BIBA takes action on dual pricing

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and Association of British Insurers (ABI) have launched a set of Guiding Principles and Action Points (GPAPs) to address unfair policies for customers. 

This includes addressing “excessive differences” between new customer premiums and subsequent renewal premiums that “unfairly penalise” long-standing customers in motor and home insurance.

Through its latest survey, BIBA found that its members were “highly engaged” with the GPAPs in question. 

It found there was an 89% level of awareness of GPAPs, and that “most brokers welcome them”, while respondents also reported that insurers had made “great strides” to bring new business and renewal pricing into line.

It also found that insurers were “amenable” to approaches by brokers to negotiate changes to renewal premiums for long-standing customers on individual cases.

In addition, systems brokers have adopted to implement GPAPs aimed at more vulnerable customers, while other brokers reported that system-generated renewal prices were monitored for increases, with underwriters contacted about premium levels where appropriate.

BIBA said it was “pleased” with the findings of its review into the effectiveness of GPAPs, and will continue to work with the ABI and the FCA to ensure good outcomes for long-standing customers.

Steve White BIBA CEO said: “Our members have embraced GPAPs and this is benefiting home and motor customers. In light of the success of this voluntary action by both brokers and insurers it is clear that the Financial Conduct Authority needs to note the positive impact of GPAPs.

“Brokers offer a holistic approach to their clients’ insurances considering the breadth of cover under a policy and the claims-paying history of the insurer before considering whether switching to obtain a financial saving is in the customer’s best interests.” 

He added: “This care negates the need for auto switching which might instead cause customer harm.

“All customers are different and sometimes the safety net offered by an auto renewal process ensures continuance of motor insurance, required by law  or home buildings insurance often necessary under a mortgage and the practice should be allowed to continue albeit on an opt-in basis.”

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