(Financial Services Authority) concludes its review of insurance
12th November 2008
Services Authority (FSA) review of insurance
comparison websites has found that many sites have made
significant improvements and are consistently providing clear,
fair and not misleading information, but some firms need to
go further to address a few specific concerns.
visited a sample of the firms responsible for the 17 websites
that were assessed during the initial review and found that
many of them had made improvements to their websites and processes.
However, the FSA has identified two specific areas where some
firms need to make further improvements:
better information from insurers about the level of excesses
that apply to insurance policies; and
more clear the assumptions about consumers' needs and
circumstances that some websites use to obtain quotes.
addition, the FSA carried out a review of aggregator firms'
advertising and found the vast majority of firms have clear,
fair and not misleading adverts. In a small number of cases,
the FSA found a lack of clarity in some of the terms used,
and adverts which could give consumers a misleading expectation
of the firm's market coverage and the amount they could
save on insurance premiums.
Waters, the FSA's director of retail policy and conduct
are pleased that firms have made improvements in the information
they provide. But it is imperative that all comparison websites
provide clear information so that consumers can make informed
decisions. We have contacted all websites involved in our
review, to set out our findings and the standards we expect.
Where needed, we are requiring firms to take prompt action
to address our remaining concerns.
would certainly encourage people to shop around to find
the best insurance deal for them, and recognise that many
people use comparison websites to do this. It is important
to reiterate that people should compare what is covered
by a policy, to ensure that it meets their requirements,
and not just focus on the price."
FSA has given detailed feedback to the firms it visited
and written to all other websites involved in the review.
As appropriate, it requires firms to take any remedial action
necessary to ensure that website users are consistently
treated fairly. The FSA will continue to keep these sites
under review to make sure that they take steps to meet the
standards it expects, and will take direct action if firms
fail to do so.
FSA's consumer website - Moneymadeclear
- provides help for consumers on purchasing insurance through
about this FSA Press Release
FSA's report ‘Review
into insurance comparison websites' was published 12-11-2008
FSA regulates the financial services industry and has four
objectives under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000:
maintaining market confidence; promoting public understanding
of the financial system; securing the appropriate degree of
protection for consumers; and fighting financial crime.
FSA aims to promote efficient, orderly and fair markets, help
retail consumers achieve a fair deal and improve its business
capability and effectiveness.
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