EC Insurance Block Exemption Regulation (Standard Policy Conditions)
This is an update for Members following LMA bulletin LMA09-033-RG dated 19 October 2009.
Previous Bulletins (see references above) have advised Members about the progress of the European Commission’s review of the Insurance Block Exemption Regulation (IBER). The Commission has proposed a new draft regulation which continues the block exemption for joint calculation studies and pools (on amended terms) but not for standard policy conditions (“SPCs”). The new regulation is scheduled to come into force on 1 April 2010.
The LMA has taken external legal advice in relation to the development of SPCs and the risk that this activity may be contrary to competition law without the safe harbour of the current IBER. In summary, the advice is that the risk associated with the current practice of developing and circulating SPCs on a non-binding basis is relatively low, both for the LMA and managing agencies.
The CEA (European insurance and reinsurance federation) is continuing to lobby for the new IBER to cover SPCs, and the LMA will support this where it can. However, the LMA does not intend to continue to lobby the Commission directly. The LMA will review its current wordings-related activities to ensure these minimise any risk of non-compliance with competition law and, if appropriate, will amend guidance for Members involved in these activities.
Members should however take note that it is now unlikely that the new IBER will cover SPCs and review their own procedures accordingly. Any Member who wishes to discuss any aspect of the IBER should contact me or Robert Gillies at the LMA.
Kees van der Klugt
Head of Legal and Compliance