The life insurance contract has for years been internationally recognised as a reliable and competitive investment instrument. Based on the “Home Country Control” principle, European insurance companies may, in respect of the principles of general interest, distribute their products in all European countries, under the sole control of the authority of their country of origin.
The third EU directive, in force since 1st July 1994, authorised European insurance companies to operate according to the “Free Provision of Services” within the European Economic Area (EEA). In addition to the European Union Member States, the EEA currently also includes Ireland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Through a recent referendum, Switzerland decided not to join the EEA. However, this Country is linked to the EU by a bilateral agreement.
Among these countries, on the basis of their favourable internal legislation, Ireland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg have been able to develop a solid basis for the success of the insurance market.
Many of the main insurance companies operating on the European market have their own headquarters in one of these three countries and operate under the regime of Free Provision of Services.