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Dušan Lalić, Co-president Of The FIC Financial Services Committee (Generali Osiguranje Srbija a.d.o.)

Improved Legal Framework For The Insurance Sector

We suggest the adoption of a special law to regulate insurance contracts, the easing of the concluding of insurance policies, the promoting of mediation and the granting of state assistance on the development of individual insurance programmes

The Foreign Investors Council pays great attention to compiling the White Book and works very seriously on recommendations for ways to improve the business environment in the Republic of Serbia. Our opinion is that our country’s business market is developing constantly and that, despite the existence of huge efforts, legislation cannot always meet the needs of the market adequately and quickly. That’s why we recognised the need for well-developed companies, successful businesspeople and leaders in their fields, in one place, to point out the need to amend legal regulations in such a way that they keep pace with the increasingly rapid development of the business environment in our country.

When it comes to insurance, recommendations relate to the need for the insurance contract to be regulated by a special law, enabling the easier concluding of insurance policies, promoting mediation, as well as state assistance on the development of individual insurance programmes. Despite there being many ideas, unfortunately very little progress has been achieved. The only advance that we see is in mediation, but that progress is the result of the efforts of insurance companies that have recognised the benefits of mediation and are exerting maximum efforts to use it in the resolving of disputes with clients. The legal framework still hasn’t been amended in this area either.

The National Bank of Serbia in particular has recognised the importance of insurance and is working to improve the protection of users of insurance services and bring the industry closer to good practices in the European Union

When it comes to the work of the committee in the period ahead, the most important recommendation relates to the adoption of the Law on Insurance Contracts. We consider that there would be multiple benefits from the adopting of a special law regulating the insurance contract. First and foremost, the law would keep pace with the huge changes to the insurance market and needs that have changed compared to the period when the Law on Contracts and Torts was adopted. Not only have the market’s needs changed, but practice at the European Union level has also changed, especially when it comes to user protection, and this shortcoming is currently being filled by the interventions of the National Bank of Serbia, to the extent that this is possible within the existing legislative framework. That’s why it’s vital to facilitate the development of insurance in our country, and particularly to harmonise the legal aspects of insurance with those of developed European countries that have recognised the need to regulate insurance matters with a special law. Alongside the aforementioned, the insurance market’s constant development demands a swifter reaction from the regulator in order for the legislative framework to be able to keep pace with the development of the market, and this isn’t possible if the insurance contract is regulated by a general law. Finally, consideration should be given to the importance of insurance and the need to educate both citizens and professionals who come into contact with the insurance industry (lawyers, judges, mediators, employees of state bodies etc.). Regulating the matter of the contractual right of insurance in one place would contribute to this greatly.

When it comes to opportunities for cooperation with public policymakers in this area, I must note that interest and willingness to cooperate have risen to a very high level following the financial conference organised by the FIC. As I have already mentioned, the National Bank of Serbia in particular has recognised the importance of insurance and is exerting great efforts to improve the protection of users of insurance services and approach the good practice of the European Union through the bylaws that it adopts, but also through all other mechanisms that are enabled under the current legislative framework.

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