5.6        Is there any right of appeal to the courts from the decision of an arbitral tribunal? The order will award the costs of the writ of summons, the court registry fees and a lump sum intended to compensate the winning party for costs incurred in defending the claim. Re: Insurance – Our guide to reform affecting the insurance industry Insurance regulatory timeline Our regulatory timeline lists the key dates for insurance firms between now and 2019, including summaries of each development and links to our briefing notes. Is there any right to a hearing before a jury? EU insurers active in Belgium under the FOS principles must also comply with this Act. These costs and/or fees must be paid by the insurer even when they exceed the insured limits. The court will generally take such documents into account. The FSMA is responsible for the registration and regulation of (re)insurance intermediaries. Correspondence between an attorney and his client (under (a)), or among attorneys (in respect of (b) and (c) above), is in principle privileged, i.e. The court may intervene in various circumstances, including: in the event of the failure of the parties and/or of the persons appointed to agree on the appointment of the arbitrator/the arbitral tribunal, the president of the court of first instance may do so. There is no specific duty on a party to disclose documents which contradict that party’s case. Regulatory and Supervisory Framework. In practice, unless in one of the prohibited classes, arbitration clauses are regularly included in insurance contracts, including in classes not covered by the 2014 Law. The courts retain jurisdiction to order interim or provisional measures, which include conservatory measures for the preservation of assets or evidence. Third-country reinsurers are also required to set up a branch. You can change these settings at any time via the button "Update Cookie Preferences" in our Cookie Notice. Distinguishing between protection of the insurer and the insured can be complex: the 2014 Law may impose duties on the insured (which protect the insurer) or may regulate their scope or sanctions for failure in order to avoid excess of rigour (thus protecting the insured). This regulation is undertaken through risk-based supervision, underpinned by a credible threat of enforcement. In addition, Belgium has detailed legislation on contracts of insurance: the 2014 Law noted above. Lloyd’s Europe brings the scale, expertise and capacity of the world’s specialist insurance market closer to its customers in Europe through a locally staffed and regulated insurer. This implementation does not amend radically; instead, it reflects a constant evolution, as Belgium had already extended EU MiFID II provisions to the insurance sector (a process often referred to as “AssurMiFID”). Therefore, theoretically it has the power to require witnesses to give evidence at any time. 1.6        Are there any forms of compulsory insurance? Regulation 1286/2014 on key information documents for packaged retail and insurance-based investment products, applies in Belgium (effective since 1 January 2018) and, in particular, requires provision to the prospective insured of a “key information document” setting out harmonised pre-contractual disclosures. If the insurer proves that it would not in any event have insured the risk, the insurer may terminate the contract within the same period. These cookies “remember” that you have visited a website and this information may be shared with the providers of analytics services (see details in our, Social Media cookies collect information about you sharing information from our website via social media tools, or analytics to understand your browsing between social media tools or our Social Media campaigns and our own websites. If they reach an agreement, the parties can ask the court to grant an order recording the settlement. The parties may not waive such rules. when the arbitral award includes provisional enforcement, a court may suspend such provisional enforcement in specific cases or only grant it following provision of security. From 2015, insurers and insurance intermediaries have become subject to more constraining rules of conduct, inspired by the MiFID rules. What does the  EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement mean for financial services? It is not general practice for Belgian courts to appoint a mediator other than on request by the parties. If you agree to this, please click "Accept all" below. Insurance Europe, an industry body, said EIOPA’s “disappointing” proposals would make the capital rules more conservative and create a less competitive sector. For liability insurances other than the mandatory civil liability insurance for motor vehicles, the insurance contract can however limit these costs (and notably the amount of their exceedance of the insured limits) in accordance with the maximum amounts stipulated in the law. Sanctions and settlements. The code of conduct was approved by a Royal Decree of 18 June 2019. Likewise, faced with a breach of the allocation rules, a court must ex officio declare that it does not have jurisdiction to hear the case. Arbitration for disputes