March 2, 2020

CBIRC Published a New Rule Concerning Insurance Policy Regulatory Issue

On 26 February 2020, the China Banking & Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) published its 'Notice Re Improvements in Regulation of Insurance Policy of Property Insurance Companies' (Notice). The Notice came into effect 1 March 2020.

Key elements contained in the Notice are:

1. CBIRC policy filing and approval requirements for two major classes of insurance (Two Classes) have changed. Henceforth, the following Two Classes no longer require formal filing with, and prior approval from, CBIRC (CBIRC Approval):

  • all commercial (ie non-bodily injury) motor vehicle policies; and
  • all credit guarantee insurance policies with terms greater than one year  (including without limitation trade credit insurance and guaranty insurance).

Henceforth, all policies in respect of the Two Classes require 'mere registration' with CBIRC (CBIRC Registration), rather than CBIRC Approval, meaning that these policies may be released into the market immediately upon CBIRC Registration, rather than having to wait, sometimes many months, for CBIRC Approval.

2. CBIRC Registration for all policies of insurance (not limited to the Two Classes) must be made by the relevant insurer's 'head office', and not by such insurer's branches or subsidiaries.

3. For the first time ever, CBIRC has expressly added to its criteria that an insurer must apply in manufacturing insurance policies (legal, actuarial and compliance) the requirement to include policy wording which is aimed at 'protecting the customer'. This new consumer protection perspective has however, for the interim, only been applied to the manufacture of personal lines of general insurance sold directly to insureds.