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Spanish underwriting agencies

In Spain, an underwriting agency (“agencia de suscripción”) is an Spanish company that accepts and underwrites risks on behalf of one or several insurers. Other tasks may also be performed by underwriting agencies such as signing contracts of insurance, collecting premiums and handling claims.

Spanish underwriting agencies are regulated under Article 60 of the Law 20/2015 on Ordination, Supervision and Solvency of Insurance and Reinsurance Entities and Article 35 of the Regulation on Ordination, Supervision and Solvency of Insurance and Reinsurance Entities.

Underwriting agencies are not intermediaries, and their activities are not regarded as insurance distribution. Therefore, they are not regulated under the Royal Decree Law 3/2020, which implemented the IDD.

Main provisions for Spanish underwriting agencies are as follows:

  • Underwriting agencies must be licensed by the Spanish Directorate of Insurance (Dirección General de Seguros, DGS) before starting the activity. For that purpose, the underwriting agency must submit an application before the DGS and demonstrates that it meets the legal requirements about qualification, fit and proper, technical and financial solvency as well as the support of, at least, an insurer.
  • Underwriting agencies may act on behalf of more than one insurer. Extensions of the initial license must be obtained from the DGS.
  • Underwriting agencies must set up separate bank accounts in relation to activities carried out for each insurer.
  • Underwriting agencies are responsible for their own actions (the insurer is no responsible) and they must have their own professional indemnity insurance in place.
  • There is not a Register of Spanish Underwriting Agencies. The scarce information about them are included in the information for each insurer on the Dirección General de Seguros y Fondos de Pensiones website below.

Despite being regulated and supervised by the DGS, the Spanish underwriting agencies are unable to exercise the passporting rights that the IDD permits for EEA intermediaries. Therefore, Spanish underwriting agencies are not allowed to operate in another EEA member state either on a cross border or an establishment basis.