Find Lawyers in Cologne, Germany for Insurance Law
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Insurance Law - Cologne, GermanyAbout this Practice Area
Dr. Anna Cryns-Moll studied law at Cologne University and Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne within the framework of completion of the German-French masters degree (LL.M./maîtrise en droit). After having accomplished the first state exam in law she worked as a research associate at the Institute for tax law at Cologne University, completing her doctorate with honors in 2010. While performing her legal clerkship she also stayed abroad, in Singapore and New York. After finishing the legal c...
Björn Fiedler is the founder and managing partner of Fiedler Cryns-Moll FCM Rechtsanwaelte Partnerschaft, a Cologne-based law firm that focuses on representing and advising insurance companies in complex claims and specific insurance products (including directors and officers liability; errors and omissions coverage; professional indemnity; public offering of securities insurance; employment practices liability; representations and warranties; cyber; fidelity; and product liability). He ...
Carsten Laschet is a lawyer and managing Partner of Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner. His practice focuses on liability and insurance law. He specialises in contract law, product liability law, directors' and officers' liability as well as Insurance Law. Carsten Laschet is a lecturer in teaching specialist insurance lawyers and a member of the Cologne Legal Association (Kölner Juristische Gesellschaft), the German Bar Association’s Working Group on Insurance Law (ARGE Ve...
Tobias Lenz is a lawyer and partner at Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner. In addition, he is a professor for national and international commercial law at the Rhineland University of Applied Sciences (Rheinische Fachhochschule) in Cologne and the director of the Institute for Liability and Insurance Law (Institut für Haftungs- und Versicherungsrecht). Tobias’ main focus lies on product liability and insurance law, liability of managing directors and execute board members, ...
Mike Weitzel is a lawyer and partner at FGvW in Cologne. He is a specialist lawyer for insurance law and specialises, among other things, in product liability and product advice (especially for liability lines), insurance contract law as well as litigation and arbitration. He is a lecturer in insurance law at Hagen Law School, a member of the insurance law working group of the DAV and the author of numerous publications and specialist lectures. He speaks German and English.
Insurance Law Definition
German insurance law covers the entirety of all legal standards, regulations and provisions relating to insurance-matters.
Private insurance law regulates the contractual relations between policyholders, insured persons and insurers. The legal provisions are codified in the Insurance Contract Act (Versicherungsvertragsgesetz) and in several special supplementary rules.
The insurance supervisory system is of a public-law nature, regulated by the Insurance Supervision Act (Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetz).
The German Insurance Contract Act from 1908 was originally aligned to the benefit of the insurer. In 2008, it was fundamentally reformed with a clear focus on consumer protection. Insurance companies are subject to supervision by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, www.bafin.de). In Germany, insurance business may only be operated if the company is authorized by the supervisory authority or by regulatory bodies of other Member States of the European Union. Furthermore, there is a legal entity requirement for insurance companies in Germany.
German insurance law system distinguishes between compulsory and voluntary insurance. The most important types of compulsory insurance are social insurance (unemployment insurance, pension insurance, health care and health insurance) and liability insurance (motor vehicle liability insurance, business liability and professional liability insurance). The most common types of voluntary insurance are private liability insurance, private health insurance, life insurance, household insurance, accident insurance, legal expenses insurance.
In addition to German law, European law plays a decisive role. The European Union issues a wide range of directives and regulations to harmonize insurance law in EU Member States. For example, several directives concerning life insurance authorize insurers to operate across borders without needing a separate permission in that Member State. The directive on insurance mediation was significantly aligned with consumer protection and was implemented in different national laws. Insurance intermediaries require permission from the Chamber of Commerce (www.ihk.de) to sell policies. Licensed insurance intermediaries are registered in a public database (www.vermittlerregister.info) and have to take out professional indemnity insurance. The violation of these particular principles regulated by Trade Regulation Act (Gewerbeordnung) will be subject of legal sanctions. Moreover, the authorization can be subsequently withdrawn from insurance intermediaries, for example, when they do no longer have the required reliability. There is a strict legislation for insurance intermediaries concerning information, advisory and documentation duties. A violation of the abovementioned obligations will lead to liability and redress.
The local bar associations are authorized to appoint specialists in insurance law. These specialists have to prove theoretical and practical skills in insurance law.
Legal disputes between policyholder and insurer are not necessarily carried out at court. In Germany arbitration boards, such as the Ombudsman for Insurance (www.versicherungsombudsmann.de), are able to settle legal disputes between the policyholder and the insurer at low cost.
The umbrella organization of private insurers in Germany is the General Association of the German insurance industry (www.gdv.de).
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