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Distribution of insurance products and after-sale activities

Insurance intermediaries are key actors in the process of selling insurance products in the EU.

They help insurers by:

  • facilitating entry into the market, helping new insurers reach a wide client base without having to incur the costs of building a distribution network.
  • assisting with claims-related services and policy administration.

They also help insurance customers by:

  • identifying the risks customers face
  • ensuring that customers take informed decisions about the risks they wish to insure
  • designing new and innovative solutions
  • reducing customers’ search costs
  • providing personalised advice
  • assisting customers with claims-related services and policy administration.

Insurance products are also sold directly by some insurance companies and bank-assurance.

Some sellers of insurance products, such as car rentals and travel agents, exercise this business activity on ancillary basis.

After-sale activities include claims handling and loss adjustments.

Directive on insurance distribution

The first legislation to regulate the sale of insurance products, the Insurance Mediation Directive (Directive 2002/92/EC), dates from 2002. It was updated by a new directive (Directive 2016/97/EC) to cover insurance companies and other businesses that sell insurance, as opposed to only insurance agents and brokers. The new directive also introduces enhanced rules for the protection of consumers, in line with consumer protection rules recently adopted in other financial sectors.

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Delegated acts


The Commission sent a mandate to EIOPA (European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) for technical advice on possible delegated acts concerning Directive 2016/97/EC on insurance distribution.