The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has launched an EU-wide thematic review on the conduct of companies which offer unit-linked life insurance products.
Unlike a typical policy, a unit-linked product provides the customer with both insurance and investment under the same plan.
The purpose of the review is to identify how relationships between insurers and providers of asset management services affect consumer protection.
In particular, EIOPA will focus on how payments by asset managers to insurers could influence their choice of investments and how this choice could impact policyholders.
EIOPA's chairman Gabriel Bernardino said the regulator had found that relations between insurers and asset managers in this market was one possible source of detriment to the consumer.
"To meet its objective of preventive consumer protection, EIOPA needs to gain a deeper understanding of the monetary incentives and conflicts of interest when insurers select the underlying investments," he said.
"A focused thematic review is therefore the right tool for an in-depth EU-wide investigation: it will build a coordinated understanding of the market practices, point at potential problems and how widespread they are."
The review aims to cover 60% of each national market in terms of both gross written premiums and assets of unit-linked funds.
EIOPA will work with national regulators who will identify participating firms, gather relevant data and information in their countries, and also serve as a primary contact point for insurers in case of questions.
Participating insurance companies are expected to report back by September 2016 and the results will be disclosed in early 2017.