In May 2021, we published PS21/5 which set out our final rules to address the harm we had found in our GI Pricing Practices Market Study. On 18 August, we published PS21/11, making minor changes to these rules.
Why we are changing our rules
The rules, published in PS21/5 and updated in PS21/11, aim to improve the way insurance markets function. They follow our consultation (CP20/19) and the final report of our Market Study (MS18/1.3), which we published in September 2020.
Our rules ensure that renewing home and motor insurance consumers are quoted prices that are no more than they would be quoted as a new customer through the same channel. We are also making it simpler for customers to stop automatic renewals if they wish to do so. We are also enhancing our product governance rules to ensure that firms deliver fair value on all their insurance products.
These rules supersede the General insurance distribution chain: Finalised guidance for insurance product manufacturers and distributors (FG19/05), which we withdrew on 1 October 2021.
Some of these rules also apply to insurers and intermediaries of other general insurance and protection products.
We also published a research paper alongside PS21/5. This contains the results of an experiment we conducted looking at consumer perceptions of and response to discounts and incentives.
Who this applies to
This policy statement will be of interest mainly to:
- general insurers and intermediaries
- life assurers and intermediaries selling pure protection business
- trade bodies representing these firms
- consumers and consumer organisations
The rules we are introducing come into force on:
- 1 October 2021 for the systems and controls, product governance and related glossary changes.
- 1 January 2022 for the pricing and auto-renewal remedies, premium finance disclosure rules and reporting requirements, and related glossary and administrative changes. Firms have until 17 January 2022 to implement the pricing and auto renewal disclosure remedies fully, but after 1 January 2022, they must pay redress or make repayments to people if the delay to implementing negatively impacts them.
In PS21/5 we confirmed that senior managers at firms will be required to provide annual confirmation that their firm has complied with the requirements in ICOBS 6B. This requirement will help us to hold firms and individuals to account for ending price walking for home and motor insurance.
We will be sending out a survey in January, where you can provide your first annual attestation, to all general insurance and premium finance providers including:
- Home insurance
- Motor insurance
- Add-ons sold alongside home insurance (excluding premium finance)
- Add-ons sold alongside motor insurance (excluding premium finance)
- Premium finance sold alongside home insurance
- Premium finance sold alongside motor insurance Fees – by charging a fee at renewal for home insurance
- Fees – by charging a fee at renewal for motor insurance
- Incentives – by giving cash or cash-equivalent incentives to new business customers and is involved in the renewal of either home or motor insurance
Firms subject to the rules must provide this attestation by 31 March 2022.
Some firms may receive the survey but are not subject to the rules. If you’re in this group, we request that you submit a nil return as confirmation that your firm does not undertake any pricing activity in relation to all products in scope. Further information on how you can do this will be included in the survey.
We are using Qualtrics for the first attestation only. The second and all subsequent attestation will be done via RegData.
To help firms prepare ahead of their first attestation, we've provided examples of the forms firms will need to use, as well as the cover letter: