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Savvy drivers and homeowners who switch their insurance provider every year may be facing a steep rise in the premiums on offer from next year.
The financial watchdog is proposing to ban what has become known as the ‘loyalty penalty’ from late 2021, potentially saving some 6 million customers £3.7billion over 10 years.
Currently in the motor insurance market premiums rise by an average of 2.54 per cent at renewal, according to Consumer Intelligence. In home insurance, premiums go up by an average 12.67 per cent every year.
Banning this will mean that insurers can no longer reserve the best deals for new customers while at the same time charging more to existing policyholders who don’t switch away when they renew.
It comes after years of campaigning from This is Money and others warning about the penalty and encouraging customers to fight back.
While the rule change is good news for the majority of policyholders who choose to stay with their existing provider, it is likely to penalise those who have bothered to shop around.
Insurance experts Consumer Intelligence said: ‘One thing is absolute – premiums are going to rise.
‘In the current model, insurers offer heavily discounted new business prices to acquire new customers, but don’t make profit until year two or three of the policy. So naturally, prices will need to even out to support the sustainability of the industry.’
The price of loyalty penalty
The FCA has calculated the differences in prices paid by existing and