Matheson event examines impact of UK insurance reforms

Paul Goulding, Sharon Daly, April McClements, and Paul Lewis at Matheson's Dublin office
Pictured (l-r): Paul Goulding, Sharon Daly, April McClements, and Paul Lewis at Matheson’s Dublin office

Dublin firm Matheson hosted a special event to examine the impact of the UK’s Insurance Act 2015 on Irish businesses.

Partners Sharon Daly and April McClements warned that the upcoming implementation of the new law would create significant differences between UK and Irish insurance law.

They said many Irish risks are written subject to UK law, making it important for both insurers and policyholders in Ireland to become familiar with the UK reforms.

Ms McClements said: “The UK insurance market is the third largest market in the world.

“As the two markets are closely connected, I think it is critical for the Irish insurance industry to understand what drove the UK reforms and to consider the necessity of introducing similar reforms here in Ireland. It is generally accepted that insurance law in Ireland is in need of reform and is outdated and ineffective.

“The Law Reform Commission has recommended reforms to insurance contract law but there is no timeline for implementation. I have no doubt that the innovative insurance firms will want to consider the issues and opportunities that may arise for both insurers and policyholders to adopt some of the reforms on a contractual basis in advance of any legislative reform here.”

Paul Lewis, partner at Herbert Smith Freehills in London, and Paul Goulding, head of insurance at the British Airport Authority, also spoke at the Dublin event.

Mr Lewis said: “As the UK insurance market gears up for the most significant reform of insurance law in over 100 years, it is crucial that parties whose policies are subject to any of the laws of the UK are aware of the changes the new law will bring about.

“This will ensure that they benefit fully from the new legislation and avoid some of the pitfalls that exist for the unwary.

“We are delighted to be assisting Matheson in bringing awareness of these issues to the Irish insurance industry.”

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