Bankruptcy of Gefion Finans A/S under frivillig likvidation (formerly Gefion Insurance A/S)

On 07 June 2021, the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court declared the bankruptcy of Gefion Finans A/S under frivillig likvidation (formerly Gefion Insurance A/S). The company operated in Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom under “freedom of services” offering mainly motor insurance and motor liability insurance.

The Danish Guarantee Fund will only cover risks (within the scope of coverage) in Denmark for insurance policies written in Denmark. This means that European policyholders outside of Denmark need to check with their national insurance guarantee scheme whether their losses are protected. More information including Questions and Answers for policyholders can also be found here.

EIOPA regrets that equal and adequate protection of policyholders and claimants still cannot be ensured throughout Europe due to the absence of harmonisation of national Insurance Guarantee Schemes at EU level, within the broader context of recovery and resolution.

In order to better protect European policyholders, EIOPA in its Solvency II Opinion proposed the introduction of a European network of national Insurance Guarantee Schemes, which should meet a minimum set of harmonised features and ensure similar level of protection of European policyholders throughout the internal market.

Background

EIOPA, in close contact with the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finanstilsynet), coordinated the dialogue regarding this Danish insurance company between home and host supervisors via a cooperation platform since end 2018. The aim of the cooperation platform was stronger and timely cooperation between national supervisors in the assessment of the impact of cross-border activities and identification of preventive measures.

In March 2020, the Finanstilsynet ordered the insurer to stop writing new business after the Finanstilsynet refused to approve the insurer’s recovery plan addressing its insufficient Solvency Capital Requirement. End of June 2020, the Finanstilsynet withdrew the insurers’ licence. Since then the company has been in voluntary run-off, managed by a liquidator.

Freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services: Under the Solvency II Directive, once authorised by the home national supervisory authority, insurance and reinsurance undertakings have the right to establish a branch within the territory of another Member State (known as freedom of establishment) or may pursue their business in another Member State (known as the freedom to provide services) without any further authorisation.