We summarise the feedback we received to CP23/1 on insurance guidance for supporting customers in financial difficulty and set out our response and our finalised guidance.
Why we are changing
Our finalised guidance will help ensure that insurance customers in financial difficulty, including as a result of cost of living increases, have the support they need from firms.
It builds on our customers’ best interest rule and our Consumer Duty rules including requirements for firms to act to deliver good outcomes for customers.
In May 2023, we also consulted on strengthening protections for borrowers in financial difficulty, for consumer credit (including premium finance) and mortgages.
Who this is for
- insurers and insurance intermediaries
- premium finance firms
- customers in financial difficulty
- consumer representative bodies
- charities and other organisations with a particular interest in insurance and customers in financial difficulty
- trade bodies representing insurance firms
The guidance will come into effect on 31 July 2023. Firms affected should consider any changes they need to make to their processes to meet the expectations in this guidance.
In November 2020, we introduced finalised guidance for insurance and premium finance firms to support customers in financial difficulty (Covid-19 guidance) due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of our cost of living response, we consulted in CP23/1 on extending our insurance guidance for customers in financial difficulty. Our consultation set out our proposals to help protect customers of non-investment insurance policies in financial difficulty and to provide clearer expectations of firms in supporting their customers.
Our 2023 Financial Lives Survey recontact report setting out consumers’ experiences of increased cost of living pressures highlighted that in the first half of 2023, 1 in 8 general insurance or protection policyholders cancelled at least one of their policies or reduced the level of cover on at least one of their policies.