Be extra cautious because the FSA is on high alert, while insurers must make the most of gaining David Cameron’s ear

The broking industry has a new bête noire: mis-selling. It has been well documented how the scandal of PPI mis-selling led directly to brokers’ FSCS fees being hiked sky-high, but there was a second, more insidious impact that is only now beginning to come to light.

The FSA’s intervention on the selling of home contents insurance led directly to the suspension of two Barbon directors, as we revealed this week. More actions are likely to follow. Meanwhile, the FSA is rolling up its sleeves and getting stuck into many other parts of the industry, most notably the sale of ancillary products by motor brokers.

The FSA’s focus is evident, and its thinking is clear: customers were misled over PPI, it created a national scandal, and it can’t be allowed to happen again.

So it’s time to check the fine print, tighten up wordings and make 100% sure that customers cannot be in any shadow of a doubt about what they are being sold, why they are being sold it, and whether or not it is mandatory. This is not going to go away.

♦ The row over spiralling motor insurance premiums has made its way through the corridors of power right to the prime minister’s office. If David Cameron can resist playing a blame game, he will find an industry that shares his goals and has a clear vision of how to meet them.

But it’s not just motor on the table. The compensation culture that Cameron has already condemned is also up for discussion, and this is a fantastic opportunity for the insurance industry to use this unprecedented level of access to make its case.

With flooding negotiations also hovering on the horizon, 2012 could be the year when the government reaches a ‘New Deal’ with the insurance industry.