ICOBS Insurance: Conduct of Business Sourcebook—application, general matters, distance communications, information about the firm and product information
ICOBS Insurance: Conduct of Business Sourcebook—application, general matters, distance communications, information about the firm and product information

The following Insurance & Reinsurance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • ICOBS Insurance: Conduct of Business Sourcebook—application, general matters, distance communications, information about the firm and product information
  • Background to ICOBS
  • ICOBS 1 and 2—application and general matters
  • Client categorisation
  • Financial promotions and other communications
  • Inducements and conflicts of interest
  • Exclusion of liability and reliance on others
  • ICOBS—information requirements
  • Information about the insurance intermediary and/or the insurer
  • Information about the scope of services provided by a firm
  • More...

Background to ICOBS

On 6 January 2008, the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) predecessor, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) brought into force the ICOBS Insurance: Conduct of Business sourcebook (ICOBS), which replaced Insurance: Conduct of Business Sourcebook (ICOB). The principal change introduced by ICOBS was to move away from a prescriptive rule-based way of supervising firms to more principles-based or outcome-focused methodology. This meant that pre-existing rules in ICOB were simplified where the FSA felt that specific customer protection was not required.

ICOBS 1 and 2—application and general matters

ICOBS 1 sets out the general application rule. The ICOBS applies to insurers carrying on non-investment insurance and appointed representatives in the UK in relation to:

  1. insurance mediation activity

  2. effecting and carrying out contracts of insurance

  3. managing the underwriting capacity of a Lloyd's syndicate as a managing agent at Lloyd's

  4. communicating or approving a financial promotion; and activities connected with them

Practical guidance: Review the Guidance as it provides a number of useful examples that help determine the correct application.

See FCA Handbook ICOBS and Application of the FCA's COBS 4 rules to insurance.

Client categorisation

ICOBS 2.1 deals with client categorisation. Different provisions in ICOBS may apply depending on the type of person with whom a firm is dealing. For example, certain provisions apply to policyholders (policyholders include anyone who is entitled to make a claim directly to an insurer). In ICOBS,

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