Insurance companies can sell their products throughout the EU – either by establishing themselves in other countries or providing their services across borders directly or through intermediaries.
You can therefore shop around the European market for the best deals on insurance products (life insurance, household insurance, car insurance and so on).
This only concerns private insurance and occupational pension funds and not your social security and statutory pension rights relating to your work history.
When you buy from an insurer in another EU country, the authorities responsible for regulating insurance in that country and in your own country will share information on:
- the level of risk involved in the insurance you plan to buy
- the insurer's solvency
- the types of risk for which the insurer is authorised in the country where it is based
Most insurance products are sold through insurance intermediaries (brokers, agents). They must provide you with certain essential information before any contract is signed, including:
- their links to the insurance companies
- whether they are acting as an agent or broker
They should also clearly state in writing:
- your insurance requests and needs
- the reasons for any advice they give you on the insurance product
On the basis of this information, you can decide whether the proposed insurance contract is the right choice for you.