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Dr Joanna Schubel
On 1 January 2023, amendments to the Complaints Handling Act came into force. The Act imposes obligations on insurers, including foreign insurers operating in Poland and insurance intermediaries.
The fines are now ten times higher than before. The Financial Ombudsman can impose penalties of up to EUR 212,000 for:
A fee towards the Ombudsman's activities is now payable once a year by 31 March. The one-off payment replaces the previous quarterly prepayments. The new fee is 0.03125% of the annual gross premium written in Poland (previous annual fee: 0.025%).
In November 2022, the Polish supervisory authority ("PFSA") implemented new recommendations on how to settle motor insurance claims. Insurance companies that choose not to follow the recommendations must inform the PFSA and explain how they will otherwise achieve the recommendations' aims ("complain or explain" principle).
The recommendations apply to both Polish and foreign insurers operating in Poland.
The recommendations aim to guarantee equal treatment of insurers' clients: injured parties who choose the cost-based method of loss adjustment (payment in cash based on a valuation) should be treated the same way as those who choose the service-based method (repair in a vehicle repair garage designated by the insurer).
For example, the recommendations prohibit the insurers from disputing the costs at a vehicle repair garage chosen by the injured party (if the prices at this garage correspond to local prices). The recommendations also prohibit reducing the compensation amount by the discounts available in the service method.
The recommendations have sparked much controversy in the insurance sector. Some argue that they will significantly increase the costs of settling motor vehicle claims and, consequently, insurance premiums. Others point out that recommendations addressing the cost-based method are incompatible with the recent case law of the Polish Supreme Court.
As a result, as many as 19 insurance companies (e.g., Generali, Compensa, Wiener Vienna Insurance Group, Warta – a Talanx group insurer) have informed the PFSA that they will not follow some of the recommendations.
On 3 January 2023, the Polish Insurance Association published an update to the Standard for Implementing Information Processing in Cloud Computing. The Standard aims to harmonize the insurance sector's approach to the PFSA's guidelines on processing information in cloud computing.
The new Standard contains examples of contractual clauses. These refer to issues such as who is responsible for data security (the insurer or the cloud provider) and the extent of the cloud provider's liability for damage caused to the insurer's customers.
According to data published by the PFSA, the total net financial result of insurance companies in Jan-Sep 2022 was down 28.3% from Jan-Sep 2021 at: EUR 812.4 million.
On the one hand, gross written premiums increased by 3.6%. It amounted to a total of EUR 11,180.6 billion. On the other hand, the amount of compensation paid increased by 10.9%. The total gross compensation paid was EUR 7,120.9 billion.
Additionally, in Jan-Sep 2022, the Polish Insurance Association noticed the following trends:
From 25 May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies in Poland and other European Union countries. We would therefore like to give you several details on the subject of how DZP processes personal data.
The administrator of the personal data is Domański Zakrzewski Palinka Sp.k. (“DZP”; address: Rondo ONZ 1, 00-124 Warszawa). Data are processed for contact purposes and to impart information on changes to provisions and authority practices and on other issues, including events concerning day-to-day legal, economic and cultural issues, inter alia, by sending DZP newsletters. The above is carried out on the basis of legitimate interests, i.e. in accordance with art. 6(1)(f) of the GDPR. Data can also be processed where necessary for the conclusion or performance of a contract and for compliance with a legal obligation to which DZP is subject, i.e. pursuant to art. 6(1)(b) and (c) of the GDPR. Data can be transferred to entities with whose help DZP achieves the indicated aims, including entities maintaining IT infrastructure. Giving data is voluntary and in contractual relations is a requirement for concluding and performing a contract. It is possible to object to data processing, request access to, rectification and erasure of personal data or restriction of processing and data portability. Data are kept until an objection is made, and in contractual relations – throughout the term of the contract and thereafter for a period specified in provisions on archiving and limitations period for claims. Anyone has the right to file a complaint with the President of the Personal Data Protection Office. Questions concerning privacy at DZP can be sent to DZP’s Data Protection Inspector, Macieja Maciejewskiego, at: email@example.com.
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