Skip to main content
European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority

3015

Q&A

Question ID: 3015

Regulation Reference: (EU) No 2016/97 - Insurance Distribution Directive

Topic: Freedom to provide services (Art. 4 and 5 IDD)

Status: Rejected

Date of submission: 26 Feb 2024

Question

1) As you specified, the insurance intermediary requesting to do cross-border insurance intermediation in FOS in a host-State, according to “the IDD […] shall communicate specific information […] notably the name of any insurance or reinsurance undertaking represented and the relevant insurance classes, if applicable”. Please provide specific examples of the ‘specific information’ a home-State authority/regulatory body may request, and what it may not (if any). Specifically indicate if such may include one or more of the following: provide its contract of intermediation with the mandatory Insurer/Carrier (including commercial details or not), providing its financial status, information about its professional liability coverage, reasons for wanting to enter another EU insurance market or its future plans thereof. If possible, please indicate the exact legal provision (EU directive or other EIOPA norm/regulation or other) whereas it is mandatory for the insurance intermediary to provide the name of the insurance undertaking represented (considering EU-FOS for an insurance Agent should be equal/equivalent to that of an insurance Broker, which de facto does not indicate such represented insurance undertaking for activity in foreign markets, i.e. host States).

2) If the insurance Agent is obliged to indicate the name of its insurance undertaking(s), after having already been approved/notified for FOS in the host-State, is there not a breach of parity of insurance intermediaries (in favour of the Brokers and detriment of Agents), as it is widely known and applied, that insurance Agents in many home-States act as pluri/multi-mandatary, thus representing multiple insurance undertakings contemporarily (even via horizontal co-operations through other distributors)?

3) It has been said in the that such EU-FOS notification “…sets out the classes of insurance that the insurance intermediary can distribute in the host member State(s) on behalf of that insurance undertaking”. In such case, is the interpretation to be exclusively strict, in the sense that the insurance intermediary that represents such insurance undertaking (carrier), can only distribute insurance classes of said initial insurance undertaking(s) it works with in its own home-State? Or rather is it allowed to interpret it in a wider sense, that is, the insurance intermediary is allowed to take as many additional mandates it wishes from either home-State insurance undertakings or from others in FOS (from different EU States) in the host-State, as well as from local insurance companies licensed within the host-State, and thus relate itself also with the latter’s local distributors/intermediaries through horizontal co-operations? Please indicate if any limits apply to any of the above mentioned cases. 4) By warning of potential illegitimate activity cit. “[…] it would be considered to be carrying out an unauthorized insurance distribution activity”, it is necessary to understand in depth: a) once the insurance intermediary is authorized by the home-State authority in another host-State (and already counter-registered in the host-State’s local list of insurance intermediaries in FOS from EU with a designated code), is it allowed to act on the foreign (host-State) market without further due notifications to the home-State for additional classes of business? If not, may it do so once it has obtained a new local (related to the host-State) mandate from one or more additionally represented insurance undertakings, also including in ‘horizontal co-operation’ through other duly mandated distributors/insurance intermediaries (may it be either other insurance Agents or Brokers), and specifically from local (host-State registered) ones? b) is the insurance Agent that is authorized in FOS after notification of willingness to do business in the host-State, and accepted by such, allowed to extend its initially notified classes of activity (lines of business) without further due notification to the home-State and/or host-State? if not, is an ‘update’ to the already sent notification enough for the addition to be lawful – without option for the home-State authority to discretionarily demand further information and in so doing blocking the activity – or is it to be considered a breach of insurance activity if it does so without a new notification being sent to the host-State, that is thus a de facto ‘approval/authorization’ (not a simple notification) from its home-State authority? 5) We request a clarification on the sentence that “if the insurance intermediary is mandated by an authorized insurance undertaking/distributor in the host Member State, it can only distribute the products of insurance undertakings authorized to carry out cross-border business in the host Member State”, then we request: a) can such insurance intermediary (the casus being of an insurance Agent), represent multiple insurance undertakings (carriers) directly or indirectly through ‘horizontal collaboration/co-operation’ agreement(s) even if solely in its home-State multiple carriers representation for the same classes is not allowed? If so, may such carriers be either local (licenced in the host-Country) or only be active in the host-Country by means of EU-FOS or freedom of establishment? b) after having been duly authorized/notified to operate in FOS in a host-State(s) can the insurance intermediary (Agent) – already in course of active distribution activity – obtain new mandate(s) to distribute (in horizontal co-operation via other distributors and/or directly from the insurance undertaking licensed or notified in FOS or in establishment in such host-State) new classes of insurance products in such market and initiate insurance distribution activity for such classes, without notifying again the home-Country authority of this addition, or this would be considered a breach of insurance activity in such State and/or in its home-State? 6) Is said home-State registered/authorized insurance intermediary (Agent) allowed to intermediate Reinsurance business in its home-State and abroad in EU-FOS, if mandated exclusively from a distributor (reinsurance broker) duly authorized in FOS in the said Agent’s State (not directly from a reinsurance undertaking)? Does the home-State authority have a veto or can limit its reinsurance placement activity in the home-State, having only a single-insurance undertaking representation (one per insurance sector: separate ones possible for life, non-life, pension insurance provision) allowed by local insurance code, or the reinsurance activity would constitute unauthorized form of insurance activity that such Agent is not allowed to carry out in its home-Country, even if mandated to do so by a legitimately authorized/notified in FOS reinsurance distributor, also in other host-States of the EU?

Background of the question

While thanking for EIOPA’s answer n. 2838, we require further details and clarificatory answers on the aforementioned topic of FOS distribution of insurance intermediaries. Please provide us the answers following the numbering hereunder. We kindly request to abide your answers strictly related to the requirements applicable to and rights of the insurance intermediary, not the related or represented insurance company (licenced carrier). Please consider that in any and all cases, we consider as the insurance intermediary to be duly authorized as the home-State authority has already sent the notification to host-Country one, the latter in turn has confirmed it received it and assigned an internal-State intermediary code to such EU intermediary in FOS to operate in its State. Also, please consider in all your answers that the represented/mandatary insurance undertakings/carriers only duly authorized companies by their respective local regulatory body(ies) and fully compliant to the Solvency II requirements. Finally, being these questions particularly sensitive and important for safeguarding the markets approached (not to be ‘considered a breach of insurance activity’ in such State and/or in its home-State) as well as financial soundness of the insurance intermediary that could be heavily impacted in case of breach, please clarify each positive/negative question (2 to 6) and sub-questions (a, b) with a ‘’yes’’ or ‘’no’’ (potentially elaborating further any points). 

EIOPA answer

Thank you for submitting this Q&A as follow-up to Q&A 2838 - European Union (europa.eu)

After a full assessment of your question, we have decided to reject it (bespoke advice).

Unfortunately, your different questions, analysed as a whole, would require EIOPA to provide you with a customized response, whereas EIOPA’s Q&A process cannot replace any specific individual legal advice/consultation.