War Risks Insurance.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 10th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will state the amount of expenses paid in respect of each policy issued and the number of policies dealt with under each expense scale by the insurance companies and Lloyds from September, 1939, to 31st December 1941 under the War Risks Insurance Act, from May, 1941, to 31st December, 1941, under the War Damage Act (Private Chattels) and from April, 1941, to 31st December, 1941, under the War Damage Act (Business Scheme), respectively?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

As the answer is necessarily long, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

The number of policies issued under the three schemes for the periods mentioned are 4,160,800, 934,900 and 1,533,600 respectively. The payments to the Insurance Companies and Lloyds as the agents of the Board of Trade are so calculated as to cover the cost of administration without profit to themselves. On this basis for work up to 2nd March, 1940, under the War Risks Insurance Act, 1939, the agents received 17s. 6d. for each policy issued for a fixed sum, or 35s. for an adjustable policy. In addition, they received additional amounts varying from 2s. 6d. to 50s. where payments had to be made to intermediaries. For the succeeding period to the passing of the War Damage Act, 1941, during which the work had become simplified, the rate was reduced to 11s. 6d. per policy, which included any allowances to intermediaries. The over-all rate of payment for the combined work under the three schemes has not yet been agreed. Representative accounts of expenses submitted by the agents are now being examined, and meanwhile certain limited provisional payments have been made. It is anticipated that the over-all rate when fixed will show a substantial reduction on the last figure adopted for the War Risks Act work.

Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will state the amount of premiums paid by the Government and claims received by them up to 31st December, 1941, under the arrangement whereby stocks of commodities held by the Government are insured by them against fire risk with the insurance companies and Lloyds; and whether any commission, agents' allowances or expenses are paid under this scheme?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

These insurances are effected by the Departments concerned direct with the insurers and no record of them is kept by the Board of Trade. It is not in the public interest to disclose the information asked for in the first part of the Question. In regard to the second part, no commission or agents' allowances or expenses are payable in addition to the premiums.

Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

I understand that it might not be in the interests of the insurance companies to disclose the figures, but will the Minister say in what way it would not be in the public interest to say how much the Government are paying?

Photo of Mr John Llewellin Mr John Llewellin , Uxbridge

I consulted both the Ministry of Supply and the Ministry of Food, which are the Departments most immediately concerned about this, and they said—and I agree—that it would be likely to disclose the amount of stocks held.

Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

Would the Minister have any objection to telling us, either now or later, the proportion between the claims and premiums?