The Harmonization of Civil and Commercial Law

By Barbara Pasa; Gian Antonio Benacchio et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
Insurance, Credit, and Financial Industries:
Investment, Saving, and Consumer Protection

KEY WORDS: Insurance services – First generation Directives – Second
generation Directives – Third generation Directives – Insurance contracts
– Harmonization – National laws of contracts – Civil liability deriving
from vehicle use – Banking services – Second Banking
Directive – Financial services – Indirect protection of investors
and savers – Consumer credit contracts – Harmonization –
National laws on financial services – CEECs legal systems


1. Insurance Services
The insurance industry is among the most dynamic and is about to undergo further important changes. The crisis in the welfare sector and social security, the difficulties in the private and state pension systems, the increasing establishment of a pension culture, and new types of civil liability have brought the demand for insurance to dizzy heights over the last decade.The movement of capital in the form of the collection of insurance and savings-policy premiums is huge, and the role of insurance companies is often a determining factor in the economy of Member States.While the European insurance culture cannot as yet compare in scale with the U.S. insurance market, it is nonetheless clear that European citizens are increasingly discovering the benefits to be had from insurance companies, which, in their turn, offer ever more diverse products and services.The expansion in the insurance sector, which has brought about the participation of an increasingly large number of individuals, could not have failed to arouse the interest of the Community legislature, concerned on the one hand, to make the principle of free movement of services work effectively within the Union in the insurance sector too, and on the other, to protect the rights and interests of those who find themselves signing contracts with insurance companies.Indeed, in this field too, as is the case in the banking and financial sectors, the intervention by the Community legislature has developed on two different levels, according to the ultimate objective:
– On the one hand, an intervention aimed at harmonizing both the criteria for gaining access to the insurance business, and the con-

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