The FCA announces proposals to help customers who hold insurance and premium finance products and who continue to face financial difficulties because of coronavirus (Covid-19).
These measures follow the guidance we published in August 2020 - Coronavirus and customers in temporary financial difficulty: updated guidance for insurance and premium finance firms, in which the expectation to grant payment deferrals under that guidance expires on 31 October.
Why we are proposing these measures
Customers continue to face financial difficulties because of the health and economic impacts of coronavirus. The proposals in this additional guidance are designed to protect them by setting out our expectations on how firms should provide support with their insurance and regulated credit premium finance agreements from 1 November 2020.
Who this applies to
This guidance applies to regulated firms operating in the insurance and premium finance markets. This includes:
- insurance intermediaries (including appointed representatives)
- premium finance lenders that provide credit to fund the payment of insurance premiums in instalments
- premium finance brokers that carry on regulated activities relating to credit granted for the purposes of financing insurance premiums in instalments
- debt collectors
- other firms that may be involved in insurance arrangements and/or the provision of premium finance
This guidance sets out our proposed expectations for firms when considering the fair treatment of customers in financial difficulty, due to circumstances arising from coronavirus. The aim of the guidance is to prompt firms to help customers, where possible, to:
- reduce the impact of financial distress
- ensure that customers continue to have insurance that meets their needs
Feedback we are seeking
We want to act quickly to ensure that our expectations are clear to firms and consumers are protected in these difficult times. We consider that the delay involved in publishing a formal consultation accompanied by a cost benefit analysis would be prejudicial to the interests of consumers. We are therefore not doing so. This is not a statutory consultation. There is no statutory requirement to prepare a cost benefit analysis for guidance.
However, we welcome comments from stakeholders on our proposals.
How to respond
If confirmed, this additional guidance will come into force by 1 November 2020.