Insurance Records UK
Description of Business Function
The function of assessing the organisation's liabilities and insurance needs, and of maintaining adequate insurance cover.
Basis of Retention and Disposition
The indefinite retention of insurance policies is based upon maintaining evidence that risks were insured and reflecting the potential of long time periods over which claims may arise (for example liability policies are long tail). Also, specifically, the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Regulations 1998 state the need to keep such policies for 40 years. This exceeds the 7 year need to keep the records (e.g. of premiums) for financial accountability.
The retention of claims documents is based upon the standard legal limitation period of 6 years (or 15 for latent property damage), with exception that minor can make claim for 6 years from 18th birthday and these are therefore recommended for indefinite retention, within the Limitation Act 1980 and the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973.
Retention Rules Per Record Type
Please use the following formatting for each row within the table below:
| Name of record type || Retention period including any trigger || The legal citations and/or other rationale for determining this rule
|Record Type||Minimum Retention Period||Rationale|
|Insurance Policies||Indefinite||Evidence that risks were insured and reflecting the potential of long time periods over which claims may arise|
|Insurance Claims and settlements||Claim Settled + 6 years; Unless the claim is involving a minor who can take legal action when they turn 18, therefore the recommendation is for Indefinite retention||Limitation of legal liability|
|Insurance Claims and settlements - property||Claim Settled + 15 years (note this could be 20 years in Scotland)||Limitation of legal liability|
The Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Regulations 1998, 4 (4), Issue of certificates of insurance, "(4) An employer shall retain each certificate issued to him under this regulation, or a copy of each such certificate, for a period of 40 years beginning on the date on which the insurance to which it relates commences or is renewed."
UK aside from Scotland:
Limitation Act 1980, s. 5, Time limit for actions founded on simple contract, "An action founded on simple contract shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued".
Limitation Act 1980, s. 8, Time limit for actions on a specialty i.e. relating to contracts executed as a deed, "(1)An action upon a specialty shall not be brought after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the cause of action accrued".
Limitation Act 1980, c. 58, s. 14 (b) (1), Actions in respect of latent damage not involving personal injuries i.e. relating to property and work of contractors: "An action for damages for negligence, other than one to which section 11 of this Act applies, shall not be brought after the expiration of fifteen years from the date (or, if more than one, from the last of the dates) on which there occurred any act or omission— (a)which is alleged to constitute negligence; and (b)to which the damage in respect of which damages are claimed is alleged to be attributable (in whole or in part)".
There are similar limitation periods within the The Limitation (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 - 6 years for a simple contract within section 4, and 12 years for an instrument under seal within section 15, and 15 years for Overriding time limit for negligence actions not involving personal injuries in section 12.
The Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973, Negative Prescription, s. 6, Extinction of obligations by prescriptive periods of five years, "(1)If, after the appropriate date, an obligation to which this section applies has subsisted for a continuous period of five years— (a)without any relevant claim having been made in relation to the obligation, and (b)without the subsistence of the obligation having been relevantly acknowledged, then as from the expiration of that period the obligation shall be extinguished"
The Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973, SCHEDULE 1, Obligations Affected by Prescriptive Periods of Five Years under Section 6, "1Subject to paragraph 2 below, section 6 of this Act applies—S (a)to any obligation to pay a sum of money due in respect of a particular period— (i)by way of interest; (ii)by way of an instalment of an annuity; (iii)by way of feuduty or other periodical payment under a feu grant; (iv)by way of ground annual or other periodical payment under a contract of ground annual; (v)by way of rent or other periodical payment under a lease; (vi)by way of a periodical payment in respect of the occupancy or use of land, not being an obligation falling within any other provision of this sub-paragraph; (vii)by way of a periodical payment under a land obligation, not being an obligation falling within any other provision of this sub-paragraph;"
The Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973, "7 Extinction of obligations by prescriptive periods of twenty years. S(1)If, after the date when any obligation to which this section applies has become enforceable, the obligation has subsisted for a continuous period of twenty years— (a)without any relevant claim having been made in relation to the obligation, and (b)without the subsistence of the obligation having been relevantly acknowledged, then as from the expiration of that period the obligation shall be extinguished" "2)This section applies to an obligation of any kind (including an obligation to which section 6 of this Act applies), not being an obligation [to which section 22A of this Act applies or an obligation] specified in Schedule 3 to this Act as an imprescriptible obligation [or an obligation to make reparation in respect of personal injuries within the meaning of Part II of this Act or in respect of the death of any person as a result of such injuries.]"