New insurance rules in UK
On 1 April 2017 new regulations from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) were introduced giving policy holders more information when their insurance comes up for renewal. Renewal notice/ documents will be required to:
- Set out your current year’s premium (including any mid-year changes) alongside the renewal premium;
- Include wording to remind you to check your existing cover and consider shopping around, and
- Provide an additional reminder encouraging you to shop around if you have renewed with your insurer for four or more consecutive years.
Following these simple steps will help ensure that you have the right policy for your own needs at the best price.
- Check when your insurance policies are due for renewal. You should check your policy documents and statements of cover and make a note of when your annual policies are due for renewal. This will give you time to check that your current cover meets your needs. Some policies will automatically renew to ensure that you remain covered. If you have opted out of auto-renewal, or your bank details have changed, your policy may expire. It is therefore important that you check the terms of your renewal and make sure your details are up-to-date.
- Review your insurances – have your circumstances changed? You need to make sure that your policies continue to meet your requirements. For example, for home insurance, have you made any expensive buys, such as electrical equipment or jewellery, that may take you over any policy cover limits (many policies will have a single item limit) that you need to disclose to your insurers? Or if you have an annual travel insurance and your health has changed, this may need to be disclosed.
- Read your renewal documents. As well as showing you the premiums, your renewal documents highlight any changes to your cover for the following year. This may include changes to any excess (the first part of each claim that you pay yourself), and requirements you have to follow (for example, any minimum security requirements on home insurance). It should also remind you to tell your insurer of any changes that may affect the cover.
- If you are uncertain what to do, speak to your insurer. Your insurer can guide you through the renewal process. If you are unsure, they will explain the options available, and discuss with you if your current policy meets your needs.
- If you decide to shop around, make sure you compare the cover, not just the price. Insurance is a very competitive market, usually with many different policies and options on offer. So it is vital that, if you shop around, you make sure you compare the different policies available to ensure that the policy you choose meets your needs. To start with, make sure that you understand the scope of cover and limits of your current policy, so that you know what you are comparing. For example, a cheaper policy may reflect lower limits of cover or a higher excess. If using a price comparison website, make sure you look at the actual details of the policy price quoted – either by clicking on an appropriate link, or going to the website of the individual insurer.
- If you find a cheaper policy – is there an introductory discount? If you have found a cheaper policy that meets your needs, remember that this may reflect an introductory discount that may end at next year’s renewal.