Insurance, agents in revolt for the reform
The comparison between insurance agents and Mise comes on. The theme is the transposition of the insurance distribution directive. The object of the dispute, specifically, is the draft legislative decree implementing the 2016/97 EU directive (known as the Idd), whose implementation was postponed to July, with application in October 2018.
For days the category has been on a war footing since the text of transposition of the directive on distribution, approved by the Council of Ministers on 8 February 2018, provides that, in substance, agents and subagents must pay the premiums collected by customers directly on the accounts companies and introduces higher penalties for the category.
Yesterday with a letter in bright tones sent to the premier Paolo Gentiloni, to the minister Carlo Calenda and to other institutions involved (like Ivass), the Sna (national union of insurance agents) proclaimed the state of agitation of the agents and announced the possibility of resorting to even to "civil disobedience".
The leaders of the union were also received on the same day by the head of cabinet of the Mise, Ernesto Somma, who took note of the position of the agents. The hope of the category is that changes will be made to the text at the request of the parliamentary committees (to which the scheme was submitted yesterday). According to the agents, the time needed to correct the shooting would be tight, since the agenda of the Council of Ministers seems to be the deadline for the approval of February 23, the day after tomorrow.
This is one of the last acts of the category for days on the war. The provision concerns 20 thousand Italian agents and 200 thousand people (between collaborators, sub-agents and agent manufacturers) as well as over 30 thousand employees. "The effects on brokers affected only with regards to the activity of collaboration with agents are more nuanced", explain Aiba (Broker trade association).
The opposition to the amendment of Article 117 of the Insurance Code, introduced under Article 1, paragraph 19 of the already approved Legislative Decree, continues to be reiterated, which, if passed definitively in the parliamentary classrooms, would impose precisely on the agents and subagents to pay the premiums collected directly to the account of the client. A practice that, to tell the truth, is already implemented by some large groups (like Allianz through the Allianz One service).
However, intermediaries perceive intervention as one of the many attempts by companies to "disintermediate" agencies and deprive them of their financial flows with the approval of the Authority, which is happy to have greater traceability on customer payments.
"I am certain that those who have signed the law - concludes Claudio Demozzi, president of Sna - have underestimated the invasiveness and gravity of its content, especially for smaller companies, where the agents' work system is still strongly linked to the direct relationship also in the intermediation of financial flows ". The most affected would be multi-firm agents, who often cash in single checks for the payment of more policies with more companions. The innovations therefore should, according to the category, against the concept of multi-mandate and increased competition.
Anapa (National Association of Insurance Professionals) has been in the field for a long time against the provision and has sent a letter to the Mise already after the approval of the text of transposition by the Council of Ministers. "If the provision passes - explains Vincenzo Cirasola, president of Anapa and of the agents group Generali - we would be faced with an excess of delegation. Furthermore, the IDD does not innovate what had already been provided by the IMD and incorporated in the Insurance Code which provides precise safeguards to safeguard financial flows, placing a series of obligations on the intermediaries, including the signing of a professional Rc policy, l 'establishment of a separate account or a bank guarantee'.
The transposition scheme also provides for "administrative pecuniary sanctions" with new sanctioning limits that do not distinguish between companies and intermediaries and therefore do not respect the natural principle of proportionality.