Insurance and reinsurance in Italy: overview

A Q&A guide to insurance and reinsurance law in Italy.

The Q&A gives a high level overview of the market trends and regulatory framework in the insurance and reinsurance market; the definitions for a contract of insurance and a contract of reinsurance; the regulation of insurance and reinsurance contracts; the forms of corporate organisation an insurer can take; and the regulation of insurers and reinsurers, including regulation of the transfer of risk. It also covers: operating restrictions for insurance and reinsurance entities; reinsurance monitoring and disclosure requirements; content requirements for policies and implied terms; insurance and reinsurance claims; remedies; insolvency of insurance and reinsurance providers; taxation; dispute resolution; and proposals for reform. Finally, it provides websites and brief details for the main insurance/reinsurance trade organisations in Italy.

To compare answers across multiple jurisdictions visit the Insurance and Reinsurance Country Q&A tool.

This Q&A is part of the global guide to insurance and reinsurance. For a full list of jurisdictional Q&As visit www.practicallaw.com/insurance-guide.

Contents

Market trends and regulatory framework

1. What were the main trends in the insurance and reinsurance markets over the last 12 months?

Insurance

The main trend of the last 12 months has been the new proactive approach by the Italian supervisory authority, the Institute for Insurance Supervision (IVASS), ensuring that products covering specific classes of risks that are sold in the market actually meet the proposers' needs.

As examples, it is worth highlighting that:

  • Guidelines were issued by IVASS jointly with the Bank of Italy in the matter of insurance policies linked to mortgages and loans (Payment Protection Insurance (PPI)).

  • There was a survey on sites offering comparison services among different products.

  • There was a recent survey on medical malpractice, which aimed to analyse the apparent reluctance of insurers in this area of business.

Reinsurance

In the reinsurance sector, the main trend has been the greater importance being given to reinsurance in the new regime outlined by Directive 2009/138/EC on the taking-up and pursuit of the business of insurance and reinsurance (Solvency II Directive).

The new system is based on the risk management model, with reinsurance making it possible to optimise the management of risks incurred by a company, particularly in the case of groups.

 
2. What is the regulatory framework for insurance/reinsurance activities?

Regulatory framework

The recent transposition in Italy of Directive 2009/138/EC on the taking-up and pursuit of the business of insurance and reinsurance (Solvency II Directive) has led to noteworthy changes in the regulatory framework of insurance and reinsurance law.

The Solvency II Directive was transposed into Legislative Decree No. 74 of 12 May 2015 amending the Insurance Code (Legislative Decree No. 209 of 7 September 2005).

The Solvency II Directive has three main areas (so-called pillars):

  • Pillar one, regarding the capital requirements of insurance companies, consists of the rules relating to:

    • the calculation of technical provisions;

    • eligibility of assets to cover such provisions;

    • investment management principles and, in general, solvency requirements.

  • Pillar two consists of the rules relating to the governance (with specific focus on the risk management and internal audit functions) and rules relating to the activity of the supervisory authority.

  • Pillar three, dedicated to transparency, sets out the disclosure obligations towards the supervisory authority and the market.

A number of regulations further detailing the new provisions of Legislative Decree No. 74 have been issued/are going to be issued in the three areas indicated above.

 

Regulation of insurance and reinsurance contracts

3. What is a contract of insurance for the purposes of the law and regulation? How does it differ from a contract of reinsurance?

Insurance contracts

Italian law provides for the specific definition of various kinds of insurance contracts.

In particular:

  • Under Art. 1882 of the Civil Code, a contract of insurance against damages is a contract where the insurer, being paid a premium, commits to providing a remedy to the insured party, within agreed limits, for the damages suffered by a loss.

  • Under Art. 1882 of the Civil Code, a life insurance contract is a contract where the insurer, being paid a premium, commits to paying a lump sum or an income, upon the occurrence of an event relating to the lives of people.

  • Under Art. 1917 of the Civil Code, a civil liability insurance contract is a contract where the insurer, on payment of a premium, is obliged to hold the insured harmless regarding what the latter has to pay a third party in connection with a specific liability mentioned in the policy.

The definition of the civil liability insurance contract on the basis of the loss occurrence pattern has raised the issue of the validity of "claims made" insurance contracts.

