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Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with insurance companies about the effect on the (a) quarrying and (b) construction industries of increases in insurance premiums; and if he will make a statement. [103480]

Ministers and officials from HM Treasury and other Government departments have regular discussions with the insurance industry on a range of issues, including the cost of insurance premiums.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures he plans to introduce to mitigate the effects of high insurance premiums on (a) companies and (b) self-employed people. [103481]

The Government is aware of the recent increase in insurance premiums and the problems faced by some businesses in obtaining affordable insurance cover. The Department for Work and Pensions is currently reviewing the operation of Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance. The review will report to Ministers in spring.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) when he will respond to the report from the Financial Services Authority on the regulation of the sale of travel insurance by tour operators and travel agents; [103748](2) what representations he has received regarding regulation of the sale of travel insurance; [103749](3) what proportion of complaints about travel insurance were from customers whose policies were sold to them by

(a) tour operators, (b) travel agents and (c) insurance companies; [103752]

(4) what plans he has to ensure that all companies involved in the sale of travel insurance are regulated by the Financial Services Authority; [103750]

(5) what assessment he has made of the benefits to consumers of a different system of regulation for the sale of travel insurance by tour operators and travel agents to that which applies to insurance companies; [103753]

(6) if he will require companies selling travel insurance to itemise charges made to the customer and the cover purchased at the time of purchase. [103751]

I refer my hon. Friend to the answers I gave in response to my hon. Friend the Member for Workington (Tony Cunningham) on 27 February 2003, Official Report, column 388.