Insurance companies supervised by FINMA require a licence to conduct insurance business. They must submit a request for a licence to FINMA, along with a business plan containing the information and documentation specified in Article 4 para. 2 of the Insurance Supervision Act (ISA). FINMA Circular 2017/05 "Insurance plans – insurers" sets out FINMA's practice for business plans.
To commence insurance operations, insurance companies must initially have their business plans approved by FINMA in line with Article 4 para. 1 of the Insurance Supervision Act (ISA). They must then abide by the plan they have submitted. If a company intends to adjust the approved plan, the proposed changes must be approved by FINMA.
The types of business plan changes specified in Article 5 para. 1 ISA must be submitted to FINMA for approval before they are put into practice. FINMA must be notified about business plan changes in accordance with Article 5 para. 2 ISA within 14 days of their implementation (Art. 5 Insurance Supervision Ordinance [ISO]). Business plan changes are generally approved; should more details be required, FINMA contacts the insurers involved within four weeks.
Changes to business plans should be submitted via the FINMA survey and application platform (EHP) as part of a standardised authorisation process. FINMA provides the requisite electronic forms and other documents for the electronic submission of changes to business plans via the EHP.