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‘Make your ads accurate’ insurers told

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The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has warned insurance companies to stop publishing misleading adverts claiming that customers will “save money” by buying their policies.

The FSA has found that most of these claims are unsubstantiated – or just plain wrong – and that consumers are better off actively looking to compare car insurance or compare travel insurance, for example.

The companies involved have been given three months to put their houses in order, and change the wording on their adverts, or face action from the regulator.

Veronica Everitt at the FSA said: “Most people rely on some form of insurance to protect them, and advertising is a major influence on what they choose to buy.

“So it must be clear, fair and not misleading, leaving people with a balanced picture of what’s on offer. This work shows that firms in the home, travel and car insurance markets must shape up and ensure that the claims they make don’t mislead.”

During one month in 2006 the FSA studied the newspaper adverts of 57 insurance companies and found that 57% of car insurance adverts did not provide evidence of how savings could be made and that 25% of home insurance adverts had similar problems.

Many experts agree that the best way to ensure a well-priced policy is to compare costs. If you need car insurance, for example, then it is sensible to compare car insurance for yourself.

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