Simmons launches Policy Wording Toolkit for London market insurers

20 Nov 2018

International law firm Simmons & Simmons has launched an innovative tool to support London market insurers. The Policy Wording Toolkit outlines key coverage issues across several jurisdictions to assist insurers with writing risks and reviewing policies outside the UK.

The issues:

The Toolkit responds to the increasing number of London market insurers that are underwriting business outside the UK. Having advised various clients who faced issues meeting local law policy requirements, the firm recognised the market’s need for clearer guidance. Insurers do not always have the time to carry out comprehensive reviews of the relevant local law rules nor have the internal resource or know-how to do so, and this lack of familiarity with the differences in requirements can leave insurers open to risk.

Certain European jurisdictions, for example, require policies to provide insureds with a subsequent period (after the end of the policy period, and for up to 10 years in some jurisdictions) during which insurers are still on risk in certain circumstances. This differs from the English law position in relation to 'claims made' policies and exposes insurers to liability for a much longer period than they may expect.

Additionally, in certain European jurisdictions exclusion clauses must be written in the local language and underlined / printed in bold font and / or capital letters to be enforceable. A London market insurer writing risks in those jurisdictions needs to be aware of these requirements, or risks being unable to rely on any exclusions within the policy.

How will this tool help London market insurers?

Drawing on the collective experience and legal expertise of the firm's specialist international insurance team, the Toolkit has been specifically designed to help insurers (1) at the pre-contract stage when underwriters are reviewing foreign policies; and (2) during the course of the policy period, in the event that any policy coverage issues arise and claims handlers need to consider policy coverage.

Commenting on the development of this Toolkit, James Pollock – partner and head of international insurance and construction said: “The Policy Wording Toolkit responds to a very real need in the market for clearer guidance and clarification on cross-jurisdictional policy coverage. Having listened to our clients, this resource provides London market insurers with the information they need to make initial, informed decisions and mitigate risk.”

To learn more or to register for the Policy Wording Toolkit click here.

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