The EU referendum and insurance

Published June 20, 2016

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So referendum day has arrived: this Thursday the country decides whether we stay in the EU or leave.

The arguments have been played out in front of us but most of us probably made up our minds which way we would vote some time ago. We may all be getting rather fed up with the constant bickering and the barrage of facts and figures.

The insurance industry has been pretty vocal on its opinions and how the result could affect the industry. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has nailed its colours to the mast and come out in favour of remaining. According to the Director General, a vote to leave would mean that, in order to be able to trade in Europe,  the UK would still have to adopt new EU financial services regulation without having a say in its formulation. The British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) is also firmly in favour of remaining.

But there are other views. One blog gives a very balanced view of the impact on the insurance industry: the benefits of staying and the benefits of leaving. For example, by staying, the UK retains its cross-border trading opportunities and also its access to talented people who work in financial services. But by leaving, the UK may become, like Switzerland, a more attractive place to do business because it would no longer have to comply with EU laws.

According to one commentator, if the vote is for Brexit then insurers will face a period of uncertainty over the nature of exit negotiations, so no one can predict what will happen.  It also stresses that, if the vote is to leave, then nothing is likely to happen for a long time while these detailed negotiations take place.

There doesn’t seem to be much comment on what it all might mean for our insurance policies – particularly their cost.

Who knows which way the vote will go, and then what the effect will be. But this is not the place for us to give an opinion – except on one thing. We would urge everyone to use their vote on Thursday as this is such a vital decision for the future of our country.

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