Following the new IVASS Regulation No. 8 of 3 March 2015 the insurance market is expected to progressively abandon complex and old communication approaches and will instead venture into a wide process of digitalisation and technological innovation.
The genesis of the Regulation can be found in paragraph 15 bis of the Law Decree No. 179 of 18 October 2012, as implemented into law (the so called “Growth Decree”) which required IVASS to issue a regulation aimed at promoting simplification of procedures and bureaucracy with regards to the non-life insurance business.
Given that the Italian Insurance Code grants regulatory powers to IVASS, the Italian Regulator has extended the innovative measures also to the life business by introducing cross-cutting provisions.
The new Regulation focuses on the following main improvements:
Insurance undertakings and intermediaries
- are entitled to transmit the relevant documentation to their clients in an electronic form during both pre-contractual and contractual phases, provided that the client has given his consent (also by e-mail or voice recording);
- are invited to foster the use of advanced electronic signatures, qualified electronic signatures and digital signatures for the execution of insurance agreements;
- shall refrain from requesting documentation from clients which is not necessary or which has been already obtained in relation to previous relationships with the same client; and
- must obtain a certified e-mail account (Posta Elettronica Certificata).
Many provisions of the Regulation are not mandatory and are only aimed at encouraging – and not obliging – the market to develop commercial policies which take advantage of IT tools provided therein. Moreover, some of the provisions are not applicable to EU insurance undertakings, but only to Italian ones.
It is worth noting that, with particular regards to the possibility of using e-mails for sending documents, Lombard International Assurance has already added a section in the upcoming version of the Private Client Insurance (i.e. the product distributed in Italy) whereby clients have the possibility to provide their consent to receive the documentation related to their contracts via e-mail.
In this context of modernisation and increasing technological advances, we would also like to highlight the potential of Lombard International Assurance’s multi-lingual and interactive online platform eLombard. From quick access to the key elements of your policy to retrieving a full portfolio breakdown, eLombard offers an unrivalled and comprehensive online service.
In conclusion, it should be noted that IVASS has decided to take out any simplification measures regarding the pre-contractual set of information provided in Regulation No. 35/2010 from the scope of the Regulation at stake. Such measures are deferred to a next phase and a technical roundtable featuring representatives of diverse insurance sectors should be established.
Lombard International Assurance looks forward to the next chapters of this endeavour which the Italian insurance regulator is currently drafting.
By Maik Buffone, Senior Wealth Planner - Wealth Structuring Solutions