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The Consumer Council welcomes proposals to tackle unfair insurance pricing policies

The Consumer Council welcomes the publication of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Market Study on General Insurance and its proposed measures to tackle unfair pricing practices.

Scott Kennerley, Director of Financial Services at The Consumer Council, said: “We welcome this report from the FCA as we believe is important for consumers to be able to make informed decisions when purchasing insurance, including being able to switch to better deals without difficulty.”

The FCA study found that some companies have been gradually increasing the price of insurance to customers who renew with them year on year. It was also noted that some companies use practices that raise barriers to switching and make it more difficult for consumers to make informed decisions, such as making it difficult for consumers to stop their policy from automatically renewing.

The proposals from the FCA would require firms to offer a renewal price that is no higher than the equivalent new business price for that customer through the same sales channel. The FCA is also consulting on measures to stop auto-renewal being used as a barrier to switching.

Scott added: “We will be responding to the FCA’s proposed measures which are at the consultation stage at the moment. They are not due to come in until later in 2021, therefore it is still important that consumers continue to shop around to get the best deal for their insurance.”

To ensure that you are always getting the best deal, it is important to shop around for the best prices. The Consumer Council has a range of free, online comparison tools that allow you to identify ways to reduce your household bills and motoring costs.

These include:

  • A Home Budgeting Tool to help see where your money is going and identify areas to reduce your household spending;
  • An Energy Price Comparison Tool that allows you to compare prices for gas and electricity to help you get the best deal; and
  • A Fuel Price Checker that enables you to compare fuel prices across Northern Ireland.