Life insurance policies, the Constitutional Court says no to the short limitation period

The Constitutional Court, with judgement no. 32 of 29 February 2024, has declared as unconstitutional the version of art. 2952, paragraph 2 c.c. applicable between 2008 and 2012, that provided for a two-year limitation period for life insurance policies.

The Constitutional judges explained that life insurance policies do not have an indemnity function with respect to the occurrence of an event, but rather a retirement-saving function linked to uncertainty concerning the duration of life.

By reason of the nature of life insurance policies, the judges of the Constitutional Court held that the short limitation period to acquire a right arising from events in human life, such as the death or survival of the insured at the maturity date, cannot be justified.

Moreover, considering that the beneficiary may not be aware that he/she has been appointed, since there is no obligation for the policyholder to inform the same, it is necessary to guarantee greater protection for claims arising from life insurance policies; protection that a short limitation period cannot guarantee.