Trade body welcomes latest review

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has responded to the Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) review of insurance comparison websites by calling on the regulator to ensure that consumers using this technology are provided with clear, fair and not misleading information.

The review was launched after research, commissioned by BIBA, which showed potential for serious consumer detriment across insurance comparison websites. In particular, the research showed that 84% of insurance buyers said that the details of insurance policies offered via price comparison websites can be confusing.

Graeme Trudgill, BIBA’s technical and corporate affairs executive, said: “BIBA welcomes today’s review from the FSA, and agrees with its core recommendations which are designed to offer greater consumer protection.

"We believe that price comparison sites should implement these changes immediately.”

Steve White, BIBA’s head of compliance and training, said:: “This is a great start, but the FSA must go further. Like brokers, comparison sites should guarantee their quotes.

“We are pleased that the FSA is calling for comparison sites to give more information to consumers so they understand how their premiums are being calculated, their scope of cover and the level of excess on their policy.

“We are also delighted that the FSA has stressed the importance of advice when purchasing insurance. It is vital that consumers focus on the level of cover provided by a policy, not just the price. Calling a broker is the simplest way for consumers to get this advice, ensuring they get the right cover at the right price.”