Italy: IVASS consults to modify certain provisions concerning the distribution of insurance | Hogan Lovells

On June 24, 2022, IVASS launched a public consultation on a draft regulation making certain amendments to IVASS Regulation No. 40/2018 on the distribution of insurance and reinsurance (the “Draft regulation”).

The draft regulation aims in particular to:

  • adapting to current Italian primary law the content of the provisions currently providing for the obligation for insurance intermediaries to obtain a diploma at least equal to the upper secondary education diploma obtained at the end of a course of five years or a four-year course completed by the annual course required by law, or equivalent foreign diploma;
  • introducing the obligation to notify IVASS of the internet domain used for the promotion and placement of insurance contracts through remote communication techniques by Italian insurance intermediaries and EU insurance intermediaries operating in Italy.

Professional requirements

With regard to point 1) above, IVASS Regulation No. 40/2018 currently provides for the requirement, among others, to obtain a qualification not lower than the upper secondary education diploma obtained at the end of a five-year course or a four-year course supplemented by the annual course required by law, or an equivalent foreign degree, for the following purposes:

  • registration in section C (direct canvassing), E (staff and employees of insurance intermediaries involved in off-premises distribution) and F (auxiliary insurance intermediaries) of the Register of insurance intermediaries kept by IVASS (“RUI”);
  • appointment as head of insurance or reinsurance distribution of companies acting as distributors;
  • exercise of the distribution activity by employees working on the premises of the intermediary; and
  • participation in the registration test in sections A (agents) and B (brokers) of the RUI.

By means of the new regulatory intervention, the reference to the duration of the course and the additional year in reference to the possession of an upper secondary school diploma would be removed in order to make the provision consistent with the current Italian school system, which provides for the possibility of completing a higher education cycle in four years, while maintaining the total number of hours of attendance unchanged.

Moreover, with regard to the equivalent foreign diploma, the regulatory intervention takes into account the provisions of Law no. 148 of 11 July 2002 (by which Italy ratified the Lisbon Convention – Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, Lisbon 11 April 1997), which assigns responsibility for the recognition of qualifications – for purposes other than the pursuit of university studies and the obtaining of Italian university degrees – to the Administrations concerned.

In this context, the concept of equivalence would therefore be supplanted and replaced by the term “corresponding foreign diploma“.

Internet domain

With regard to point 2) above, IVASS Regulation No. 40/2018 currently provides that distributors who carry out activities of promotion and placement of insurance products via websites are the owners of the relevant domain. The provision, aimed at ensuring an adequate level of consumer protection, is included in the list of general good provisions published on the IVASS website to define the scope of provisions with which EU intermediaries operating in Italy under the right of establishment and freedom of services schemes are also required to comply.

The draft regulation – which would modify this provision by also introducing the obligation for Italian insurance intermediaries registered in the RUI and EU insurance intermediaries registered on the annexed list to notify IVASS of the domain Internet used – aims to reinforce the guarantees currently in force thanks to the acquisition of complete information on the methods of subscription and promotion of insurance contracts via the web.

The obligation would also apply to cases of promotion only by distance communication.

The provision introduced, in particular, is considered necessary to stem the phenomenon of scams on websites – which are registering a worrying increase also due to the strong digital acceleration of recent years, partly linked to the Covid-19 pandemic – in order to protect consumers and, on the other hand, the intermediaries themselves. Such a measure can indeed lead, in the opinion of IVASS, to a significant reduction in the risk for intermediaries of seeing their data illegitimately associated with unofficial sites.

Next steps

Public consultation on the draft regulation will be open until July 25, 2022.

Click on here to download the public consultation document (available only in Italian).

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