COVID-19 epidemiological emergency - measures in favour of insurance market operators

Italy

IVASS (the Italian Institute for the Supervision of Insurance) recently adopted a number of measures aimed at addressing the negative effects of the COVID-19 emergency on the insurance sector.

IVASS’ initiative takes into account the operational difficulties that market operators are currently experiencing and is in line with the Recommendations EIOPA issued on 20 March 2020 (on supervisory flexibility regarding the deadline of supervisory reporting and public disclosure).

These measures mainly consist in postponements of the deadlines for carrying out a series of obligations.

Complaints and Information

  • The time-interval for replying to complaints addressed to companies or intermediaries (Reg. N. 24/2008) is increased to 75 days (instead of the ordinarily envisaged 45 days).
  • The time-interval for responding to requests for information from customers (Reg. 41/2008, Article 7) is extended to 35 days (instead of the instead of the ordinarily envisaged 20 days).
  • The deadline for the transmission to IVASS of the Complaints Report (Reg. 24/2008, Article 9) is postponed to 29 March 2020 (it was scheduled for 29 February 2020).

Home Insurance

  • The deadline for the activation, of the online reserved areas (Reg. 41/2008, Articles 42-46) is postponed to July 1, 2020 (it was scheduled for 1 May 2020). Please note that the obligation to have reserved online areas does not apply to companies operating in Italy under FoS or under freedom of establishment regime.

Distribution

  • Tests within training courses for insurance distributors (Reg. 40/2018, Article 88) can be carried out remotely (in derogation of Article 90 para. 5 which provides that tests must be carried out exclusively in the classroom).
  • The deadline for the transmission to IVASS of the report on distribution networks (Reg. 40/2018, Article 46) is postponed to 29 March 2020 (it was scheduled for 29 February 2020).

Administrative Proceedings

  • the Law Decree of 17 March 2020, no. 18 (so-called "Cura Italia"), ordered, among other things, the suspension from 23 February 2020 to 15 April 2020 of the time-limits related to administrative proceedings.

IVASS specified that the provision also applies to its administrative proceedings.

Solvency II Reporting

  • The deadline for the Regular Supervisory Report both at solo and at group level is extended by 8 weeks.
  • The deadline for the annual Quantitative Reporting Templates at solo level is extended by 8 weeks.
  • An exception is provided for the following documents, whose deadline is extended by 2 weeks: Content of the Submission; Basic Information; Balance-sheet; Cash-Flow projections for life business, LTG; Own funds and SCR calculation

  • The deadline for the Annual Quantitative Reporting Template at group level is extended by 8 weeks.

    An exception is provided for the following documents, whose deadline is extended by 2 weeks: Content of the Submission; Basic Information; Balance-sheet; LTG; Own funds; SCR calculation and Undertakings in the scope of the group

  • The deadline for the Solvency and Financial Condition Report (SFCR) at solo and at group level is extended by 8 weeks.
  • An exception is provided for the following documents, whose deadline is extended by 2 weeks: Balance-sheet; LTG, Own funds and SCR calculation.

    It is specified that the COVID-19 emergency shall be consioedered as a “major development” as referred to in article 54 of the Solvency II Direcrtive.

  • The deadlines for Q1-2020 Quantitative Reporting Templates and Quarterly Financial Stability reporting, both at solo and at group level, are extended by 1 week.
  • An exception is provided for the template Derivatives Transactions, whose deadline is extended by 4 weeks.
  • The deadline for the solo Orsa report is postponed to 30 June 2020.
  • The deadline for the group Orsa report is postponed to 15 July 2020.

Additional Extensions

  • The deadlines for a series of fulfilments foreseen by Regulations, Circulars or Letters to the market issued by IVASS are also extended by 30 or 60 days (for further details see the document of 30 March 2020, “Extension of the deadlines and other temporary measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the Italian insurance system”)

Furthermore, IVASS:

  • recommended insurance and reinsurance companies based in Italy to use extreme caution in the distribution of dividends and in the payment of the variable remuneration component of key managers.
  • stressed out the need for companies and intermediaries to undertake to guarantee business continuity and to help customer to access to their services.
  • is rescheduling its on-site inspection and changing the methods of its supervision, favouring the use of electronic / telematic channels.