November 30, 2016 / 10:21 AM / a year ago

Passporting "vital" for insurers post-Brexit - trade body

LONDON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Insurers operating in Britain must continue to be able to sell their products freely across the European Union after Britain leaves the bloc, insurance trade body the International Underwriting Association said on Wednesday.

“It is vital to maintain existing freedoms for insurance services,” the IUA said in its first major statement on Brexit since the June referendum.

“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 licence applications.”

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)

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