The Millennium bug will cost the UK insurance industry billions of pounds despite including disclaimers in their policies, warns a Year 2000 solutions provider.
Richard Coppel, chief executive of Prove It 2000, claimed that unless insurers take a more proactive role in tackling the Y2K problem they will feel the cost more than any other industry.
Coppel claims the insurance industry has viewed the problem from the wrong perspective and introduced disclaimers to protect them from shelling out on Y2K damages.
?The disclaimers actually put insurance companies in a worse situation as companies will claim against their standard loss of data policy and in most cases it will be up to the insurers to prove that it was caused by the Year 2000 problem,? he said.
?It?s a case of double jeopardy,? he added, saying that most companies will end up having to pay out despite the disclaimer.
Suzanne Moore from the Association of British Insurers does not expect the cost to insurers to be anywhere near the amount claimed by Prove It 2000. ?We have no idea how many false claims insurers will receive, but we expect that insurers will have people dedicated to finding out what actually causes each problem.?
Coppel believes insurers are in the perfect position to help tackle the problem and should work with experts to devise a checklist that is specific to the Millennium problem.
The problem lies in the fact that for many the Y2K issue is just too complex to deal with, but Coppel insists that companies must stop shying away from the problem.
?If they don?t take action now then they will face hundreds of billions of pounds worth of claims, while missing out on a real commercial opportunity,? said Coppel.
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