What is there to complain about this week?
Consumers would rather ‘take the risk’ than cough up for cover. The latest Big Money Index from AXA reveals that 27% of consumers agree they are more concerned with cost than levels of insurance cover, particularly the 20-30 age group with low income and average income. The index also revealed that eight in 10 respondents believe punishments are not tough enough to act as a deterrent to uninsured drivers.
Insurers are putting the boot into motorists who are caught using mobile phones while driving. In addition to receiving three points on their licence and a fine, phone offenders can expect more severe punishment from insurers than for speeding, with some companies increasing premiums by up to 60% at renewal, while others are refusing quotes at any price.
Rating agency Fitch put the UK’s AAA issuer default rating on negative outlook because of its towering debt levels and weaker-than-forecast economic revival. The negative outlook means that there is a more than 50% likelihood that the UK’s rating could be downgraded over a two-year period.
Numbers of general insurance intermediary firms fell by 5% in the second half of 2011, the FSA reported, blaming “tight demand conditions” for closures. However, revenues have remained stable as companies have tightened their belts, selling more products over the internet and reducing recruitment levels. The FSA warned that brokers will also face heightened scrutiny over how they sell add-ons.