December 29, 2010 / 4:54 PM / 9 years ago

Italy seeks 15-18 pct auto insurance tariff cuts

* Neutral for company profits-source

* Cuts aimed to come in over 3-yr time period-source

* Parliament, govt have to approve measures

MILAN, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Italy’s insurance regulator wants average auto premiums cut by 15 to 18 percent via actions to curb fraudulent and accident injury claims in one of Europe’s most expensive markets for auto liability cover.

In a statement on Wednesday, regulator ISVAP said the cuts will be achieved if parliament and government back its proposals, adding its estimate is prudent and takes account of an examination by insurance association ANIA.

“Let’s say a lot of the cut — 10 percent (points) — comes from actions to counter fraud and the rest from measures on dealing with major and minor categories of injuries (claims),” an ISVAP source said.

The aim is to introduce the proposed measures over a three-year period, he said.

The measures will be neutral for companies’ results because ISVAP sees cuts in fraud losses and lower injury pay-outs being shared between companies and their customers, he said.

The proposals include setting up an anti-fraud unit to cooperate with police. For minor injuries, it wants to find a way to deal with improper medical opinions, ISVAP said.

Italy’s biggest auto insurer Fondiaria-SAI FOSA.MI has racked up large losses in the first nine months of the year from weak non-life insurance and investment write-downs and has since announced a capital increase. [ID:nLDE6A922P]

Insurers have raised tariffs to offset the slowdown as well as fraud and high injury claims. ISVAP opposes such a price policy. (Writing by Nigel Tutt; Editing by David Holmes)

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