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Italy misses opportunity to open PI market with compulsory legislation delay

Italy has postponed the introduction of compulsory professional indemnity for professional bodies just days before implementation was due.

According to the legislation, no. 148 14 September 2011, the law states: “To protect the customer the professional is obliged to take out adequate insurance for professional indemnity risks.

“The practitioner must disclose to the customer, at the time of the assignment, the details of the policy taken out for a professional liability and its ceiling.

“The general conditions of insurance policies may be negotiated, in agreement with its members, the National Board of Professional Associations/Orders.”

The policy was due to come into force on 13 August after a year of preparation, but it has been delayed by new legislation.

The regulation, about the reform of professional orders, approved on 3 August, delayed the implementation until 15 August 2013 to allow the Professional National Councils and Professional’s Provident Institutions to develop policy conditions with insurers on behalf of their members.

“In 2012, a year where liberalisation seems to be the watchword, at least as far as the insurance sector is concerned, this ‘last minute’ postponing is a backward step, a missed opportunity to open a market and stimulate the competition,” said Paolo Golinucci, chief executive at Italian broker Golinucci, which has launched a PI aggregator website to compare multiple offers.

“This could cause a restriction of the market because, broadly speaking, it is the only policy negotiated by and promoted among its own members by the national council of each category.”

Golinucci believes that the national councils should define minimum guidelines to safeguard their own members, and that all the brokers and agents of the insurance market should stick to these guidelines to stimulate competition.

Stephanie Denton – 30/08/2012 INSURANCE INSIGHT