Mr Lorenzo Gonzalez (the “Applicant”) acquired a unit-linked assurance product, after concluding the contract at his workplace.  The contract was for a unit-linked life assurance policy where the monthly premium was invested in various proportions into investment funds. 

After a few months, the Applicant wanted to exercise the right of cancellation of a consumer contract concluded under the Directive.  The respondent refused, however, to allow him to do so.

The CJEU noted that the Directive contained a specific derogation for “insurance contracts”. Therefore, the CJEU was required to analyse whether the financial product acquired by the Applicant fell within the definition of an “insurance contract”.

The CJEU referred to the Life Assurance Directive, which provided that insurance contracts linked to investment funds fell under the definition of a life assurance contract. The CJEU therefore held that the Directive gave the policyholder no right of cancellation since unit-linked insurance products fell outside its scope.  The CJEU stated that the policyholder may have a similar right of cancellation under the Life Assurance Directive, but this was a matter for the Spanish Courts to determine.