FCA shout at insurers for online sales
The UK's financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, are not happy with the insurers and price-comparison sites. They've said that the genuine costs of buying insurance online have been obscured by "failings and poor practices".
This, of course, prevents people from getting a true picture when comparing prices and when weighing up the final costs of the variety of options.
The FCA said that they found insurance and price comparison sites "do not always provide clear and understandable information about the overall cost of paying for insurance" which results in consumers in a situation where they could “struggle to compare the difference” between policies.
They stated that, in far too many instances, websites are failing to explain the price difference between paying for a policy upfront, and spreading the cost over instalments which usually charges interest.
The FCA said their researchers found "a number of cases" where info about fees and APR was not provided, which "limited a customer’s ability to make an informed choice about how to pay". The researchers also spotted that a "wide range" of APRs were being charged when people opted to pay in instalments, which just shows how important it is for consumers to be able to look at the true price of different offers and policies.
"Consumers should expect clear information about the payment options available to them," said Linda Woodall, acting director of supervision at the FCA. "Regardless of whether people choose to pay upfront or in instalments, it’s important that they can see exactly what they are signing up for and how much it costs so they can decide whether they are getting a fair deal."
The FCA will be following all this up, saying that they're going after businesses where they found "specific examples of failings and poor practice" and, in addition to that, they will "consider the findings of the review and take action where necessary."