The tasks of IVASS aim to ensure suitable protection of policyholders and of the persons entitled to insurance benefits through the pursuit of the sound and prudent management of insurance and reinsurance undertakings and of their transparency and fairness towards customers (market conduct). IVASS also pursues the stability of the financial system and markets.
IVASS exercises its supervisory functions over insurance and reinsurance undertakings, insurance groups, financial conglomerates in which undertakings are included, subjects who perform functions partly included in the operational cycle of undertakings as well as insurance and reinsurance intermediaries.
To secure its institutional objectives IVASS exercises its supervision (the so called micro-prudential supervision) through assets/liabilities, financial and technical controls over corporate governance and shareholdings and performs supervisory functions over the system's stability (the so called macro-prudential supervision).
The Institute authorises undertakings to pursue insurance and reinsurance business, carries out inspections at insurance and reinsurance groups and undertakings and the other supervised entities, also in collaboration with the Bank of Italy, other public Authorities or other insurance supervisory Authorities of the European Union.
IVASS supervises over the activity of insurance and reinsurance intermediaries. It verifies that their behaviour complies with sectoral regulations, with special regard to the observance of the obligations to keep segregate accounts and of the disclosure requirements, and the fairness and transparency in relations with customers.
IVASS keeps the RUI (Registro unico degli intermediari assicurativi e riassicurativi – the Single Register of insurance and reinsurance intermediaries) and, in a perspective of consumer protection, enhances the dissemination of good practices among market participants.
In the exercise of its supervisory functions over the technical, financial, assets/liabilities management of undertakings and over transparency and fairness of behaviours by market participants IVASS adopts regulations for the implementation of the Insurance code and of the directly applicable EU provisions, as well as regulations for the implementation of recommendations, guidelines and other provisions issued by the European supervisory authority (EIOPA).
It ascertains the illegal conducts of supervised entities and applies pecuniary-administrative and disciplinary sanctions.
IVASS supervises over the fairness of behaviours by undertakings vis-à-vis consumers and over the transparency of insurance products. It establishes the rules of conduct which undertakings and intermediaries must observe when supplying and executing contracts and monitors compliance with them.
It provides consumers with a telephone helpline on insurance issues through the Contact Center. Written complaints and reports to the Contact Center are essential tools to analyse the causes behind consumer dissatisfaction and to intervene, in the presence of recurring or particularly serious problems, with targeted supervisory actions.
It maintains relationships with Consumer associations.
IVASS contributes to the fight against fraud in the motor liability insurance sector by analysing and evaluating the information obtained from the claims data bank, exchanging feedback with the undertakings on the relevant findings and collaborating with the police and the judicial authorities. It also manages AIA (Archivio informatico Integrato Antifrode – the anti-fraud integrated computer database), which is a functional means of preventing and combating insurance frauds.
For its defence before the courts IVASS has, by Statute and in compliance with professional laws, in-house lawyers (the Legal Services Office UCL) which also gives advice to IVASS' institutional bodies and structures.
IVASS forms part of the ESFS (the European System of Financial Supervision), where it cooperates to increase convergence of supervisory practices. To that end it cooperates with EIOPA (the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority), the Joint Committee of the three European supervisory authorities, ESRB (the European Systemic Risk Board) and the Supervisory authorities of the other member States.
IVASS also takes part in IAIS (the International Association of Insurance Supervisors) and contributes to draft the European legislation at the Council or Commission.
It enhances the knowledge of the insurance market through studies and statistical and economic surveys.
IVASS is funded through fees to be paid by the supervised entities, the amount of which is established every year by decree of the Minister of Economy and Finance, after hearing IVASS, so as to ensure the financial cover of the costs of charges for its operation.
When drawing up its budgets IVASS takes into account, from an administrative-financial point of view, external rules on the reduction of costs along with autonomous expenditure restraint.
IVASS' budgets and financial statements are subject to the control of the Court of Auditors; the accounts are also audited by external auditors in the manner established by art. 14 of IVASS' Statute.