An Expert Group, set up by the European Commission, has issued a report identifying barriers to cross-border trade in insurance law across EU Member States. The Expert Group, composed of 20 members from 12 Member States and with different occupational experiences, was tasked with identifying if and to what extent contract law differences hinder cross-border provision and use of insurance products.

The report finds that differences in contract laws impede the cross-border supply of insurance products by increasing costs, creating legal uncertainty and making it hard for consumers and businesses to take out insurance in other EU Member States. For example, a person moving to another EU Member State may have to take out a new car insurance policy.

Some of the key findings of the report include the following:

  • In respect of life, motor or liability insurance products sold to consumers, many insurance companies have to adapt their contracts to the national rules where the policyholder is based. As a result, companies have to develop new contracts to comply, for example, with rules on pre-contractual information
  • Contract law differences impede the supply of insurance products across borders by increasing costs for the cross-border provision of insurance, creating legal uncertainty and difficulties for consumers and businesses in taking out insurance in other Member States
  • Contract law obstacles are mainly found in the life insurance sector, in addition to areas such as liability and motor insurance

Based on the findings of the report, the European Commission will now consult with consumers, businesses and the insurance sector on finding possible solutions to the issues identified.

Please click here to view the report in full.