The New Year always provides a good opportunity to mix things up a bit. For many, it’s the golden opportunity for a reset. For those looking to buy insurance, 2022 looks set to be a fairer year following the FCA’s decision to shake up the insurance industry by walking out on price walking.
What is price walking?
Price walking – also known as the loyalty penalty or dual pricing – is a term given to how insurers charge existing customers who automatically renew their annual policy more than new customers.
Essentially, price walking is the walking up, or increasing, of an existing customer’s premium despite their risk profile not increasing.
Have you ever found yourself in an auto renewal system? Sometimes it’s convenient. After all, who wants to thumb through reams of paperwork every year when it can all just happen for you in return for simply ticking a box? However, sometimes it pays to check – particularly when it comes to auto renewal insurance premiums.
Those who have been with a UK insurance provider for some time on an auto renewal basis have, until now, been vulnerable to having their premiums automatically increased. It’s generally accepted that insurance premiums go up every year and there’s often countless reports and indexes justifying why this happens.
Yet, the problem with price walking is that whilst existing customers’ premiums increase, new customers are given preferential rates. Essentially, price walking subsidises insurance companies’ efforts to build their customer base.
What do the new price walking rules mean?
The new rules ensure that existing customers’ policies are renewed at prices in line with those offered to new customers.
Not only that, but also ALL customers must be given the chance to opt-out of auto-renewal at point of purchase and any time throughout the life of an insurance policy. It is also now the responsibility of the insurance provider to conduct fair value assessments to ensure that they’re providing their customers with a fair product.
When does this new rule come into play?
As a Guildford insurance broker, Complete Cover (the sister brand of Guildford mortgage broker Complete Mortgages) supports any measures the FCA takes to ensure parity throughout the insurance sector.
Interestingly, as Surrey insurance brokers, we approach insurance in the same way that we approach mortgages. We take a proactive approach to getting the most competitive insurance premiums and begin working on behalf of our clients to get the best insurance deals weeks before their premium is due to end.
Of course, the new rules will help those arranging insurance themselves and the FCA must be applauded for that. Those who use and understand the benefits of using an insurance broker should be getting the best deals anyway.
Need to get insurance in the New Year? Whether you’re looking to apply for life insurance, apply for home insurance or even apply for critical illness cover, the team at Complete Cover can help. Simply call us on 01483 238280 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.