FSA presses insurance comparison sites for clarity

The UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA) has warned that some insurance comparison sites could be confusing customers by failing to provide clear and accurate information.

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The UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA) has warned that some insurance comparison sites could be confusing customers by failing to provide clear and accurate information.

In a review of 17 insurance comparison websites, the City watchdog found "mixed evidence in terms of the clarity, fairness and accuracy of the information given to customers".

The review looked at whether consumers were encouraged to consider features, other than price, before purchasing products. The watchdog also examined the clarity of the levels of excess that apply to insurance policies; and whether firms have appropriate systems and controls in place for ensuring that product features included within insurers’ policies are correctly listed on their site.

The regulator provided examples of good and bad practice to help firms meet the standards it expects.

Ed Harley, head of financial promotions, FSA, said: "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.

"We recognise that many consumers use these websites to search for insurance products. Consumers should shop around for the best deal, but it is important that they compare what’s covered by a policy, and not just focus on the price."

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