In another field the need to put forward a single view on behalf of insurance arose in an acute form. The European Economic Community aims at creating a common market for goods and services throughout its member countries.
The ideal is that all EEC companies and citizens should be able to compete on equal terms in any EEC country regardless of their nationality.
This is easy to state but less easy to carry out.
In insurance, for example, each EEC country regulates insurers in a different way.
The EEC seeks to remove impediments to a common market but has had to proceed piecemeal by a series of directives requiring member countries to alter their laws so that competition is not distorted by national differences.
The insurance industry needs to consider and criticise any proposed directives to ensure as far as possible that the right steps are taken. At first Lloyd's and the companies considered these matters separately but in 1966 they came together in forming the British Insurers' European Committee which holds a watching brief both on EEC and on other international bodies concerned with insurance, such as the Council of Europe and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. The secretariat is at Aldermary House and the website is at www.unctad.org/en/Pages/Home.aspx.
The separate development of Lloyd's and the insurance companies means that there is no one body to represent the insurance industry as a whole. In practice there is an increasing need for the two sides of the industry to speak with one voice on particular questions.
This can often be achieved by informal conversations but there are some examples of joint bodies being found necessary.
One is the Motor Insurers' Bureau (1946).
This was set up by the insurance industry as a whole for a particular purpose.
The law required all motorists to insure in respect... see: Joint Bodies
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