HL Deb 25 February 1986 vol 471 c1040WA
Lord Renwick

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What progress has been made in the review of the position on non-disclosure and breach of warranty in relation to insurance contracts.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Lucas of Chilworth)

The insurers have informed me that they are willing to strengthen the Non-Life and Long-Term Statements of Insurance Practice on certain aspects proposed by the department. These concern the limitation of the duty of disclosure, warranties, disputes procedures and, in the case of the Long-Term Statements, the payment of interest on life insurance claims. The statements apply to insurances taken out by private consumers. Copies of the texts of the revised statements have been placed in the Library.

These changes are in the right direction. I am well aware of the arguments advanced, among others, by the representatives of consumers in favour of legislation on non-disclosure and breach of warranty. But I consider that on balance the case for legislation is outweighed by the advantage of self-regulation so long as this is effective. I look to all insurers, whether or not they belong to the Association of British Insurers, which has promulgated the statements, to observe both their spirit and their letter.

In the light of the insurers' undertakings, I do not consider that there is any need for the moment to proceed with earlier proposals for a change in the law. My department will, however, keep the situation under review in order to ensure that self-regulation is working adequately and will reconsider the question of legislation if problems continue to arise.