Editor's comment: Only yourselves to blame


Over the past two-and-a-half years, I have written in this column no less than three articles urging insurers to act on the problem of dual pricing.

In April 2016, I wrote about a phone call I had from my mum, who would love to be a loyal customer but was facing a 27% increase in her motor insurance if she stayed with her existing provider.

I urged the sector to look at how other sectors such as supermarkets, petrol stations and even banks reward customers for loyalty, instead of losing those customers, encouraging shopping around and offering sweeteners for new unknown customers.

More than a year later, in July 2017, I compared the battle insurance customers face in getting a fair price to an experience of mine of an inflatable total wipeout course, where despite all my best efforts I always ended up back in the water after being sucker-punched.

And only this summer, after the British Insurance Brokers’ Association and the Association of British Insurers agreed some guidelines  to tackle the excessive difference in pricing, I gave insurers the credit of maybe facing an identity crisis as they operate through so many channels. I suggested they took some ‘me time’ to sort themselves out.  

Customers must now be informed of the previous year’s price at renewal, a rule enforced by the regulator. However, the Financial Conduct Authority was forced to issue a second warning in April this year, as some firms were failing to keep to the rules.

So, it should come as no surprise that insurers are now being forced to re-evaluate the situation as Citizens Advice has placed a super-complaint with the Competition and Markets Authority, targeting dual pricing and citing household insurance as one of the areas of concern.  

The complaint states there are 17.3 million households affected by dual pricing in home insurance, at a cost of £708.5m.

Despite all this, I have only spoken to one – yes, one – insurer this year that could hand on heart say it didn’t get involved in the practice of dual pricing. As my mum would say: “You really have brought this on yourselves.”

post cartoon november 2018


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