The Institute of Actuaries and Faculty of Actuaries have urged the General Insurance Standards Council to toughen up its rules on insurance mis-selling and commission disclosure.

In a joint submission to the GISC, made public on Friday, both bodies agree that the industry should remain self-regulating.

Peter Wright, chairman of the institute's general insurance board, argued that on balance it would not be in the best interests of the public for general insurance to be regulated by Parliament.

He explained both bodies' position by saying that market forces have traditionally helped ensure the general insurance market has worked in consumers' favour.

But they have made representations insisting certain special rules are introduced for GISC members.

Among these, the actuarial bodies favour the automatic disclosure of commission rates at the point of sale, particularly when this increases with sales volume.

Significantly, they believe GISC members should check the scope of existing cover held by policyholders to avoid the "not inconsiderable amount of mis-selling" which they allege occurs.

The two bodies also want all insurance products to be benchmarked to simplify the list of exclusions and excess limits.

They suggest this is followed by a consumer education programme to boost the public's understanding of insurance.

The actuary bodies are concerned that the GISC's responsibilities should not overlap with those of the Financial Services Authority.

Wright said in the submission: "We recommend that you liaise closely with the FSA over 2000 to ensure there is no inconsistency between your rules and those of the FSA."