The FSA continues to monitor insurance comparison websites to ensure that information is conveyed to the public in a clear, fair and not misleading way. In doing so, the FSA has revisited the 17 websites that were originally assessed in May 2008 to gauge where and how progress has been made since the initial review. Please click here to view our previous blog for more information. Overall, the FSA has been pleased with the response and improvements made to the websites of the sample firms.

Nevertheless, the FSA has identified two key areas where further work needs to be done to enhance the service the comparison websites are providing to consumers. These are:

  • obtaining better information from insurers about the level of excesses that apply to insurance policies; and
  • providing greater clarity regarding the assumptions made about consumers' needs and circumstances when obtaining quotes.

Alongside this review, the FSA reviewed aggregator firms' advertising and found that, in the main, firms complied with the FSA standards, although there were a minority of firms whose adverts were not satisfactory. Aggregator firms have built websites and obtained prices for various insurance products, gleaned from other companies' systems, which they provide to the public via the medium of the internet. Of those firms assessed, the FSA considered that the terms used in the adverts needed to be clearer and added that some adverts were running the risk of misleading consumers as to the breadth of the aggregator's market coverage.

The FSA's director of retail policy and conduct risk, Dan Waters, gave cautionary advice to consumers, warning them to shop around for the best insurance deal, to compare what is covered by the policy to ensure it meets their requirements and not to concentrate solely on price, to the exclusion of other relevant factors, when using comparison websites.

Please click here to see the full press release by the FSA.