Admiral customers sent incorrect renewal notices
The regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) brought in a new rule on 1 April 2017 requiring general insurance firms to clearly display last year’s premium in renewal notices, as well as the proposed premium.
This enables customers to check their cover and price, and encourages them to shop around for the best insurance cover.
However, the FCA found that Admiral included inaccurate premium amounts in home and motor renewal documents issued to some customers. The paperwork included the previous year’s quoted premium before discounts were applied, rather than the price customers actually paid.
The insurer has now started to contact affected customers who renewed their policies after 1 April 2017, however Admiral has not disclosed the number affected.
Customers will be given three weeks to shop around for a cheaper price with another insurer. If they then want to cancel their policy and switch to another provider, they won’t be charged any fees and the full premium will be refunded.
The FCA is currently assessing firms’ implementation of these insurance premium rules to ensure customers receive “clear and fair” disclosure on their renewal prices. It said it has seen good practice but found “some concerning examples and will continue to address specific concerns with individual firms.”
‘Likelihood of more problems to come’
Ian Hughes, chief executive of Consumer Intelligence, said insurance customers aren’t quite getting the transparency the FCA envisioned on renewal disclosure. “We are just over two months into the new era which was supposed to help shopping around and already there are problems with the likelihood of more to come.
“The rules were designed to make it easier for customers to find the most competitive quote but our experience is that some insurers are interpreting the rules in different ways with some not quoting the actual price paid last year when sending out renewals. Insurers who are being completely transparent are entitled to be unhappy. There needs to be consistency and a level playing field.
“Drivers and homeowners can save up to £100 a year by switching provider after a year. It is always the best policy to shop around at renewal to make sure customers have the best cover at the best price. “
Admiral confirmed it will make changes to ensure it is fully compliant with the rules by 1 August 2017, and it will contact all affected customers by 14 August.
‘Fair and transparent pricing to all’
An Admiral spokesperson, said: “We apologise for any confusion or inconvenience caused to customers who received an inaccurate renewal document. We are amending the way in which these customers are able to compare the price of the insurance policy being offered at renewal with what they paid the previous year.
“We are getting in touch with affected customers to ensure they are fully satisfied. Admiral is committed to offering fair and transparent pricing to all customers.”