Similar to other jurisdictions, Italy has been affected by global phenomena such as technological advances, an ageing population, climate change and evolving legal and regulatory frameworks. So how has the Italian legal system adapted to emerging risks and the new needs of policyholders? This article examines a number of recent changes to the Italian insurance market in this context.
The Supreme Court and several lower courts recently examined the validity of claims-made insurance policies under Italian law and reached different, sometimes conflicting, conclusions. In its most recent decision in this regard, the Supreme Court abandoned the fairness or worthiness test, which is undoubtedly favourable to insurers.
IVASS, the Italian insurance regulator, recently introduced Regulations 40 and 41 regarding the distribution of (re)insurance products and pre-contract information duties. Alongside these regulations, IVASS also published a report following a consultation phase. The clarifications that IVASS provided in the report represent useful guidance for both insurers and intermediaries.
The new EU Insurance Distribution Directive was recently transposed into the Italian legal system. The Italian insurance regulator also recently published separate consultation papers on its website regarding implementing measures on (re)insurance distribution, pre-contract information for the marketing and manufacturing of insurance products and new procedural rules for the application of fines in case of breach of insurance regulations.
In recent years, the attention that IVASS (the Italian insurance regulator) and the EU authorities have paid to the protection and needs of insureds has increased and been translated into market letters (among other initiatives). These market letters aim to encourage insureds to intervene in contracts through the introduction of protective measures or eliminate potentially punitive restrictions, thereby limiting contractual autonomy in various areas.