The profession and litigation procedures have evolved significantly in recent years and judges, and above all insureds, are becoming increasingly demanding. The bulk of liability claims today are brought on the grounds of the duty to inform and advise the client, for which there is little difference between a general agent and a broker.
The case-law of the Supreme Court is consumer-oriented, and the enabling of the Insurance Distribution Directive will doubtless bring little change to the duty to advise already imposed on intermediaries. France is certainly ready to implement the concepts promoted by the European Union as it has been putting them into practice for a long time.
The duty to advise is a key issue in disputes before the French courts. This duty has been imposed by the courts since 1964 and is defined more broadly by the case-law than the French Insurance Code; according to the Court of Cassation, the intermediary must be “a reliable guide and experienced advisor”.
Thus, particular importance is placed on insureds and their protection, along with ever-increasing expectations and increased requirements on the part of intermediaries in terms of formalities.