Currently reading: New FCA rule to protect motorists against rising insurance costs
From 1 January, motor and home insurance firms will be banned from offering lower rates to new customers than to existing customers

A new rule will be introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the new year that aims to stop insurance firms from disadvantaging loyal customers in favour of new business. 

Insurance providers often offer introductory rates to new customers to lure them in, but hike the price come renewal time. This practice is known as ‘price walking’ and means customers are effectively penalised for their loyalty to one company. The result is that to get the best rates, people need to shop around every year.

Naturally, insurers are still free to raise premiums if a customer’s risk level changes, for example because they had an accident that year.

The rule change was proposed in 2020, when the FCA invited feedback, and it will come into effect on 1 January 2022 with detail changes to the legal wording.

The FCA estimates the new regulations will save consumers £4.2bn over the next 10 years. A further benefit is that people will no longer need to change insurers every year in order to get the best deal.

Sheldon Mills, executive director, consumers and competition at the FCA, said: “Our interventions will make the insurance market fairer and make it work better. Insurers can no longer penalise consumers who stay with them. You can still shop around and negotiate a better deal, but you won't have to switch just to avoid being charged a loyalty premium.”

As well as banning the price walking, the FCA is also introducing rules that make it easier to cancel an insurance policy. One change is that insurers have to make it possible for customers to opt out of automatic renewals.

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artill 30 December 2021

We will see lower premiums for those that stick with their existing insurer, BUT we will see much higher premiums for those that look around each year. Dont be taken in by this, its not going to lose the insurers any money, it might even put people off looking around at renewal and make more money for the insurers. For those of us who have looked at the renewals each year this will be an expensive change we didnt ask for!

Peter Cavellini 30 December 2021

Taken a long time to happen, now, what about Internet providers?, isn't it about time these companies stopped waving the Carrot to entice potentially new customers?, if you've stuck with one for more than two years,shouldn't you get better deals ? ,after all you've handed over money for not much basic Tv and been charged for different programs.

Andrew1 30 December 2021
But then conservatives will cry that "leftards" breaking the free market...