On 21 June 2017, the Queen delivered her Speech, outlining the government’s legislative agenda. The Queen’s Speech sets out 27 legislative bills, of which eight are entirely concerned with measures for leaving the European Union.
Of particular relevance to insurance are:
- The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which will extend compulsory motor vehicle insurance to cover the use of automated vehicles to ensure that compensation claims continue to be paid quickly, fairly and easily in line with longstanding insurance practice. The Bill will also allow the regulatory framework to keep pace with the fast-evolving technology for electric cars, helping to improve air quality, and will provide for the installation of charging points for electric and hydrogen vehicles.
- The Civil Liability Bill, which will crack down on fraudulent whiplash claims and is expected to reduce motor insurance premiums by approximately £35 a year. The Bill will ban offers to settle claims without the support of medical evidence and introduce a new fixed tariff of compensation for whiplash injuries with a duration of up to two years.
- The Financial Guidance and Claims Bill, which will combine three financial advice bodies into one to ensure that consumers are able to seek the help and advice they need to manage their finances. The Bill will establish a new statutory body, accountable to Parliament, with responsibility for coordinating the provision of debt advice, money guidance and pension guidance. Of particular interest to the insurance industry, the Bill will also transfer the regulation of claims management services to the FCA and transfer complaints-handling responsibility to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
While these are welcome measures, there was no specific reference to reforming the Ogden discount rate for calculating personal injury damages. The insurance industry had been hoping for further detail on the Ogden rate in the Queens speech, although reforms may still be included in the Civil Liability Bill.