Insurance Europe aisbl - Rue Montoyer 51 B-1000 Brussels - Belgium
  • Amended requirements for IFRS 9 published

    The amended accounting requirements for financial instruments in the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9 contain a recognition of the need to reduce mismatches between how insurers manage their business and how they report their financial performance.

    Recently issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), these amendments will enable insurers to report on the short-term performance of debt security assets in the fair value through other comprehensive income (FVOCI) measurement category and the use of fair value accounting, if doing so avoids an accounting mismatch. However, the insurance industry is not convinced with the prohibition of recycling on equities, when measured at FVOCI.

    Furthermore, an important link is the current IASB development of the insurance contracts standard, otherwise known as IFRS 4 Phase II. The consistent interaction with accounting requirements for insurance contracts is crucial because insurers often have complex long-term asset/liability management strategies, and they may hold other assets such as derivatives, equities and investment property to back their insurance liabilities. In these cases, management/reporting mismatches would still occur. The IFRS 9 application for insurers can only be assessed, therefore, on a holistic basis once the insurance contracts project is finalized. 

    As such, Insurance Europe believes that appropriate and consistent consideration is needed on the inherent link between insurance liabilities and financial assets in order to reflect the business model and performance of insurers. Therefore, it is essential that insurers should be able to implement the two standards at the same time in due course.

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    28 Jul 2014
    Regulation & supervision
  • Conflict of interest rules should be tailored to industry

    Insurance Europe has called on EIOPA and the European Commission to ensure that any new rules on conflicts of interest in relation to the sale of insurance-based investment products (PRIIPs) are appropriately tailored to the insurance industry and demonstrate clear benefits to consumers.

    Such rules must also recognise that risks for potential conflicts of interest differ significantly across distribution channels, eg between independent intermediaries and direct sellers. Insurance Europe’s response to the EIOPA consultation paper is available here.

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    23 Jul 2014
    EU Single market & consumer protection
  • Guidelines on motor claims history declarations

    Insurance Europe has issued guidelines on information for motor insurance claims history declarations for cross-border use. The guidelines have been developed to optimise the portability of motor insurance claims history statements in particular when such statements have been issued in another EU member state.

    They provide that insurance companies should undertake simple English translations of claims history statements free of charge for policyholders when they move to another European country and incorporate a set of information that could be included on the statements to facilitate exchange of information between insurers.

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    17 Jul 2014
    Non-life insurance
  • Consistency is key for OTC derivatives rules

    Rules governing over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives must be consistent with other regulations and across jurisdictions in order for the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) to be implemented effectively, according to a position paper by Insurance Europe.

    The paper raised strong concerns regarding the currently foreseen phase-in schedule for EMIR and highlighted the need for extra time to allow the central clearing environment to build implementation experience for OTC derivatives.

     It also expressed concerns around a number of provisions which appear to be very specific to the banking area and which will likely challenge insurers, such as the currently foreseen incentives for the development of internal ratings and internal models for initial margins and haircut.

     Finally, the paper noted that the industry remains concerned about how obligations will impact insurers’ investment behaviour, counterparty risk exposure and performance. It underlined the importance of monitoring the EMIR implementation to make sure that any unintended consequences are appropriately depicted and addressed.
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    15 Jul 2014
    Regulation & supervision
  • Support expressed for consultation on data protection

    Insurance Europe has expressed its support for guidance put forward by the Article 29 Working Party - which deals with issues relating to data protection - regarding the correct implementation of legitimate interests, which are situations where companies legitimately require access to the personal information of policyholders.

    Insurance Europe welcomes the recognition by the Working Party that fraud prevention and anti-money laundering are two characteristic situations that fall under the notion of such legitimate interests, and supports the Working Party’s suggestion against having detailed or exhaustive lists of situations in which an interest would be qualified de facto as legitimate.

    Insurance Europe also put forward its recommendation for the inclusion of an explicit legal basis in the Regulation that allows data controllers to process data, for the purposes of preventing and/or detecting fraud.

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    02 Jul 2014
    EU Single market & consumer protection
  • Environmental Liability Directive survey released

    Insurance Europe has published a briefing note relating to environmental liability coverage across the European Union, based on a survey of its members. The survey revealed that the market is functioning well, and that there is enough market capacity to expand the amount of environmental liability cover available to the market, should demand increase.

    The briefing note also notes that an EU wide compulsory environmental liability insurance system would not benefit customers. Such a mandatory cover – currently being considered by the European Commission as part of the Environmental Liability Directive (ELD) – has the potential to stifle the current promising level of product innovation in member states.
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    30 Jun 2014
  • Support for inclusion of financial services in TTIP

    Insurance Europe, the American Insurance Association (AIA), and the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) continue to support the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as a comprehensive agreement.

    The federations believe it is essential for financial services to be included fully in any final outcome, given the current size of their bilateral financial services trade and the opportunity that this would present to drive economic growth in both Europe and the United States.

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    30 Jun 2014