arising out of certain classes of insurance may be permitted: a 1992 Royal Decree in fact provides that contracts of insurance for numerous classes of risk may include arbitration clauses. This code of conduct includes a non- Through the collective intelligence and risk-sharing expertise of the market’s underwriters and brokers, Lloyd’s helps to create a … The appointment of an expert, as well as other procedural steps, such as additional rounds of pleadings, may substantially delay the proceedings. Under a liability insurance, a third party can file a direct claim against the insurer for compensation for damages suffered as a result of an insured event. Belgian insurance contracts are governed by the 2014 Insurance Act, which contains a number of mandatory provisions (e.g. To do this, we have a range of regulatory powers in the areas of authorisation, supervision and enforcement. Foreign, i.e. Parties can always settle the dispute on their own initiative. If so, in what circumstances does the right arise? It is forbidden for a Belgian insurance company to undertake both life insurance and non-life insurance activities, except if both activities were already carried out before 15 March 1979 and provided that the management and accounting of the life and non-life business are split. Our cross-border teams understand the details of your business and our firm is structured according to the industries you work in. As noted above, in such cases, the insurer may claim repayment of the indemnity paid up to the amount of the harm suffered. In an arbitration, a court called upon to consider an arbitration agreement may declare that it has no jurisdiction, unless the agreement is not valid with regard to the dispute in question or the agreement has been terminated. Philip Woolfson 2.3        Can an insured bring a direct action against a reinsurer? Specific rules apply to insurance companies that undertake insurance activities in Belgium but are based in another Member State of the EEA. Liability and insurance requirements 33 2.3.7. Circulars and communications. In commercial and criminal proceedings, rules of evidence are more flexible and witness evidence is accepted at all times (e.g. BELGIUM International Comparison of Insurance Taxation January 2005 Belgium – General Insurance Definition Definition of property and casualty insurance company Accounting A company that performs non-life and casualty insurance operations. In Belgium, the National Bank of Belgium (“NBB”) took different initiatives with regard to the Coronavirus, such as the establishment of the Economic Risk Management Group (“ERMG”)[7]. Health insurance contributions are 7.35% of gross salary (3.55% from your own … Belgium does not have a formal procedure of discovery in civil and commercial proceedings and the court has a limited role in the gathering of evidence. Such companies can operate with the licence obtained in their country of origin, but nevertheless need to observe Belgian legal provisions protecting the general good. 5.3        Notwithstanding the inclusion of an express arbitration clause, is there any possibility that the courts will refuse to enforce such a clause? This has been a controversial question under Belgian law. 4.9        What are the standard rules regarding costs? Application for authorisation of the Belgian branch of a third-country insurer is subject to similar requirements. Although only the court may interrogate witnesses, in the presence or absence of the parties, the parties may invite the court to ask specific questions. 3.2       What, if any, court fees are payable in order to commence a commercial insurance dispute? Cooperation. 2.2        Can a third party bring a direct action against an insurer? The 2014 Law expressly provides that liability insurance grants a third party, the victim, an independent right to claim from the insurer (Article 150), as a result of which indemnification due by the insurer vests in the victim to the exclusion of other creditors of the insured (Article 150, §2). This applies to both legal entities and individuals. non-EEA, (re)insurers. Residents are also free to choose their own mutuelle/ziekenfonds. For claims related to workplace accidents, mandatory sickness and disability insurance and occupational pensions, the labour court is competent. However, Belgium scored lower than the top-ranking countries in terms of outcomes. Except for statutory exclusions (e.g. Regulator. As for intentional omission or misstatement, where these induce the insurer into error as to the factors for determining the risk, the contract is null and void. In particular, it has decided to: Tied intermediaries (field staff and agents acting on behalf of insurance companies) are entitled to register (Art. Examples include an order to cease an activity temporarily (and subject to sanction in the event of failure to comply), or a temporary injunction to refrain from an act (Article 19, Judicial Code). Green finance. may not be used as evidence in civil or commercial proceedings. Certain simple cases, as prescribed in the Judicial Code, may be dealt with at an introductory hearing. The NBB authorises (re)insurance undertakings in