Recent Legislative and Judicial Developments in Continental Europe Affecting the Casualty Insurance Industry is the latest installment in Guy Carpenter & Company Ltd.’s (“Guy Carpenter’s”) legislative update series, designed to provide our international clients and markets with a concise overview of key trends in the Continental European legal environment. These issues have had an impact on insurers and reinsurers or are expected to have an effect in the near future.
Guy Carpenter has produced this report thanks to a continued valued cooperation with the insurance practice of law firm Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek and its network of legal experts, who are acknowledged as leading insurance law practitioners in their respective jurisdictions across Continental Europe. The objective has been, as in previous reports in this series, to focus on the legislative or judicial developments that we consider to be of greatest impact in each selected country. It has not been our goal to produce an exhaustive review of the entire scope of legislative changes and judicial rulings of the past year in Continental Europe, but rather to highlight the main developments that we and our legal colleagues perceive as being worthy of attention, and where necessary, further in-depth study.
This issue of Recent Legislative and Judicial Developments in Continental Europe Affecting the Casualty Insurance Industry covers the period April 2012 to August 2012. The edition includes discussions on the following:
- Austria – Discussion of whether a “right to direct litigation” (RDL) in cases of co-insurance would constitute the waiver of an insured party’s right to legal protection under Austrian law
- Belgium – Revised guidelines from the European Commission show a significant improvement in the risk assessment and managing of product recalls and other corrective actions
- France – French authorities have become more inclined to apply the precautionary principle in recent cases, which forces manufacturers to track scientific advances of products introduced to the market and recall them if their safety is questionable
- Germany – Federal Court of Germany ruled that a breach of contractual incidental obligation due to gross negligence can release an insurer from its payment obligations
- Italy – Court ruling requires companies to put solid fire and industrial injury prevention measures in place, along with an effective compliance program, to avoid corporate liability
- The Netherlands – New export control legislation encourages companies involved in commercial transactions for dual-use items (military products also used for civil purposes) to make a detailed analysis of their far-reaching responsibilities
- Norway – Analysis of recent Supreme Court rulings involving casualty law including decisions on motor liability, occupational damage, and recourse action against a county authority
- Poland – Supreme Court enacts more stringent rules in establishing due compensation in vehicle holders’ insurance market
- Spain – Exploration of the impact of significant reforms made to the Spanish Criminal Code surrounding the criminal liability of companies on directors and officers coverage
- Sweden – Case study examines Sweden’s three-tiered model for compensation of occupational injuries and potential for double compensation under the existing structure
- Switzerland – The current ban on retroactive insurance is likely to be removed from The Swiss Insurance Contract Act, which is currently being revised