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Codes of good conduct for insurance intermediaries.

A. Codes of good conduct for isurance intermediaries

  1. General provisions

(1) The intermediary (*) commits itself to add to the image of the profession. (*) 'Intermediary' is understood as an insurance intermediary and reinsurance intermediary following article 1, 3° and 4° of the law of 27 March 1995 concerning the insurance and reinsurance meditation and distribution of insurances

(2) The intermediary commits itself to comply with principles of integrity, loyalty and honesty towards third parties, among others consumers (*), (re)insurance companies and other intermediaries. (*) In this deontologial code 'consumer' is understood as everyone that is either an insured, insurance holder or beneficiary.

(3) The intermediary needs to be sufficiently competent in order to effectively inform the consumer. For that purpose, the intermediary maintains and develops its professional knowledge as well as that of its employees.

(4) The intermediary is concerned with the efficient governance of its activities and is hereto constantly seeking to optimize, including dialogue with insurance companies. 

(5) In case of dispute, the intermediary favours a settlement.

2. Obligations of the intermediary towards consumers

(1) The transfer of any information by the intermediary to the consumer needs to take place in an appropriate, accurate and fair manner. 

(2) The intermediay respects the information obligation as provided for in the law of 27 March 1995 concerning insurance and reinsurance mediation and the distribution of insurances.

(3) The intermediary has the general duty, in accordance with its legal status and contractual obligations, to assist the consumer in both the underwriting, management of insurance policies and the settlement of claims. 

(4) The intermediary needs to serve the interests of the consumer to its best ability and in all objectivity. In the event of a conflict of interests, the intermediary needs to inform the consumer thereof. The interests of the latter shall always prevail op those of the intermediary. If no acceptable solution is possible, the intermediary shall no longer manage the file of the consumer, unless the consumer confirms in writing the continuation of the assignment. 

(5) The intermediary shall refrain from any activity based on incorrect and/or manipulated data of which he has knowledge. In this context, the intermediary shall, inter alia, when the consumer discloses the truth but askst the intermediary to make false or inaccurate statements to the insurance company, refuse any collaboration in fraud and make the consumer aware of the potential risks. 

(6) The intermediary makes the consumer aware of the importance of prevention. 

(7) If necessary, the intermediary may invite the consumer to either contact the complaint service of the respective insurance company or the Insurance Ombudsman Service.

(8) The intermediary that is in contact with the victim and their relatives adopts a respectful attitude towards them. They should, as far as possible, answer questions asked to them by the victims and their relatives. 

3. Obligations of the intermediary towards insurance companies

(1) The transfer of any information by the intermediary to the insurance company needs to occur in a appropriate, accurate and fair manner.

(2) The intermediary needs to obtain the information from the consumer that is necessary to assess the insured risk.

(3) The intermediary commits to not abuse the name of the insurance company and to refrain from slander regarding the insurance company.

4. Mutual obligations of the intermediary 

(1) As part of its duty of loyalty, the intermediary refrains from obtaining information concerning other intermediaries via unlawful means.

(2) The intermediary does not induce the consumer to unlawfully terminate a contractual relationship with another intermediary or to fail to perform his obligations with respect to the latter.

(3) The intermediary respects other intermediaries and their profession. (*) Conduct that shows a lack of respect for the profession of another intermediary include:

  • Proposing insurance conditions that bind the intermediary without proper market consultation
  • The use of negotiation mandates concluded for a short period
  • The withholding of a notice of a change of the intermediary.

5. Obligations of the intermediary towards staff members

The intermediary supports its employees' sense of initiative and responsability. 

6. Obligations of the intermediary towards share holder

(1) The intermediary ascertains that his activity aids to the development of his enterprise and the creation of added value of the capital that has been invested by the share holders.

(2) The intermediary informs them in an appropriate and timely manner concerning every factor or decision that may affect the situation significantly.

7. Obligations of the intermediary towards sectoral authorities

The intermediary commits to collaborate in positive spirit with the sectoral authority. The intermediary shall promptly do the necessary to comply with a request for information from these authorities.

B. Sectoral codes of good conduct for insurance companies

  1. General provisions

(1) The insurance company shall diligently respect the obligations it undertakes towards its various partners, some of which are listed below.

(2) The insurance company commits to act in accordance with the principles of integrity, loyalty and fairness in its dealings with others, including customers, intermediaries and other insurance companies. 

(3) The insurance company commits to strengthen the image of the profession. 

(4) The insurance company commits to do the utmost to combat any fraud and any attempt to commit insurance fraud.

2. Obligations of the insurance company towards consumers

(1) The information that the insurance company provides is correct and relevant en may not be misleading; every exaggeration or concealment must be avoided. The general conditions, as well as the direct and indirect communication with a possible insured person, must be clear, precise and understandable. 

(2) The offered services are, both concerning production and claims handling, are described; the insurance company takes the necessary measures to remedy any malfunction or non-compliance that is not attributable to the consumer to the insurance company. 

(3) The insurance company commits, as far as possible, to settle claims correctly within a reasonable period. The claims management needs to be active and related to the nature and the extent of the damage. When the insurance companies disagree about the claim in which they are involved, but do not dispute the right of compensation, then this may not have an adverse effect to the service regarding consumers and the payment of the amounts in any event. 

(4) The consumer has the right of approval and treatment of every complaint by his insurance company, as well as the introduction of complaint handling procedures in the sector. 

(5) The insurance company avoids in her relations with consumers every discrimination which is not based on objective criteria. 

(6) The data regarding consumers are treated confidentially and according to data protection legislations. The insurance company commits to provide legal recours.

(7) The insurance company shall encourage prevention with the consumer. 

3. Obligations of the insurance company towards intermediaries

(1) The insurance company does not use its situation to impose on its intermediaries unbalanced or unfair terms of cooperation. 

(2) The insurance company shall always judge the commercial relationship with the intermediary and every new case following from that, objectively and taking into account the equal treatment of the intermediaries with whom it cooperates. Those objective criteria may relate both to the business relationship and to the nature of the risk. 

  1. Obligations of the insurance company towards competitors
  2. Obligations of the insurance company towards staff members
  3. Obligations of the insurance company towards share holders
  4. Obligations of the insurance company towards the government
  5. Dispute settlement