According to the most recent case law (but not unanimous) such contracts are valid.

On 6 May 2016 the Joint Divisions of the Supreme Court issued Decision no. 9140 and confirmed (inter alia) that "claims made" clauses:

  • Do not contravene Article 2965 of the Civil Code, which provides that covenants that make it excessively difficult for a party to exercise the right under a contract are null and void.

  • Do not breach Article 1895 of the Civil Code (which provides for the nullity of insurance contracts covering risks that occur before the conclusion of a contract), since in the insurance of civil liability "the risk to the insured's assets... is realised gradually, because it is not confined only to the wrongful action... but the claim of the damaged third party is also needed". For this reason, a "claims made" clause is lawful as it "does not prejudice the existence of the risk that [in consideration of a wrongful action] other elements occur which may affect the damaged third party insured's assets".

  • Are not unfair since they do not limit the liability of the insurer, but rather define the insuring grant (Article 1341, Civil Code).

Reinsurance contracts

Italian law does not provide a definition for reinsurance contracts.

The regulations of reinsurance contracts are, for the most part, entrusted to the autonomous decisions of parties. In fact, law makers have limited themselves to regulating only specific aspects of reinsurance contracts in Articles 1928 and subsequent ones of the Civil Code.

 
4. Are all contracts of insurance/reinsurance regulated?

All the insurance contracts that parties can enter into are regulated by the Civil Code, by the Private Insurance Code and/ or by specific laws even if the parties do not make express reference to them.

On the other hand, reinsurance contracts are not regulated in detail by laws, except for the provisions mentioned in Question 3.

Among the kind of contracts that fulfil the same functions of some kinds of insurance contracts, the performance bond (contratti autonomi di garanzia) may be included.

These contracts are typically issued by banks or insurance companies in the context of public procurements/construction contracts for the purpose of enabling their prompt enforcement by the principal in case of breach of contract by the contractor.

 

Corporate structure

5. What form of corporate organisation can insurers take?

Without prejudice to the rules of freedom of services and establishment (see Question 6), according to Article 14 of the Private Insurance Code, insurers can adopt the form of:

  • Stock corporations, mutual companies and mutual aid societies whose units are represented by shares, set up respectively in accordance with Articles 2325, 2511 and 2546 of the Civil Code.

  • A European company according to Regulation (EC) 2157/2001 on the statute for a European company (European Company Statute Regulation).

 

Regulation of insurers and reinsurers

6. Are all insurers and reinsurers regulated? Are they all regulated in the same way?

All insurance and reinsurance companies that carry out their activities in Italy are subject to the Italian supervisory authority, the Institute for Insurance Supervision (IVASS).

The carrying out of insurance and/or reinsurance activities in Italy by companies which have their registered head office in another European Union member state can take place as follows:

  • Under the freedom of establishment regime, that is, by opening a branch in Italy.

  • Under the freedom to provide services regime, that is, by entering into insurance contracts in Italy without a branch.

The carrying out of insurance and/or reinsurance activities in Italy on the part of companies which have their registered head office in a country outside the European Union (that is, third countries) is subject to additional requirements (for the carrying out of insurance and/or reinsurance activities in Italy by the EU insurers). These requirements are set out by the Private Insurance Code/IVASS, and include the obligation to notify to IVASS of a business plan and the set-up of a deposit (Article 18, Private Insurance Code).

 
7. Can insurers and reinsurers carry on non-insurance business? Are there any restrictions on their business activities?

Insurers and reinsurers can only carry out insurance and reinsurance activities (Article 11, Private Insurance Code). Therefore, they cannot carry out any activity other than insurance and reinsurance activities, but for some limited exceptions expressly provided for by law (such as, for example, direct lending).

Moreover, insurance and reinsurance companies can only carry out their activities in the fields (life and/or not life business) and with reference to the specific classes of risk for which they have been expressly authorised.

 
8. Are there any statutory limits or other restrictions on, or requirements relating to, the transfer of risk by insurance or reinsurance companies?

The transfer of risks (portfolios) by insurers to other insurers is subject to prior notification to the Italian supervisory authority, the Institute for Insurance Supervision (IVASS) (and/or to the foreign regulator if the transfer involves foreign insurers) and is governed by articles 168/198 and the following of the Private Insurance Code and article 1902 of the Civil Code.

