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Information that insurers must give you

This advice applies to Scotland

Insurers must give you information to help you decide which insurance policy is best for you. This page explains what information they must give you before you buy a policy and what you should receive when you’ve bought insurance.

Buying insurance

You can buy insurance based on information you find out for yourself or you can decide to take professional advice first. If you buy a policy based on information it’s up to you to decide whether the policy is right for you. If the policy turns out not to be suitable it will be difficult for you to complain or get any compensation.

However if you take professional advice before taking out a policy, the adviser must only recommend a policy that meets your needs. If they don't recommend a suitable policy you can complain and you may also be able to claim compensation for mis-selling.

If you think that were advised to buy a policy that isn’t right for you, you should complain to the company or adviser who advised you.

Insurance companies and advisers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA can give you further advice about how to complain about mis-selling.

Comparing policies

If you ask an insurer for a quotation they must give you details about what kind of service they are offering you. They must also give you a summary document which contains certain key facts about the insurance policy they want to sell you.

The summary document must include the following key facts:

  • details of the insurer
  • the main features and benefits of the insurance
  • significant or unusual exclusions - exclusions are things for which you won’t be covered
  • how long the cover will last
  • whether you have any cancellation rights

This information will make it easier for you to compare policies between different insurers when you’re deciding which policy to buy.

Renewing your insurance

When it's time to renew your insurance, your insurer must tell you:

  • what premium you paid last year
  • to shop around for the best deal
  • to check your cover - for example, you might check if your contents insurance will pay if your bike is stolen

If the renewed insurance doesn't cover what you need, you should change it. You can use price comparison websites to look for better deals.

Your insurance policy

Your insurance policy contains the terms of your agreement with your insurer. This will include a schedule. The schedule contains your personal details and the details of your specific policy, including exclusions, excesses and additional risks for which you’re covered.

You have the right to receive a full copy of your policy. It’s important to make sure that the information in your policy is correct, and you should check it very carefully as soon as you receive it.

Other useful information

Contact the FSA helpline on 0845 606 1234.

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