EIOPA launches public consultation on two good practices reports in the area of consumer protection

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has launched a public consultation on two Good Practices Reports on comparison websites and knowledge & ability of distributors of insurance products.

The Report on comparison websites outlines good practices concerning online comparisons of insurance products. The good practices address primarily the activities of commercial comparison websites; however, also non-commercial websites’ operators are equally encouraged to check whether their practices are in line with the good practices identified, and to adapt them accordingly, if needed. The good practices concern the following areas:

i)     Information about the website;
ii)    Market coverage;
iii)   Presentation of information;
iv)   Criteria used to make the ranking;
v)    Frequency of updating the information; and
vi)   Dealing with potential conflicts of interest.

Furthermore, the Report also identifies main features and different business models of comparison websites. The objective of the Report is to promote transparency, simplicity and fairness for Internet users in the market for online comparisons of insurance products.

The Report on knowledge & ability sets out good supervisory practices in the form of high-level principles that competent authorities would apply to all distributors of insurance products. These are supplemented by indicative examples of what a competent authority could require a distributor to demonstrate in terms of knowledge and ability, thus allowing for flexibility to adopt a proportionate approach at national level. For example, the report promotes not only appropriate knowledge and ability for distributors, but also the demonstration of ethical and professional conduct at all times and suggests a minimum level of continuous professional development (CPD). The objective of the Report is to promote common supervisory approaches in an area where diverse national approaches have arisen out of the implementation of IMD1.

The period for providing comments on the two Good Practices reports will end on 23 September 2013.

The Consultation Papers can be viewed on EIOPA website.