The transfer of risks by reinsurers is subject to the same prior notification requirements (Article 202, Private Insurance Code).

 

Operating restrictions

Authorisation or licensing

9. Does the entity or person have to be authorised or licensed?

Insurance/reinsurance providers

Carrying out insurance or reinsurance activities in any life or non-life business by domestic (that is, Italian insurers) requires prior authorisation from the Institute for Insurance Supervision (IVASS).

An entity will be authorised if it meets the following requirements:

  • It has a company structure that is either that of a joint stock company, a co-operative company, or a mutual insurance company.

  • It has capital sufficient to cover the absolute minimum of the minimum capital requirement.

  • There is proof that it is able to have its own admissible funds in order to eventually cover the solvency capital requirements.

  • Owners of qualifying shareholdings must meet the integrity and professionalism requirements set out in Article 77 of the Private Insurance Code.

  • Individuals who will carry out the administration, management and supervisory tasks, as well as those who will hold key roles within the company, must meet the integrity, professionalism and independence requirements set out in Article 76 of the Private Insurance Code.

  • There is a submission of a programme of activities that, among other matters, establishes:

    • the nature of risks or liabilities that the company intends to insure;

    • whether the company intends to take on reinsurance risks, and the kind of agreements it intends to enter into with the transferring companies;

    • its guidelines for reinsurance and retrocession.

IVASS issues the authorisation or the denial ruling within 90 days of an application being filed.

The performance of insurance business in Italy under the freedom of services and freedom of establishment provisions by EEA undertakings (from the EU Life and Non-Life Insurance Directives) is subject to prior notification to the competent authority of the state of origin and IVASS.

Insurance/reinsurance intermediaries

Insurance and reinsurance intermediaries must be companies or individuals who are recorded in a specific register held by IVASS (Register of insurance and reinsurance intermediaries (Register)).

Registration in the various sections of the Register is subject to the holding of specific requirements that vary from section to section (IVASS Regulation No. 5 of 16 October 2006 and the applicable rules set out in the Private Insurance Code). The sections of the Register include:

  • Section A: Agents.

  • Section B: Brokers.

  • Section C: Direct providers.

  • Section D: Banks and financial mediators.

  • Section E: People tasked with inter-mediation activities outside the intermediary's premises).

In any event, considerable importance is given to the holding of specific professional qualifications proven by eligibility tests.

As above, the performance of insurance and reinsurance intermediation business in Italy under the freedom of services and freedom of establishment provisions by EEA undertakings (from the EU Life and Non-Life Insurance Directives) is subject to prior notification to the competent authority of the state of origin and IVASS.

Other providers of insurance/reinsurance-related activities

The activity carried out by claims adjusters or third party administrators (that is, activity which does not fall within the broad definition of insurance and reinsurance intermediation set out by Italian laws and regulations) is not a restricted activity.

 
10. What are the main exemptions or exclusions from authorisation or licensing?

Insurance/reinsurance providers

See above, Question 9.

Insurance/reinsurance intermediaries

The main exemptions or exclusions are:

  • The mere provision of information on an incidental basis in the context of another professional activity, provided that the purpose of that activity is not to assist the policyholder in concluding or performing an insurance contract.

  • Insurance mediation activities, if all the following conditions are met:

    • the insurance contract only requires knowledge of the insurance cover that is provided;

    • except for the case envisaged under point four below, the insurance contract is not a life assurance contract or does not cover any liability risks;

    • (re)insurance mediation is not the main professional activity;

    • the insurance is complementary/ancillary to a product or service and covers the risks of loss or breakdown or, in the event of booked travels, covers the loss of, or damage to, luggage or life assurance or liability risks linked to the travel booked;

    • the amount of the annual premium does not exceed EUR500 and the total duration of the insurance contract, including any renewals, does not exceed five years.

Other providers of insurance/reinsurance-related activities

Not applicable.

 

Restrictions on ownership or control

11. Are there any restrictions on the ownership or control of insurance-related entities?

Insurance/reinsurance providers

The owners of controlling shareholdings (or, in any case, owners of greater than 10%) of insurance or reinsurance companies must meet the integrity criteria set out by Economic Development Ministry Regulation No. 220 of 11 November 2011 (Article 77, Private Insurance Code). The integrity criteria will not be met if any of the following occur:

  • The owners are legally banned or temporarily banned from management posts in companies.

