Information to customers

1. Without prejudice to Article 18 and Article 19(1) and (2), appropriate information shall be provided in good time, prior to the conclusion of a contract, to customers or potential customers with regard to the distribution of insurance-based investment products, and with regard to all costs and related charges. That information shall include at least the following:

(a) when advice is provided, whether the insurance intermediary or insurance undertaking will provide the customer with a periodic assessment of the suitability of the insurance-based investment products recommended to that customer, referred to in Article 30;

(b) as regards the information on insurance-based investment products and proposed investment strategies, appropriate guidance on, and warnings of, the risks associated with the insurance-based investment products or in respect of particular investment strategies proposed;

(c) as regards the information on all costs and related charges to be disclosed, information relating to the distribution of the insurance-based investment product, including the cost of advice, where relevant, the cost of the insurance-based investment product recommended or marketed to the customer and how the customer may pay for it, also encompassing any third party payments.
 
The information about all costs and charges, including costs and charges in connection with the distribution of the insurance-based investment product, which are not caused by the occurrence of underlying market risk, shall be in aggregated form to allow the customer to understand the overall cost as well as the cumulative effect on the return of the investment, and, where the customer so requests, an itemised breakdown of the costs and charges shall be provided. Where applicable, such information shall be provided to the customer on a regular basis, at least annually, during the life cycle of the investment.

The information referred to in this paragraph shall be provided in a comprehensible form in such a manner that customers or potential customers are reasonably able to understand the nature and risks concerning the insurance-based investment product offered and, consequently, to take investment decisions on an informed basis. Member States may allow that information to be provided in a standardised format.

2. Without prejudice to points (d) and (e) of Article 19(1), Article 19(3) and Article 22(3), Member States shall ensure that insurance intermediaries or insurance undertakings are regarded as fulfilling their obligations under Article 17(1), Article 27 or Article 28 where they pay or are paid any fee or commission, or provide or are provided with any non-monetary benefit in connection with the distribution of an insurance-based investment product or an ancillary service, to or by any party except the customer or a person on behalf of the customer only where the payment or benefit:

(a) does not have a detrimental impact on the quality of the relevant service to the customer; and

(b) does not impair compliance with the insurance intermediary’s or insurance undertaking’s duty to act honestly, fairly and professionally in accordance with the best interests of its customers.
 
3. Member States may impose stricter requirements on distributors in respect of the matters covered by this Article. In particular, Member States may additionally prohibit or further restrict the offer or acceptance of fees, commissions or non-monetary benefits from third parties in relation to the provision of insurance advice.

Stricter requirements may include requiring any such fees, commissions or non-monetary benefits to be returned to the clients or offset against fees paid by the client.

Member States may make the provision of advice referred to in Article 30 mandatory for the sales of any insurance-based investment products, or for certain types of them.

Member States may require that, where an insurance intermediary informs the client that advice is given independently, the intermediary shall assess a sufficiently large number of insurance products available on the market which are sufficiently diversified with regard to their type and product providers to ensure that the client’s objectives can be suitably met and shall not be limited to insurance products issued or provided by entities having close links with the intermediary.

The stricter requirements of a Member State referred to in this paragraph have to be complied with by all insurance intermediaries or insurance undertakings, including those operating under the freedom to provide services or the freedom of establishment, when concluding insurance contracts with customers having their habitual residence or establishment in that Member State.

4. Without prejudice to paragraph 3 of this Article, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 38 to specify:

(a) the criteria for assessing whether inducements paid or received by an insurance intermediary or an insurance undertaking have a detrimental impact on the quality of the relevant service to the customer;

(b) the criteria for assessing compliance of insurance intermediaries and insurance undertakings paying or receiving inducements with the obligation to act honestly, fairly and professionally in accordance with the best interests of the customer.

5. The delegated acts referred to in paragraph 4 shall take into account:

(a) the nature of the services offered or provided to the customer or potential customer, taking into account the type, object, size and frequency of the transactions;

(b) the nature of the products being offered or considered, including different types of insurance-based investment products.