A recent decision by the Supreme Court provided an important clarification on punitive damages and public order. The court ruled that damages in tortious and contractual actions seek not only to restore the position of the damaged party as it was before the wrongful action or breach of contract, but also to serve as a punishment and deterrent.
A recent Joint Divisions of the Supreme Court decision further clarified the Court of Auditors' jurisdiction compared with that of the civil courts regarding the liability of directors and officers (D&O) of companies held in whole or in part by public entities. The matter is relevant for insurers that underwrite D&O-related risks and need to determine whether the insured may be exposed to civil liability and sued before the civil courts or exposed to public liability and sued before the Court of Auditors.
Following Decision 9140 by the Joint Sections of the Supreme Court in May 2016, information asymmetry and the protection of insurance contract clauses became widely debated topics. While the court focused on the need to assess the validity of claims-made clauses on a case-by-case basis, this approach could also be applied in principle to any insurance contract clause that is not regulated by the Civil Code or other legislation.
The minimum requirements for mandatory professional indemnity (PI) insurance for lawyers were recently approved by Decree 22. The mandatory PI requirements for lawyers cover damages, gross negligence, wilful misconduct, claims from clients and third parties and joint and several liability. The minimum limits vary depending on the turnover and number of professionals.
IVASS, the Italian insurance regulator, recently approved regulations on the look-through approach to determine the solvency capital requirements of insurers under the Italian Insurance Code, the EU Solvency II Directive and the European Commission Delegated Regulation. The solvency capital requirement will be determined by applying the look-through approach to collective investment schemes and market, underwriting and counterparty risks.
The Italian insurance regulator recently published a proposal to amend Regulation 35/2010 on the disclosure and advertising of insurance products. The proposed amendments concern the simplification of the information note for third-party car insurance and other damages, new cases of exemption from the obligation to submit an information note and new methods for submitting pre-contractual documentation.
The Italian insurance regulator recently published Consultation Paper 7, which amended Regulation 5/2006 by introducing new methods for transmitting requests and communications required to maintain the Single Register of Insurance and Reinsurance Intermediaries. The consultation paper proposes that insurance and reinsurance intermediaries adopt an electronic signature for requests or communications relating to the register.
The Joint Divisions of the Supreme Court recently published a long-awaited judgment on the validity and enforceability of claims-made clauses. In line with its previous judgments, the court established that in civil liability insurance contracts, claims-made clauses are not unfair. The grounds of the judgment establish a number of additional principles of law which appear reassuring for market players.
A recent Court of Cassation ruling established that the stipulation of a limit does not constitute an essential element of a civil liability insurance contract. The ruling demonstrates the importance of setting out clear provisions regarding the limits and sub-limits in civil liability policies, and the burden of proof concerning their application in particular.
IVASS, the Italian insurance regulator, recently published draft regulations on investments and assets covering technical provisions with aim of implementing Articles 37ter and 38 of the Insurance Code. The main changes include the introduction of the prudent person principle when selecting investments and assets covering technical provisions, and the strengthening of internal control systems.
A bill recently issued by the Social Affairs Committee proposes a number of points that are worthy of analysis – including, above all, a systemic intervention in the healthcare industry. The bill will be examined by other committees and Parliament and it is clear that the legislature aims to address the question of medical liability from a civil and criminal perspective as well as in broader terms of risk management.
The Insurance Supervisory Authority recently published a draft decision on complaints management by insurance intermediaries. The decision is designed to implement the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority provisions and guidelines on complaints against intermediaries and raise awareness of the new provisions.
The insurance regulator and the Bank of Italy recently published a joint letter addressed to insurers and intermediaries with the aim of increasing the level of protection for parties that purchase insurance policies paired with mortgages and other loans (ie, payment protection insurance). The supervisory authorities have identified a number of potential areas of intervention for market operators in this regard.
The Italian insurance regulator and the Bank of Italy recently met consumers, insurance companies, intermediaries, banks and financial companies to discuss a European Court of Justice judgment on payment obligations of mortgage loans in the event of a borrower's total incapacity to work. The regulator and the Bank of Italy will request that products and sales practices meet the guidelines provided.
Decree-Law 74/2015 has amended the Insurance Code to implement the EU Solvency II Directive regarding the take-up and pursuit of insurance and reinsurance. Among other things, the amendments address the allocation of supervisory duties for insurance and financial products between the national financial supervisory authority and the Italian insurance regulator.
The Italian insurance regulator IVASS recently issued new rules regarding complaints handling by insurance undertakings in compliance with the recently enacted European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority guidelines. The new rules have been introduced as amendments to an existing IVASS regulation on complaints handling and include a number of significant changes.
IVASS, the Italian insurance regulator, recently issued Regulation 8 which describes the simplified procedures and compliance obligations that apply to relationships between enterprises, intermediaries and clients. The document intends to foster technological innovation by reducing paperwork. Many of its provisions are optional and aim to incentivise the development of simplification tools.
Many professional indemnity (PI) insurers offer policies covering the civil liability of certified chartered accountants and bookkeepers arising from the issue of conformity certification for taxpayers' tax returns. Recent legislative changes aiming to simplify tax matters had given rise to numerous uncertainties for PI insurers in this area, but the insurance regulator has now issued much-needed clarification.
The Italian insurance regulator recently approved regulatory amendments which govern investments to cover technical reserves, providing that insurers can offer loans to enterprises within certain limits and under certain principal terms. The amendments limit loan amounts in relation to the borrower's net equity and the insurer's technical reserves.
The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) and the Italian Insurance Authority (IVASS) recently signed a memorandum of understanding on consumer protection in the insurance market. Insurers and intermediaries should take into account the fact that the AGCM and IVASS have increased the level of their cooperation, with particular regard to the risks arising from this increased cooperation.