  • The owners have been remanded in custody by the judicial authorities.

  • The owners are subject to a sentence of jail, without further possibility of appeal, or are sentenced for one of the crimes that are expressly provided for.

Insurance/reinsurance intermediaries

Not applicable.

Other providers of insurance/reinsurance-related activities

Not applicable.

 
12. Must owners or controllers be approved by or notified to the relevant authorities before taking, increasing or reducing their control or ownership of the entity?

Insurance/reinsurance providers

The Institute for Insurance Supervision (IVASS) must authorise in advance (Article 68, of the Code of Private Insurance):

  • Any acquisition, on any basis whatsoever, of participations in an insurance or reinsurance undertaking amounting to a controlling interest, or conferring a proportion of the voting rights or of the capital, to at least 10%.

  • Changes in holdings whenever the proportion of the voting rights, or of the capital, reaches or exceeds 20, 30 or 50% and, at any rate, whenever such changes convey the control of the insurance or reinsurance undertaking.

Insurance/reinsurance intermediaries

Not applicable.

Other providers of insurance/reinsurance-related activities

Not applicable.

 

Ongoing requirements for the authorised or licensed entity

13. What are the key ongoing requirements with which the authorised or licensed entity must comply?

Insurance/reinsurance providers

Domestic undertakings are subject to a number of provisions requiring them to make regular notifications to the Institute for Insurance Supervision (IVASS) about, their financials, investments, collected premiums and complaints.

In addition, any change to the bye-laws of a domestic insurance or reinsurance company is subject to IVASS approval (Article 196, Private Insurance Code).

The issue of shares always entails a modification of the bye-laws and, therefore, it requires IVASS approval. The issue of bonds requires IVASS approval only if a change is made to the company bye-laws or to its initial programme of activities because of the operation's features.

In addition, the following matters are subject to prior IVASS authorisation (Articles 198, Private Insurance Code):

  • The transfer, whether total or partial, of the insurance or reinsurance company's portfolio.

  • The mergers and demergers of insurance and reinsurance companies.

Transactions with affiliates within the same holding company group must be notified in advance to IVASS, which may (subject to certain conditions) veto the operation, in the event that it produces negative effects on the solvency of a group, or of individual companies in the group (Article 215, Private Insurance Code).

Insurance undertakings performing business in Italy, under the freedom of services and freedom of regulation provisions by EEA undertakings (from the EU Life and Non-Life Insurance Directives) are subject to limited notification requirements (such as that relating to collected premiums and complaints in case they exceed 20 per year).

Insurance/reinsurance intermediaries

Insurance and reinsurance intermediaries must have a professional insurance policy in place while performing the relevant activity which must be notified to the regulator.

Other providers of insurance/reinsurance-related activities

Not applicable.

 

Penalties for non-compliance with legal and regulatory requirements

14. What are the possible consequences of an entity failing to comply with applicable legal and regulatory requirements? What recourse do policyholders have if they have done business with a non-approved entity?

Insurance/reinsurance providers

If insurance and reinsurance companies violate the provisions regulating insurance and/or reinsurance activities, they are subject to administrative penalties from a minimum of EUR1000 to a maximum of EUR100,000 or, in some cases, the members of auditing panels or the board of directors are subject to fines.

The most serious cases (for example, engaging in insurance activities without the necessary authorisation) also amount to a criminal offence (punishable with up to two years in jail).

Insurance contracts entered into with insurance companies that are not authorised to carry out this activity are void.

Insurance/reinsurance intermediaries

If insurance and/or reinsurance intermediaries breach the provisions regulating the relevant activity, they are subject to administrative penalties of a minimum of EUR1000 to a maximum of EUR10,000 or, in some cases, the members of auditing panels or the board of directors are subject to fines.

Individuals can also be subject to specific disciplinary measures, the most serious of which is being stricken off the relevant register.

Other providers of insurance/reinsurance-related activities

Not applicable.

 

Restrictions on persons to whom services can be marketed or sold

15. Are there any restrictions on the persons to whom insurance/reinsurance services and contracts can be marketed or sold?

