Updated ReAssure Brexit statement

At 11pm on 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union. With the Brexit bill receiving Royal Assent and the European Parliament also having backed the terms of the UK’s departure, the UK has now entered into a transitionary period until 31 December 2020 whereby it will remain in the single market and customs union but will be outside the political institutions, additionally, there will be no British members of the European Parliament.

What Happens Next? 

During the transitionary period, negotiations for a future trade agreement between the UK & EU will take place. This agreement will need to be agreed and ratified by both the UK & EU Parliaments and will govern the future relationship of the two entities.  

It is possible however, that no agreement is reached on the future relationship by the end of the transitionary period, in which case the transitionary period will end, and future trade will be largely governed by WTO (World Trade Organization) rules & tariffs. 

The UK government has ruled out any further extension to the transitionary period. 

Impact to ReAssure & Customers?

During the transitionary period, no changes are anticipated for the vast majority of our customers or operations. We will however, continue to monitor the trade negotiations as they progress through 2020. Future clarity will emerge over the coming months on key topics relating to the financial sector and free movement principles.  

We have prepared some questions and answers to help our customers understand the implications of Brexit.  

Q. What is the ‘Transitionary Period’? 

This is the period immediately after 31 January 2020 (Brexit Day) to 31 December 2020. During this period the UK will remain in both the EU single market and customs union. This means that for the most part, things remain the same including; travel to and from the EU and EU-UK trade.  

Q. What does Brexit mean for your policies? 

Most of our customers’ policies will not be impacted by Brexit. For customers who purchased their policy in the UK, and will continue to be a UK resident after Brexit, there will be no impact or changes to your policy.  

However, some customers are now permanently resident within a different European Union or European Economic Area country. Following the transitionary period, and in the absence of a negotiated free trade agreement, the position for these customers is different. The extent your policy is affected will depend on a number of factors primarily driven by the way in which the individual EU27 states legislate or regulate for this situation (it should be noted that the approach taken by the various EU27 may differ).  

Q. I live in another EU/EEA country. How will my policy be affected? 

During the transitionary period (until 31 December 2020), nothing will change. However, as outlined in the above answer, the extent to which your policy is affected will depend on the nature of the future relationship between the UK and EU and in particular how the country in which you reside implements rules on the operation of policies written in the UK where the policyholder now lives in an EU/EEA state.  

After the transitionary period, the position is less clear and will depend on whether the UK & EU agree a trade deal that allows for the continuation of the status quo. If no trade deal is agreed, it is likely that we will not be able to set up new policies (or establish, renew, extend, increase or resume cover under existing policies) for customers living in the EU.  

This is likely to affect customers looking to take out a new policy, for example; following a policy review or during pension vesting.   

Additionally, regarding the ongoing administration of our customer’s policies, in most instances we expect to be able to continue to administer policies in line with current practices. Where changes in local legislation and/or regulation make this impossible we will take all reasonable steps to limit the impacts on customers. If member states of the EU implement such legislation or regulation in line with the EIOPA guidance, we don’t anticipate any problems with the continued servicing or operation of existing policies.  

While we understand that this period of uncertainty can be unsettling, we can assure you that our priority is avoiding any unnecessary disruption to customers.  

If you are directly affected by the UK leaving the EU we will let you know as soon as we can. 

Q. What will happen to the value of my savings, pension or investment policy? 

We can’t comment or speculate on how the value of your policy will be affected by Brexit. We’ve already seen periods of market volatility since the referendum vote in June 2016 and it’s possible we’ll see more following the end of the transitionary period. This can affect the current and future value of your policy. 

If you want to discuss your future investment strategy, we recommend you speak to a Financial Adviser. If you don’t have an adviser, you can find one in your area at unbiased.co.uk. 

Q. What actions will ReAssure take if the market is especially volatile? 

Sudden market volatility can affect most customers but would have a much bigger effect on customers who take money out of a policy. For example, if you wanted to surrender a life policy, but you were invested in a fund that’s dropped significantly in value, you would get less money. 

In situations like this, we may contact you to ask if you still want to go ahead with your transaction to avoid customer detriment as a result of high market volatility.  

Q. When the UK leaves the EU, will my money be safe with ReAssure? 

Despite the possible market volatility which could follow the uncertainty of the Brexit process and future trade negotiations, we can’t say how the value of your policy will be affected however, we are confident that we can meet all financial commitments to our customers.

ReAssure is regulated and authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority and must demonstrate its compliance with robust capital requirements.  

If you’re concerned about how Brexit could affect your policy and want advice on what you should do, we recommend you speak with a Financial Adviser. If you don’t have an adviser, you can find one in your area at unbiased.co.uk. 

Q. What happens if things change? 

We’ll continue to closely monitor the situation and consider the potential implications of Brexit. If any changes are announced that we think might affect our customers, we’ll update our website to let everyone know about it.