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23 Jan, 2008

Marcel Le Gouais
Date: 23-Jan-2008

The Financial Services Authority could review how it regulates insurance price comparison websites as a result of new research from the British Insurance Brokers' Association.
BIBA urged the FSA to overhaul its Insurance Conduct of Business rules for electronic introductions, following the independent study it commissioned into websites.

BIBA discovered through its research that only 6% of insurance comparison website users believe the details of what policies covers are explained fully.

The study also revealed that 84% of insurance buyers said the details of insurance policies offered via comparison websites could be confusing.

A spokesman for the FSA says: "At the moment we are investigating BIBA's research and thinking about what implications it might have for how we regulate price comparison sites.

"We are taking this very seriously and recognise the substantial growth of price comparison sites in the past two years."

BIBA's survey also found that 93% of consumers expect insurance comparison websites to be regulated in the same way as insurance intermediaries.

Eric Galbraith, chief executive of BIBA, says: "The current FSA rules were written prior to the growth in aggregator sites.

"I believe the regulator should now look again at developing more appropriate regulations, to ensure that consumers are being afforded suitable protections."

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