Europe’s main insurance sector lobby group has welcomed the EU’s decision to overturn rules regulating the sector’s online and telecoms marketing activities.
Insurance Europe, whose members include Lloyd’s and the Association of British Insurers (ABI), said it “strongly welcomes” the repeal of the EU’s consumer rights legislation, which seeks to protect consumers that sign contracts online or over the phone.
The EU’s Distance Marketing of Financial Services Directive (DMD) says consumers must be given comprehensive information before a contract is completed, while allowing them to withdraw from any contract during a cooling-off period.
The EU rules also blocks firms from using abusive marketing tactics and stops companies from cold calling and sending spam emails.
Insurance Europe had previously called for the DMD to be repealed, in raising concerns over the impact of one-day cooling off periods on waiting times when purchasing insurance policies online or over-the-phone.
The lobby group said that while it supports the EU’s intentions, it believes the DMD had to a large extent been made redundant by other EU legislation, as it called for sector specific rules to fill any gaps.
In a statement on the EU’s decision to repeal the DMD, Insurance Europe reiterated its call for sector specific legislation, as it raised concerns blanket rules could result in unintentional duplication requirements.
The insurance trade body also raised concerns about requirements for withdrawal buttons, letting customers cancel contracts, as it warned the rules could unintentionally result in customers being left uninsured.
Insurance Europe also called on the EU to provide a transition period of at least six months, to give insurers time to amend their IT systems and marketing materials.