GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE AUSTRIAN INSURANCE BROKERS
resolved by the Federal Council of Insurance Brokers on 23.4.1997
The insurance broker mediates insurance contracts between insurer and insurance client independently of his and third interests, in particular independent of the insurance company (insurer).
The insurance broker who acts on behalf of the client and represents his interests in private and business insurance matters, works for both parties to the insurance contract, but has to primarily protect the interests of the client. The insurance broker performs according to the Brokers Act (MaklerG), the General terms and conditions and the brokerage contract concluded with the client with the care of a prudent businessman. The General terms and conditions are by agreement a binding basis for clients and insurance broker in business transactions between the two and in processing the business cases.
I. Responsibilities of the insurance broker
1.1. The representation of interests includes the professional advice and consultation of the client about the insurance cover. The insurance broker creates an appropriate risk analysis and coverage plan based on the information and documentation provided to him by the client.
1.2. The insurance broker is obliged to provide the client with the best possible insurance coverage according to the individual needs of the client. The representation of interests of the client is limited to insurers with an office in Austria, the representation of interest at other insurance companies is possible with a fee agreement for the increased expense. The insurance broker has to mediate the best possible insurance coverage in an appropriate processing time taking into account the price-performance ratio: this means in addition to the amount of insurance premium, in particular the expertise of the insurer, his management of the claims processing, his willingness to make a gesture of goodwill, the contract period, the opportunity of claims cancellations, the amount of deductibles, etc.
1.3. The insurance broker is obliged to perform activities according to § 28 item 4 (announcement of legal acts, etc.) and item 5 (examination of the insurance policies) of the Brokers Act (MaklerG) only under the fee agreement. This does not apply to consumer Transactions.
1.4. The insurance broker is obliged to perform activities according to § 28Z. 6 (assistance in insurance case, etc.) and Z. 7 (ongoing review, etc.) of the Brokers Act (MaklerG) only under the fee agreement.
1.5. The insurance broker has to maintain confidentiality, to protect business secrets of the clients, which have become known to him during his consultation, and to provide the insurer only with information that is necessary to assess the insurance risk. The client agrees to the automated processing of his personal data.
II. Responsibilities of the insurance client
2.1. The client has to disclose all the relevant data, information and documents necessary for the conclusion of the desired insurance and for the insurance broker for a correct fulfillment of his order truthfully and completely. He will also inform the insurance broker in writing of any changes that are relevant to the insurance cover, in particular changes of address, changes in activities, activities abroad, risk increase, etc., without undue delay.
The client has – if necessary – to take part in a risk inspection by the insurance broker or insurer upon prior notification and appointment and to point out special risks on his own initiative.
2.2. The client is aware that an application signed by him or for him by the insurance broker does not yet provide insurance cover and has to be accepted by the insurer. The client is aware that there may be an uncovered period between the signing of the insurance application and its acceptance by the insurer. The client will check all insurance documents sent by the insurance broker for discrepancies and any deviations from the original order and will communicate them to the insurance broker for correction.
2.3. The client is aware that verbal collateral agreements with the insurance broker and/or his employees are ineffective and all orders and instructions to the insurance broker must be given in writing. Deviations from this requirement require written form. This does not apply to consumer transactions.
2.4. The client is aware that as policyholder, he must comply with obligations under the law and insurance conditions in the event of an insurance claim, the non-compliance with them may lead to the insurer’s discharge from is not required to reimburse a claim.
3.1. Due to the large number and variety of business transactions, the liability of the insurance broker for the entire business relationship is limited to intent and gross negligence. In the case of consumer transactions, liability does not extend to damage caused to individuals. With the exception of consumer transactions, liability for acts committed through gross negligence is limited to the minimum amount of liability established by law and does not apply to lost profits.
3.2. The client may within 6 months, the consumer – within 3 years, after the establishment of the fact of the damage, but not later than 3 years after the conclusion of the insurance contract, sue the insurance broker for damages.
3.3. The contracting parties shall transfer the terms and conditions to any legal successors and confirm that the terms and conditions are valid even if the client or the insurance broker change their legal form, bring their company or their assets into a company, make a merger or otherwise make a change in the legal entity of the client or the insurance broker. The obligation to carry out all legal acts that are necessary for the continuation of the General terms and conditions is agreed. This condition does not apply to consumer transactions.
3.4. The contracting parties are obliged to inform the other part of any change in the person of the contracting party immediately in writing.
IV. Service fee
For contracts arranged by the insurance broker he gets a service fee in form of a commission. In addition, the insurance broker is entitled to a fee in case of a written agreement and according to 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 to a reasonable payment by the client.
V. Territorial scope
5.1. The activity of the insurance broker is, unless otherwise agreed in individual cases, geographically limited to Austria.
5.2. Insofar as there are no mandatory statutory provisions in individual cases, Austrian law shall apply exclusively; the place of fulfilment is the location, where the office of the insurance broker is situated.
5.3. In the event of a dispute, the competent court at the place of registration of the insurance broker’s company, should be contacted. Consumers should contact the court at the place of their residence, their permanent location or work, as far as in individual cases, no compelling legal regulations oppose.
VI. Deviating agreements from the terms and conditions are governed by a separate written brokerage contract. Any ineffectiveness of individual articles does not affect the validity of the remaining articles of the terms and conditions.