EIOPA has issued a report on good practices for comparison websites in the insurance sector. This report was released on 30 January 2014.

Importantly, the report states that it does not contain either guidelines or rules. It is, instead, intended as a reference point for establishing approaches that constitute “good practices” from a regulatory perspective.

Notwithstanding this “good practices” approach, the report addresses some areas that are topical among European financial regulators at the moment. It may, therefore, be representative of the Central Bank of Ireland’s thinking on a range of regulatory issues. The report also provides a useful insight into current thinking at a European level on certain aspects of IMD2 (which may bring insurance comparison websites within the regulatory regime for insurance intermediaries in the EEA).

The following are some of the issues that are considered in the report:

  • The criteria used to assign a ranking to insurance products that a website compares
  • Conflicts of interest that might arise
  • How information on insurance products should be presented
  • The frequency with which information on insurance products should be updated

The report itself is available here.

While the report is quite lengthy (104 pages), the guidance on “best practice” is contained in just 14 pages (pages 3 to 16, inclusive). The main reason for the report’s size is that it sets out responses to EIOPA’s consultation on this topic. Aside from EIOPA’s views on best practice, the report contains a number of annexes with information on various national initiatives in this area and a brief overview of the EEA market for comparison websites.