The Insurance Industry Working Group (IIWG) has published its report into the medium and long-term challenges facing the insurance industry.
The group was set up in October 2008 to look at the challenges and opportunities facing the UK Insurance Industry. It is co-chaired by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling and includes leading figures from across the insurance sector.
The report sets out a Vision for the UK insurance industry in 2020 as the leading global insurance centre with an unsurpassed reputation for excellence, a deep and constructive relationship with its customers and a close and effective partnership with Government. The report recommends:
Action from the insurance industry, Government and the FSA to increase customer confidence and trust through improving financial education and considering further steps to improve transparency, simplicity and access for consumers
A partnership between the insurance industry and Government to better manage risk in society and to explore options to increase savings and protection provision
Work to help consumers manage financial distress, building on the Government’s financial capability initiatives. The insurance industry should work with Government to assess the scope for a greater industry role, where it is commercially viable, such as helping people with the need for a retirement income and help with long term care.
Hidden within the report are more controversial ideas than the tame ones above:
Private insurance companies could start paying state welfare benefits such as unemployment and sickness, long-term care, and even retirement
Alternative options to cover the cost of health services either for core care or top-up.