June 10th, 2010

Continental European Legislative and Judicial Trends: Conclusion

Posted at 11:00 AM ET

2010_legislative_thumb-2David Lewin, Managing Director

Continental Europe’s legal framework continues to change and develop. This is evident at both the “macro” and “micro” levels.

At the “macro” level, governments across Europe are increasingly looking to reduce states’ cost burdens for healthcare. This has resulted in more restrictive judgments on cases involving accidents at work. We see this currently in the changes to workers compensation legislation in Norway, as well as in the acceptance of recourse measures against the private insurance industry by state bodies, evidenced by the current successful appeal (which could nevertheless be reversed) of the Swedish National Road administration against the motor liability insurer Länsförsäkringar.

We see two trends emerging in new legislation. One is a movement towards a sharing of the claims burden with the private insurance industry. The other is a simplification of certain legal processes to enable individuals to pursue their civil legal rights more easily. This may, as in the example of Italy, result in the introduction of mass tort litigation but, in contrast to the United States, this is designed to minimize legal costs. Mass tort litigation also attempts to set sensible indemnity limits which are not influenced, for example, by the limit of insurance purchased by the defendant. The upholding of the “Trennungsprinzip” - the principle of maintaining a strict separation between the question of liability of the insured and the question of coverage - is underlined in the recent German Federal High Court ruling described in this report.

At the “micro” level we should not miss important legal changes that influence statutory legal liability coverage, such as those affecting “RC Decennale” in France, nor should we ignore individual judicial decisions which affect the legal liability position of certain industrial/ commercial and professional risk segments in individual territories. This is exemplified by the changing liability position of liquidators in the Netherlands and accountants in Spain.

Together with our legal colleagues from Heuking Kuehn’s network, we will continue
to watch individual cases as well as more general legal trends and developments across the region.

Download the full report >>

View the Fall 2009 report >>

Click here to have the rest of this series — and other GC Capital Ideas updates — delivered to your inbox

Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the United States through GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities Corp., a US registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC. Main Office: 1166 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Phone: (212) 345-5000. Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the European Union by GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd., which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Reinsurance products are placed through qualified affiliates of Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC. MMC Securities Corp., MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd. and Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC are affiliates owned by Marsh & McLennan Companies. This communication is not intended as an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy any security, financial instrument, reinsurance or insurance product.

Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC provides this report for general information only. The information contained herein is based on sources we believe reliable, but we do not guarantee its accuracy, and it should be understood to be general insurance/reinsurance information only. Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC makes no representations or warranties, express or implied. The information is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any historical, current or forward-looking statements. Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any historical, current or forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, research, future events or otherwise.

Statements concerning, tax, accounting, legal or regulatory matters should be understood to be general observations based solely on our experience as reinsurance brokers and risk consultants, and may not be relied upon as tax, accounting, legal or regulatory advice which we are not authorized to provide. All such matters should be reviewed with your own qualified advisors in these areas.

AddThis Feed Button
Bookmark and Share

Related Posts