Broking beyond Brexit

At our UNA V Conference in November, we were delighted to welcome Federico Shaw, from Tysers, who discussed the concerns many of us will be feeling about broking beyond Brexit. 

There are many areas of our work that are likely to be affected, and preparedness is key. Luckily, we’ve had over four years to work up plans and, while most people would have hoped for a soft Brexit – retaining close relations and many of the benefits of staying within the single market, a no deal scenario looks set to take place. 

Here are four areas to review: 

Market access

While in the UK we have probably unmatched expertise in assessing and underwriting unique risks, the European market opens up access to a greater network for us. Retaining access to the European market is, therefore, essential for many broker businesses. 

Brexit, though, means that UK-based insurance brokers that have, until the end of this year, carried out business in the European economic Area (EEA) will lose their passporting rights, therefore unable to do business via Freedom of Services in the EU. 

So, as brokers, there is a need for us to organise partnerships or to set up as an agent or broker business in a European Union country before 31 December 2020. Many have already done this, for others, time is running out. If you are setting up a satellite business in the EU, you will also need to obtain the regulatory permissions required in that country. This can take up to six months to complete. 

Data protection

It doesn’t really seem that long ago that we were introducing the changes required of us with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation, back in May 2018. Protecting the data we transfer, whether within the UK or further afield, is paramount. While the GDPR will still remain the binding law, and it will be taken into UK law, it’s important to regularly review for compliance. In order to maintain the flow of data from the EU into the UK, businesses may need to apply additional clauses – Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) to be put into place. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) offers more guidance, as well as a useful tool, for this. 

Customer communications

Hard Brexit will cause many impacts on insurance for our customers. Making sure they are well informed, and therefore ready with the additional covers they need, is a key role for brokers. From travel insurance to cover for motorists overseas, through to the communications you need to have with your customers if you are no longer able to access the unique covers they may need. Policy wording and contractual agreements should also be reviewed. 

Employing EU nationals

If you employ EU nationals, you may wish to support their application for the EU Settlement Scheme, to allow them to continue to live and work here. The deadline for applications is 31 December 2020 but remember that the person must have already been living in the UK on 31 October 2019. 

At the end of an incredibly challenging year, ensure you are prepared for Broking Beyond Brexit.