Generally, there are no specific restrictions on the persons to whom insurance/reinsurance services and contracts can be marketed or sold. The provision of insurance services to public entities is subject to mandatory public tender.

 

Reinsurance monitoring and disclosure requirements

16. To what extent can/must a reinsurance company monitor the claims, settlements and underwriting of the cedant company?

There are no specific legal provisions. However, it is usual for reinsurance agreements to provide for the reinsurance company's right to monitor and steer the management of claims, settlements or underwriting.

 
17. What disclosure/notification obligations does the cedant company have to the reinsurance company?

There are no specific legal provisions set out for reinsurance.

In any case, the general principles of contractual performance in good faith and pre-contract information apply (Articles 1175 and 1375, Civil Code).

According to academic opinions, the insured's obligation to represent to the insurer the underlying risk for which coverage is sought can also be applied to the reinsurance contract. This interpretation is supported by a court precedent according to which section 1892 of the Italian Civil Code is applicable to the reinsurance contract in the event of a risk of misrepresentation by the cedant to the reinsurer.

 

Insurance and reinsurance policies

Content requirements and commonly found clauses

18. What are the main general form and content requirements for insurance policies? What are the most commonly found clauses?

Form and content requirements

Insurance contracts must be in writing.

Pursuant to IVASS Regulation No. 35 of 26 May 2010, before any offer is signed, insurance companies must submit to the proposed insured, a pre-contract information package including the following main documents:

  • Information note.

  • Insurance conditions.

  • Glossary and proposal form (if any).

Depending on the class of risk, further pre-contract documents may be required.

The IVASS Regulation sets out the criteria for the main documents, as well as the content they must include. In essence, the information that is required is aimed at ensuring that insured parties are able to understand contractual duties and obligations exactly.

Commonly found clauses

The most common clauses in insurance policies are:

  • Indemnity exclusion clauses.

  • Clauses setting out the obligations to provide information on the insured party's risk either before or during the performance of the contract.

  • A clause setting out the insurance companies' subrogation rights.

  • A clause for the termination of insurance in the event of the insurance company undergoing extraordinary events (such as mergers, ceasing activities, sale of the company or of one of its branches).

  • An automatic renewal clause.

 
19. Is facultative or treaty reinsurance more common? What are the most commonly found clauses in reinsurance policies?

Facultative/treaty reinsurance

In practice, both kinds of reinsurance are used. Treaty reinsurance is statistically more common.

Commonly found clauses

The most common clauses in reinsurance policies are:

  • A clause for limiting reinsured risks.

  • A claims control clause.

  • A loss settlement clause.

  • A "follow the fortune" clause.

  • A "follow the form" clause.

 

Implied terms

20. Are there any terms that are implied by law or regulation (even if not included in the insurance or reinsurance contract)?

Insurance contracts are meticulously regulated by the Civil Code, by the Private Insurance Code and the IVASS secondary regulations which apply whether or not the parties refer to them in the agreement. Among the duties in the contract, the most important is the duty of utmost good faith (Articles 1892, 1893 and 1898, Civil Code).

Reinsurance contracts are not heavily regulated. However, most of the applicable regulations refer to the agreements between the parties.

 

Customer protections

21. How do customer protections in the general law affect insurance contracts? What customer protections are generally included in insurance policies to supplement this?

General law

Most measures in general law that are aimed at protecting consumers are also specifically included in the insurance sector laws.

Among the general obligations for consumer protection (Legislative Decree no. 206/2005) the following are noted:

  • The pre-contract information obligations set out by the Consumer Code in long-distance negotiations or negotiations outside the contract's trading premises.

  • Protection of consumers in the event of certain clauses that lead to consumers shouldering a significant imbalance of rights and obligations arising from a contract (unfair terms).

Insurance policies

In order to protect insured parties, the sector's regulations set out far-reaching information obligations for insurance companies and intermediaries, as well as general conduct obligations in the stipulation and distribution of insurance policies (IVASS Regulations No. 35, 26 May 2010; No. 5, 16 October 2006 as amended).

Insurance policies typically include specific sections where the insured parties must clearly approve the content of the unfair terms.

 

Standard policies or terms

22. What are the main standard policies or terms produced by trade associations or relevant authorities?

The main example of standard policies defined directly by the law and whose format cannot be departed from is motor liability insurance. The minimum contents of these policies are established by the Development Ministry.

