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Internal Market: Iceland must give consumers right to complain about insurance intermediaries



Iceland must set up a system allowing consumers to register complaints about insurance and reinsurance intermediaries. The cooperation and exchange of information with other EEA States must also be strengthened. This is the conclusion of a reasoned opinion delivered by the EFTA Surveillance Authority to Iceland today.

Insurance intermediaries help insurance customers by identifying risks, ensuring that they take informed decisions, reducing customers' search costs, providing personalised advice etc. Insurance intermediaries also help insurers by facilitating entry into the market, assisting with claims-related services and policy administration etc.

The Insurance Mediation Directive[1] should have been implemented in Iceland by 15 January 2005, but an assessment done by the Authority has revealed that three provisions of the Directive have not been implemented in full. Two of them concern cooperation and exchange of information with other EEA States.[2] Under Icelandic law, there is no obligation for the supervisory authority to cooperate and exchange information as prescribed by the Directive.

The third provision deals with complaints against insurance intermediaries.[3] According to the Directive, consumers and other interested parties, for example consumers associations, shall have a right to lodge complaints against insurance intermediaries. There is no such right in Iceland today.

The Icelandic authorities have admitted the shortcomings and indicated that the matters will be rectified during autumn 2012.

Delivery of a reasoned opinion is the second stage in infringement proceedings. The Authority may bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Iceland fails to take the measures necessary to comply within two months of receiving the reasoned opinion.


For further information, please contact:

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187


[1] Directive 2002/91/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 December 2002 on insurance mediation

[2] Articles 9(1) and 9(2) of the Directive

[3] Article 10 of the Directive

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