So that's it then. Stop your whinging. Dual pricing by insurers is not anti-competitive.
It is not unfair. It is not a method of subsidising one distribution channel by overpricing another. In fact, as a result of the introduction of direct writing, it has been a bonus to consumers.
And that's official – the Office of Fair Trading has said so.
Without this futile challenge, brokers might have been listened to. All the signs were that insurers were trying their hardest to reduce the differential between the two channels, or to help the intermediary sector by voluntarily matching quotes regardless of distribution channels.
But they don't have to do that anymore. And having been threatened and treated with contempt by the those who provoked the OFT inquiry, it might be a natural reaction to retaliate. They will not have to match direct prices through the broker channel now, will they?
The doomed challenge (doomed by both broker bodies in advance) was an example of utmost bad faith by a small and unrepresentative band. Insurers should recognise that and not retaliate by penalising the whole market.
Intermediaries and insurers have to work together. We have to restore the good faith that once existed between the two sectors. The quicker we put this issue behind us, the better.