although the Government has not offered the defined transitional period that we were asking for, it has acknowledged the risk of an economic and legal ‘cliff edge’ and the impact it could have, and proposed a ‘phased period of implementation’ to give firms that much needed breathing space to consider what the new EU-UK partnership could mean for them,” he said.

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Home is where the heart is… not to mention all of your hard-earned furniture, technology, and reams of valuable personal possessions. Nothing could be more devastating than a bout of adverse weather flooding your house, causing devastating damage to both property and possessions. Yet a recent study by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed that fewer than one in three people researched the flood risk of the property before buying their current home.

The insurance industry hopes to raise buyers’ awareness of flood risks by introducing a set of traffic light-style green, amber and red symbols on property adverts, aiming to inform or warn buyers of the properties’ status before they buy. It has been predicted that one in six properties would be labelled amber or red.

Unsurprisingly, this idea is less than desirable to estate agents, who have voiced fears that potential buyers may be put off from viewing those properties deemed at risk, and possibly rendering a section of the market unprofitable.

However, the proposal may be a positive step towards raising awareness and motivating homeowners to protect their properties. In order to provide full and accurate cover, insurers need to assess the likelihood of incidence and severity. Although flood insurance usually forms part of buildings and contents insurance policies, areas at risk of flooding will likely have much higher premiums or need specialist cover.

Last year, extensive flooding across Northern England topped £5bn worth of damage, with up to £1.5bn insurance claims made as a result. Director of general insurance at the ABI, James Dalton, said: “As the floods of last winter reminded us, being flooded is horribly traumatic and can leave people out of their home or business for months. Anyone whose property is at flood risk needs to be aware of that, so they can take steps to protect themselves.”

Considering whether that seemingly perfect new property is on a flood plane is often not at the forefront of buyers’ minds. Purchasing a house is an exciting time, and with plenty to sort out it often gets forgotten, unless it gets flagged during searches.

So what can you do to make sure your home is safe? Whether or not you feel your home is at risk of flood damage, checking the flood terms of your home insurance is vital to feeling you would be covered should it happen. Remember that obvious bodies of water are not the only clue to look out for – in fact, the Environment Agency estimates that there are 5.2 million properties at risk of flooding in England from either rivers, the sea, surface water or various combinations.

Read your policy documents to ensure you know what you can and can’t claim for. You may be able to get damaged items replaced or be helped with the cost of builders and professional clean-up services. Before the loss adjustor visits your property, it may be a good idea to take photographs and video of the flood damage and list details of what’s been affected.

If you are currently buying a house, make sure you do as much research as possible into the property and area beforehand. The Environment Agency provides flood risk information broken down by postcode on its website. A broker, such as, could offer a helping hand should you find that your insurance needs might be a little more complicated as a result.

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Connected Technology is altering the way insurers assess and control risk fundamentals, such as risk transparency. Whereas traditional insurance models involve assessing customers based on variables such as the habits of the category they fit into, connected technologies are designed to assess customers on an individual level, in real time.

So what are connected technologies? And how will insurers use them?
Powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), connected technology refers to everyday objects which have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data. This could mean your fridge alerting you that you’re out of milk, or the ability to remotely boil your kettle by the time you get home.

But insurers believe they could also use data collected by your everyday activities to monitor your status as a risk.

The World Insurance Report 2016 defines 3 main categories of connected technology which insurers are interested in:


  • Smart eco systems
    Smart homes and buildings could include safety functionalities such as indoor and outdoor cameras, motion sensors and door/window sensors linked to alarms. Agreeing to install these anti-burglary measures may lower premiums. Other smart home tech developments include water leak detectors and automatic stop cocks, designed to prevent emergencies and damage which could later lead to claims – and this tech could be used in your business as well as your home.
  • Wearable devices
    Health-monitoring devices such as fitness bands which measure heart rate, blood pressure, diet and exercise regimes are not only handy for keeping an eye on your health. The data they produce could also be used to assess suitability for life and health insurance policies. A survey by Accenture found that 63% insurer executives believed wearable technologies would be adopted by 2017.
  • Machine intelligence
    Driverless cars are the big news in machine intelligence. However, this entirely new kind of autonomous vehicle could cause a major shift in motor insurance as new products and new approaches to insurance would need to be created.

Insurers will need new strategies in order to work with all these new technologies. The ability to gather and extract data will need to be coordinated and developed. Security risks would need to be minimised, both protecting your data from hackers and ensuring there is a clear system of giving consent to have your data used by your insurer.

Once relevant procedures have been put in place, the possibilities for assessing customers’ risk and suitability for policies via smart tech rather than traditional methods is immense. The World Insurance Report 2016 suggests:

  • An increase in risk transparency caused by more accurate readings may cause a shift towards dynamic pricing – tailored to individuals and often reviewed.
  • A potential decrease in risk incidence as a result of increased risk transparency may reduce insurance payouts, and in the long term could even cause a reduced need for some kinds of insurance altogether.
  • The nature of risk ownership and exposure may shift. For example, are the actions of a driverless car still the responsibility of its owner? This could cause entirely new insurance products to be designed.
  • A better control on profitability, as well as the use of data as evidence, may help to decrease incidents of insurance fraud.

With the potential to totally transform the insurance business, the balance hangs on whether connected technologies become a stalwart of everyday life or are left behind as a passing fad.


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Instances of vehicle theft increase by up to 25% in the winter months, new research by car security company Tracker finds.

Motorists are warned to be especially vigilant in the months after October’s clock change, as dark evenings and mornings combined with adverse weather provide plenty of unusual opportunities for criminals to take advantage of.

“Dark winter nights are ideal for opportunist thieves to carry out a large number of thefts whilst the chance of getting caught in the act is reduced, so it’s important for vehicle owners to take extra care,” says Andy Barrs, Tracker’s Head of Police Liaison.

“January especially is a peak month for thefts as it’s when we typically experience harsh frosty mornings;  drivers often leave cars unattended for a few minutes whilst de-icing which presents itself as a prime opportunity for criminal gangs.”


Here are some easy ways to reduce your car’s vulnerability this winter:

  • Never leave your car unattended whilst de-icing
  • Make sure to de-ice the windshield last to deter thieves
  • Try to park under streetlights
  • Hide belongings such as satnavs in a locked boot, or take them with you, rather than leaving them in sight. Even jackets and jumpers might lead a thief to assume there is something valuable inside
  • Check that your central locking is working by listening for its distinctive click or flashing indicators – pulling the door handle before you walk away is a good way to check
  • At home, don’t store car keys somewhere visible from the outside. Car security and alarm systems are so advanced that it is often easier for thieves to steal the keys from your home, so it is best to keep them out of sight
  • If possible, park in busy, well-lit areas with CCTV cameras, or where your car will be visible to homes/pubs etc. You might not be nearby, but somebody else may notice anything untoward happening
  • If you have a garage, this is the safest place to store your car
  • If you park on your own drive, consider installing a motion-activated security light or a small home CCTV system

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