On October 26th, 2018, Law 19,678 was enacted, modifying the regulatory framework of the insurance market.
This law is responsible for implicitly repealing the provisions governing insurance in the Commercial Code (from 1865) and establishing rules more adjusted to the current times- some laws are of public order and others are supplementary-that must rule the contracts mentioned.
This recent norm is considered to be of public order; nevertheless, it is possible to agree on clauses that modify the same, which will be valid as long as they are more beneficial for the insured. Likewise, it regulates the different modalities of the insurance contract, without prejudice to special laws that rule specific insurance. It strictly maintains the provisions of Law 17,250 on the consumers protection, modifies certain aspects of the Compulsory Motor Vehicle Insurance Act and the Law on Work-related Accidents and Occupational Diseases.
Article 2 defines the insurance contract as "the one by which a party, the insurer, is obliged by means of the collection of a prize, to compensate the policyholder, the insured, the beneficiary or a third party, within the agreed limits, the damages, losses or the deprivation of an expected profit, or to pay a capital, to serve an income or to fulfill other benefits agreed between the parties, in the case of occurrence of the event whose risk is the subject of the coverage ". Likewise, the premium and the prize are defined as "the benefit of the policyholder or insured person. The prize includes the premium plus taxes, fees and other surcharges. "For its part, the risk is conceptualized as "the future event, possible and uncertain as to its production or as to the moment of its occurrence".
The contract has the characteristics of being consensual; its purpose is broad (while it may have as its object all kinds of risks if there is an insurable interest at the time of the conclusion of the convention); and if nothing is agreed in this respect, the insurance period will be one year (unless a different term corresponds to the nature of the risk).
This law modifies what is related to the deadlines at stake. Thus, it is provided that the term of prescription of the contract becomes two years for general insurance and five years for life insurance, at the same time that it has new rules regarding terms in relation to the complaint, processing and payment of the respective loss.
This new norm regulates insurance of patrimonial damages in general and insurances of fire, of theft, of transport, of agricultural risk and of civil responsibility (this is the novelty of this law), as well as insurances for the people.
Finally, it is established that this law will apply to all insurance and renewal contracts that take place after the entry into force of the same.
Montevideo, October 2018