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New EC consumer agenda opportunity to ensure EU rules meet needs and expectations of greener consumers in a digital world

Insurance Europe has today published a position paper in response to a consultation conducted by the European Commission on its new consumer agenda.

Empowering consumers is rightly at the core of EU legislation. The insurance industry firmly supports high-quality EU insurance regulation that protects consumers and enables them to engage with confidence in financial services in a fast-evolving world.

The insurance industry therefore welcomes the objectives of the Commission’s new consumer agenda, which aims to update EU consumer policy in light of increased digitalisation and the rising importance of environmental issues, while protecting vulnerable consumers in the new economic realities created by the COVID-19 crisis.

The position paper makes suggestions on how the Commission can tackle challenges in three areas to achieve better outcomes for consumers:

  • Enhancing consumer protection and empowerment – For consumers to be able to engage with confidence in financial services, there needs to be a clear and stable regulatory framework. The impact on consumers of new legislative proposals must be carefully assessed. For example, consumer testing can help develop information disclosures that are easy to understand, accessible and fit-for-purpose.
  • Digitalisation offers new opportunities – Consumers are embracing digital innovation in insurance, particularly where it makes their interactions more convenient and improves communication. The COVID-19 crisis has also demonstrated the importance of digital communication for business continuity and heightened consumers’ expectations of being able to carry out paperless transactions. Now, more than ever, European consumers and insurers need a regulatory framework that is fit for purpose and digital-friendly.
  • Strengthening the role of consumers in the green transition – Consumers need clear and meaningful information on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) products and services to fully support the green transition. It is therefore key that the new EU legislative framework on ESG product disclosures is grounded on clear, consistent and workable definitions and requirements.

 

Published 8 October 2020