Currently reading: Car insurance firms to be banned from charging loyal customers more
'Radical' proposals by regulator would stop firms from charging existing customers more than new ones

Car insurance companies will be stopped from charging customers who renew their deals more than new customers under "radical" new proposals.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has proposed the new rules following the publication of a market study report into the pricing of home and motor insurance. The FCA estimates its new proposed new rules could save consumers £3.7 billion over 10 years.

In the report, the FCA identified six million customers who it said were paying high margins in 2018, and who would together have saved £1.2bn if they were instead charged the average figure for their risk level.

According to the FCA, 10 million home and motor insurance policies are held by customers who have been with the same provider for more than five years. It found that those customers paid an average of £370 for motor insurance, compared with £285 for new customers.

As a result, the FCA has proposed that a customer who renews a home or motor insurance policy should be charged no more than they would if they were a new customer using the same sales channel. While firms would be free to set their own prices, they would be prevented from gradually increasing renewal prices, other than when a customer's 'risk' changes.

The FCA has also proposed a series of other reforms, including making it simpler to stop automatic insurance renewals, and a requirement for insurance firms to report data to the FCA so it can check rules are being enforced.

Christopher Woolard, the FCA's interim boss, said the "radical package" would "ensure firms cannot charge renewing customers more than new customers in future and put an end to the very high prices paid by some long-standing customers".

The FCA has invited feedback on the proposals. When that process is completed next January, it will publish a policy statement setting out the new rules.


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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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Riley 1.5 23 September 2020

Insurance, the necessary evil?

Over the years I've been with loads of companies, Direct Line, Saga, Post Office and now Co-op. I know it's a faff but I always bin them when they start hiking prices for no logical reason. At 68 I've been driving for over 50 years and have had one claim in 1994, drive less than 3000 miles a year and garage my car at home, so I might be considered a good risk. However, some companies just try it on every year ( I'm talking about you Direct Line with a 44.2% increase at renewal time) but the real kicker is when you phone to tell them you're not renewing. Hours on the phone despite the fact that "the phone call is important to them" but not enough to answer the call, apparently, so when you explain why you're not renewing they couldn't care less. Now if my renewal is virtually identical to a quote from a comparison website, I stay. If not, I move. Any alarming increase gets an immediate move, with no opportunity for them to try to find a better price at a special one-off discount. 

si73 23 September 2020

This is a long time coming,

This is a long time coming, yes we can all go on comparison sites every year and call up to argue the toss with our current insurers, but we really shouldn't have to. Maybe they can stop the rip off when you change cars, my son has done just this, his insurance renewed 3 months ago and he paid £600 for the year, he just changed his car and had quotes for £800 for a years policy, changing with his current insurer was going to cost another £600 for the remaining 9 months, so a total of £1200 paid. How is that justified. Obviously he left them. I had the same with a commuter scooter, I'd paid a massive £80, went to change bikes after 6 months with quotes for the new one also at £80, my insurer wanted £120 additional for the remaining 6 months. Absolutely ridiculous.
russ13b 22 September 2020

and the other nonsense?

You are told to destroy your old out-of-date paperwork when your new paperwork arrives. I was with the same insurance company for 8 years, when year 9 began they asked me to provide evidence of no-claims as they had changed underwriters and were being asked to collect evidence for all new policies. How am I supposed to do that? How was I supposed to provide evidence of something for which i no longer have the paperwork, and why should i need to given that i was insured with them for the entire time?