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ABI says Law Commission reforms could be damaging

The Association of British Insurers has warned the Law Commission of the “dust storm of confusion” that could be caused by its review of insurance law.

Speaking at the ABI’s Better Regulation conference in London last week, director general Stephen Haddrill said it would be ironic and very damaging if just as the FSA was moving towards principle-based regulation, statute law was pushed in the opposite direction.

Haddrill said the Law Commission was entitled to initiate its own reviews and there could be a case for tidying up “ancient dusty statutes”.

But he said it should be obliged to demonstrate a case for any reforms before it puts together proposals.

He said any changes must demonstrate a commitment to better regulation, a comprehensive and rigorous cost- benefit analysis, a principle- based approach to consumer protection and freedom for innovation and competition.

Lifesearch warned recently that insurance premiums could rise by 40 per cent if the Law Commission’s proposal to introduce a non-contestability period on policies is introduced.

Haddrill said: “The Law Commission is entitled to initiate its own reviews but we could do without a dust storm of confusion being the primary result.”

ABI conference, p3


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