Similarly, insurance covering the risk arising from medical trials are standardised in accordance with the applicable legal decrees.

Insurance trade associations issue guidelines relating to certain insurance contracts, although these are not binding.

 

Insurance and reinsurance policy claims

Establishing an insurance claim

23. What must be established to trigger coverage under an insurance policy?

Coverage is typically triggered by the verification of a loss event (in a loss-occurrence policy) or the establishment of liability (in claim-made insurance contracts) or a settlement agreement between the parties entered into upon the authorisation of the insurer.

Generally, an insured party is obliged to notify an insurance company of any request for compensation that has been received, or of any loss event which he or she is aware of.

 

Third party insurance claims

24. What are the circumstances in which third parties can claim under an insurance policy?

The only circumstance currently provided for relates to the case of the policy providing cover for motor liability.

A very recent bill proposed to introduce the same right in the matter of medical malpractice (that is, in policies covering the risk of hospitals and medical professionals arising from medical activities).

Discussions on the bill are continuing at the government level.

 

Time limits

25. Is there a time limit outside of which the insured/reinsured is barred from making a claim?

The insured party's right to make a claim expires two years from the date when the cause of action accrued (Article 2952, the Civil Code).

In third party liability insurance, the deadline starts applying from the day in which a third party has made a claim against an insured party, or has sued the latter. However, notification to the insurance company informing it about a third-party request suspends the deadline.

In the case of life insurance, the insured party's rights expire after ten years.

 

Enforcement

26. Can the original policyholder or other third party enforce the reinsurance contract against a reinsurer?

This is not allowed in Italy under Article 1929 of the Civil Code, which states that the reinsurance contract does not create any relationship between the insured and the reinsurer.

 

Remedies

27. What remedies are available for breach of an insurance policy?

Insurer

In the event of breach by the insured party of the obligations taken on with a contract or if an insured party has taken out a policy in bad faith, by omitting to supply all the required information, insurance companies can:

  • In the most serious cases, act to ensure the policy that has been signed is void.

  • Obtain compensation for damages (however the damage must be established and proven).

  • Deny insurance cover by refusing to settle a claim.

Insured

Insured parties can report to the supervisory authority any alleged breach of the obligations set out by the regulations on the part of insurance and/or reinsurance companies or insurance intermediaries.

Insured parties can also take action to hold insurance parties accountable for alleged breaches of contractual obligations.

Damages in excess of the policy limit for the mismanagement of the claim made can be claimed by the insured upon actual evidence that he or she has suffered prejudice due to this.

 

Punitive damage claims

28. Are punitive damages insurable? Can punitive damages be reinsured if they are covered by an underlying policy?

Punitive damages are not allowed in Italy and foreign decisions awarding these kinds of damages are not enforceable in Italy.

 

Insolvency of insurance and reinsurance providers

29. What is the regulatory framework for dealing with distressed or insolvent insurance or reinsurance companies, or other persons or entities providing insurance or reinsurance related services? What regulatory and/or other protections exist for policyholders if the insurance company is insolvent?

If an insurance or reinsurance company becomes insolvent, mandatory administrative liquidation applies, which is regulated by Articles 245 onwards of the Private Insurance Code.

In the event of an insurance company's insolvency, the insurance contracts underway continue to provide cover for risks until the 60th day following the publication of the opening of insolvency proceedings, without prejudice, in any case, for the insured parties' entitlement to withdraw from the contracts.

 
30. Can excess insurance policies "drop down" to provide coverage if the primary insurer goes into insolvency?

It is possible, unless specifically provided for otherwise, that a solvent insurer is called upon to entirely cover for the risk undertaken in the event that the primary insurer goes into insolvency.

 
31. Is a right to set-off mutual debts and credits recognised in an insolvency proceeding involving an insurer or reinsurer?

The set-off right is recognised under Article 1930 of the Civil Code.

 

Taxation of insurance and reinsurance providers

32. What is the tax treatment for insurers, reinsurers, and other persons or entities providing insurance and reinsurance-related services?

In general, entities doing business in Italy are subject to a number of taxes, including:

  • Corporate income tax (at a 27% rate).

  • Regional tax on productive activities (generally applicable at a 3.9% rate).

