Insurance: High Rise Flats

HM Treasury written question – answered on 10th July 2017.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Labour/Co-operative, Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the insurance industry on insurance for residents of tower blocks.

Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Labour/Co-operative, Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of whether residents of tower blocks are encountering difficulties in renewing their home insurance after the Grenfell Tower fire.

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Government is determined that insurers should treat customers fairly and firms are required to do so under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules. The FCA sets the conduct standards required of insurance firms which aim to ensure consumers are treated fairly. This includes ensuring fair access to insurance products for all consumers.

The Chancellor has discussed the Grenfell tower disaster with leading industry representatives to get an understanding of how they may respond, and any possible impact on insurance for residents. The industry have said that it is too early to properly understand the implications, so have not yet made any changes to their underwriting models or pricing strategies.

The Treasury has also been in contact with the relevant insurance companies reported to have refused home insurance for residents living in tower blocks. Both companies have assured officials that no individuals in the tower blocks have been refused access to home insurance as a result of the fire at Grenfell Tower, but we remain in regular contact with the insurance industry to understand how it may shape their view of fire risk. The Treasury will continue to monitor the situation and will investigate this matter further if it sees evidence of customers in tower blocks being treated unfairly.

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