June 17th, 2011

Continental European Legislative and Judicial Trends: Conclusion

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

David Lewin, Managing Director

The topics covered by our latest update are wide-ranging and indicate the complex diversity of legislative and judicial developments that insurers and reinsurers must keep track of in Continental Europe:

  • The reports from Austria and the Netherlands underline the importance of paying full attention to prescription periods.
  • The reports from Germany and from the EFTA Court in Brussels indicate the dynamism of judicial developments in the light of technological change. Judgments are handed down that set the practical considerations of modern supply networks and information technology against previously understood legal principles of responsibility.
  • We learn that claims-made policies in Italy can still be overturned if the claimant has not actively agreed and counter-signed his understanding of the policy trigger.
  • In Switzerland the new Product Safety Law follows EU principles and in effect creates a more level playing field for EU manufacturers to compete in the Swiss market. The new law simplifies but also heightens product safety requirements and legal liability for maintaining safety standards.
  • We learn of the particular requirements in France that have been developed by the judiciary to ensure objective arbitration standards.

Our inaugural report on Poland provides insight into the development of legal and judicial activity in a recently joined EU member in the post-Communist era, highlighting the changes that are leading to the growth of insurance law.

Finally, we include an interesting insight into the workings of the courts of appeal in Spain and Sweden. Decisions by the Supreme Court of each country have re-stated principles already laid down in other EU territories - an indication, perhaps, that in spite of multifarious underlying practices and standards, the Supreme Courts in EU territories will strive to establish common European Union standards.

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