FCA sounds alarm over motor insurers' valuations

Impacted customers urged to complain

FCA sounds alarm over motor insurers' valuations

Motor & Fleet

By Kenneth Araullo

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has pinpointed issues within the motor insurance sector, revealing that some companies may not be offering fair valuations for vehicles that are written off or stolen.

This discovery emerged from an FCA review, which suggested that affected firms tend to propose settlements below the actual value of such vehicles, adjusting these figures only upon receiving complaints from customers.

This finding comes amid the FCA's previous cautions to insurers against the undervaluation of cars or other insured items during claims settlements. The regulatory body revealed that it is now in dialogue with the implicated insurers, urging them to rectify their practices in line with the FCA's observations.

Sheldon Mills, the FCA's executive director for Consumers and Competition, emphasised the importance of adequate support for customers experiencing the loss of their vehicle, whether through theft or write-off.

“Having your vehicle written off or stolen can be intensely stressful, and we expect firms to offer the right support to help their customers," Mills said.

He further highlighted the expectation for all motor insurance providers to heed the findings and confirmed the FCA's commitment to addressing the deficiencies directly with the insurers involved.

Under FCA regulations, insurers are obliged to process claims both promptly and equitably. Additionally, the introduction of the Consumer Duty in July 2023 mandates that firms must prioritize consumer interests, ensuring that their operations are geared towards achieving positive outcomes for their clientele.

For customers who suspect that their claims may have been undervalued, the FCA has urged those affected to first approach their insurer with their grievances. Should the insurer fail to resolve the complaint satisfactorily, customers then have the recourse to escalate their complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service for further adjudication.

Amid this new finding, troubles for the car insurance segment continue. Earlier this month, Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, warned consumers of strategies that auto insurers may be employing to charge existing customers higher rates.

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