In a post-implementation review of the ICOBS, research into oral disclosure undertaken on behalf of the FSA by BMRB Limited into sales of critical illness cover has revealed that many of the disclosure issues highlighted in a mystery shopping survey undertaken in 2006 still persist in the market.

ICOBS 6.4.2 requires that if oral information is being given about a product this must include details of that product’s main characteristics. The oral information provided must be sufficient to provide the customer with enough information to make an informed decision.

Evidence from previous consumer research had shown that purchasers of protection products such as critical illness policies relied more heavily on oral rather than written disclosures.

The current study (described as a baseline analysis) is the first stage in testing whether improved oral disclosure arising from the implementation of ICOBS allows for a better consumer understanding of critical illness cover. The reports sets out data gathered from sales in Q2 2008.

For further information: Post implementation review of ICOBS: Oral Disclosure Rule in sales of Critical Illness Cover - baseline survey