New FCA rules to protect park homeowners
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have set out new rules for insurance companies to protect car and homeowners.
Nick Long, Head of Insurance at Lifesure explains what the new FCA rules mean for park homeowners and what to look out for when buying or renewing their park home insurance.
Q: The FCA have set out new rules to protect customers from loyalty penalties in home insurance markets. Can you please explain how this has come about?
A: The FCA has been investigating an insurance wide practice called price walking. Price walking is the trend by some insurers and brokers to offer new customers a reduced price in insurance premiums to entice them to buy from them. Once the customer enters into this new contract, the insurer or broker gradually increases the price each renewal year until the customer ends up paying a higher amount, reflecting the policies correct market value.
This means that loyal customers who have stayed with the same company for a number of years, could have been paying more for their insurance than a new customer who has just bought the identical product from the same provider. For park homeowners, just like all other homeowners, the change in the rules means loyal customers can always expect to pay the same price as an equivalent new business price.
Q: What advice can you give to park homeowners to help them get a fair price to insure their park home, and how does this work with incentives?
A: The new rules which come into effect as of January 1st 2022 mean that all park home insurance providers will have to offer existing customers that renew, a price that is not more expensive than a new customer, but will need to focus on the value, service and protection they offer. At Lifesure, our mission has always been to provide a good value policy that covers our customers for the things we know matter to them and that when they need to make a claim, we are there to support them.
My advice is that once you’ve received your renewal notice, check the premium for this year and review it against the premium from last year. There could be a valid reason that the premium has increased for example the number of claims made on a policy, however the renewal price should reflect at least the same price as contacting the same insurer or broker as a new customer. Many brokers and insurers will now have to change their approach, so it could be a great time to look at other providers of park home insurance. But do remember to make sure that you are getting the cover you need to protect your park home.
Incentives for new customers such as vouchers and gifts are still allowed, but these would also need to be reflected as part of the renewal price.
Q: What are Lifesure doing to make sure these new rules are delivered effectively?
Answer: At Lifesure, we really value our new and loyal customers and have always strived to provide good value cover at a fair price. We’ve reviewed the price we charge for every one of our park home customers, to make sure that when the new rules are applied everyone receives at least the equivalent new business price when it comes to the anniversary of their policy. We’re also working closely with our insurer partner, AXA, to ensure that the price and the product continue to offer cover that is tailored towards the park home community and offers fair value. The new rules have been put in place by the FCA to improve competition and protect homeowners. We see this as a positive move for the insurance sector.
To receive a quote from Lifesure, you can contact the team on 01480 402 460 or email firstname.lastname@example.org