(Adds background, quotes from conference)
LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) - Britain must make sure its exit from the European Union is orderly to avoid disruption for policyholders and compliance risks, the Association of British Insurers said on Tuesday.
Insurers in Britain have been among the most vocal groups in warning of the problems that a disorderly departure from the bloc could bring.
Several have announced plans for EU subsidiaries so they can continue to sell their policies across Europe.
“To meet our clients’ needs as an industry and ensure full compliance with the law, the government has to deliver an orderly withdrawal, a stable transition and a sensible and mutually beneficial future trading relationship,” Huw Evans, director general of the ABI, said in a statement ahead of the trade body’s conference on Brexit on Tuesday.
The ABI said it would like to see formal cooperation between Britain’s main political parties in Westminster and between the upper and lower houses of parliament to ensure a Brexit deal.
It said insurance issues that needed to be resolved included the treatment of contracts written before Brexit but still in force after Brexit, the future of the European health insurance card which cuts travel insurance for Britons, and the risk of increased complications around driving in Europe.
Stephen Barclay in his first speech as City minister told the conference he was listening to industry concerns.
Global reinsurers and Lloyd’s of London have also said Britain and the EU need to maintain access to one another’s markets and existing EU insurance contracts should remain in place after Brexit.
Brexit is a worry for EU insurers too, conference speakers said, as insurance companies with EU bases currently hold more than 700 “passports” allowing them to sell policies across the EU, including into Britain.
“Brexit has immediate effects on countries within the EU and if we don’t get it right, the consequences will be quite dramatic,” Kevin Thompson, CEO of Insurance Ireland, told the conference.
Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Susan Thomas and David Evans