Unsolicited health insurance advertising calls: 80 reports - but only two fines

80 reports of violations of the ban on unsolicited health insurance advertising calls have been received by the responsible supervisory commission this year. But only two intermediaries were punished for this.

Since the beginning of the year, an "industry agreement for intermediaries in health insurance" has regulated, among other things, so-called cold calling, i.e. the contacting of potential customers by intermediaries without prior agreement or failure to observe the asterisk in the telephone directory.

This would allow reputable intermediaries to be distinguished from those who do not adhere to the quality standards, the supervisory commission announced on Monday. It is responsible for ensuring compliance with the agreement. Fines for serious offenses can be up to 100,000 francs for basic insurance and 500,000 francs for supplementary insurance.

This year, the commission received 80 reports of violations of the industry agreement. Last year, there were 300 reports, as Commission President Lucius Dürr said in response to a question.

The decline seemed to indicate that the agreement was "beginning to bear fruit" and that self-regulation was working, it said. However, only two complaints led to sanctions with fines of 15,000 Swiss francs and procedural costs of a further 10,000 Swiss francs. The penalties are not yet legally binding.

In 29 cases, no proceedings were opened, Dürr said. The reason for this was that the cases often could not be assigned to a specific insurer.

Commissions regulated

At the same time, the Supervisory Commission specified the upper limits for commission for brokering health insurance policies. For the conclusion of a contract in basic insurance, this amounts to a maximum of CHF 70, and for supplementary insurance, a maximum of 12 monthly premiums.

These maximum amounts may also not be exceeded because of additional consulting services - such as for a health app, for example, the commission said. Also, no additional compensation may be paid out when advising foreign customers with a higher need for information.

The industry agreement had been signed by a large majority of insurers. They represent more than 90 percent of the insured. The Supervisory Commission would be in favor of the agreement being declared generally binding.

The Federal Council adopted a corresponding dispatch with amendments to the Federal Act on the Regulation of Insurance Mediation in May. This week, the National Council's health committee is discussing it.

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