On December 24th 2020, the UK Government made the announcement that it had struck a deal with the EU. The deal was approved in a parliamentary vote on 30th December and has now moved to the ratification stage, meaning all parties must express their explicit consent to be bound by the deal and to ensure the rights and obligations contained within it are implemented.
Unfortunately, so far, there has been no provision for a replacement for the Passporting regime and as of 1st January 2021, passporting to the EU ceased for UK-based firms. Going forward, firms will only be able to intermediate on EU risks, for EU-based customers, if they are authorised in the EU to do so.
The UK’s exit from the EU will have a definite impact on the insurance sector and its consumers and RWA are here to assist brokers with the transition. Our Brexit webpage has been created to help you identify the key areas that may affect you and your business.
Department of Transport Information on Motoring in Europe Post Brexit
The Department of Transport has issued information about driving in Europe after Brexit. UK motor insurance customers driving in the European Economic Area: Andorra, Serbia, and Switzerland will need physical proof of motor insurance when they travel.
UK motorists must request a ‘Green Card’ as proof of insurance cover when driving in the EU (including Ireland), EEA, Switzerland, Serbia and Andorra, from 1st January 2021. This includes carrying a separate Green Card for trailers and caravans.
All UK motor insurance policies will continue to provide third-party motor insurance cover for travel to EU and EEA member states, so UK motorists will not need to purchase additional third-party motor insurance policy cover to meet that country’s minimum insurance requirements.
It has been confirmed that UK Citizen’s will not need an International Drivers Permit to drive in the EU.
Policyholders should give their insurer/broker 6 weeks’ notice, before travelling, to ensure that they are issued with a Green Card. There are also new rules on Green Cards which mean that they can now be printed out on white paper. Electronic copies will not be accepted at border control.
Intermediaries may well be able to help a UK-based client with a European holiday home, however, the location of the risk will be the location in which the property is situated. Now the transition period has ended, a UK intermediary will be subject to local laws and requirements of relevant national regulators, relating to market access by third-country intermediaries for that EEA territory.
Advice is seen to be given in the territory it is received. It will therefore be necessary for UK intermediaries to clarify what is required by local laws and regulations in relation to the location of the insured property.
For a UK national person now living in the EU, intermediaries should check their permissions, as they may no longer be able to perform their distribution activities for placing risk in an EEA territory.
Intermediaries along with insurers should be clarifying what is required by local law including what will be expected from the national regulators.
Some firms have, for example, established subsidiaries within the EU27 which hold the necessary regulatory permissions and appropriate licences. This means that they can operate within all EEA territories. These schemes are designed to continue to cover policyholders who have a second home overseas as well as in the UK.
Regulatory Permissions and Rules Applying to UK Intermediaries
We do not yet know much information around the costs and the time it will take for applications to grant a licence, however, we do know that the regulator will usually take around 6 to 9 months to go through the application process for an intermediary.
For further guidance on obtaining the correct permissions, withdrawing your passports, determining the actions required should you decide to stop selling in other jurisdictions, or understanding the potential consequences of not having the correct regulatory permissions, you can contact your RWA regional business manager.
The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has recommended that UK intermediaries and entities which intend to continue or commence distribution activities to consumers who are within the remaining 27 European Union countries (EU27) (or cover risks within these 27 countries after Brexit) are established and registered in the EU27 in line with the relevant provisions of the IDD.
It is also stated that all intermediaries carrying out distribution activities which target EU27 policyholders and EU27 risks fall under the scope of the IDD. This would appear to prevent UK intermediaries from conducting insurance distribution activities in relation to such insurance policies.
It has been confirmed that all valid EHIC cards will be recognised by EU states until they expire. Following this, the new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) will be brought in instead, however, this card will not be valid for travel to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Sweden.
It may be more pertinent than ever for customers to obtain suitable travel insurance that meets their demands and needs, as neither the GHIC nor the EHIC provide emergency repatriation to the UK. They also do not cover all medical treatment at no charge (remember, if you sell travel insurance you need to signpost customers with pre-existing medical conditions, to the MaPS Directory).
The FCA has issued a warning statement to firms highlighting the importance of being responsible when handling client data.
At the end of the Brexit transition period, the GDPR provisions became part of retained EU law, with some amendments made by Data Protection exit regulations under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. The DPA 2018 and PECR continue to apply, alongside the GDPR. There will be some amendments to ensure they work in a UK-only context. The ICO produced guidance on data protection for the end of the transition period which is regularly updated.
You can find more information from the FCA here.
If you would like further guidance on Brexit or any other compliance needs, the team at RWA are here to support you.
For further information on RWA and how we can support your business, get in touch via our website or contact your regional business manager directly.