The FSA has proposed requiring insurers to develop employers’ liability “tracing policies” to ensure that queries from consumers trying to find out whether they have historical policies with the firm are dealt with effectively.
The consultation paper says the “tracing policy” will be different for each insurer because of variations between how records are stored. It will have to say where records of historical EL policies are likely to be kept, details of the different mediums they may be stored on, how best to look for them and why the firm may decide not to conduct a search.
Insurers will also have to respond to any requests within a month, except those from a qualifying tracing office or where no record of an historical policy is found, when a response will not be necessary.
In February 2011, the regulator published rules that saw insurers create an Employers Liability Register covering policies entered into after April that year. The FSA decided not to include policies entered into, renewed or claimed on since November 1999 because respondents to the ELR consultation said it was either disproportionate or fell short of what was needed.
The consultation paper says: “We consider that all relevant firms should conduct effective searches to maximise the possibility that consumers can make a claim if they need to. We expect that firms, industry and consumers will agree these proposal are necessary to achieve an appropriate degree of protection for consumers.”