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GoCompare comments on FCA’s proposal to extend temporary measures for those in financial difficulty
Insurance comparison site GoCompare has welcomed a proposal from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to extend the temporary measures introduced on 18 May 2020 to help customers struggling to pay their insurance premiums, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The measures, which cover all types of general insurance, mean that insurers are expected to offer flexibility on payments including payment deferrals of up to three months, consider whether there are other products they can offer which would better meet the customer’s needs and waive fees for cancellation or any amendments, such as reducing annual mileage for car insurance.
The new measures were temporary and were always intended to be reviewed after three months. However, the FCA is proposing to extend the temporary measures for a further three months, until 31 October 2020 and is consulting with the industry on whether some of the measures should be made permanent and applied to any situation in which customers are in financial difficulty, including those unrelated to Coronavirus.
Lee Griffin, CEO and one of the founders of GoCompare, commented, “We welcome the news that the FCA wants to extend these measures. Insurers have been working hard to help those in financial difficulty during the pandemic and many were doing so long before the FCA’s intervention. However, it is clear that there is a very real need to continue that support and the guidance has been helpful in terms of ensuring a uniform response across the industry.
“However, it is still largely down to the customer to ask for this help and we urge anyone who has concerns or is in real financial difficulty, to talk to their insurer immediately and ask them about a payment deferral and other ways in which they can help.
“I expect the industry to be supportive of the FCA’s proposal to extend some of these measures to ensure that anyone in financial difficulty, for whatever reason, will always receive help and have a range of options to reduce the cost of their insurance bill, without penalty.
“Insurance can be a significant monthly outgoing for many people, but it is crucial that households remain on cover during difficult times and the industry has a duty to protect those people as much as possible and treat them fairly.”
For those people who are still working, using their cars and able to pay premiums, the advice is to check your insurance renewal date, as one way to reduce outgoings is to shop-around for a better insurance deal. Many insurers have reduced their new business premiums, therefore there could be some very significant savings for customers who shop around and switch at renewal.
Currently, the average GoCompare Car Insurance customer saves up to £283 by switching provider.1.
GoCompare has provided a five-point plan for anyone worried about paying for their car insurance at the moment:
- Speak to your current insurer as soon as possible and ask them what they can do to help in terms of reducing or deferring premiums.
- This may include lowering your stated annual mileage to see if it reduces your premium. There should be no administrative charge for doing this.
- Check what ‘add-ons’ you are paying for – for example, key cover – which you may be prepared to remove from your policy to save money. Again, there should be no administrative charge for doing this.
- You could reduce your cover level to third party, fire and theft to see if this lowers your premium. Remember though, if you lower your cover level and then incur accidental or malicious damage, you won’t be covered. Again, confirm with your insurer that there will be no administrative charge for doing this.
- If you can keep your car off the road temporarily, then you could SORN the vehicle. But beware, this would mean that you will have no insurance cover at all. You may still want cover for fire and theft (sometimes called a ‘laid-up’ policy).
For more information on Coronavirus and your money visit: https://www.gocompare.com/coronavirus-insurance-money/
For further information please contact:
Anders Nilsson at GoCompare on 01633 654 054
Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845
Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare
Notes to editors
1. 51% could save up to £283 on car insurance based on independent research by Consumer Intelligence, conducted between 1 March to 31 March 2020.
GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.
GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.
When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.
GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).