The Italian regulator, ISVAP, and the Italian Government have published a new insurance aggregator service on the ISVAP website. This allows consumers to insert relevant data in order to obtain an estimate of the premiums relating to their motor third party liability (TPL) policies.
The aggregator is able to gather the data from the websites of companies operating on the Italian market and generate a file specifying all the premiums quoted by the companies for the relevant risk. These estimates are binding upon the insurers for a period of sixty days, within which consumers may contact the relevant insurer or its agent to enter into the policy. This new tool available to consumers operates in the context of the Italian motor third party liability (TPL) legislation, which requires insurers to publish a tariff which covers all the potential risks on the market and to contract with any consumer which accepts the estimate made by the insurers on the basis of their published tariffs. The legitimacy of this legislation has been recently scrutinised and confirmed by the European Court of Justice in a case brought by the European Commission against the Italian Republic, where the obligation to contract was considered to be consistent with the principles set in the European Directives (please see the Norton Rose updater published on 14 May 2009). The initiative follows the demand for lower prices made by consumer associations, which prompted the Italian government to push for a higher degree of transparency and greater competition in the market for motor TPL policies.
Part of the objectives of the legislation have been met by requiring that insurers publish their tariffs on their websites and by prohibiting any exclusivity undertakings which might limit the operations of intermediaries within agency agreements.