On 11 October 2011, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) published its final guidance on the selling of general insurance through price comparison websites. This followed an eight week consultation, which ended on 8 August 2011.
The guidance has been introduced in order to redress what the FSA considered to be a lack of understanding within the industry about the regulated activities being conducted by price comparison websites, leading to failures to comply with FSA rules. Under the guidance, price comparison websites should ensure that they are meeting regulatory requirements, including having appropriate permissions and adhering to the Insurance Conduct of Business sourcebook (ICOBS). This includes:
- having appropriate terms and conditions;
- providing customers with a statement of demands and needs; and
- taking reasonable steps to ensure that customers are eligible to claim benefits under the policy sold.