The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 January 2020, pending clearance for the withdrawal deal from the House of Lords and formal ratification by both the UK and European Parliament. Should approval not be secured then the UK will leave the EU without a trade deal or transition agreement in place on this date.
Assuming the withdrawal deal is approved, after this time there is a planned 11-month transition period, during which the UK will cease to be an EU member but will continue to follow its rules, including the continuation of how insurance laws and regulations are handled. The transition agreement applies to all four freedoms (movement of goods, people, services and capital over borders) and allows a continuation of passporting for insurance intermediaries. Following this period, either a trade deal will need to have been negotiated or the UK may have to continue to trade without an agreement in place. Boris Johnson has ruled out any form of extension to the transition period.
In this briefing note, we provide an update on how Miller and the wider insurance community is responding to the challenges presented by Brexit.
What is Miller doing to address this?
Our aim has been to put an adaptable solution in place which allows us to continue to offer our clients the same market-leading offering and high standard of service that they expect from us.
Our Belgian company, Miller Europe SPRL (Miller Europe), is registered as an insurance and reinsurance intermediary in Belgium. Miller Europe exercised its passporting rights from Belgium into all other EEA member states and has established branches in the UK and France. Miller Europe is also a Lloyd’s accredited broker.
Through Miller Europe, we have flexibility to accommodate whatever scenario presents itself over the coming year and are ready to handle the business of those clients situated in the EEA via this subsidiary. In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a transition agreement in place at the end of January, or without a trade deal at the end of 2020, a “hard” Brexit will occur. It will then be necessary for EEA placements incepting after that date to be handled by an EEA regulated intermediary, Miller Europe.
Miller client contacts will remain the same as they are today, regardless of where those individuals are based, so there will be no disruption to the service we offer our clients, other than our clients having Miller Europe as their appointed broker for certain risks.
What are (re)insurers doing to address this?
(Re)insurers have published details of their contingency plans or intentions, and may have been in contact directly to inform and give assurance to policyholders that suitable measures are in place to allay such concerns. We continue to maintain a keen interest in how these solutions develop and the state of readiness of (re)insurers in order to understand their preparedness on behalf of our clients.
What action has Lloyd’s taken?
Lloyd’s was particularly proactive with its plans, and invested time engaging with Managing Agents and Lloyd’s brokers to deliver its solution. Lloyd’s now operates a fully capitalised insurance company (LIC), Lloyd’s Brussels, domiciled, authorised and regulated in Belgium and licensed to write risks domiciled in EEA states.
The process of broking a risk to LIC will largely remain unchanged for brokers as Managing Agents in London will have delegated authority from Lloyd’s Brussels to underwrite business on its behalf.
How we can help you
As ever, Miller’s focus remains on our clients, and we continue to provide the necessary support through this complex process.
Miller will be issuing a Know Your Client (KYC) pack, with as much notice as possible, to those relevant parties which will provide all necessary details relating to Miller Europe in the event of business being transferred to Miller Europe for servicing.
We continue to monitor the situation closely and should you have any questions or concerns about Brexit and wish to discuss them further, please email email@example.com or talk to your usual contact at Miller.