The new era for consumer insurance law


This week sees the implementation of the radically reformed legal regime for consumer - personal lines - insurance and Bloombury Professional have hit the streets with a very timely book on the subject.

This explains from a variety of perspectives what the changes mean and how they will affect policyholders and insurers. With contributions from insurer, consumer, regulator, legal, charity and trading standards perspectives it explores the new laws with a thoroughness which is admirable but which never overwhelms the reader with obscure detail. Throughout there is an easy clarity to the essentially legal narrative which must owe much to the editor, Peter Tyldesley, who was at the heart of the campaign to reform an obviously outdated and ill-suited law.

Peter contributed several articles over the years on this topic to Post Magazine and worked tirelessly to ensure the reform agenda received the appropriate political attention during the first decade of this century. He contributes a chapter to the book on the reform campaign which has only one shortcoming – the understandably modest acknowledgement of his own role.

insurance-law-bookPeter and I had many conversations about who, how and when to bring the campaign to the attention of politicians and were able to use the All Party Parliamentary Group on Insurance & Financial Services to help build the vital political consensus that was going to be needed to get the bill through Parliament. Indeed, Peter describes a meeting of the group in December 2010 as being a breakthrough for the reformers as it was at this meeting that the Association of British Insurers finally went public on dropping its previously nitpicking opposition to the legislation. The group's chairman, Jonathan Evans, was able to use this during the crucial Third Reading debate to ensure that the bill remained on course.

This is a book for practitioners and all those who find themselves in a position of having to advise consumers on disputes they might have over their insurance policies.. I am sure it will find a place on many bookshelves and quickly become well-thumbed as a source of easy reference.

Consumer Insurance Law: Disclosure, Represenetation and Basis of the Contract Clauses, edited by Peter J Tyldesley. Bloomsbury Professional. ISBN 978 1 84766 918 6. 420pp. £95

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