Belgium, and, for prudential purposes (above all, solvency), monitors and supervises their activities (the mutual insurance sector is subject to a separate regime). The basis for the IPT calculation is the total amount of the premium payable by the insured, which includes commission and collection charges. Registration is mandatory for insurance intermediaries who are not tied to an insurance company, either legally or commercially or in any other way. Tied intermediaries (field staff and agents acting on be… News Changes in Hanfa's registers due to Brexit. covers common issues in insurance and reinsurance laws and regulations – including regulatory authorities and procedures, (re)insurance claims, litigation – overview, litigation – procedure and arbitration – in 39 jurisdictions. Typically, where the parties are acting in a trading capacity, the commercial court – now known as the enterprise court – will be the appropriate court. A party must always apply to the court for an award of interest. Overall assessments 38 3. Other privileges apply to other professions, such as the medical profession (“medical secrecy”). In Belgium, there is no legal obligation for judges in civil or commercial courts to inform parties of alternative dispute resolution. A court decision granting an order to enforce the arbitral award may generally be challenged within one month of its notification. Certain obligations arising from the AssurMiFID legislation continue to apply, in particular those relating to the intermediary’s conflict of interest policy, information on costs and charges, the customer file, registration of all insurance distribution activities and the presumption of a causal link applicable in the event of a breach of various rules of conduct. A parent company or other shareholders of the company may, however, still indemnify the directors of the company. Belgium – Life Insurance Definition Accounting Taxation Definition of Life Assurance companies A company that performs life insurance operations. Log in The judge may reduce or increase the award, but without exceeding certain minimum and maximum amounts. THE IMPACT OF RAILWAY SAFETY REGULATION 45 4.1. Case law includes criminal records, health (in particular, AIDS), medical secrecy and discrimination on grounds of gender. Once again, the parties must agree on the appointment of a mediator before the court will do so. Search for companies with licenses. Case law has also extended the validity of arbitration and other comparable clauses. This average varies for the other courts of appeal between 20 and 30 months. The enforceability vis-à-vis the third party of the defences (such as nullity of the contract, loss of rights or exemptions) an insurer would have against the insured under the law or the insurance contract, depends on whether the respective liability insurance is mandatory or not. The 2016 Law and its implementing decrees (principally, the Royal Decree of 22 February 1991 regarding the general regulation on the supervision of insurance undertakings – the “1991 Decree”) provide a comprehensive list of the documentary requirements for an application for authorisation. Practice Areas > Financial Services and Markets Authority. Except for cases where it confirms certain procedural matters, e.g. In addition to the conditions applicable to (re)insurance … If the omission or misstatement is not imputable to the policyholder and a claim arises before the amendment of the contract or the termination has taken effect, the insurer must provide the agreed benefit (Article 60, §2). The Financial Services Authority (FSA) was the agency that regulated financial services in the United Kingdom between 2001 and 2013. The court will generally order the losing party to bear the costs of the litigation. Lists. Genetic data may not be disclosed. These guidelines set out a two-phase procedure for the application (preparatory and approval in principle, and formal filing) and comment on the scope of information required in support of the application, for example, a business plan, insurance classes, organisation and management of the company, internal supervision, audit and compliance, technical and financial questions, asset liability management, etc. The FSMA promotes proper financial services and transparent financial markets Other periods can therefore apply, in particular where a party is resident abroad (Article 1051, Judicial Code). As noted above, the 2014 Law is the key text and sets out the primary source of substantive law. The 2014 Law (Article 95) expressly provides for subrogation on payment of an indemnity. The Act amends the Belgian Insurance Act of 4 April 2014, which since December 2018 is compliant with the Insurance Distribution Direction (IDD). Analytics cookies collect anonymised information such as the number of site visitors or most popular pages. If so, do they exercise such powers? The insurance market in Belgium is regulated by the Financial Services and Markets Authority , and insurers are often represented by their industry body, Assuralia. The role of safety in European railway regulation 39 3.2. Disclaimer In terms of the Company Service Providers Act, 2013, persons who are in