To pursue its institutional objective of insurance market stability, IVASS carries out micro-prudential supervision, aimed at verifying the sound and prudent management of individual undertakings and insurance groups as well as macro-prudential supervision, aimed at analysing the trend of macroeconomic factors and, in general, of the possible external factors or specific issues which can have an impact on undertakings and on the insurance market as a whole.
Supervisory activities consist in structural controls, which include the granting of authorisations prior to the implementation of some activities or the conclusion of certain operations.
Structural controls are aimed to verify the adequacy of the organisational set-up of insurance undertakings and groups. They include, among other things, the assessment of the requirements for the new undertakings which intend to pursue insurance business and of compliance with the conditions for extending business to other classes for undertakings already active, as well as controls over shareholders, ownership structure and the acquisition of holdings in insurance undertakings. IVASS also supervises over extraordinary operations such as for example mergers, divisions and transfers of portfolios whose authorisation procedure ends with the issuing of the relevant order.
Prudential controls follow a risk-based supervisory approach, aimed at verifying that undertakings adequately manage the risks accepted on a continuous basis and have adequate capital safeguards in place to cover unexpected losses. Prudential controls include checking whether the undertaking has an adequate organisational and governance structure, a balanced technical, financial and capital structure, and whether it complies with supervisory provisions. For this purpose it carries out off-site controls and on-site inspections on undertakings, insurance intermediaries and subjects performing functions included in the operational cycle of insurance undertakings (on site). Supervisory activities are carried out using integrated methodologies based on the exploitation of market information, the analysis of the financial statements, supervisory reporting, the information that undertakings are required to submit on a regular basis or at the specific request of IVASS.
In collaboration with the other authorities involved, IVASS carries out tasks of supplementary supervision of financial conglomerates and prudential control over national and cross-border insurance groups. The new regulatory framework introduced by the Solvency II Directive envisages the enhancement of insurance group supervision also through the setting up of Colleges of supervisors, whose goal is to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of supervision over cross-border groups, reinforce the cooperation among the supervisory authorities of various countries, the exchange of information, the planning and coordination of operational activities.
Macro-prudential supervision consists in the analysis of the performance of key insurance indicators and other factors, macroeconomic factors in particular, and in the assessment of their possible impact n the insurance industry and more in general on the reference economic-financial environment.
Analysis and studies on financial stability, also in collaboration with other structures of the Institute, are supplemented by additional in-depth studies on the current and forward-looking riskiness and the resulting vulnerability of the insurance sector and are published in the Financial Stability Report of the Bank of Italy. For this purpose the Institute follows the in-depth analyses of macroeconomic aspects in the various international fora.
IVASS performs scenario analyses and systemic stress tests, developing the relevant methodologies consistently with the approaches adopted also at international level.
It evaluates, also in term of administrative burdens, the (ex ante and ex post) economic impact of supervisory regulations on the activity of insurance undertakings, intermediaries, as well as on the interests of policyholders and injured parties.
24 November 2022