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Britain's financial watchdog warns general insurers on value for customers

Christian Fernsby |
General insurers are failing to consider value for money for their customers in their products and services, Britain’s financial watchdog said.

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The Financial Conduct Authority has written to the CEOs of general insurers, which provide insurance for homes, cars, travel and pets, telling them their manufacturing, sales and distribution approaches can lead to customers buying the wrong products, paying excessive prices or receiving poor service.

“We are going to carry out further supervisory work to make sure that firms meet their obligations and will not hesitate to use the full range of our regulatory powers,” Jonathan Davidson, FCA executive director of supervision for retail and authorizations, said in a statement.

The FCA said it had found that buying general insurance could involve a chain of intermediaries which “can result in customers paying significantly higher prices than the production and delivery costs of the products they are buying”.

There could be a high risk of “unsuitable sales”, for instance when insurance was sold alongside a non-financial product like a car, washing machine or holiday, it added.

Customers were not always receiving good service, particularly when making claims or complaints, the FCA said.

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