Find a Lawyer / Chile / Insurance Law

Find Lawyers in Chile for Insurance Law

Practice Area Overview

Insurance law practice includes a wide area, covering contracts of insurance (including policy forms and particular conditions), contracts of reinsurance, intermediation, corporate and regulatory matters (including registration of policy forms, formation of insurance and reinsurance companies, and intermediators), registration of foreign reinsurance and brokers, and tax matters (particularly relating to insurance and reinsurance contracted with companies not established in Chile).   
The main regulator supervising the insurance and reinsurance activity is the Securities and Insurance Superintendence (SVS). 

Chilean Insurance and Reinsurance Companies
Insurance and reinsurance companies can be formed in Chile only as a sociedad anónima, as a company by shares with two shareholders at least. There are no restrictions on foreign capitals to participate in the formation of a company of insurance or reinsurance or to take control thereof.
Insurance companies can be formed to conduct only one of the following kinds of business: general and casualty, credit insurance (including fidelity and guarantee), and life.

Foreign Insurance Subsidiaries
Foreign insurers may open a branch in Chile. Operations between the branch offices and their parent companies are deemed to have been effected between different entities and the parent company is not responsible for the obligations assumed by the Chilean branch office and may reinsure its risks without any limitation with the parent and related company. 

Direct Sale of MAT Business
Insurance for international marine transportation, international commercial aviation, cargo in international transit, and satellites and their cargo (MAT) may be commercialized in Chile by foreign insurance companies. 

Restrictions to Freedom of Contract
For large risks there is absolute freedom of contract. In other insurance contracts, freedom of contract is restricted by mandatory regulations. Policy forms that have been previously deposited before the regulator can be commercialized by insurance companies.

Compulsory Insurance
There are compulsory insurance on pension funds, motorized vehicles, personal accident insurance for schools, professional liability cover for insurance and reinsurance brokers, oil pollution from vessels, civil liability caused by environmental harm, and for passengers on air transportation.

Title to Claim Insurance or Reinsurance 
In general, third parties cannot bring a direct action against an insurer for coverage. One exception is the beneficiary of a letter of undertaking issued by a liability marine insurer can claim directly against the insurer. 
Some authors hold that third parties have direct action against a liability insurer. This is a highly debatable issue. 
An insured entity cannot bring direct action against the reinsurer. The exceptions are bankruptcy of the insurer, and a cut-through clause allowing the insured to bring direct action against the reinsurer.

Duty of Disclosure
The insured has the obligation to “honestly answer all the queries asked by the insurer to identify and perceive the nature of the risks.” Material errors, misrepresentation, or inaccuracies may allow the insurer to rescind the contract of insurance or propose to amend the insurance premium or the cover terms. 

By paying the insurance indemnity, the insurer subrogates all rights and actions of the insured against third parties that may be liable for the loss. 

Emilio Sahurie Sahurie & Asociados
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