The head of the UK’s insurance trade body warned that a Brexit with no deal would be “unacceptable” for the industry. Huw Evans, the director general of the Association of British Insurers, told a conference on Brexit, “[t]o meet our clients’ needs as an industry and ensure full compliance with the law, the Government has to deliver an orderly withdrawal, a stable transition and a sensible and mutually beneficial future trading relationship.” Three areas which should be addressed in Brexit talks have been identified by the ABI: cross-border driving insurance; the status of long-term cross-border contracts; and the question of whether UK citizens will still qualify for free medical treatment in the EU.
A number of specialist insurers that operate in the City of London have already announced plans to set up new subsidiaries in other parts of the EU to compensate for the possible loss of passporting rights from the UK. For example, Lloyd’s of London (the insurance market) is planning to cut 10 per cent of its UK staff and is to set up a new operation in Brussels. Inga Beale, the Chief Executive of Lloyd’s of London, stated: “We are strengthening our relationship with the Belgian regulator, and in September we will submit our application for the Lloyd’s Brussels company structure, our working capital and operational model.” Essentially, this move should ensure that business can carry on without interruption when the UK leaves the EU.