  • VAT.

  • Withholding tax.

Italian insurance and reinsurance companies (as well as Italian branches of foreign companies) are subject to these taxes although specific rules are applicable.

For example, insurance companies and parent companies of insurance groups can deduct interest expenses only up to 96% of their amount for IRES purposes. Special rules apply to losses and write-downs of insurance companies' receivables that are duly booked as receivables from clients in the balance sheet; amounts set aside to create or increase obligatory technical reserves are allowed as deductions, up to a statutory cap, for IRES purposes. IRAP is applicable to insurance companies at a higher ordinary tax rate equal to 5.9%. Moreover, insurance/reinsurance activities and related intermediary services are generally VAT exempt.

Furthermore, entities providing insurance-related services are subject to other specific taxes such as the tax applicable on the insurance premiums (Imposta sulle assicurazioni) and the substitutive tax on mathematical reserves (Imposta sulle riserve matematiche).

 

Insurance and reinsurance dispute resolution

33. Are there special procedures or venues for dealing with insurance or reinsurance complaints or disputes?

Legislative Decree 28/2010 introduced mandatory mediation, setting out that the initiation of ordinary judicial proceedings over certain matters (including insurance law disputes) has to be preceded by out-of-court proceedings before a third party mediator with the aim of achieving a settlement between the parties.

 
34. Are arbitration clauses in insurance and reinsurance agreements enforceable?

Arbitration clauses are in general recognised and enforceable in insurance policies and reinsurance contracts.

 
35. Are choice of forum, venue and applicable law clauses in an insurance or reinsurance contract recognised and enforced?

Such clauses are recognised, but they need to be expressly approved by the insured.

 

Reform

36. What proposals are there for reform of the law, regulation or rules relating to the provision of insurance or reinsurance services?

The main insurance law reform that will be implemented by 2018 is EU Directive 2016/97/EU of 20 January 2016, which modifies insurance intermediation regulations.

There are also expected reforms in relation to:

  • The various IVASS regulations implementing Directive 2009/138/EC on the taking-up and pursuit of the business of insurance and reinsurance (Solvency II Directive).

  • Medical malpractice.

 

Main insurance/reinsurance trade organisations

Italian Association of Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers (Associazione Italiana Brokers) (AIBA)

Main activities. AIBA is the Italian Association of Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers. The association currently has over 1100 associates representing about 75% of the industry. The main activities are:

  • To collaborate with industry authorities, both political and surveillance institutions, in relation to the legislative and regulatory process.
  • To represent the category in every board that is of interest to the category.
  • To carry out studies on insurance matters in collaboration with legal experts and consultants.

W www.aiba.it

Italian Association of Insurers and Reinsurers (Associazione Nazionale delle Imprese Assicuratrici) (ANIA)

Main activities. ANIA is the Italian Association of Insurers and Reinsurers. The association focuses on:

  • Collaborating with industry authorities, both political and surveillance institutions, in relation to the legislative and regulatory process.
  • Representing the category in every board that is of interest to the category.
  • Carrying out studies on insurance matters in collaboration with legal experts and consultants.

W www.ania.it



Online resources

W www.ivass.it

Description. This website is maintained by Institute for Insurance Supervision and it contains official information.



Contributor profiles

David Maria Marino, Partner

DLA Piper Studio Legale Tributario Associato

T +39 02 80 618 1
F +39 02 80 618 201
E david.marino@dlapiper.com
W www.dlapiper.com

Professional qualifications. Admitted to the Milan Bar; Admitted to represent clients before the Supreme Court in Italy; Former Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales.

Areas of practice. Insurance

Non-professional qualifications. Law degree, University of Milan, Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; School in English legal methods, Cambridge; SDA Bocconi School of Management; Milan, Executive programme on M&A transactions.

Languages. Italian; English

Sebastiano Costa, Associate

DLA Piper Studio Legale Tributario Associato

T +39 02 80 618 1
F +39 02 80 618 201
E sebastiano.costa@dlapiper.com
W www.dlapiper.com

Professional qualifications. Admitted to the Milan bar

Areas of practice. Insurance

Non-professional qualifications. Law degree, University of Milan Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Phd in corporate law, University of Milan Luigi Bocconi.

Languages. Italian; English; French


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