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Labour’s election victory – reaction from insurance industry

Labour’s election victory – reaction from insurance industry | Insurance Business UK

Net-zero ambitions, consumer justice emerge among main concerns

Labour's election victory – reaction from insurance industry

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

Following Labour’s historic win in the UK general election, reaction from the insurance industry has started to pour in, with a focus on policy recommendations and expectations for the new government.

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) was among those to congratulate the new government and commit to working with it. It welcomed Labour’s commitment to introducing a Regulatory Innovation Office and is looking to continue to enhance regulatory scrutiny, while it also called on the government to introduce secondary legislation in relation to the Leasehold Reform Act. It hopes this will allow broker commissions and fees to be deemed as permitted insurance payments as they are currently.

Among the other key priorities outlined by BIBA CEO Graeme Trudgill (pictured above, left) were increasing SME business resilience, particularly in regards to cyber and flood risk, boosting capacity issues in Northern Ireland and progressing the reform of the apprenticeship levy and access to EU insurance clients.

“Our 2024 Manifesto is all about managing risk, increasing resilience and growth, placing the role of insurance brokers at the heart of this,” Trudgill said. “We will raise the value of insurance brokers and highlight member issues and our priorities. Above all else, we look forward to showcasing the skills and expertise of the sector in finding solutions to some of the biggest risks we are facing and will face in years to come.”

Policy interventions

Phoenix Group, the life insurance giant, outlined three key policy interventions for the new Labour Government aimed at accelerating the net zero transition at regional and local levels.

The recommendations include the creation of an investor advisory body to collaborate with the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). This body would help build the necessary skills and capacity in local authorities to develop an investible deal pipeline of climate solutions.

Additionally, Phoenix Group proposes the establishment of an Office for Net Zero Delivery to coordinate departmental efforts to ensure delivery against a National Transition Plan. The group also supports the endorsement of the Local Area Energy Plan Guidance as the national framework for place-based whole energy system decarbonisation planning.

Bruno Gardner (pictured above, centre), head of climate change and nature at Phoenix Group, stated that an incoming government aiming to catalyse investment in net zero at regional and local levels would be highly advantageous to the UK.

“Phoenix Group stands ready to play its part in accelerating the net zero transition across the country,” Gardner said.

Justice for consumers

Meanwhile, Matthew Maxwell Scott (pictured above, right), executive director of the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO), congratulated the Labour Party on its victory and expressed eagerness to work with the new Lord Chancellor and other policymakers to support consumers in the civil justice system.

That said, he highlighted the poor state of Labour’s civil justice inheritance, citing record waits to get to court, delays in modernisation programmes, overdue consultation responses, and an inconsistent approach to costs and fees.

“It is troubling that Labour did not refer to civil justice at all in its manifesto, but hopefully due to lack of space rather than lack of attention. Getting the system back on its feet will bring dividends in terms of enabling people to get on with their lives, which will help deliver the economic growth the new government has promised,” Scott said.

He called for Labour to announce a civil justice commission to examine reforms from the past 20 years and suggest practical improvements using data, technology, alternative dispute resolution, and new funding methods, including legal expenses insurance.

Scott also referenced Labour’s pledge to investigate motor insurance industry dysfunction, emphasising the need for any investigation to prioritise consumers.

“We plan to lobby the new government to bring civil justice up the political agenda. Criminal justice grabs the headlines but it is the civil justice system that most people look to resolve disputes, settle employment cases or seek compensation following negligence from others. Tackling civil justice will send the public a clear message that Keir Starmer’s Labour government will put the consumer first,” Scott said.

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