Johnny Timpson's Blog

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Supporting you to meet Insurance Distribution Directive requirements

As the introduction of the Insurance Distribution Directive is fast approaching, I want to discuss in more detail what’s involved and the support available from Scottish Widows.

Whilst much of the industry media comment in relation to the IDD has been on training and competence, it is essential that we recognise that IDD is about more than this and also requires that distributors ‘must act honestly, fairly and professionally in accordance with their customers’ best interests’. Importantly, distributors must be able to demonstrate this. The impact of the application of such a broad principle in practice will only become clear once the FCA shows its regulatory appetite to challenge firms on this.

The IDD journey to this point

The European Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) is a revision of the Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD), which was introduced by the FSA in 2005. Originally to be adopted by 23rd February 2018, the EU Council delayed the application of the new rules until the 1st of October 2018. The delay was to allow the insurance industry to better prepare for the changes necessary to comply with the implementing rules issued by the European Commission.

The impact of Brexit

The regulator will keep the proposals under review to assess whether any amendments may be required in the event of changes in the UK regulatory framework, following the UK’s departure from the EU.


The directive applies to all colleagues who sell, provide information and/or guidance on, advise on or conclude insurance contracts. As well as those who assist in administering or performing them, no matter the size of their firm or number of customers that they have.

I’ve been working closely with the CII to ensure that we are delivering a consistent message with regards to the implications of the IDD. To find out in more detail the scope and key provisions of the regulations, read the CII’s policy briefing (PDF 130KB) on Implementing the Insurance Distribution Directive. It’s worth noting that the CPD requirement of the IDD is 15 hours, however, it’s 35 hours if you are a CII member.

Scottish Widows commitment to support you in meeting the challenges of IDD

Scottish Widows are committed to supporting you and your colleagues to meet the challenges of, and comply with, IDD requirements. We have a range of assets available including:

  • CII accredited CPD module – Relevant Life Cover
  • Tech Talk – articles exploring the more technical aspects of protection, including business protection and changes in welfare reform
  • In Our Market – protection articles and videos from a variety of sources, including Cover magazine
  • Tools – online tools to support your conversations with clients.

Find out in more detail what CPD material is available from Scottish Widows. 

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