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ABI and GISC in dispute As PMI code is delayed

A row has developed between the ABI and the General Insurance Standards Council over delays to the implementation of a statement of best practice for the private medical insurance industry.

Each organisation is blaming the other for the hold-up.

Last year, the GISC decided it wanted to design and run the code. As it was then unclear whether the body would remain following statutory regulation of general insurance in January 2005, the ABI said it had no objections.

But the industry is still waiting to see the final version of the statement and ABI head of health Richard Walsh says he is concerned that the GISC may not be able to complete its task before it is phased out in 18 months time.

The GISC has hit back, saying the primary reason for the delay is that it has been waiting for the ABI to offer a set of common definitions for PMI which would become an important part of the statement of best practice.

The GISC concedes it is running five months late, having planned to implement the code on July 1, but says it is aiming for January 1.

Walsh says: “They have a lot on their plate. Are they really going to concentrate on something they are not going to have responsibility for in the future?” GISC spokeswoman Katherine Nicol says: “It is very disingenuous of him to criticise us for not publishing it or delaying its publication when the delay has been caused by the ABI. It has taken five years to agree its common definitions.”

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