Updated ReAssure statement on Brexit

The deadline for the UK’s departure from the European Union (‘Brexit’) has been extended to 31 January 2020 following the Government’s failure to pass the amended Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

We (ReAssure) have been monitoring and assessing the potential implications of Brexit for our customers, and our business. There remains significant uncertainty around what the UK’s future relationship with the EU will look like or how Brexit will be implemented. While the position remains unclear, we’ve put together some questions and answers to outline the position as it currently stands:

Q. What does Brexit mean for your policies?

Most of our customers’ policies will not be impacted by Brexit in whatever form it takes. 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, we are aware that some customers are now permanently resident within a different European Union or European Economic Area country. For these customers, the position is different and the extent your policy is affected will depend on a number of factors primarily driven by the future relationship between the UK and EU and 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).

The European Insurance & Occupational Pensions Authority (‘EIOPA’) has provided a steer to EU/EEA authorities in the form of guidance on how to deal with policies should there be a ‘no deal’ Brexit. ReAssure intends to follow this guidance in the absence of clear legislation or regulation in a particular EU27 state.

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

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.

We have conducted analysis on the potential implications for the different types of products we administer however, until clarity emerges, we are unable to provide a firm assessment. However, in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal that allows for the continuation of the status quo, it’s 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 possible 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 possible.

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 before and after the Brexit date.  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 created by the uncertainty of Brexit, 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.