02 April 2020

This article was written by Anna Davis.

In the expanded guidance, the FCA acknowledges that insurers may experience challenges in contacting consumers, for example if they are unwell. This may make it harder to meet key conduct requirements such as assessing consumers’ demands and needs at renewal. If this is the case, the FCA expects firms to continue to seek to meet these requirements (including the obligation to act honestly, fairly and professionally in accordance with the best interests of the customer) but has not prescribed how firms should do so.

It may be reasonable for firms to:

  • rely on existing information that they already hold, for example if this information is recent, is still expected to be accurate, and there have not been significant changes to the product
  • decide that providing continuity of cover meets a customer’s best interests, where there is no evidence to show the contract is inconsistent with the customer’s demands and needs or wouldn’t otherwise be unsuitable.

Firms will obviously also need to ensure that they comply with all relevant legal requirements in relation to their contracts. If, once the customer is better, they contact the firm to say that the policy did not meet their needs, the FCA expects firms to treat them fairly.

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