Economic Undertakings

Italy: IVASS public consultation on the new online comparison system for motor third-party liability insurance

IVASS has launched a public consultation on a draft regulation containing provisions relating to the establishment of an online system for comparing premiums linked to the so-called basic contract offered by insurance companies operating in Italy in the auto liability insurance. This public consultation follows the first one launched on March 26, 2021 and takes into account the comments made by stakeholders on this occasion.

On March 17, 2022, IVASS launched a public consultation on a draft regulation setting out provisions relating to the establishment of an online system for comparing “basic contract” premiums offered by insurance companies operating in Italy in the motor third party liability insurance branch (the “Draft regulation“), aimed at implementing Article 132-bis, paragraph 3 of Legislative Decree No. 209 of September 7, 2005 (the “Italian Insurance Code”).

In particular, article 132-bis of the Italian Insurance Code:

  1. lays down information obligations for insurance intermediaries who, before taking out a compulsory motor third-party liability insurance contract, are required to inform the consumer in a correct, transparent and exhaustive manner of the premiums offered by all insurance companies for which they operate in relation to the “basic contract” (i.e. the model contract for compulsory insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles containing the minimum clauses necessary to fulfill the legal obligation, fixed according to the classes of merit and the types of insured persons, which has been defined by the decree of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development no. 54 of March 11, 2020). For this purpose, intermediaries connect to the website of the comparison system (the so-called “Estimator”), also accessible from the websites of IVASS and the Italian Ministry of Economic Development;
  2. confers on IVASS the power to adopt implementing provisions to guarantee access and response by telematic means, both to consumers and to intermediaries, exclusively for the premiums applied by insurance companies for the contract of automobile civil liability basis and to set out the terms by which, having obtained the quotation on the basis of the information included in an information service, it is possible to conclude the contract on terms that are not worse than those indicated in the estimate. The contract can be concluded with an agency of the company or, for companies that provide for it, by a direct link to their website.

For your information, remember that an initial public consultation on a draft regulation concerning the Estimator, called PREVENTIVASSwas launched on March 26, 2021 and then closed on May 25, 2021. Following stakeholder feedback, the regulatory text was revised and incorporated by IVASS and a second public consultation was therefore deemed appropriate.

  • Goal: the draft regulation aims to adapt the existing public estimator (called “”Tuo Preventivatore”) to the changed regulatory framework and the evolution of technology, by offering a free and impartial online comparative estimate service which collects and compares the offers of all insurance companies for the basic motor vehicle liability contract of transparent manner and in the exclusive interest of the consumer, using data collection techniques through the use of external sources.

Scope: the draft regulation would apply:

  1. Italian insurance companies, Italian branches of insurance companies having their registered office in a third country with regard to the EEA and EEA insurance companies operating in Italy under the regime of establishment or freedom to provide services, who carry out an activity falling within class 10 (motor third party liability);
  2. Italian insurance intermediaries registered in sections A (Agents), D (Banks and other financial intermediaries) and F (auxiliary intermediaries) of the RUI and EEA insurance intermediaries operating in Italy who have mandates for the distribution of automobile liability insurance contracts.

In this regard, insurance intermediaries commented on the breadth of subjective scope defined in the previous draft regulation, with specific reference to the extension to all intermediaries registered in the Register of insurance intermediaries (“RUI”) whether or not there is a mandate from an insurance company, to employees within premises not subject to the obligation of registration with the RUI as well as to the so-called “horizontal collaborations” between individual intermediaries registered with the RUI .

