On 1 September 2015, IVASS (namely, the Italian Insurance Supervisory Authority) published the draft decision on complaints management by insurance intermediaries, bound to amend and integrate the well known Regulation No. 24 of 19 May 2008.

Comments and requests for clarification with respect to the rules introduced by the decision may be sent to IVASS no later than 30 November 2015.

By way of the decision, IVASS aims (amongst others) at:

  • implementing EIOPA provisions and guidelines on complaints against intermediaries;
  • raise the awareness of intermediaries to said extent. 

In the decision's introductory report it may be read that - in order to ensure that the implementation of the EIOPA guidelines takes place in compliance with the principles of equity, reasonableness and proportionality - IVASS has held it necessary:

  1. to assign to the principals the management of any and all complaints related to the conduct of their own agents (as well as of the relevant employees and collaborators), as well as the complaints filed against direct canvassers; 
  2. to assign to the intermediaries registered under Sections B (brokers) and D (banks) of the Register of Insurance Intermediaries the authority over any and all complaints related to the conduct of their own employees and collaborators;
  3. to limit the obligation to set up the office in charge of the complaints management solely for large sized brokers and for the intermediaries registered under Section D, for which the setting up of specific organisational supervision shall allow to ensure a consistent, correct and impartial dealing of any and all complaints; 
  4. to foresee the possibility for the intermediaries registered under Sections B and D to entrust third parties with the management of claims by way of outsourcing, and also in association, without prejudice to the intermediary's direct liability for the final decision. 

In short, these are the main changes:

  1. the scope of application of Regulation No. 24 is widened and the definition of 'complaint' is integrated, in order to also include the declaration of dissatisfaction towards the conduct of the insurance intermediaries; 
  2. by applying the principles of reasonableness and proportionality, the definition of 'large broker' is introduced, identified as the intermediary registered under Section B who has its own managing director and/or general manager registered in the same section, as well as a number of employees and/or collaborators registered under Section E, which is equal or in excess of ten units;
  3. it is foreseen that the intermediaries registered under Sections B and D of the Register of Insurance Intermediaries adopt a complaints management policy, inspired by the equal treatment of the insured parties, beneficiaries and injured parties, and such as to ensure a quick settlement;
  4. insurance companies are requested to integrate their own complaints management policy with specific provisions which concern complaints against agents, including their employees and collaborators, as well as against direct canvassers; 
  5. it is foreseen that large brokers and the intermediaries registered under Section D of the Register identify within their own company structure a function dedicated to complaints management. The insurance company complaints management function shall also have authority over the complaints filed against the agents, including their employees and collaborators, as well as against those filed against direct canvassers.