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The President of UOKiK imposed a fine on the insurance company UNIQA

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The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) questioned the system of prohibited clauses used by UNIQA and imposed a fine of over PLN 10 million on the insurance company – the Office said in a statement. He added that these clauses were intended to discourage customers from terminating the contract in the first years of its duration. The company said it had received the decision and will be reviewing it.

the office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) informed that the president of the office, Tomasz Chróstny, imposed a fine of over PLN 10 million on the insurance company UNIQA (formerly AXA Życie TU SA). The decision of the President of UOKiK concerns four types of life insurance with insurance capital funds (UOKiK) offered between December 2015 and May 2019 by AXA Życie Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń SA (in 2021 the company was acquired by the UNIQA Group).

Penalty imposed on UNIQA

Contractual provisions specifying the method of calculating distribution and allocation fees aroused reservations. “These are the initial fees, which were assumed to cover the costs related to the acquisition, advertising, intermediaries’ commissions, preparation of contracts, etc. In the first year of the policy, their amount ranged from 60 to 100% of the basic premium, depending on the age of the insured person. For some products, also in the second year, the company deducted 50 percent of the money paid, and in subsequent years – 5 percent. ” – explained UOKiK. “Regardless, AXA (currently UNIQA) charges several other fees, such as administration, transaction, management and insurance risk,” the release added.

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Tomasz Chróstny, quoted in the announcement, emphasized that “the consumer has the right to terminate the life insurance contract with the UFK at any time, subject to the notice period. The entrepreneur cannot obstruct such a decision, for example by introducing fees that make withdrawal from the contract unprofitable”.

UOKiK reminded that a few years ago it was loud about the so-called liquidation fees charged by insurers when consumers wished to terminate their UFK policies ahead of schedule. In some cases, this meant the loss of all customer savings. “Such provisions in the contracts were considered abusive and entered into the register of prohibited clauses. The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection obliged insurance companies, including AXA Życie TU (in the decision of 2015 and the agreement of 2016), to significantly reduce the liquidation fees” – indicated.

“We received the decision of the President of UOKiK”

As emphasized by Chróstny, insurance companies cannot pass on costs to consumers, which should be classified as risk. doing business. – Distribution and allocation fees applied by AXA after questioning the liquidation fees had a similar purpose – to discourage consumers from terminating the contract in the first years of its duration – emphasized the President of UOKiK.

“The penalty for UNIQA TU na Życie SA (formerly AXA) for using the abusive clause is over PLN 10 million (PLN 10,018,523). In addition, the company must inform consumers – by letter, on its website and on Facebook – about the decision of the President of UOKiK and its consequences, i.e. that the challenged clauses should be treated as if they were not included in the contract. After the decision becomes final, the injured parties will be able to rely on it in court when pursuing claims. The decision is not final, the company is entitled to appeal to the court “- he indicated UOKiK.

“Today we have received the decision of the President of UOKiK and we will analyze it” – Katarzyna Ostrowska, press spokeswoman and director from the UNIQA communication department told TVN24 Biznes.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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