Experts warn brokers against ruinous competition with insurers

Insurance companies and independent brokers are in a competitive relationship. This competitive situation arises simply from the insurer’s statutory obligations to provide advice to a customer. The lawyer Johannes Fiala and the actuary Peter A. Schramm point out this fact, which is actually known, in an exclusive commentary for FONDS professionell ONLINE.


In addition, the planned national implementation of the EU Insurance Sales Directive (IDD) will further intensify the competitive situation, as the insurer’s obligation to provide advice when brokering a policy through a broker or via an online channel is explicitly emphasised.


In this context, the two experts refer, among other things, to the already existing Section 6 VI of the Insurance Contract Act (VVG). According to its wording, the exception to the insurer’s obligation to provide advice only concerns the period of mediation (‘… if the contract is mediated by an insurance broker’ ). Many legal experts up to higher regional courts would confuse the grammatical time levels of the present (“will”) and the past (“was”). As a consequence, they wrongly argued that the insurer was neither entitled nor obliged to advise the customer even after a brokerage.


This interpretation problem was brought back into the consciousness of many brokers by a judgment of the Federal Court of Justice in April 2016. At the time, the highest German court had specifically clarified that the provision of contact details of an agency employee under the heading “It looks after you:” is fully in line with competition law.


by Dr. Johannes Fiala and Dipl.-Math. Peter A. Schramm


by courtesy of (published on 18.01.2017)



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Dr. Johannes Fiala Dr. Johannes Fiala

Dr. Johannes Fiala has been working for more than 25 years as a lawyer and attorney with his own law firm in Munich. He is intensively involved in real estate, financial law, tax and insurance law. The numerous stages of his professional career enable him to provide his clients with comprehensive advice and to act as a lawyer in the event of disputes.
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