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Former Swiss Re chief hits out at non-disclosure guidance

New guidelines for dealing with non-disclosure on insurance policies are too lenient and have created a “claims’ drift”, warns former Swiss Re head of life and health underwriting Jerry Brown.

The guidelines were drawn up by the Association of British Insurers in consultation with the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Brown says: “We are now dealing with a claims’ drift. What we originally thought was deliberate non-disclosure became reckless, now reckless becomes innocent. The whole thing has softened back.”

Brown says he supports the ABI and Financial Ombudsman Service in trying to achieve a more harmonised approach in how companies deal with non-disclosure but some firms are unhappy with the new stance.

An FOS spokesman says: “In January, the ABI published guidance following consultation with the ombudsman service which reflects the way in which we and a number of the major insurers already resolved disputes. If a firm has a complaint and they are not sure how to resolve it, they can contact our technical advice desk.”

ABI spokesman Jon French says: “The guidance was drawn up in very close consultation with the industry and the industry as far as we are concerned is behind it.

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