UK key legislation

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We care about helping our clients understand drivers of change.

New legislation that seeks to streamline the industry can raise sensitive issues, challenge convention and, if enacted, disrupt existing legal business models. Private actors within the industry have a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of policy – engaging and influencing at senior levels within government.

In the UK and following the snap General Election and subsequent Queens Speech in June 2017, the legislative programme for the UK is now unfolding. Brexit will continue to frame domestic law making and continues to represent a significant geopolitical risk. Ultimately, the outcome of any review of UK legislation will depend on the nature of any future relationship between the UK and the EU.

Follow key dates through our political timeline

Maintaining a political energy for anything other than Brexit may not be easy. Nevertheless, the UK government appears determined to find the time to progress other policy aims through parliament. That includes ongoing measures to bring about greater fairness and cost efficiencies in dispute resolution, as well as to support the desire to place the UK at the forefront of innovation. Both areas will be important in helping to support the message that the UK is open for business after Brexit.”

Deborah Newberry, Head of Corporate and Public Affairs

Current legislation

We will continue to add guides to those bills that stand out for the insurance sector as they are published. 

The Bill is intended to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the global drones market whilst also protecting our safety and security. Its aims are to regulate the purchase and use of drones. As drone technology is still relatively new, the law around their use is constantly evolving, as evidenced by the recent Air Navigation (Amendment) Order 2018.

Download Drone (Regulation) Bill briefing (PDF, 124 KB)

Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018

The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill received Royal Assent on 19 July 2018. The Bill was introduced as part of the government’s industrial strategy to promote the development and deployment of both automated and electric vehicles, in line with policies on climate change. The legislation extends existing compulsory third party insurance framework to cover the use of automated vehicles.

Download Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 guide
Download Driverless vehicles: Innovation to revolutionise the way we transport modern societies (July 2017)
Download Autonomous vehicles - The future of transport: A brave new world? (July 2019)

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Brexit - EU Referendum Act 2015

Civil Liability Act 2018

The Civil Liability Bill makes provision for whiplash claims and the personal injury discount rate. The Bill received Royal Assent on 20 December 2018, starting the clock ticking for the first review of the discount rate.

Part 1 of the Bill introduces a fixed tariff for whiplash damages and will be complimented by a rise in the small claims track limit to £5,000 for RTA claims. All changes relating to whiplash claims are expected to come into effect from April 2020, and insurers will have to report savings from the reforms to the Financial Conduct Authority sometime in 2024 or 2025.

Download Civil Liability Act 2018 guide (PDF, 90 KB)

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Consumer Rights Act 2015

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 was designed to simplify, strengthen and modernise UK consumer law. The Act consolidates three pieces of UK legislation, replacing the Sale of Goods Act, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations and the Supply of Goods and Services Act.

The Act came into force on 26 March 2015.

Download Consumer Rights Act 2015 guide (PDF, 0.15MB)

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Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019

The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill was introduced into parliament on 6 June 2018. It aims to amend the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act of 1993 to enable an extension of cover provided by the government-backed terrorism reinsurer Pool Re to include non-damage business interruption losses resulting from acts of terrorism. It also makes provisions regarding national security and updates existing counter-terrorism legislation to reflect the digital age, including the way in which people view content online. It also reflects the speed at which terrorism plots develop.

The Bill received Royal Assent on 12 February 2019 and is now an Act of Parliament.

Download Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 guide (PDF, 110 KB)

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Damages (Investment Returns and Periodical Payments) Scotland Act 2019

The Bill sets out proposals for a new formula in setting the discount rate in personal injury cases in Scotland to reflect similar changes being made in England and Wales. It also seeks to give courts the power to impose periodical payment orders (PPOs) for future loss. The Bill was introduced to Scottish Parliament on 14 June 2018.

The Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 19 March 2019, received Royal Assent on 24 April 2019 and will come into force from 1 July 2019.

Download Damages (Investment Returns and Periodical Payments) Scotland Act 2019 guide (PDF, 0.75MB)

Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR

The Data Protection Bill received Royal Assent on 23 May 2018. The Act (which replaces the Data Protection Act 1998) modernises data protection laws and mirrors a number of existing international standards - specifically the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force on 25 May 2018. The intention behind the Act was to ensure that the UK’s data regime is equivalent to existing European and international data regimes post-Brexit. The Act also deals with aspects of data processing that do not fall within EU law as well as the functions, duties and powers of the Information Commissioner’s Office.

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Enterprise Act 2016

The Enterprise Act aims to support small and medium sized businesses and is the latest piece of legislation with a business regulation focus. The Government recognises that SMEs are pivotal for economic growth in the UK and that small businesses are often disadvantaged when involved in disputes with larger firms. The Act received Royal Assent on 4 May 2016.

Download Enterprise Act 2016 guide (PDF, 0.15MB)

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EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act is the flagship piece of Brexit legislation aimed at transposing the EU acquis onto the UK statute book. It repeals the 1972 European Communities Act, which took Britain into the EU, and meant that European law took precedence over laws passed in the UK parliament. It will also end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. The Bill received Royal Assent on 26 June 2018.

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Download European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2018 guide (PDF, 102 KB)

Insurance Act 2015

The Insurance Act 2015 received Royal Assent in February 2015 and came into force on 12 August 2016. It will apply to all policies that renew, incept or are varied after that date and will represent the greatest change to insurance contract law in England and Wales in over 100 years. It will amend certain key sections of the Marine Insurance Act 1906.

Download Insurance Act 2015 guide (PDF, 0.27MB)

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Investigatory Powers Act 2016

Riot Compensation Act 2016

Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010

Focus area


As the political negotiations between the UK and EU unfold, Kennedys is here to keep you up to date on the latest Brexit developments and what they mean for you and your business.

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