In this issue:-
Solvency II Framework Directive – 2007/44 EC European Commission Reviews the Insurance Block Exemption Proposed New European System of Financial Supervision Health Insurance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2009 SOLVENCY II FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE - 2007/44EC
The Solvency II Framework Directive will introduce a risk based capital regulatory regime for insurers, reinsurers and captive companies with more than €5 million in gross premium volume that operate in the European Union. This Directive is due to be implemented no later than 31 October 2012.
Following approval by the European Parliament of the framework principles (Level 1) in May 2009, progress is now underway to develop Level 2, the more detailed Implementing Measures. The Level 2 Implementing Measures are required to take account of advice from the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pension Scheme Supervisors ("CEIOPS") whose advice is due by the end of 2009.
CEIOPS has released the third set of consultation papers relating to Level 2 implementation measures for Solvency II. The 16 papers, which cover topics including partial internal models, calibration of non-life underwriting risk and advice on simplifications have a response deadline of 1200 CET on 11 December 2009.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION REVIEWS THE INSURANCE BLOCK EXEMPTION
The insurance block exemption exempts certain agreements between insurers from scrutiny under the European rules on agreements between competitors (Article 81 of the EC Treaty). However, the current block exemption introduced in 2003 expires in March 2010 and the European Commission is currently consulting on its renewal.
The Insurance Block Exemption
The current block exemption was introduced in 2003. It exempts, subject to conditions, certain categories of agreement from Article 81, which prohibits anticompetitive agreements. The categories of agreement that are currently covered by the block exemption are:
joint calculations, tables and studies; standard policy conditions; insurance and reinsurance pools; and standards for security devices. This exemption was introduced before the 2004 reforms, which removed the possibility of obtaining individual exemptions for particular agreements from the Commission. In certain industries, such as insurance, block exemptions were introduced to provide certainty without the needed for a multiplicity of notifications. However, since those reforms, the possibility of obtaining explicit...