The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – the UK's leading consumer and competition authority – yesterday published measures which it expects will increase competition and reduce premiums in the car insurance market. The publication comes at the end of a three-year investigation, during which my team has been advising major insurer RSA.
The results of the high profile probe have been widely reported, and could have a significant impact both on drivers and their insurers, albeit that the CMA has opted not to address one of the principal failings in the market, which drives up premiums for customers: some of the practices of credit hire companies providing temporary replacement cars following an accident to drivers who were not at fault.
Among the CMA's measures are a ban on price comparison websites from striking certain exclusive agreements with insurers, and the availability of better information on the costs and benefits of no-claims bonus protection.
But the story may not be over yet. The CMA opted not to impose a cap on the cost of temporary replacement hire cars, prompting the ABI to comment that, far from driving down excessive costs, the CMA's u-turn on their proposed cap on these charges is likely to lead to higher charges for consumers.