possession of a warrant or equivalent to carry out the profession of advocate, notary public, legal procurator or certified public accountant are not required to apply for registration to the MFSA in order to provide company services in or from Malta. the parties have been unsuccessful on any point of contention, in which case the fee is owed partly by the plaintiff and partly by the defendant, according to the decision of the court. Personalisation cookies collect information about your website browsing habits and offer you a personalised user experience based on past visits, your location or browser settings. Any provision in the articles of association, in an agreement or a unilateral expression of will that is contrary to these provisions is deemed to be null and void. European legislation. Methodology 45 4.1.1. the “Insurance Distribution Directive” (“IDD”), in particular by amending Part 6 of the 2014 Law on insurance mediation and distribution. This regulation is undertaken through risk-based supervision, underpinned by a credible threat of enforcement. A further, recent example is a Law of 4 April 2019 which extends rules on unfair contract terms and unfair commercial practices to the B2B sector. An insured can also enter into a separate legal expenses insurance policy for coverage of his legal expenses (which do not result from a claim covered under a liability policy). Company register. A 2016 study on the length of proceedings shows that the average time before the Brussels court of appeal is about 30 months. Given that there are however no specific legal provisions related to the insurability of administrative penalties or fines, nor any leading case-law related hereto, it is to date still open for debate whether administrative penalties and fines (of whatever nature) can be insured. The court’s order has the same value as a judgment. For example, a declaration form signed by both parties involved in a traffic accident will not prevail over a witness declaration in relation to that accident. Most insurance and reinsurance firms authorised and supervised by the Central Bank are regulated under the Solvency II regime which was implemented on 1 … 2 … However, exceptions related to work disability and marine insurance contracts apply. Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. There is no express duty in law on the insured to cooperate, but he must not hinder the insurer’s action either, for example through negligence in preparing evidence, delay in notifying a claim, granting a discharge to the person liable, etc. Register of insurance intermediaries The Insurance Distribution Directive requires all intermediaries to be registered. To do this, we have a range of regulatory powers in the areas of authorisation, supervision and enforcement. Covered Agreement and subject to its conditions, US reinsurers can write business on the Belgian market without having to set up a branch or post collateral. Belgium ranked fifth in the 2018 Euro Health Consumer Index. In fact, it has “perhaps the most generous healthcare system in Europe”. There are no specific legal provisions related to the insurability of administrative penalties or fines. tort) and contractual liability based on specific provisions of the Civil Code and the BCCA. The award must be reasoned and the reasons must be set out in the award, failing which the award can be annulled by the court, upon application by one of the parties. Such companies can operate with the licence obtained in their country of origin, but nevertheless need to observe Belgian legal provisions protecting the general good. If the risk was unintentionally misrepresented or not disclosed, the contract will either be amended or terminated. A key example is the Code of Economic Law of 28 February 2013, which sets out Belgium’s current implementation of the 1993 Unfair Contract Terms Directive, the 2005 Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and the 2011 Consumer Rights Directive. The quality of the application and the scope of activities contemplated determine the statutory and additional capital and other requirements which the NBB has set in a given case. Proceedings before Belgian courts are mainly governed by the Judicial Code. The Insurance and Reinsurance Law Review - Edition 8, Insurance and reinsurance play an important role in the world economy. Given the expanding reach of the industry, there is a need for a source of reference that analyses recent developments in the key jurisdictions on a comparative basis. If the insured deliberately fails to disclose a risk or deliberately misrepresents the risk, the insurer can request the annulment of the insurance contract if the deliberate misrepresentation or non-disclosure has misled the insurer in its assessment of the risk. When the arbitration clause or agreement has expired or is invalid; for example, when the arbitration clause confers an advantage on one of the parties or with regard to the appointment of the arbitrator(s). Write us a message and we will get in contact. Such measures may be ordered by the court until such time as the arbitral tribunal is fully constituted. 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