Lords debate HIP plans

Ramesh Sharma

February 25, 2006

Speaking at the House of Lords, Baroness Scott of Needham Market put forward Council of Mortgage Lender (CML) concerns that no implementation plans for HIPs have been forthcoming from the government.

However, Baroness Andrews, the Parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), responded by indicating that HIPs need to be introduced in a staged way, with industry tests made to ensure the plans were ‘fit for purpose’.

Despite urging brokers to consider the benefits of HIPs, Karen Babbington, marketing director at Easier2Move, admitted the industry needed to be made more aware of government plans for the packs. She expressed her surprise that certain aspects of the home condition report did not match up.

She said: “Guidelines have stated that home use and contents need to be included but under the latest government changes they have said that although they need to be part of the pack they don’t have to be filled in.”

CETA has also warned intermediaries to prepare for HIPs. David Quick, managing director of CETA, said: “Intermediaries cannot afford to ignore this threat. Even though the HIPs launch date is still 16 months away, brokers need to start developing plans now to enable them to secure their business sources during 2007 and beyond.” He added brokers should ensure systems are in place to allow them to continue selling insurance products, and urged them to consider working with estate agents.

However Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at John Charcol, could not see how the pack would fully benefit the end user in its current format and said: “A robust examination of its benefits will show that it is not cost-effective and I can see a lot of problems with the proposition.”

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