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FSA warns aggregators on fairness

The FSA has called on insurance comparison sites to ensure they are treating users fairly after uncovering a mixed bag of good and bad practice in the market.

After reviewing 17 insurance comparison websites, the FSA says it discovered mixed evidence in terms of the clarity, fairness and accuracy of the information given to customers.

The regulator has issued a call for all comparison sites to check that users are treated fairly and are provided with clear, fair and not misleading information.

The review by the FSA looked at whether consumers were encouraged to consider features, other than price, before buying products, the clarity of the levels of excess that apply to insurance policies and whether firms have appropriate systems and controls to ensure that key product features are listed correctly.

FSA head of financial promotions Ed Harley says: “We welcome innovation and competition in the rapidly expanding insurance comparison website market. However, we are keen that the market develops in a way that ensures customers are treated fairly and expect comparison sites to provide information that is clear, fair and not misleading.

“Consumers should shop around for the best deal but it is important that they compare what is covered by a policy and not just focus on the price.”

British Insurance Brokers’ Association head of compliance and training Steve White, says: “This is a great start but the FSA must go further. Like brokers, comparison sites should guarantee their quotes.”

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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