The Insurance Act 2015 | Wilson Organisation


July 26, 2016

The Insurance Act 2015

The Insurance Act 2015

The Insurance Act 2015 comes into force in August 2016 and is the most significant statutory change to commercial insurance in over 100 years. Its intention is to create a fairer position for all parties involved in commercial insurance.

The new Act applies to all commercial insurance that is subject to UK law and affects you and your business.

What are your new duties?

You have a new duty ‘to make fair presentation of your business risks’ to an insurer.  This should be done in a manner that is reasonably clear and accessible. This means you must disclose every material circumstance which is known by you and/or your senior management team or those arranging insurance following a reasonable search.

So what does that actually mean?

A material circumstance is anything which could influence the judgement and decision of an insurer when considering whether to take on a risk and if so on what terms. If you know something or suspect something you should disclose it, you cannot turn a blind eye.

An example of a material circumstance may be a recent arson attack or cyber-attack on your business.

Information should be made available in a reasonably clear and accessible manner. This means only relevant information should be made available.

An example of providing information clearly and in an accessible manner may be providing copies of drivers information where they have any points or convictions instead of providing all drivers information.

You need to be aware of information that may be held by other members of the senior management team or those involved in arranging your insurance. This includes anyone that has a key role in making decisions on behalf of the business even if they do not sit on the board or have a management role.

You will need to ensure you have carried out a reasonable search to ensure that all material circumstances are disclosed. This may involve asking the senior management team or key individuals if they are aware of any material circumstances that you have not been made aware of.

An example of this may be checking with H&S officers if there are any incidents that you need to be made aware of or where business policies are being breached.

What if I do not comply with these new duties?

If you deliberately or recklessly fail to present the risk fairly then the insurer can avoid the policy, retain any premium paid and refuse to pay out for any claims.

If your failure was neither deliberate nor reckless then the outcome will depend on what the insurer would have done had a fair presentation been made.  This could include:

  • Return the premium paid
  • Refuse all claims
  • Proportionately reduce payment of claims

Are there any other changes?

The Act has changed the law on warranties making it fairer to you the policy holders. Warranties will not disappear but it will now be harder for insurers to create them and the effect of a breach of warranty will be softened.

Insurers will now no longer be able to rely on a breach of warranty to discharge their liability where the breach is irrelevant to the loss occurred.

If a breach of warranty has been remedied before a loss occurs then insurers cannot rely on it to discharge their liability. A breach will only suspend liability during the period of non-compliance.

What do I need to do?

The most important action you can take is to seek advice. If you are unsure on whether something should be disclosed or not then it is safer to make disclosure.  As your broker we can work with you to ensure that fair presentation of your risks is made.


f you have any questions, please get in touch with your usual Wilsons contact.

Over 100 years of innovation

  • 1914

    A successful launch! The Wilson Organisation was founded in Nottingham by Harold Wilson and became the first company in the East Midlands to offer a comprehensive insurance policy to the region’s fast-growing band of automobile drivers. Innovation from day one.

  • 1920s

    During the 1920’s, Wilsons developed its commercial insurance offering under the stewardship of Harold Wilson. Hopping forwards 80 years, Wilsons has developed a number of industry specialisms including a particular expertise in the food and drink sector. We created a unique insurance offering called “FoodProtect” and, through this service, have been able to deliver intelligence and cost-effective insurance programmes to a broad spread of leading food producers. The best thing since sliced bread? Maybe not, but we’re working on it.

  • 1949

    John Prow joined Harold Wilson in the business, marking the first generation of the Prow family’s involvement in The Wilson Organisation. Wilsons’ clients included leading Nottingham firm Boots The Chemist plus a number of operators in the burgeoning railway sector. With post-war regeneration beginning apace, the firm’s fledgling construction expertise quickly developed into one of our leading offerings and this continues through to the present day, with clients including national and regional builders, developers, contractors, sub-contractors and architects.

  • 1960s

    The 1960s were the start of a new era for The Wilson Organisation. Harold Wilson and John Prow died on the same day in 1963, Harold of illness and John in a car crash. This left John’s son, John J Prow, to run the growing business at the age of 27. Under his youthful direction, Wilsons benefited from a new energy and direction. John J Prow, who had joined in 1960 in a new business role, led the move into our current premises at Wilson House in 1964 and then launched the financial services division in the following year.

  • 1990s

    The late 1990s heralded the start of the third generation of the Prow family’s involvement in the business. Managing Director Charlotte Prow joined in 1998, to be followed by the firm’s Chief Executive, Annabel Prow, in 2002. Product and service innovation continued apace with the launch of a corporate finance specialism in 1997, which continues to deliver valuable cost-savings and insights to the region’s dealmakers.

  • 2000s

    Now century on from the launch of The Wilson Organisation in 1914, the company continues to encourage innovation and reward good ideas. Within the financial services team, 2008 marked the launch of “Flex”, a powerful employee benefit programme and the development of “WRAP”, an investment tool with a unique level of investor control and transparency. Meanwhile, our insurance advisers worked quickly to bring to market a specialist insurance policy for insolvency practitioners.

  • 2010s

    2010 saw the launch of the Midlands Family Business Awards by Wilsons, the UK’s only independent not-for-profit Awards for family businesses. Now in their fifth year, the Awards have raised almost £20,000 for charities supporting families and young people. In 2014 we are celebrating Wilsons’ centenary, a significant milestone in Wilsons’ history.

Registered Office:
Wilson House, 1/3 Waverley Street, Nottingham, NG7 4HG

Registered in England Number 862690 - Members of British Insurance Brokers Association

Harold Wilson (Insurances) Ltd. and Harold Wilson Financial Services Ltd. are authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)