New Clause 12 - Assessment of the impact of building safety issues on access to insurance

Building Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 26th October 2021.

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“(1) Within one year of the day on which this Act is passed the Secretary of State must carry out a review of the impact of building safety issues, including the provisions of this Act, on access to insurance.

(2) The review as set out in subsection (1) shall include assessment of the United Kingdom insurance market.

(3) The review must consider the impact of building safety issues, confidence in the building safety industry and the impact of advice given by his Department on building safety given since 14 July 2017 on—

(a) the availability and cost of insurance for residential blocks;

(b) the availability and cost of professional indemnity insurance for workers in the building safety industry;

(c) requirements placed on buildings in order to access building insurance; and

(d) the wider insurance market.

(4) The review must make recommendation as to any further action needed by Government or the industry to improve access to affordable residential and professional insurance across the United Kingdom.”—

This new clause would ensure the Government publish an assessment of the impact of the building safety risks on the UK insurance market for residential buildings and professional indemnity insurance for those working in building safety.

Brought up, and read the First time, and Question proposed (this day), That the clause be read a Second time.

Question again proposed.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mrs Miller. I was concluding my remarks in response to a comment from the hon. Member for Weaver Vale, who had asked about interventions that the Government may consider to ensure that the insurance industry is proportionate and fair in its pricing and its availability. He asked about the Competition and Markets Authority, and while I would not want to bind the hands of Her Majesty’s Government on one particular intervention, it is certainly the case that nothing is off the table as we try to ensure that the insurance sector lives up to its responsibilities to deliver a fair and proportionate insurance-based set of products to its customers.

In concluding my contribution to the debate, the Government believe that a one-off review, as proposed under new clause 12, is not necessary or proportionate, and may well add inflexibility to the Government’s response, which needs to be swift and flexible. I invite the hon. Gentleman to withdraw the new clause.

Photo of Mike Amesbury Mike Amesbury Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

It is a pleasure to welcome you to your place, Mrs Miller, for the final time on this Committee’s journey. I will withdraw the new clause, noting that we have the opportunity for more conversations on this matter on Report. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.

Clause, by leave, withdrawn.