FCA investigation could lead to rethink of UK insurance market culture, says Eversheds

Jeremy Irving, partner and insurance expert at Eversheds, has commented following the news that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is set to launch an investigation into 30 million insurance policies sold since the 1970s.

Irving said: ‘The project being proposed by the FCA to assess 30 years of so-called “zombie insurance” is a very substantial undertaking. There are potentially significant ramifications for the insurance market. The FCA is understandably keen to ensure fair customer outcomes across the board, not just for new customers.’

The project, he said, will enable the FCA to consider the culture and operation of the insurance market over the course of its modern development, as opposed to the more usual snapshot review covering two or three years of a particular problem or concern.

Irving continued: ‘Moreover, the 21st-century articulation of the concept of “treating customers fairly” will be substantially different from that in prior decades, so it will be interesting to see how the FCA judges historic conduct and the ongoing legacies of such conduct.

‘Having raised concerns as to customer treatment in relation to a range of insurance products, services and markets, the project may enable the FCA to say that it will have undertaken the most comprehensive root-cause analysis possible. This could open the door to profound and wide-ranging changes.’