Solvency II delay until 2014 - What does it mean for insurers?

EIOPA’s final postponement regarding the implementation of Solvency II in Europe (the start date is now set for January 1, 2014) ends an uncertain time for insurers. The reason for the postponement, announced in late 2011, has since been explained through Q&As and consultation papers. However, a number of questions remain unanswered, such as:

  •  When will the outstanding issues (that emerged from the consultation papers, for example) be resolved?
  • To what extent can insurers implement Solvency II in 2013?
  • What are the minimum obligations regarding Solvency II (reporting, parallel run etc) for insurers during 2013?

These, and other questions, remain largely unanswered in the Q&As and consultation papers issued by EIOPA in the recent period. Insurers should look for answers themselves.

What can an insurer do?

Meetings of the European Parliament show that significant differences need to be resolved in the coming period. So there is a chance that, in the short term, there will be no real clarity from Brussels. The question then is whether the DNB can provide more clarity. To a certain extent: yes. It has done this in the past with the so-called Parallel Run. Here a number of points were (intentionally) left open by the EU. At the time, for the sake of clarity for insurers, these points were filled in by the DNB. It remains to be seen whether the DNB can do the same in this case. Take the obligations regarding Solvency II during 2013. Can the DNB draw a clear line here that the EU cannot? Time will tell.
Currently, the best way for insurers to prepare for the implementation of the Solvency II directive is to keep up the parallel run, follow developments closely (e.g., the Omnibus II) and stay in frequent dialogue with the DNB.

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