The FSA has issued a warning to insurers and brokers over adverts claiming to match or beat competitors' prices.

The regulator said many insurance products were being promoted on the basis of price alone, for example making claims that a particular premium would be charged, or that a saving on a rival provider could be achieved.

But the FSA said that these headline claims could be unrepresentative of what the consumer was actually offered, or be subject to significant limitations. "We would not consider such promotions to be compliant, " said the FSA in a statement.

It warned brokers and insurers they would face enforcement action if their adverts do not properly explain the basis on which the savings can be achieved and any restrictions on achieving the savings.

FSA head of financial promotions Nausicaa Delfas said: "It is important that price information is clear, fair and not misleading.

"The next step will be to follow-up work to identify whether our message has been received and acted upon.

"If, at this stage, we find problems that have still not been tackled, we will not hesitate to intervene by taking enforcement action."

What ads can say

  • Premiums quoted should represent the premium that will be charged
  • 'Price-beating' claims, must explain how savings can be achieved
  • If the premium is an estimate, this must be made clear