By Carolyn Cohn
LONDON Nov 30 Insurers operating in Britain
must continue to be able to sell their products freely across
the European Union after Britain leaves the bloc, an insurance
trade body said on Wednesday.
Insurers are reliant on so-called passporting rights to sell
insurance policies throughout the European Union. Several,
including the Lloyd's of London insurance market, have said they
will need to set up EU subsidiaries if Britain loses access to
the single market.
"It is vital to maintain existing freedoms for insurance
services," the International Underwriting Association said in
its first statement detailing its views on Brexit since the June
"Any trade agreement between the UK and EU should first
preserve passporting and branching arrangements and recognise
the equivalence of regulatory regimes."
Worries from customers about future insurance cover meant
insurers would look to establish branches and subsidiaries in
Britain and Europe as protection against a possible loss of
passporting rights, the IUA said.
"Regulators will need to prepare to deal with an
unprecedented increase in license applications."
British insurers have been quicker than banks to outline
plans to set up regulated subsidiaries in the EU if they lose
single market access, with Dublin the favoured location.
U.S. insurer AIG last week said it may move its
European headquarters from London to another EU country because
of the Brexit vote.
The IUA said it is working with the London Market Group,
which represents several insurance trade bodies, to present its
concerns over Brexit to the UK government.
(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Rachel Armstrong, Greg