On May 16, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) issued a statement initiating the ‘comply or explain’ process on the Guidelines on complaints-handling by insurance intermediaries, published in November 2013.
National competent authorities must report to EIOPA whether they comply, or intend to comply, with the Guidelines within 2 months. Authorities that do not comply will need to inform EIOPA, stating the reasons. Guidelines or recommendations that a competent authority does not comply with will be made public and EIOPA may decide, on a case-by-case basis, to publish the reasons provided by a competent authority for non-compliance.
The Guidelines apply to national authorities competent for supervising complaints-handling by insurance intermediaries. The Guidelines are:
- Ensuring the right institution deals with the complaint
- Complaints management policy
- Complaints management function
- Internal follow-up of complaints handling
- Provision of information
- Procedures for responding to complaints.
Competent authorities should ensure a proportionate regime when applying the Guidelines, taking into account the nature and size of intermediaries and whether insurance meditation is carried out as a principal activity or on an ancillary basis. The Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Report on Best Practices by Insurance Intermediaries in handling complaints, also published last November.
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