February 23: How binding is the deadline for the IDD launch?
Shortly before Christmas, the EU Commission has officially announced: The application start of the Insurance Distribution Directive - IDD for short - should be postponed, if possible, from 23 February to 1 October. The prerequisite for this is that the European Parliament and the Council also agree.
At the end of November, DAS INVESTMENT had already learned about and reported on corresponding plans at European government level. That Parliament and Council agree to the shift can be taken for granted. After all, Parliament has brought the IDD shift into play first.
Deadline for national implementation remains
In connection with its proposal to postpone the launch of the IDD, the European Commission also stressed in December that the 23rd of February would remain as a deadline. By the date the EU Member States should have adapted their national legislation.
However, the stipulations of the EU Commission raise new questions. It is unclear: does national legislation, which is already available as of 23 February, have to be applied from the date on? Does national law then apply or can the actors invoke the application shift at EU level? This would contradict the national laws of the Member States and superordinate EU law.
In Germany, there is also a circumstance that makes the legal situation even more blurred: The revised German Insurance Mediation Ordinance VersVermV, which is intended to specifically shape the provisions of the IDD, is not expected to be available until 23 February. Because time is running out, the legislative process is currently not far enough advanced. At the end of October, the first draft of the recast regulation was in place and market participants were able to comment on it by the end of November. After that it became quiet about the topic.
How mediators should prepare for the 23rd of February
There are many tips in the industry that insurance agents want to make IDD fit. For example, Hamburg law firm Michaelis has drafted a suitability assessment form . Anyone who does not carry out an IDD-compliant suitability assessment for brokerage of insurance investment products at the end of February, may be the source of serious legal consequences, warns office owner Stephan Michaelis.
Attorney Norman Wirth, founder of the Berlin-based law firm Wirth Rechtsanwälte and board member of the AfW mediation association, recommends that the IDD rules be better applied by the end of February. It is unclear how 'implementation in the Member States' can be precisely defined by the 'application of the rules' - 'especially in its impact on civil law issues, such as liability and competition', explains Wirth at the request of DAS INVESTMENT. He assumes that all involved would have the date February 23 in view and "all relevant players are then IDD-ready".
Transition phase or moratorium?
Last autumn , Wirth said that a transitional phase could be set up for the IDD launch , where brokers would continue to operate under the old rules. Or that there could alternatively be a moratorium: violations of norms that are not yet clear in detail would then not be punished.
Wirth may not commit to a concrete prediction on how the situation will be for mediators after February 23 at the beginning of 2018. There are many strangers in the game: " We have an effective, effective and enforced IDD Implementation Act with implications for VVG, VAG, GewO (Insurance Contract Law, Insurance Supervision Law and Industrial Code, the Red. ). But we have no effective, effective and in Applicable VersVermV and no corresponding legal acts, "said Wirth.
In view of the unclear basis, the lawyer advises: "Anyone who considers and implements the requirements of the IDD, the draft of the Insurance Mediation Ordinance - if at all possible - and the not yet legally effective delegated acts of the European Commission from 23.2 . "