On 26 July 2017, the New York Department of Financial Services (the “NYDFS”) issued Circular Letter No. 9 (2017) (the “Circular Letter”) and a corresponding press release, directed at all life, property/casualty, and health insurers authorized in New York that encourages insurers to consider offering premium discounts to policyholders who adopt various energy efficiency measures that might reduce potential loss exposure and to adopt environment-friendly measures in their own day-to-day operations. The NYDFS believes the insurance industry is uniquely situated with regard to climate change and “is in a position to influence potential solutions.”
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The Hogan Lovells’ Corporate Insurance Newsletter for June has been published. This provides a round-up of UK, EU and international regulatory developments relevant to UK based insurance market participants. In this issue, amongst other items, we cover:
- The Queen’s Speech – the Government announces a number of new Bills relevant to insurers
- The FCA call for input on access to insurance
- The FCA information request to with-profit firms
Silvia Lolli from our Rome office has written an article about the implementation of the PRIIPs Regulation in Italy and the implications for life insurers and their existing transparency obligations with regard to customers. The article is in Italian and has been published on Diritto Bancurio. Click here to view the article.
On June 5 2017 the National Insurance and Bonds Commission amended the Sole Provisions on Insurance and Bonds to provide the value of the investment unit (UDI) that insurers and bonding companies must consider when calculating their required minimum paid-in capital.
Insurers and bonding companies must comply with the required minimum paid-in capital each year to ensure that they can meet their financial obligations and responsibilities in the exercise of their activities. The minimum paid-in capital must be subscribed and fully paid before the last business day of the year (ie, December 26 2017).
The required minimum paid-in capital is determined by each insurer and bonding company’s type of operation and authorised lines of business. For 2017, it must be calculated considering the value of the UDI as Ps5.562883 per UDI, as follows.
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On June 22, 2017, Republican Senators released a “discussion draft” of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). The draft is the first public glimpse at the Senate version of the American Health Care Act bill, which narrowly passed the House this past May with the objective of repealing and replacing certain portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Senate bill has been drafted outside the regular order, without hearings and with limited participation from much of the Republican caucus.
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On 20 June 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA“) published a Call for Input inviting firms (amongst other stakeholders) to submit their views on the challenges they face in providing travel insurance to consumers who have (or have had) cancer (“Relevant Consumers“) by 15 September 2017.
In May 2016 the FCA published its Occasional Paper on Access to Financial Services. This paper provided a high-level overview of the major trends across a range of financial services and identified some key issues that can make it difficult for some consumers to access them.
The UK government has set out plans in this week’s Queen’s Speech for a new International Sanctions Bill (the “Bill“) that aims to ensure that the UK will continue to meet its international sanctions policy obligations and national security objectives after its withdrawal from the European Union.
The UK currently implements 34 sanctions regimes, each of which aims to influence a change in unacceptable behaviour, constrain certain activities (such as nuclear weapons programmes) or communicate disapproval. Many of these exist within EU legislation and will therefore need to be transferred into UK law or replaced before Brexit.
The government has today set out the details of its legislative programme for the next two years in the Queen’s Speech. One of the issues to be addressed in this parliamentary session will be tackling the “compensation culture” surrounding whiplash claims, in addition to much stricter regulation of the activities of claims management companies (“CMCs“).
The two bills announced in the Queen’s Speech of particular relevance are the Civil Liability Bill and the Financial Guidance & Claims Bill, both proposed as part of a series of new measures to protect consumers.
Civil Liability Bill
There has been an increase in the number of insurance claims for soft tissue injuries sustained in road traffic collisions of around 50% since 2006. This is because it is comparatively easy to obtain substantial compensation for these injuries, which has led to the promotion of a “compensation culture” by claims management companies (“CMCs“), as well as an increased number of exaggerated claims.
Hogan Lovells Litigation and Arbitration partner, Pieter Van Tol, has written a recent article, entitled “Service of Suit Clauses: Do They Also Dictate the Applicable Law in Reinsurance Disputes?” The article was published in the last ARIAS Quarterly. This should be of particular interest to practitioners and companies with connections to New York because, as noted in the article, the New York courts have construed Service of Suit Clauses as mandating the choice of substantive law. Please click here to access the full article.
If you are interested in discussing in greater detail, please contact Pieter.
The classification of index and unit linked policies as insurance or financial products continues to be debated in Italy, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s decision no. 6061 of 18 April 2012.
The issue arises from the enactment of Law no. 262/2005 – entered into force on 25 January 2007 -, which extended the application of the Italian Financial Act over “financial products issued by insurance companies“, formerly governed by the Insurance Code. Based on the principle of tempus regit actum, most of the Italian Courts ruled that linked policies issued before 2007 could only be governed by the Insurance Code (see decisions by the Courts of Treviso 13 July 2005, Lecce 15 January 2007, Rome 20 march 2009, Naples 5 June 2009). According to some others, Law no. 262/2005 shed light on the financial nature of such products, subject as such to the Italian Financial Act independently on the time when they have been issued (see decisions by Courts of Venice 24 June 2010, Milan 23 July 2010, Parma 10 August 2010).
The Supreme Court [see our post of 9 April 2014] unfortunately failed to take a clear position in this debate and preferred a case by case approach, asking Italian Judges to apply a sort of risk factor test, whereby the disputed policy will be classified as insurance product only if the demographic risk taken by insurance companies prevails over the financial risk assumed by consumers. Continue Reading