A few days ago, IVASS issued Regulation no. 8 of 3 March 2015 describing the simplified procedures and compliance obligations applying to relationships between enterprises, intermediaries and clients.

The document intends to foster technological innovation by reducing paperwork.

Many provisions of the Regulation are not mandatory and aimed at incentivising (without therefore obliging) the market to develop commercial policies that take account of the various simplification tools provided therein, also to stimulate the interest of clients in these tools.

More specifically, art. 4 introduces the obligation, for intermediaries registered with the RUI and insurance companies, to register for Certified Electronic Mail (known as PEC). However, it is worth noting that this obligation already applied, upon registering with the Companies’ Register, to companies (Law Decree 185/08, converted into Law no. 2 of 28 January 2009) and sole traders (art. 5 of Law Decree no. 179 of 18 October 2012).

Art. 5 that contains the “request” to use the electronic, advanced, qualified, digital and biometric signature to subscribe policies and, more generally, the documentation relating to the insurance contracts is not mandatory and lacks any “moral suasion”. Articles 6 to 11 follow the various phases of the supply chain of digital trade, from the transmission of pre-contract documents and the documentation exchanged during the relationship, to the payment of the premium and the filing of the related documentation. Among other things, clients must be provided (free of charge) with electronic tools – also online – to enable them to pay the insurance premiums; clients must be given the possibility of receiving/transmitting the pre-contract and contract documentation by e-mail; and finally, it is prohibited for companies and intermediaries to ask the insured for documents already produced in relation to pre-existing contracts that are still valid.

However, it should be noted that the Regulation sets forth the communication methods between the parties that can apply – wholly or partly – to the trading of goods using traditional techniques, therefore, excluding those cases where companies sell through specific remote selling systems characterised, for example, by the use of call centres or websites to sell online.

In fact, it is in the light of the above that art. 13 harmonises ISVAP Regulation no. 34 of 19 March 2010 dealing with remote promotion and placement of insurance contracts that, as a result, will continue to apply to those forms of distribution.