FCA issues coronavirus pandemic guidance to insurers

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued guidance for general insurers during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, with advice outlined for travel, motor, home and private medical insurance, as well as clarification on product suspension and policy renewals.

Christopher Woolard, interim chief executive of the FCA, said the regulator expects “all firms to be clear and not misleading whenever they communicate and be fair and professional in how they deal with their customers”.

He continued: “Customer behaviour is changing. We expect insurance firms to recognise this and treat their customers fairly, recognising the circumstances customers may find themselves in. We would not expect to see a customer’s ability to claim affected by circumstances over which they have little control.”

“Any customer concerned about their insurance should consider contacting their provider with any questions they may have.”

Above all, the FCA expects insurers to “carefully the needs of their customers and show flexibility in their treatment of them”, such as their need to work from home or commute by car.

“We would not expect to see their ability to claim impacted by circumstances over which they have little control,” the FCA said in its guidance.

The FCA also expects insurers to clearly communicate any policy exclusions that may affect cover and use of individual policies. This applies to both new sales or changes to existing policies.

The regulator has also put together answers to common questions about travel arrangements and other areas affected by the pandemic.