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Industry welcomes proposed delay to new EU insurance distribution rules

Broking and underwriting representatives have welcomed proposals by the European Commission to delay the implementation of the Insurance Distribution Directive until Oct. 1, 2018.

The new rules, which govern how insurance products are sold and the information consumers should receive before signing an insurance contract, were due to take effect from Feb. 23, 2018. The EC's call for a delay directive follows similar calls from the European Parliament's economic and financial affairs committee in October.

The EC also said in a statement Dec. 20 that 16 member states had requested a delay. It added: "Despite the transposition period foreseen and the fact that the date of entry into application was well known to stakeholders, it appears that some insurance distributors, especially smaller ones, are not yet fully ready for the new rules."

Steve Morrell, head of regulatory affairs for the Lloyd's Market Association, a trade body representing Lloyd's of London underwriters, said: "We welcome regulation which is beneficial to consumers. However, considering the [U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority] is still consulting on final rules, the previous implementation date ... was unworkable. This delay should provide the industry with the time it needs to comply fully with the new requirements."

BIPAR, the European federation of insurance intermediaries, tweeted: "BIPAR welcomes [the EC's] proposal to push back the application date of the Insurance Distribution Directive."