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 Why can't a German insurer insure my car?

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PostSubject: Why can't a German insurer insure my car?   Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:36 am

Or for that matter a Spanish insurer ?

Or why can't they insure my house even ?

Surely this is just another financial service which I should be free to contract to whomever I like within the EU.

I have never gotten a good answer to this question.

If there is legislation on the books relating to insurance, what other services am I prevented from accessing outside of Ireland ?


Last edited by Ard-Taoiseach on Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:04 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to add the requisite question mark.)
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PostSubject: Re: Why can't a German insurer insure my car?   Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:56 am

Don't know the precise answer and a bit busy with other law things to look it up for you. However, I will point out a couple of basic Community law principles which are important as to the understanding of any potential reason why not.

1) It is possible for a State to derogate, avoid, the principle of the freedom to provide services, as well as the freedom to supply goods. They can do so under various provisions within the EC treaty which give a number of grounds including public policy etc. I suppose it could be the case that such restrictions have been justified on this basis before the ECJ.

2) However, I think a second possible explanation is more likely. Whilst there can not in principle be barriers, or measures with equivalent effect, to the freedom to provide services across borders, there can be restriction and regulation so long as it is proportionate. Such regulation may well be in the form of being a registered company within a Member State, having a registered office, having bank accounts etc. This would be particularly important in terms of sectors such as insurance where they could cut and run without paying up if they are not properly regulated.

If option 2 were to be the case it does not restrict the freedom to provide services within the common market per se, it merely regulates it. For instance, AXA (a French company?) has established itself in Ireland and is providing services. You are just unable to get a policy with them through their French office.

As I said, I don't know definitively, I am merely providing sound Community law principles on which it may be argued.
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PostSubject: Re: Why can't a German insurer insure my car?   Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:12 am

Ah the simplest questions are the best, not that I have the answer. I'd love to know what the structures are that surround this function though. You've provided the names of some of those things johnfas...

This is what Directives are all about, aren't they? Have there been Directives proposed which aim to open this market to people of different countries? I wouldn't be surprised if those directives were rejected for a reason... less money for someone. And it seems like a simple enough system to make universal - just a call centre in India needed. A directive to open up public health systems to all citizens regardless of the country was rejected by Spain recently because they cribbed that the Spanish people would have to deal with a plethora of languages. A very practical excuse but you'd imagine it would be a doddle with insurance.

Vested interests have anything to do with it? Surely actuaries in Germany could assess the Irish markets ...
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PostSubject: Re: Why can't a German insurer insure my car?   Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:57 am

Johnfás, thanks for the post, it does not as you indicate provide a complete answer. Yet I will pursue this and let you guys know the outcome.

Audi, there is a reason why the simple questions are always the best.
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PostSubject: Re: Why can't a German insurer insure my car?   Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:29 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Or for that matter a Spanish insurer ?

Or why can't they insure my house even ?

Surely this is just another financial service which I should be free to contract to whomever I like within the EU.

I have never gotten a good answer to this question.

If there is legislation on the books relating to insurance, what other services am I prevented from accessing outside of Ireland ?

The answer to the first bit would appear to be because financial services, including insurance, aren't covered by any Directive requiring that they be part of the common market. As to the second bit - a lot of services, but not financial services, will be covered by the EU Services Directive, due to be implemented by the end of next year.
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PostSubject: Re: Why can't a German insurer insure my car?   Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:10 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Ah the simplest questions are the best, not that I have the answer. I'd love to know what the structures are that surround this function though. You've provided the names of some of those things johnfas...

This is what Directives are all about, aren't they? Have there been Directives proposed which aim to open this market to people of different countries? I wouldn't be surprised if those directives were rejected for a reason... less money for someone. And it seems like a simple enough system to make universal - just a call centre in India needed. A directive to open up public health systems to all citizens regardless of the country was rejected by Spain recently because they cribbed that the Spanish people would have to deal with a plethora of languages. A very practical excuse but you'd imagine it would be a doddle with insurance.

Vested interests have anything to do with it? Surely actuaries in Germany could assess the Irish markets ...

you can get a german insurer - allianz.
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