IVASS has amended the draft regulation, in the sense of limiting its scope to insurance intermediaries acting on the basis of a mandate from the insurer for the distribution of motor third party liability contracts listed in sections A), D) and F) of the RUI, as well as to those – also acting as as agents for the distribution of liability contracts – located in another member state of the European Economic Area operating in Italy. The aforementioned intermediaries would be subject to the obligation to provide an estimate for the basic contract also when, in the exercise of their activity, they use collaborators registered in section E of the RUI, except in the context of horizontal collaborations. Consequently, although they are not directly required to issue an estimate, employees listed in section E of the RUI, when working for intermediaries subject to the obligation, are subject to the instructions given by the intermediary. of reference by virtue of the relationship with the latter. For intermediaries registered under Title F of the RUI, the obligation only applies if motor third-party liability insurance is an integral part of the goods or services provided by them as part of their main professional activity. As for the intermediaries registered in section B (Brokers), they would however be excluded from the scope of the draft regulation since they act on behalf of the client and operate without a mandate from the insurance companies. Insurance undertakings directly distributing motor third party liability insurance contracts would not be required to comply with the obligation to provide information relating to the premiums offered under the basic motor third party liability insurance contract.

  • Applicability of the relevant rules also in the event of renewal of motor third party liability insurance contracts: according to some commentators, the obligation for companies to respond to requests for quotes relating to the basic contract should not concern cases of renewal of motor third party liability contracts which have reached their annual expiry date, and should only apply in the case of first subscription. In this respect, IVASS considers that the provisions of the Italian Insurance Code and the related implementing rules make no distinction between the cases of first subscription and renewal of these contracts, so that the aforementioned obligation should be also apply in the event of renewal of a previous automobile civil liability insurance contract.
  • Possibility for companies to propose “complementary” clauses to the basic contract: some commentators have noted that, according to the draft regulation previously consulted, the estimate contained not only the mandatory minimum conditions provided for in the basic motor third-party liability contract, but also the amendments provided for in Ministerial Order No. 54 of March 11, 2020 (eg: exclusive driving, expert driving, raising legal minima, limitation and exclusion of recourse, etc.), if retained by the insurer in its commercial offer. This would conflict with the provisions of the ministerial decree, according to which the mandatory minimum conditions are offered by all companies, which remain free to assess whether to offer one or more additional clauses. In this regard, IVASS considers that the offer made by the companies through the public appraiser has no reason to differ significantly from the offer made through other sales channels and has therefore , accepted the above-mentioned comments, providing that the insurance company will issue an estimate for the endorsements offered on free evaluation and initiative.
  • Validity of quotes: the insurance companies have noted that the wording of the previously consulted draft regulations – which gave the quote obtained via the Estimator a validity of sixty days from its date of issue regardless of the residual duration of the tariff in force – did not comply with IVASS secondary measures in this regard and the limited freedom of insurance companies in pricing. IVASS has accepted these observations, providing that the insurance company applies the tariff in force on the effective date of the insurance cover for which the quotes are requested. It also provided that in the event of a request for a quote for automobile civil liability insurance cover whose effective date is later than the sixty-day validity period, the insurance companies are required to respond for information purposes only. , without any obligation on the part of the company to conclude the contract under the conditions provided for in the estimate issued.
  • Terms of access to the New Estimator by intermediaries and insurance companies: the draft regulation has been amended by providing that intermediaries can directly access the appraiser, without authentication by public digital identity system (SPID) or prior registration. Intermediaries would therefore be authorized to access the appraiser directly from its public section or from each company’s website. The obligation to constantly communicate and update the underlying network of collaborators (employees, horizontal collaborations) has also been removed from the regulatory obligations incumbent on insurance intermediaries. Since, on the other hand, companies need to have a reserved space for integration into the Estimator, the provision relating to authentication via SPID cannot be modified for them. However, the companies’ requests to exempt them from the obligation to: (i) periodically monitor and communicate their distribution network to the Estimator system and (ii) transmit to the Estimator the monthly list of automobile civil liability contracts taken out, accompanied by references, the relevant quotes obtained via the estimator have been accepted by IVASS.
  • Possible service interruptions: comments were made in relation to the possible disturbances of the estimator; in the event of the unavailability of these and of the sectoral databases, the intermediaries would be exempted from the burden of a new request, provided that they can provide proof thereof. To this end, intermediaries would be required to keep proof of the time and date when the request was made.

Next steps

Public consultation on the draft regulation will be open until April 16, 2022.

Please click here to download the text of the draft regulations (available only in Italian).