New rules set out by the Competition Commission to introduce competition into the payment protection insurance (PPI) market come into effect today.

Payment Protection Insurance

The regulator has banned the sale of PPI policies at the point of sale until seven days after the credit sale and has ruled that there must be a seven day gap between a PPI quote being issued and the sale. Quotes must set out the cost of the policy along with details of the cover provided and supply information in marketing material about the cost and key messages, for example making it clear that PPI is optional and available from other providers.

The regulator has also ruled that providers are obligated to provide information about claims ratios to any person on request and are prohibited on the selling of single-premium PPI policies. Insurers must also provide an annual review setting out the cost of PPI and including a reminder of the consumer’s right to cancel.

Peter Davis, spokesman of Competition Commission, said: ‘Insurance to cover periods of unemployment, sickness and following accidents can serve a significant need. The Competition Commission has worked hard to document the serious failings of competition in PPI markets and subsequently establish a package of significant market interventions whose aim is substantially to improve the operation of these markets. The culmination of all of that work is a legally binding document which sets out a framework of rules designed to encourage greater competition in future and hence better outcomes for consumers.’

The order takes effect from 6 April 2011, though the main obligations will be introduced in two phases, 6 April and 1 October, to coincide with annual government common commencement dates for new legislation and regulations and also to allow sufficient implementation time for providers.

Nell Mooy, spokesman for British Insurance welcomed the changes, but said the implementation should be immediate.

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Tim Capper reports on Financial Mis-Selling for Maple Leaf Financial. Our aim is to ensure you get honest advice and proper guidance to ensure a suitable recommendation can be made to pursue a financial claim

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Tim Capper

Bringing you financial news and information in plain english for Maple Leaf Financial. My aim is to help readers understand these often complex financial instruments.