FCA to tackle predatory practices by insurance firms leading to high premiums for vulnerable customers 

4 October 2019

Today the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched the interim report of its market study into the pricing of home and motor insurance. The report concludes that around 6 million policy holders are getting a poor deal, collectively overpaying by around £1.2 billion a year. About 1 in 3 of these customers are considered vulnerable, with circumstances in their lives such as mental health problems that can make switching provider more difficult. The FCA points to purposeful tactics by firms to drive up prices, including putting up barriers to switching and setting prices based on a customer’s likelihood of switching, as well as proposing a range of potential remedies.

In response, Helen Undy, Chief Executive of Money and Mental Health, said:

“Today’s report confirms that predatory insurance firms are taking advantage of the difficulties that many vulnerable customers face when switching insurance providers, collectively costing them billions in unnecessary changes. Switching insurance can be difficult at the best of times, but for people living with mental health problems who may be struggling to get out of bed, use the phone, navigate comparison sites or understand complex pricing, it can be impossible.

It is shocking that insurance firms have got away with increasing prices for those customers who are least able to switch. We’re pleased to see the regulator’s plans to crack down on these unfair practices and hope to see strong action taken soon.”


For more details, or to set up an interview, please contact Helen Undy on 07935 216 804 / 0207 848 1448, [email protected]


About the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute

  • The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute was set up by Martin Lewis in spring 2016, registered charity number 1166493.
  • It conducts research and develops policies for essential services firms, regulators, the health service and government to help people with mental health problems protect themselves from financial difficulties and get out of debt.
  • Martin Lewis OBE, Money Saving Expert, is an award-winning campaigning broadcaster, newspaper columnist and author. He founded in 2003 for £100 and remains its full-time Editor-in-Chief. It is now the UK’s biggest money site, with more than 14 million monthly users. Martin has his own prime-time ITV programme – The Martin Lewis Money Show – and is resident expert on This Morning, Good Morning Britain and BBC Radio 5 Live’s Consumer Panel, among others.
  • Helen Undy is a passionate mental health campaigner and became the Institute’s Chief Executive in 2018, having previously led the Institute’s impact and communications work.