In December 2005 the European Commission presented a proposal to transpose the 1980 Rome Convention on the choice of law governing contractual obligations into an EU Regulation, entitled the Regulation on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I). In May 2006 the UK elected not to opt into Rome I and instead started work to find an acceptable text that might allow it to opt in at the end of the process.

The Finnish and German EU Presidencies jointly presented a revised Rome I text on 12 December 2006 which would bring insurance generally within Rome I for the first time. To do this the text proposed a series of rules to govern choice of law in insurance contracts.

HM Treasury has now published a consultation document entitled Insurance in Rome I: A consultation. This consultation deals with choice of law issues in insurance and reinsurance contracts. In this consultation HM Treasury and the Department for Constitutional Affairs are consulting on three broad areas:

  • Should insurance contracts for risks within the European Community continue to be dealt with separately?
  • If all insurance contracts should be included, do stakeholders agree with the broad approach and the specific rules proposed in the Finnish and German Presidencies’ text?
  • If stakeholders agree that insurance contracts should be included but do not endorse the rules proposed in the Finnish and German Presidencies’ text, what rules should govern the choice of law in insurance contracts?

The consultation closes on 30 March 2006.

FSA tells general insurance intermediaries no excuse for failing to protect client money

The FSA has issued a press release which states that general insurance intermediaries who hold client money should be protecting it adequately after recent work found that those who used the FSA’s new Client Money Guide showed a marked improvement.

Since regulation began the FSA has published action taken against five general insurance intermediaries for breaches of its client money rules. The FSA advises that it will continue to look at client money in firms as part of routine supervisory visits, spot checks and where the regulatory return indicates there may be problems.

FSA launches £2 million campaign to help consumers get a grip on insurance

The FSA has published a press notice advising that it has started a £2m campaign to help consumers feel more capable and confident about buying insurance.