The National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) has initiated a disciplinary proceedings against DKV Seguros y Reaseguros for possible restrictive practices of competition during the declaration of the state of alarm.
As reported on Tuesday, DKV Seguros would have unilaterally eliminated the policies of insured who are autonomous the risk of temporary disability during the declaration of the state of alarm, alleging the disappearance of the object thereof. The CNMC points out that said elimination is not covered by current applicable regulations, in particular Law 50/1980, of October 8, on the Insurance Contract.
Specifically, the company would have sent a letter to some of its policyholders through which it communicated the aforementioned elimination and the need to accept said change required by current regulations, not being able to keep the policy in force otherwise.
The conduct analyzed originates from certain information received through the mailbox ([email protected]), which the CNMC activated during the months of confinement to centralize all complaints and queries related to the application of the competition rules in the pandemic.
After conducting its analysis, the CNMC considers that the actions of the insurer “would deviate from the good faith required of companies” and that also “could have misled to the recipients of the aforementioned letter, since it alleged a regulatory requirement to carry out the change in the policy.
All this, indicates the agency, “could constitute an act of unfair competition” typified in article 3 of the LCD, in relation to articles 4 and 5 of Law 3/1991, of January 10, on Unfair Competition (LCD ).
The CNMC has warned that such conduct could affect the general interest, as it may have generated a distortion of the conditions of competition in the market and an alteration of the economic behavior of the affected clients when accepting the modifications of their insurance policies for sick leave.
The initiation of this file does not prejudge the final result of the investigation and a maximum period of 18 months is now open for the investigation of the file and for its resolution by the CNMC.
DKV Seguros, «stupefied»
After the initiation of the file, the DKV company has expressed its “astonishment and surprise” and has explained that the coverage of temporary disability due to work accident was temporarily canceled during the months that the state of alarm lasted due to the impossibility of exercising its work activity due part of 2,900 of its policyholders of the DKV Renta product, of the total of 30,000 who have contracted the coverage.
Policyholders did not have to pay the premium for the temporarily suspended coverage, for which DKV maintains that «it was a measure for the benefit of customers“Which caused” business reduction “for the company.
As the main object of the insurance in question is the total and transitory disability of the insured as a result of illness or accident, DKV considers it “obvious” that said object disappears if the professional activity ceases for a different reason, so policyholders whose policyholders are unable to exercise their profession due to legal imperative or material impossibility derived from legal measures they would be paying a premium for a coverage that would be impossible to occur during the validity of the alarm state.
«The communication sent to the clients did not seek more than to adapt the insurance contract to the new situation created by the pandemic, not only within the framework of the conditions of the insurance contract and its applicable legislation, but also within the regulatory context that regulates the situation we have faced since March 14, 2020 ”, he pointed out.
Of the 2,900 policyholders to whom the letter was sent, 908 decided to join to the contract modification proposal offered by DKV Seguros, which meant for the company a loss of premiums of 500,000 eurosAt the same time, no measures were applied to the policyholders who did not accept the company’s proposal and coverage continued to be provided.
In addition, the company has pointed out that the policyholder has the possibility of modifying the contract again, re-contracting the guarantee of daily compensation for temporary disability, if requested within a period of two months after the expiration of the state. alarm, without new grace periods being applied, without the need to make a new health declaration and with the commitment to cover pathologies that may have arisen during that period.