On 14 March 2024, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the AFM) published its interpretation of a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU) of 2022 regarding the licensing requirement for the intermediation of group insurances. In this interpretation, the AFM indicates that companies offering group insurances to their customers will, in certain cases, be required to obtain a licence from the AFM by 1 October 2025. The guidelines are available via this link (only available in Dutch).

A group insurance policy is an insurance agreement between an insurer and an insured (such as a shipping company), whereby the insured may include one or more third parties as a policyholder to the group insurance policy. According to the AFM, if the third parties have an option to be included in the group insurance policy and they pay a fee for the insurance, the insured will be required to obtain a licence from the AFM for the intermediation in group insurance. However, if the third parties do not have an option to be included in the group insurance policy or the insured does not receive a fee, no licence is required. The AFM is of the view that a fee is paid when a financial benefit is received by the insured. However, this is not the case if costs, such as premium and administration charges, are passed on.  

The graph below shows when a licence for a group insurance is required. The licence will be mandatory per 1 October 2025. Given that the process to apply for any licence takes a minimum of 13 weeks, the AFM advises parties to start the application process as soon as possible.