Software firms and brokers accuse insurers of producing too much policy documentation

Software providers are lobbying insurers to reduce the amount of documentation they produce to meet FSA rules, following brokers' concerns.

A number of software house, including SSP and Misys, have begun to assess the weight of documentation produced by insurers to discover who are the best and worst performers.

SSP development manager, e-business Gina Cook said: "Our brokers have raised concerns about the demands and costs placed on them by the scale of the paperwork that is produced."

She said the issue had been raised at a meeting of the Instep Electronic Trading Practices group, which comprises insurers and software houses.

"Insurers responded positively but are asking for more detailed evidence of whether there is a problem. Any proposals we make will need to get approval of the FSA," she added.

Cook said that SSP had begun to assess the issue through brokers in the company's user group. The results would be ready in "a few weeks," she said.

Misys commercial director Mark Ryder said: "We understand the FSA's need to ensure consumers are provided with information at point of sale. But in some instances policy summaries extend to more than 20 pages, which cannot be an effective method of communication."

An FSA spokesman said: "Some firms are being overcautious and putting in too much information. The rules are not prescriptive, provided the key points are included. We are very interested to talk to firms to explain what is required."