New guidelines requiring insurance coverage corporations to cease discriminating in opposition to loyal policyholders have unleashed a wave of industry-wide value will increase, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. 

Prospects are being hit by inflation-busting 20 per cent-plus premium hikes on house and motor insurance policies renewing this month. The dramatic will increase make a mockery of boasts made by the Metropolis watchdog that its guidelines would save loyal clients greater than £4billion in premiums over the following ten years. 

Proof collected by the MoS reveals the value hikes are being imposed on those that have a longstanding coverage with their insurer – the very folks that the regulator says its guidelines are designed to guard. The Monetary Conduct Authority had mentioned the so-called loyalty penalty – the place longstanding insurance coverage clients are charged greater than new ones – can be banned on January 1. 

Fair deal?: Tom Desmier’s original renewal for his Mazda was 33 per cent higher before he applied as a new customer

Honest deal?: Tom Desmier’s unique renewal for his Mazda was 33 per cent larger earlier than he utilized as a brand new buyer

However evidently fairly than elevating costs for brand new clients and decreasing them for loyal clients (thereby eliminating the loyalty penalty), it’s longstanding clients who’re being hit with double-digit will increase to their premiums. Will increase for individuals who store round are prone to filter by way of within the coming weeks. 

Seven days in the past, the MoS predicted that the rule adjustments would set off widespread value will increase – wiping out the £4billion saving the regulator says its intervention available in the market will lead to. New information from on-line banking platform Trustly confirms our fears. A ballot it commissioned signifies that three in 4 insurers plan to extend premiums because of the FCA guidelines that require new and current clients to pay the identical value for similar cowl. 

One in 4 insurers, it says, intend to lift costs by a staggering quantity – something between 61 and 70 per cent. Comparability web site Comparethemarket additionally reported that motor premiums had jumped by practically seven per cent within the first week of this month, yr on yr. But it surely warned that premiums would ‘rise sharply’ throughout the market within the coming weeks.

Proof from readers suggests steep value will increase have already been applied by some insurers. Readers verify that insurance coverage corporations have been demanding brutal premium will increase in renewal notices despatched out prior to now few weeks. 

Generally, recipients have been loyal clients with the renewals despatched out earlier than the brand new FCA guidelines got here into drive (January 1), however making use of to cowl renewing this yr. Retired methods analyst Tom Desmier, from Worcester Park in South West London, obtained a renewal discover for his motor insurance coverage on December 27 final yr. 

Tom, 71, drives a 17-year-old Mazda 2, and has had his insurance coverage with Liverpool Victoria for greater than ten years. Though the coverage is branded LV, it’s really administered by Allianz – the German insurer purchased LV’s basic insurance coverage enterprise in late 2019. 

The renewal got here in at simply over £260, 33 per cent larger than final yr. He then spoke to LV on two events to see whether or not he may get the premium lowered. He succeeded, albeit solely taking it right down to £247 as confirmed in an e-mail dated December 31 (nonetheless a 26 per cent improve). Nonetheless not blissful, he then determined to see what would occur if he contacted LV by way of a social media hyperlink offered on Trustpilot for disgruntled clients.

He was suggested to get a web-based quote as a brand new buyer. On January 2, he obtained a quote for slightly below £200, albeit with lowered mileage and a barely larger extra (in different phrases not an similar coverage). A value improve of simply 2.2 per cent. LV terminated his current insurance coverage and the brand new coverage was issued. 

‘I am happy the place I’ve ended up,’ he says. ‘But it surely does beg the query as as to whether LV is treating new and current clients the identical, as required by the regulator.’ 

A letter obtained by Tom from the chief govt of LV Basic Insurance coverage prematurely of receiving his renewal discover was categorical: ‘At renewal, we’ll verify the value you’d get as a brand new buyer with the identical motor or house cowl from us. We’ll be certain your value matches or beats it.’ 

The identical letter mentioned that the renewal value may go up or down relying on issues like the price of repairs, or in the event you’ve made any claims. Tom hadn’t made any declare. LV Basic Insurance coverage informed the MoS it was ‘absolutely compliant with the FCA adjustments’ and had modified its pricing coverage barely forward of the brand new guidelines. It additionally mentioned that any policyholder renewing their cowl now wouldn’t pay greater than a brand new buyer for a like-for-like coverage purchased in the identical means as their unique cowl. 

It insisted that ‘most’ of its automobile and residential clients are seeing decreases of their renewal costs, though it mentioned some confronted larger costs because of its ‘view on sure dangers’. But Tom will not be alone. Eifion Davies is a 56-year-old catering supervisor at a retirement house for vicars in Lingfield, Surrey. He obtained a renewal quote from LV at the beginning of this yr stating the premium on his automobile cowl can be leaping by practically 25 per cent from February.

L IKE Tom, he managed to haggle, however it will nonetheless have meant a 19 per cent improve. ‘I have been with LV for six years,’ he says. ‘Nothing has modified over the previous yr: I drive the identical automobile and I’ve had no accidents. So why an preliminary demand for £64 extra? That is not rewarding loyalty.’ Eifion has now obtained similar cowl from Saga at a premium cheaper than final yr. 

Helen Richards, a 64-year-old radiographer from Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, has been informed her house insurance coverage cowl with LV will value her practically 50 per cent extra if she renews. On questioning LV, she was informed it was due to new laws. She’s going to now store round for a brand new insurer. ‘A lot for loyal clients getting a greater deal,’ she says. Rod Coulstock will even store round for house insurance coverage after being informed his LV cowl would value 26 per cent extra when it renews at the beginning of subsequent month. Like Tom and Eifion, he tried to get LV to supply him a greater value, however in contrast to them he obtained nowhere.

‘I am going to now go searching,’ says 84-year-old Rod, a retired civil servant from Waterlooville in Hampshire. ‘It is a disgrace as a result of our relationship with LV goes again practically 50 years, to the times after they would acquire some premiums by an agent knocking in your entrance door.’ 

Gareth John, a former managing director of an aerospace firm, has had house and automobile insurance coverage with Direct Line for 9 years. He has simply been informed his cowl will now value 20 per cent extra. 

Gareth, who’s 66 and lives close to Tenby in Dyfed, known as Direct Line, to be informed the value improve was a results of new guidelines and there can be no motion on the renewal premiums. He says: ‘I assumed the brand new laws had been meant to scale back premiums for loyal clients whereas eradicating the value undercutting supplied on new buyer offers. How incorrect I used to be.’ He’s now looking for a less expensive supplier. 

John Josephs, a retired solicitor from Northampton, has a multi-car coverage with Aviva, overlaying his Skoda Scala and his spouse’s Toyota Yaris. In December, earlier than the FCA guidelines got here in, he obtained a renewal quote for £950, 10 per cent larger than the earlier yr. 

He managed to get this lowered to £825, solely to buy round and uncover that Aviva was providing precisely the identical cowl as a brand new buyer for £544. Enhancing the standard of canopy barely, he ended up paying £574 – 40 per cent cheaper than the unique quote. 

‘Being a loyal buyer final yr counted for nothing,’ says John. 

Aviva says: ‘The brand new guidelines do not imply costs won’t change or will all the time go down at renewal.’ The FCA informed the MoS it will be keeping track of how the market develops and would maintain corporations to account if they don’t meet its necessities. 

The Affiliation of British Insurers says the FCA’s treatment bundle will most likely result in some customers paying larger costs at renewal – particularly if their current coverage benefited from a brand new enterprise low cost. 

What our proof has uncovered is that larger costs are being demanded of loyal clients.

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