Other dossiers: Climate protection gap / Right to be forgotten in case of cancer / Financial education of the consumer / Whistleblower Directive / Environmental Liability / Taxation

Climate protection gap

Given the increase in the severity and intensity of climate related events, public authorities are mainly responsible for climate change adaptation. However, insurance intermediaries play a pivotal role in contributing to climate adaptation, as many have expertise in the modelling of climate risk and the development of resilient and sustainable business models. Intermediaries also have a role in raising awareness of climate risks, in covering new risks (especially for SMEs), preventing a possible "protection gap/insurance gap" by developing adapted and innovative insurance solutions.

(Last updated on 24 May 2024)

Right to be forgotten in case of cancer

In 2021, the European Commission adopted a “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan” and in May 2022 followed up with a study on the access to financial products for persons with a history of cancer, the so-called ‘right to be forgotten', in the EU. The Cancer Plan stated that a stakeholder dialogue should be established to develop a code of conduct to ensure that cancer treatment developments are reflected in the business practices of financial services providers.

In parallel, the European Parliament also published an “own-initiative report” on this issue: “Strengthening Europe in the fight against cancer”. This stated that “by 2025, at the latest, all Member States should guarantee the right to be forgotten” to patients who have survived cancer (10 years after the end of their treatment, and up to five years after the end of treatment for patients whose diagnosis was made before the age of 18) and that this right should be embedded in the relevant EU legislation.

Several Member States already have a right to be forgotten (8 Member States have legislation, 4 have a code of conduct) – but 15 Member States have no mechanism.

Intermediaries are always looking for the best solutions for their clients and in certain countries, intermediary associations have set up mechanisms to support this, for example, in Ireland, there is a dedicated page on the website of Brokers Ireland, referring to specialised intermediaries.

(Last updated on 24 May 2024)

Financial education of the consumer

In the framework of the 2020 CMU Action Plan, the European Commission stated that it would like to improve citizens’ financial literacy by developing a European financial competence framework and incentives for Member States to promote financial education and responsible investing.  The ESAs and the Council are also active on the topic of financial literacy.

(Last updated on 24 May 2024)

Whistleblower Directive

Directive (EU) 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law (“Whistleblower” Directive) was adopted by the EU legislators in October 2019. Its purpose is to lay down minimum standards providing for a high level of protection of persons reporting breaches of Union law. The deadline for transposition of the Directive was 17 December 2021. However, Member States had until 17 December 2023 to transpose the obligation to set up internal reporting and follow up channels (Article 8(3)), as regards entities with 50 to 249 employees.

The Whistleblower Directive applies to persons reporting breaches on Union law in several areas, including “financial services, products and markets and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing”.  It specifies that the provisions of the Directive do not apply when there exist specific rules on the reporting of breaches within the sector-specific acts listed in the Annex to the Directive. The Article further states that the provisions of the Whistleblower Directive are applicable to the extent that a matter is not regulated in these sector-specific acts. The sector-specific acts referred to in the Annex (Part II) include, amongst others, the IDD, MiFID II, the IORPs Directive, the PRIIPs Regulation, etc.

Although certain of these sector-specific EU acts (notably the IDD and MiFID II) contain some provisions on the reporting of breaches (ex: Article 35 of the IDD), it appears that none of them includes any requirements on the setting-up of internal channels for reporting and follow-up. Therefore, the Whistleblower Directive requirements on this particular topic (Chapter II, Articles 8 and 9 and parts of Chapter V) apply to the sectors regulated by these acts, such as the insurance distribution sector.

The private legal entities subject to the obligations of the Whistleblower Directive include amongst others, insurance intermediaries as defined in the IDD and investment firms as defined in MiFID II.

(Last updated on 24 May 2024)

Environmental Liability Directive

The Environmental Liability Directive (ELD - adopted in 2004 and first evaluated in 2016) sets out an environmental liability framework to prevent and remedy environmental damage to pre-damage condition when it is caused by economic operators. It contains the “polluter pays” principle. One of the issues that has come up over the years in the discussion at European level is the availability (at reasonable costs) of insurance and other types of financial security, and the need or not for mandatory financial security.

(Last updated on 24 May 2024)


EU taxation policy mostly focuses on establishing a minimum degree of harmonisation of tax rules in order to fight against harmful tax competition and fight tax fraud, while endeavouring to remove tax obstacles for cross-border economic activities. It affects insurance intermediaries in various ways.

With regard to the Value-Added Tax (VAT) policy, although financial services are currently exempted from it, there have been talks, from the Commission, on the possibility of (partly) introducing VAT in the financial sector.

(Last updated on 24 May 2024)