Antitrust inquiry against vexatious clauses in Accident and Health insurances

Antitrust and Ivass have started a coordinated action to investigate the existence of several clauses in the insurance policies, that do not allow the heirs of the insured to succeed in the right to compensation if “their relative dies for a different reason than the one which has determined the invalidity and before the insurance company has carried out its own medical examinations on the permanent after-effects of the invalidity”.

On one side, through the apposition of these clauses, the insurance company gives itself discretionary terms, generally very long terms (up to 18 months), to carry out necessary medical examinations and, on the other side, to provide the non-transferability of the compensation to the heirs if the insured dies before these examinations, making impossible to demonstrate that the relative’s invalidity has been consolidated through the predisposition of certificates released by ASL.

In the press release published by Antitrust, it is highlighted how these clauses have been subject to a judgment of the Supreme Court, in which the non-transferability clause of the compensation to the heirs “affects the normal contractual balance in favor of the insurance company even if it is done in the sole convenience to avoid the imminent execution of the  provision expecting the occurrence of the event that has caused the extinction of the legal obligation”.

In view of this, the Antitrust has undertaken investigations against insurance companies such as Generali Italia, Allianz and Zurich Assicurazioni in order to verify the vexatious nature of these clauses and, at the same time, Ivass has intervened through a letter addressed to the financial market underling the necessity to verify if clauses of this type are present in the Accident and Health insurances and, in this case, to modify them within 120 days. For contracts already concluded, the insurance companies must undertake settlement’s policies to make sure the heirs do not lose their right to compensation.