Insurance Rules Delay Approved By Council On 14 February 2018

On 14 February 2018, EU ambassadors confirmed, on behalf of the Council, an agreement to delay the transposition deadline and application of new rules on insurance distribution.

Directive 2016/97 is aimed at improving consumer protection for insurance products. It is currently due to apply from 23 February 2018, and member states have until then to transpose it into national laws and regulations.

However, on the basis of a proposal from the Commission, it has been agreed to postpone the transposition deadline to 1 July 2018 and the application date to 1 October 2018.

The delay will enable the insurance industry to better prepare for the directive and for the changes necessary to comply with implementing rules. Member states will have more time to transpose the directive's provisions.

Adopted in December 2015, the directive seeks to:

  • improve retail insurance rules in a manner that will facilitate market integration;
  • establish the conditions necessary for fair competition between distributors of insurance products;
  • strengthen policyholder protection, in particular with regard to life insurance products with an investment element.

In September 2017, the Commission issued implementing rules dealing with:

  • product oversight and governance requirements for insurance companies and insurance distributors;
  • information requirements and other rules applicable to the distribution of insurance-based investment products.

Next steps

Given that the European Parliament and the Council are not expected to adopt the amending directive before March 2018, the delay will apply retroactively from 23 February.

The Council will require a qualified majority. (Legal basis: articles 53(1) and 60 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.)

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