WPA publishes complaints history and urges other insurers to follow suit

After publishing its claims and complaints history, medical insurer WPA has challenged the rest of the general insurance industry to follow suit.

In a call for greater transparency by the insurance industry and its regulators, WPA chief executive Julian Stainton said it was time to inform consumers rather than protect them.

He said: "We believe that all insurers should be encouraged to publish service standards.

"We believe that complaints processes should be published. We believe the regulatory framework needs to be balanced with valuable consumer information."

Stainton criticised both the FSA, for overburdening companies with regulation, and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for not publishing the names of those companies against whom complaints were made.

He said: "How is the consumer supposed to make an educated choice about companies when this information is not made public?

"Instead of equipping consumers with the knowledge to take responsibility for their decisions, we give them the idea they will always be protected by red tape. It is ludicrous."

The challenge laid down by WPA consists of insurers publishing their service standards, the ombudsman publishing details of all complaints made against insurers, and consumers being given more information so they can take responsibility for their purchases.