Prudent person principle

1.  Member States shall ensure that insurance and reinsurance undertakings invest all their assets in accordance with the prudent person principle, as specified in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4.

2.  With respect to the whole portfolio of assets, insurance and reinsurance undertakings shall only invest in assets and instruments whose risks the undertaking concerned can properly identify, measure, monitor, manage, control and report, and appropriately take into account in the assessment of its overall solvency needs in accordance with point (a) of the second subparagraph of Article 45(1).

All assets, in particular those covering the Minimum Capital Requirement and the Solvency Capital Requirement, shall be invested in such a manner as to ensure the security, quality, liquidity and profitability of the portfolio as a whole. In addition the localisation of those assets shall be such as to ensure their availability.

Assets held to cover the technical provisions shall also be invested in a manner appropriate to the nature and duration of the insurance and reinsurance liabilities. Those assets shall be invested in the best interest of all policy holders and beneficiaries taking into account any disclosed policy objective.

In the case of a conflict of interest, insurance undertakings, or the entity which manages their asset portfolio, shall ensure that the investment is made in the best interest of policy holders and beneficiaries.

3.  Without prejudice to paragraph 2, with respect to assets held in respect of life insurance contracts where the investment risk is borne by the policy holders, the second, third and fourth subparagraphs of this paragraph shall apply.

Where the benefits provided by a contract are directly linked to the value of units in an UCITS as defined in Directive 85/611/EEC, or to the value of assets contained in an internal fund held by the insurance undertakings, usually divided into units, the technical provisions in respect of those benefits must be represented as closely as possible by those units or, in the case where units are not established, by those assets.

Where the benefits provided by a contract are directly linked to a share index or some other reference value other than those referred to in the second subparagraph, the technical provisions in respect of those benefits must be represented as closely as possible either by the units deemed to represent the reference value or, in the case where units are not established, by assets of appropriate security and marketability which correspond as closely as possible with those on which the particular reference value is based.

Where the benefits referred to in the second and third subparagraphs include a guarantee of investment performance or some other guaranteed benefit, the assets held to cover the corresponding additional technical provisions shall be subject to paragraph 4.

4.  Without prejudice to paragraph 2, with respect to assets other than those covered by paragraph 3, the second to fifth subparagraphs of this paragraph shall apply.

The use of derivative instruments shall be possible insofar as they contribute to a reduction of risks or facilitate efficient portfolio management.

Investment and assets which are not admitted to trading on a regulated financial market shall be kept to prudent levels.

Assets shall be properly diversified in such a way as to avoid excessive reliance on any particular asset, issuer or group of undertakings, or geographical area and excessive accumulation of risk in the portfolio as a whole.

Investments in assets issued by the same issuer, or by issuers belonging to the same group, shall not expose the insurance undertakings to excessive risk concentration.