At the end of a long discussion with ANIA and with consumer and broker associations, IVASS published consultation document no 10/2016 containing the proposal for amendment of Regulation 35/2010 on disclosure and advertising of insurance products.
The amending proposals concern mainly: (a) the simplification of the information note for the third-party car insurance segment and for the other damage segments; (b) new cases of exemption from the obligation to submit the note and (c) new methods for submitting the pre-contractual documentation.
It is interesting to note that the regulatory measure expressly recalls the new European legislative framework on disclosures in the damage segments and in particular of the PID (Product Information Document) provided for by the recent EU Directive 2016/97 on insurance distribution (Directive IDD), which must be transposed within 2018.
The new information notes feature the use of an even more simple language than in the past, they are easy to understand and contain a limited number of pages.
The concepts of clarity and conciseness are reiterated and further developed.
In particular, pursuant to the revised Article 31, the pre-contractual and contractual documentation prepared by the undertakings:
- is written in a clear and concise language and style, so as to make it easier to understand the information contained therein;
- its layout and structure are such as to make it clear and easy to read and the size of the characters is legible;
- it sets out, using particularly clear characters, the clauses providing for charges and obligations incumbent on the policyholder and on the insured, invalidity, lapse, exclusions, suspension and limits of guarantee and compensation;
- it ensures that the information contained in each of its parts is consistent;
- it does not use advertising or promotional expressions or terms.
The standard information notes will be structured into sections, containing the key information on the product, entitled as follows:
- What is this policy?
- Which is the insurance company?
- What is the term of the policy?
- How do I pay the premiums?
- Which risks are covered by the policy?
- Who and what is not covered by the policy?
- What to do in case of an accident?
In line with the provisions of Directive IDD, the undertakings may prepare, in addition to the information note, a customised summary document containing a brief description of the main elements of the agreement.
Worthy of note (also from a simplification perspective) are the statements according to which:
- the information note does not contain references to the policy conditions;
- the legislative references are limited to cases which are strictly necessary
(b) New cases of exemption
In addition to the cases (already provided for) of contracts covering great risks and agricultural risks, it will no longer be necessary to submit an information note when the agreement is stipulated by legal persons and negotiated separately (tailor made), based on the fact that the policyholder-legal person plays an active role in defining the bargaining regulation and therefore requires less informative protection compared to subscription agreements.
(c) New methods of submission and updating
The information note and the policy conditions may also be submitted via email or though the Company’s website, subject to the prior consent of the policyholder.
In order to use the website, the undertaking must send to the potential policyholder, via email, the link to the exact point of the website where the documents can be found and must keep the documents accessible for the entire period in which they may be used by the policyholder/insured and in any case until expiry of the two-year limitation period referred to in Article 2952 of the Italian Civil Code.
Any observations and comments on the amending proposals can be submitted to IVASS within 20 June 2016.