FCA probes general insurance claims process

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FSA) is launching a strategic review into the claims process in general insurance.

The probe will examine whether the consumer experience varies depending on whether they bought insurance directly, through a broker or through an affinity scheme.

It will also assess how well insurers explain up front what will happen when a customer makes a claim, and consider whether providers' claims departments are as well-resourced as their sales teams.

The review, which was announced today by FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley, will have a particular focus on household and travel claims.

Though Wheatley (pictured) praised the strength of the UK general insurance industry, and pointed out it was an FCA objective to "make markets work well", he said consumers have merited concerns about the claims process.

"We buy insurance for peace of mind," he said. "Not for a painful scrimmage with insurers."

Commenting on the announcement, Maggie Craig, Director of Financial Conduct Regulation at the Association of British Insurers, said: "Claims service is the shop window by which the industry is often judged, and insurers are continually looking at how they can provide the best possible service to customers.

"We have been working with the FCA since early last year and look forward to engaging with the regulator on their thematic review."

Wheatley was speaking at the British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) conference in London.

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