Guidelines For Clear And Simple Insurance Policies

Author:Mr Anthony Perotto and Matteo Marabini
Profession:Nctm Studio Legale
  1. The Guidelines' approval and IVASS letter to the market

    The Italian Insurance Regulator ("IVASS") brought to the insurers' attention the need to simplify insurance contracts and wordings.

    Following IVASS suggestion, the Italian Insurers Association ("ANIA"), some Italian Consumers Associations, the Italian Brokers Association (AIBA) and the Italian Antitrust Authority drafted a set of guidelines on the structure and language of insurance policies wording (the "Guidelines").

    By letter dated 14 March 2018 (the "IVASS Letter to the market"), IVASS exhorts the insurers to comply with the Guidelines. According to IVASS Letter to the market, insurers should comply with the Guidelines within the following timeframe:

    for new insurance products, from the 1st of January 2019. for the main products currently marketed, by the end of 2019. Moreover, according to IVASS Letter to the market, the cover of the reviewed/new products shall mention the wording compliance with the Guidelines.

    From 1 January 2019 onwards (and later on a quarterly basis), the insurers shall inform IVASS about which products have been reviewed in accordance with the Guidelines (such information will also be published on IVASS website).

  2. Scope and content of the Guidelines

    IVASS Letter to the market is expressly addressed only to (i) Italian insurers and (ii) non-EU insurers carrying on business in Italy under the right of establishment. Accordingly, the Letter to the market is not expressly addressed to EU-insurers carrying on business in Italy under the freedom to provide service regime and/or the right of establishment. However, with communication on 18 April 2018, IVASS made it clear that it considers important - in order to protect Italian insureds - that also EU insurers comply with the Guidelines within the timeframe set by IVASS Letter to the market and provide quarterly information to IVASS on which products have been reviewed.

    The Guidelines do not differentiate between consumer and non-consumer policies, although there are hints that they may have been conceived to apply solely or primarily to consumer products.

    As a consequence, it seems that the Guidelines would apply to all insurance contracts.

    Below is a short summary of certain principles and rules set by the Guidelines.

    II.1 General provisions:

    There shall be no distinction between general and special conditions. Rather, the policy shall be divided in subsections. The policy can be in either hard copy or...

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