View more on these topics

Health firms slated by OFT

The Office of Fair Trading has criticised health insurers for not giving consu mers clear information on premium increases on private medical insurance policies.

The comm ents, published in the OFT&#39s in-house magazine, Fair Trading, high light serious concerns with sales and self-regulation of moratorium-based health insurance products which insurers use to exclude pre-existing conditions for a specified period.

The OFT says providers have failed to act on several of its ongoing concerns, including product developments, which make it easier for consumers to decide whether it is worth paying extra for additional cover.

The OFT also says some critical-illness insurance policies do not make it clear to policyholders if policies are terminated following a successful claim although it did recognise improvements in sales literature, making product comparisons easier.

Outgoing director-general of Fair Trading John Bridgeman says: “Health insurers should understand people would be more willing to buy complex products if more effort were made to explain what was involved. Vague warnings about the escalating cost of premiums and conditions attached to moratorium-based policies do not address all our concerns.”

But ABI manager (media relations) Vic Rance says: “It is not correct to say the industry has not resp on ded to issues concerning PMI premiums. The OFT will never be satisfied until we do exactly what it says although we have pointed out the practical difficulties of doing this.”

Recommended

Polarisation changes pave the way for Fund Supermarkets

Fund supermarkets will be allowed to continue without risking infringing polarisation rules, after changes to the legislation were announced today. The changes, proposed in a letter to the Chancellor by FSA chairman Howard Davies, will allow supermarkets to freely promote products from multiple providers — exempting them from the current polarisation legislation. Polarisation restrictions to […]

ABI welcomes polarisation announcement

The Association of British Insurers is welcoming the FSA&#39s plans to consult on a two-stage approach to developing policy on polarisation of investment advice.ABI director general Mary Francis says: “The ABI has made clear that radical change to polarisation could put consumers at risk. We are therefore very pleased the issues are to be much […]

Friends, Ivory & Sime launch new VCT

THE AIM team at Friends, Ivory & Sime launched a new venture capital trust last Monday (6th November), aimed at clients looking to balance tax breaks with potential high returns. AiM VCT2 will invest in 50 fast growing entrepreneurial companies in the technology and related sectors such as medical, business software and biotechnology. The minimum […]

First Direct adopting a twotier system in switch to IFA

First Direct, HSBC&#39s telephone and internet banking arm is ringing the changes with a two-tier entry into the IFA market.The telephone-based service is set to start up in the middle of January. Its target is to make the bank one of the biggest IFAs in the country, with the aim of filling the gap in […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment