The Co-operative Insurance has been criticised by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over unclear information given to thousands of motorists in insurance quotes.
The company has been ordered to take “immediate action” to give drivers better information about the actual price of Co-op Insurance no-claims bonus (NCB) protection, to comply with the Private Motor Insurance Market Investigation Order 2015.
From 1 February, drivers renewing their NCB protection on the affected product will be charged a fixed rate by the insurer, a subsidiary of the Co-op Group.
Prospective new customers will be given two quotes, one including NCB protection and one without, so that can calculate the actual price of the protection. Customers will also be given the option of telephoning the company for the information.
In addition, Co-op Insurance has been ordered to ensure that, by no later than 1 October 2017, all customers must be able to see the price they will be charged on the company’s website and in written offers and documents.
Adam Land, senior director of remedies, business and financial analysis at the CMA, said: “It is very disappointing that a major organisation such as Co-op Insurance has taken so long to provide this vital information to its customers.
“Before the order came into force, the price and benefits of NCB protection were often unclear to drivers. We expect the Co-op to fully comply with the terms of our directions immediately so that motorists can search more easily for the best deal for them and decide whether or not they want this optional cover.
CMA says the order followed its market investigation into private motor insurance. Among other things, it requires that private motor insurance providers offer better information on NCB protection by 1 August 2016.
Co-op Insurance was the only one of the major insurers which failed to meet this deadline, and since then the CMA has been working with the company to help ensure that it complies with the law as soon as possible.
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