The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has called for all insurance comparison websites to provide consumers with clear, fair information.
An FSA assessment of the insurance comparison website market has found evidence of both good and bad practice.
In a review of 17 insurance comparison websites, the FSA found that although they were all appropriately authorised, there was mixed evidence in terms of the "clarity, fairness and accuracy of the information given to customers".
The review looked at:
- Whether consumers were encouraged to consider features other than price before purchasing products
- Clarity of the levels of excess that apply to insurance policies
- Whether firms have appropriate systems and controls in place for ensuring that key product features included within insurers' policies are correctly listed on their site
The regulator has now provided examples of good and bad practice to sites to help them meet the standards it expects.
Ed Harley, The FSA's head of financial promotions, said, "We welcome innovation and competition in the rapidly expanding insurance comparison website market. However, we are keen that the market develops in a way that ensures customers are treated fairly, and expect comparison sites to provide information that is clear, fair and not misleading."
"Consumers should shop around for the best deal, but it is important that they compare what is covered by a policy, and not just focus on the price," he said.