Invitation to policyholders and insurance intermediaries to provide informationThe coronavirus pandemic will have affected policyholders in different ways. The issues relevant to the intended proceedings will therefore be wide-ranging and complex. We recognise that the intended proceedings will better achieve our consumer protection and market integrity objectives if they cover as broad a cross section of policies and issues as is compatible with an expedited court process. We are reviewing extensive material provided by insurers to do this. At this stage, we are inviting policyholders and insurance intermediaries who are aware of unresolved disputes with insurers over the terms of BI policies to engage with us, if they want us to take their concerns into account as part of the test case. In particular, we invite you to put forward:
- your arguments why you consider cover should be available, together with details of policies that you consider have not responded appropriately to a claim and
- brief relevant facts of the case
The FCA’s legal teamWe have instructed Herbert Smith Freehills, a leading law firm with a highly regarded practice representing policyholders. The team at Herbert Smith Freehills is led by Paul Lewis. We have also instructed an external team of leading counsel highly experienced in insurance issues.
How the FCA will be available to policyholdersThe FCA will be available to policyholders throughout the court process:
- we have created a dedicated webpage where we will provide information, updates and access to documents including court 'pleadings' and a form to sign up for updates
- the FCA and our solicitors, Herbert Smith Freehills, will be available for discussion with action groups and policyholders and their legal representatives, for example at workshop style meetings
How the FCA intends to engage with policyholdersWe intend to engage with policyholders at key stages of the court action, including:
- considering those arguments and factual circumstances communicated by policyholders and insurance intermediaries to us now
- using the arguments, policies and fact patterns put forward by policyholders to inform the sample of policy wordings and fact patterns (a summary of the key facts of a case) to be used in the court proceedings
- making public all the ‘pleadings’ in the test case
- where policyholders and action groups have appointed legal representatives to represent them, having discussions during the preparation of the FCA’s pleadings and submissions
- publishing other material relevant to the test case – subject to certain statutory limitations discussed below
Limitations on the FCA sharing informationThere are statutory limitations on the information about firms, people and markets that we can release to the public.
- Those explained in our guide to information we can and can’t share, which derive from s.348 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. We are unable to disclose confidential information without consent unless a specific statutory 'gateway' to disclosure applies.
- Limitations on our ability to disclose 'inside information', which is information that could have a significant effect on the price of securities issued by insurers which are admitted to trading in a UK or EU trading venue. We may only disclose inside information where it is necessary to perform our functions properly.
- Limitations on the disclosure of personal data in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.
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