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Insurance regulation

Common rules to facilitate the activities of insurance companies across the EU, ensure that they can survive in difficult times, and protect policyholders.

What the EU is doing and why

Insurance policies play an important role in the lives of the majority of European citizens. For many of the things people do every day, holding an insurance policy is essential to protect against potential risks. An insurance policy can also serve as a savings product, which will allow policyholders to provide for their long-term welfare while insurers are able to channel these savings via financial markets into the real economy.

On one hand, there should be harmonised rules on the taking up and pursuit of insurance business to allow policyholders to enjoy the benefits of an effective Single Market for insurance. On the other hand, the legal framework should prioritise the protection of policyholders and beneficiaries. In particular, the prudential rules should ensure that capital requirements are harmonised throughout the EU in order to achieve a uniform level of protection for policyholders.

The disorderly failure of an insurer can therefore have a significant impact on policyholders, beneficiaries, injured parties or affected businesses. This is especially the case where a substitute for vital insurance services cannot be found in a reasonable amount of time and at a reasonable cost.

Resolution is the last resort, and should only occur when national authorities determine that a failing (re)insurer cannot go through normal insolvency proceedings without harming consumers or businesses or causing financial instability more broadly.

Policy making timeline

  1. 13-14 December 2023
    Political agreement – Solvency II review & insurance recovery and resolution
  2. 22 September 2021
    Legislative proposal - Solvency II review & insurance recovery and resolution

    Comprehensive ‘review package’ of Solvency II rules, with the aim is to ensure that insurers and reinsurers in the EU keep investing, and support the political priorities of the EU.

  3. 2 August 2021
    Delegated act - Solvency II

    Adoption of amendments to the Solvency II Delegated Regulation to require insurers to take into account sustainability risks in their system of governance, risk management system and investment activities. The amendments will ensure a contribution from the insurance sector to the European Green Deal’s objective to direct more financial and capital flows to green investment and to avoid stranded assets.

  4. 8 March 2019
    Delegated act - Solvency II

    Adoption of amendments to the Solvency II Delegated Regulation to help insurers invest in equity and private debt by reducing their capital requirements for investments. The amendments are set to boost private sector investment, a key objective of the capital markets union action plan.

  5. 1 June 2018
    Delegated act - Solvency II

    Adoption of an amendment to the Solvency II delegated regulation to make it easier for insurers to invest in simple, transparent and standardised (STS) securitisation. The changes aligned the Solvency II framework with the harmonised rules on STS securitisation adopted by the EU and ensure consistent prudential treatment of this asset class in the banking and insurance sectors.

  6. 18 June 2017
    Delegated act - Solvency II

    Adoption of amendments to the Solvency II Delegated Regulation to remove further impediments to infrastructure investments. In addition to "infrastructure projects", a new category of “infrastructure corporates” can benefit from lower capital requirements.

  7. 18 January 2016
    Delegated act - Solvency II

    Adoption of amendments to the Solvency II Delegated Regulation to remove impediments to investments by insurers in infrastructure. The changes introduce the new category of “infrastructure projects”, which can benefit from lower capital requirements than other investments of the same asset class.

  8. 1 January 2016
    Legislation - Solvency II

    The Solvency II Directive becomes fully applicable to European insurers and reinsurers.

  9. 17 January 2015
    Delegated act - Solvency II

    Entry into force of the Solvency II Delegated Regulation.

  10. 2009
    Legislation - Solvency II

    Adoption of the Solvency II Directive covering three main areas, related to capital requirements, risk management and supervisory rules.

Relevant legislation