COVID emergency, the news for the insurance sector

Prepared by Davide Settembre

Following the COVID emergency, some rules impacting also the insurance sector have been introduced. Some of the tax measures of interest to this sector provided by the law decree 17 March 2020 no.18 (so-called Cura Italia decree, hereinafter the decree) are illustrated below, as well as some measures adopted by IVASS in favor of sector operators.

1. The so called «Cura Italia» decree

1.1. Tax measures

(i) The Decree provides for a generalized extension of tax obligations other than payments, the terms of which expiring between 8 March and 31 May are postponed to 30 June 2020, without the application of penalties (Article 62, paragraph 1).

Therefore the following fulfillments are postponed (i) the filing of the VAT return whose terms expire between 1 February and 30 April and (ii) the filing of the annual report of the premiums collected for insurance tax purposes, expiring on May 31, 2020.

The deadline for the transmission of the claims data to the Tax Register is also extended to 30 June 2020.

Instead, the telematic sending to the tax register of the data relating to the tax deductible and deductible from tax basis charges for the purposes of the pre-filled tax return (to be made by March 31) are expressly excluded.

(ii) A financial support measure is also envisaged for companies facing insolvency situations with their debtors. In particular, there is the possibility of transforming part of the deferred tax assets (DTA) into tax credit deriving from tax losses and ACE surpluses following the sale of impaired loans. The tax losses and the ACE surplus that can be calculated in the calculation of the convertible DTA cannot exceed the value of 20% of the value of the assigned credits. There are some application limits (article 55).

The decree, which entered into force on March 17, 2020, will be presented to the Chamber of Deputies for conversion.

1.2. The volatility adjustment measures

The Decree also introduces an amendment to the regulation on volatility adjustment, a mechanism envisaged by Solvency II to correct spread fluctuations. In particular, the Decree provides for the lowering from 100 to 85 basis points, in order to facilitate the activation of the “national component” of the adjustment, making it more sensitive to fluctuations in the national spread (art. 52, paragraph 1).

 2. Regulatory measures issued by IVASS

Finally, it should also be noted that IVASS issued some measures of a delaying nature with respect to the deadline of certain fulfillments, and in particular:

  • insurance distribution: the verification tests of the professional training courses will be carried out remotely. Furthermore, the deadline for submitting the report on the distribution networks has been extended to 29 March;
  • Home insurance: the deadline for adopting the Web reserved areas is extended from 1 May to 1 July 2020;
  • Complaints: the deadline for sending the complaints report to the Institute is extended to 29 March. In addition, companies have more time to reply to complaints (75 days instead of 45) and to respond to requests for information (35 instead of 20).

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Elena Robicci

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Davide Settembre

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