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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Misleading Insurance Adverts

Those of you who have tried to claim on an insurance policy, only to be disappointed and have your claim rejected by the invocation of the small print, may raise a faint smile at the news that the Financial services Authority (FSA) have rebuked the industry for making misleading claims in their adverts.

The FSA reviewed the press advertisements of 57 insurance firms, and has subsequently warned companies in the home, travel and car insurance markets to stop using saving claims in their advertising that mislead consumers.

The FSA has also threatened regulatory action, after it found that 57% of motor insurance advertisements with savings claims were either unclear or misleading.

The FSA also noted that 25% of home insurance advertisements were misleading.

Vernon Everitt, FSA retail themes director, 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 demonstrates that firms in the home, travel and car insurance markets must shape up and ensure that the claims they make don't mislead

However, Which? Claims that the FSA has not done enough.

Emma Bandey, personal finance campaigner at Which?, said:

"Why is the FSA consistently reluctant to name and shame firms?"

Which? needs to understand the reality of the financial services industry in Britain; it is here to make large sums of money for itself, not to provide a value for money service to its customers.

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