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Almost half of people skip reading policy details

Nearly half – 39 per cent – of people do not read the policy on their home insurance, according to Paymentshield.

Data provided by the insurance company also shows that 38 per cent of people asked did not read their tenancy agreements, and that 32 per cent did not read their mortgage terms and conditions.

Meanwhile, 46 per cent of those who did not read their home insurance policy said that it was because doing so was too time consuming, 31 per cent said that it was too complicated, and 25 per cent said it was too boring.

The study is based off the results collected from 1,023 individuals with the help of YouGov.

London Money founder Martin Stewart says that he is not surprised “in the slightest.”

“There are as ever two sides to each story,” he adds. “One, the industry does not help itself when it comes to terms and conditions, and how they are presented to the consumer.

“We are all guilty of clicking the box without absorbing the information. But on the other hand, “caveat emptor” remains a valid saying and people need to realise what they are signing up to before it is too late.

“I think general insurance is one of those products that people are price conscious on, but the reality is it can be a complex product and the best advice is to always take advice where possible.”

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  • Paul Thompson 12th June 2019 at 11:24 am

    I read this piece with interest as it’s a topic we feel strongly about at Cavere and something we work hard to tackle. Indeed our new home insurance policy with Ageas was designed to set the benchmark for policy wording standards in terms of clarity and quality. We redefined the policy wording using market leading research techniques to make it simple to read and understand.

    Making policy wordings easier to digest and understand is a fundamental part of treating customers fairly. It’s important that insurers play their part, but also that brokers and advisors understand the products they are selling inside and out to ensure they are presenting them to the customer in the right way and with the highest degree of confidence in suitability.

    However I agree with Martin Stuart that it’s a two-way street. It is not just about the ease of reading it is also about the customer taking the time to do their own due diligence. It does smack of ‘Caveat Emptor’. What often happens is that the first time the customer realises whether they have purchased the right cover, or not, is when they come to claim.

    I think this issue highlights perfectly the added value of the broker/advisor in educating customers, and delivering valuable peace of mind. However, they need to make sure they sell quality cover appropriate to needs (not price), and that they are themselves educated about the suitability of the policies they are selling if they are to avoid the inevitable blame when a customer finds out they are not covered at point of claim.