With the declaration of independence of the Republic of Slovenia on the basis of the Constitutional Act Implementing the Basic Constitutional Charter on the Independence and Sovereignty of the Republic of Slovenia on April 26, 1991, Slovenia adopted the legal acts of the former Yugoslavia in the field of insurance. In the former Yugoslavia, all issues related to the organization of the insurance business in the form of insurance communities, which were based on the idea of mutual insurance companies, were regulated by a special basic system of property and personal insurance act, by which the compulsory insurance in traffic and the status of insurance agents were regulated as well.
The insurance sector of former Yugoslavia was not familiar with insurance brokers. In 1993, Slovenia adopted its own Insurance Companies Act, which regulated basic questions concerning organization of insurance companies as public limited companies, where a special law was adapted in the process of transformation of the former insurance communities into joint-stock companies. A German method of organizing new insurance companies as joint-stock companies was applied in this process, which means, that these newly established insurance companies were managing the assets of the former insurances until the beginning of the privatization process of former insurance communities. Founders of new insurance companies have virtually become shareholders of their total assets in accordance with a special law.
The Insurance Companies Act 1993, did allow the activity of insurance brokers but their status was not regulated in detail. Not earlier than in year 2000, in the context of Slovenia’s preparations to join the EU, a new Insurance Companies Act entered into force. This Insurance Act regulates in detail the status of insurance joint-stock companies and mutual insurance companies as well as the status, position and activity of insurance agents and brokers. Brokers were appointed in accordance with the then-applicable European legislation, in particular with the Insurance Mediation Directive. The Insurance Act was amended in 2004 by entering the Insurance Mediation Directive 2002 into the Slovenian legal order.
The above mentioned Insurance Act has been reconciled with various EU directives and has so far been amended 9 times. The last update, which was practically a renewal of the Insurance Act, was adopted at the end of 2015 and entered into force on 01.01.2016. It regulates in detail all the issues relating to the status and activity of insurance brokers and insurance agents. It is expected that in the course of this year, the chapter relating to the insurance intermediaries will be amended and reconciled in compliance with the Insurance Distribution Directive 2016.
In the field of compulsory insurance, compulsory insurance in traffic (Compulsory Motor Third-Party Liability Insurance, Compulsory aviation insurance and Compulsory accident insurance for passengers in public transport) is regulated by a special Law on compulsory insurance in traffic, 2004. Twenty-four mandatory liability insurances for various professional activities are governed by special laws governing individual professional activities (such as Attorneys Act, Notary Act, etc.).
For the purpose of the insurance contracts regulation, Slovenia applied the law of the former Yugoslavia until 01.01.2002, which fully regulated the insurance contract on the basis of Austrian insurance contracts from 1917. In 2002, Slovenian Code of Obligations came into force, which practically took over 90 % of the provisions of former Yugoslav Law on the insurance contract. The law specifically regulates all institutions related to the insurance contract, such as conclusion of the insurance contracts, authorization of insurance agents, change of the insurance contracts and co-insurance, whereby the entire system is designed in a way, that the law comprises general provisions of the insurance contract and special provisions on property and personal insurance.
The basis for the regulation of the Slovenian insurance law are usually solutions of the Austrian and German law, while within the liability insurance as well as compulsory and voluntary insurance the French law is applied, which refers to a direct action against the insurer (actio directa). The reinsurance contract in Slovenia is not regulated. The marine insurance is regulated by the Maritime Code that is taken from the former Yugoslav law, whereby some provisions, such as for example the right of direct action, are not included in the Marine Insurance Law.
Supervision of the insurance industry is performed by an independent Insurance Supervision Agency (AZN), which is entrusted to exercise control over the insurance business and activities of insurance agents and brokers. Given the fact that also Slovenian banks are engaged in insurance brokerage, the Bank of Slovenia has certain powers in this area as well. The Insurance Supervision Agency is authorized to issue the implementing regulations, which regulate in detail the individual issues. So far, eighteen implementing regulations have been adopted in Slovenia. Currently, there are twenty-eight insurance companies headquartered and operating in Slovenia and approximately 900 notified insurance companies established in the Member States of the EU, which means, that they have the right to perform certain insurance activities in Slovenia directly from the EU.
For the history will be interesting the changes that have taken place in relation to the independence and adoption of regulations in insurance sector (status of insurance companies, insurance agents and brokers and supervision) as well as the insurance contract referred to in the Code of Obligations governing traditional institutions of insurance contract law. The content of the Law on Compulsory Insurance in Traffic and other compulsory insurances are also interesting, especially professional liability insurances, whereby in practice, the claims made method is being introduced by the insurances, despite prevailing expert opinion that the claims made is in contradiction with Slovenian law. This issue is now pending before the courts, which is why there is no final position on this issue so far. Changes in the insurance sector, in particular changes of the status and privatization have been discussed repeatedly by the Constitutional Court. Disputes in the field of insurance are settled by ordinary courts of law or even by arbitration and mediation center at the Insurers association that is competent for resolving disputes on behalf of the customer.
To conclude, it was found that all essential issues in the insurance sector are regulated in accordance with the insurance regulations of the EU.