New insurance rules will bring greater clarity and choice for consumers

24-Nov-2015 @ 1:0

Ashley Fox Ashley Fox

Kay Swinburne Kay Swinburne

Ashley Fox Ashley Fox

Conservative MEPs have backed new rules designed to ensure clearer information and greater choice for consumers when buying insurance products.

The so-called Insurance Distribution Directive covers general insurance products, including car insurance and life insurance policies.

The directive takes a "minimum harmonisation" approach, meaning that existing practices in individual EU countries will be allowed to continue.

Consumers and retailers will be given enhanced information about the price and costs of products, and whether the insurance seller has an economic incentive or receives commission, so that an informed decision can be made.

The directive also brings in a new standardised product information document for non-life insurance documents. This was originally overly detailed and burdensome, however Conservative MEPs have succeeded in ensuring that the information required will be much less prescriptive than proposed.

Ashley Fox MEP, who led negotiations on behalf of the ECR group said: "Buying insurance products can be a particularly complex and time-consuming process, so these new rules will give consumers greater choice and information about what they are purchasing.

"We have succeeded in taking out some of the excessive elements of the original proposal, meaning that we can provide more information to consumers whilst at the same time minimising the burdens on insurance retailers.

"In addition, we have worked to ensure that when an insurance product is sold in addition to a good or service which is not insurance, the customer should be offered the possibility of buying the good or service separately"

Conservative Spokesman on Economic Affairs, Dr Kay Swinburne MEP added: "This is yet another example of Conservative MEPs working to ensure that EU legislation is used to bring advantages to consumers, rather than simply create new burdens."

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