Ageas has become one of the UK’s first insurers to adopt the principles of the Insurance Act 2015, 10 months ahead of the 12 August 2016 live date. As part of this process, Ageas has confirmed to brokers that there will be no change to its TOBAs as a consequence of the Insurance Act 2015.
Any new claims from Ageas Commercial policies incepting or renewing with effect from 1 October 2015 will be handled as if they had been written under the Act. In practice, this will mean that claims will be dealt with as follows (subject to customer rights existing under the terms of the policy):
Non deliberate or non-reckless non-disclosure/misrepresentation
- Where Ageas would have charged a higher premium, the amount of the claim settlement will be reduced in proportion to the premium we would have actually charged had the circumstances been disclosed.
- If different terms or conditions would have been imposed, Ageas will treat the insurance contract as if those terms had applied from the date of the breach.
- In circumstances where Ageas would not have written the policy, the insurance will be treated as void and the premium returned.
Deliberate or reckless non-disclosure/misrepresentation
- If Ageas considers the non-disclosure or misrepresentation to be deliberate or reckless, the insurance will be treated as void and the premium retained.
- Warranties or conditions precedent will only be invoked if a breach has contributed to the loss that occurred.
- Ageas will not look to avoid a policy as the result of a fraudulent claim, so will pay any legitimate claims made before the fraudulent act occurred. Ageas will, however, not pay any fraudulent claims and will cancel the policy with effect from the fraudulent act.
In addition, due to the mixed nature of Commercial Vehicle policies, and the wider protection offered by the Consumer Insurance Act 2012, all policies will be handled by the Ageas Personal Lines team under the auspices of the 2012 Act.
Chris Dobson, Broker Distribution Director said: “The Insurance Act 2015 brings commercial insurance law into the 21st Century. As an insurer focused on the needs of the SME market and the brokers serving this growing and vibrant sector we wanted our customers to take advantage of the new law as soon as possible. We are delighted to be one of the first insurers to adopt the principles of the new law and we will be making changes to policy documents on a rolling basis during the remainder of 2015 and into 2016.
“We know there has been some speculation about the impact of the Act on insurer/broker TOBAs. However, we can see no reason at this stage to make any changes to our agreements with our broker network, bringing some welcome clarity.
“From our perspective, the sooner we can operate in this new legal environment, and support our brokers in this transition, the better.”