Senior members of industry concerned over Commission's understanding of co-insurance

A number of UK insurers have received a further wave of questionnaires from the European Competition Commission, as part of its long-running inquiry into the business insurance sector.

Questionnaires are understood to have been sent out last week to a targeted number of organisations across the Euro-pean member states, including several UK insurance companies.

This third set of questionnaires focuses on the issues of commission rebate for customers, "best terms", and co-insurance arrangements.

But concern has been raised among some senior members of the industry about the focus on co-insurance and the Commission's understanding of this.

Chris Hannant, head of financial crime prevention and market regulation at the ABI, said: "Previously one of the Comm-ission's questionnaires used the terms co-insurance groups and pooling arrangements quite loosely. It is very important that they understand the difference between the two."

Hannant said the document was intended to gain greater clarification on specific issues as outlined in the Commission's initial findings, which were published in February.

He said: "In respect of disclosure of intermediary remuneration, the Commission is interested in the views of the customer and is looking to speak with representatives of small firms and representatives of the customer base."

The latest questionnaire comes days after the closing deadline for official responses to initial inquiry findings.

The Commission is expected to produce its latest findings in July before a final report of the sector inquiry in September.

The Commission was unavailable for comment.