‘GI Day’ – one year on

Ramesh Sharma

January 14, 2006

Andy Pratt, chief operations officer at Alexander Hall

“There are two points I would make. Firstly, I don’t know for certain but I bet that insurance sales, whatever kind of insurance it is, have fallen since ‘GI Day’, perhaps by as much as 10 or 20 per cent. My fear is that this means less customers are covered than this time last year, which might come back to bite us later.

“Regulation has made selling mortgage-related insurance more difficult, especially in the documentation and application process. I think more and more brokers are finding the amount of time involved in this is just too much. In December we formed an agreement with Direct Life and Pensions, which means we can concentrate on giving advice while it takes care of the applications process.

“More brokers will look to form a partnership with a specialist in this way. To improve GI regulation someone should look across all areas of paper-work that has descended in both the mortgage and GI market and see if some of it can be summarised into fewer documents or pages.”

Kevin Morgan, managing director of Consilium Financial Planning

“I don’t think there has been that much grief over GI regulation; certainly not as much as ‘Mortgage Day’ had or as ‘A-Day’ will have – it’s been relatively straightforward. There is arguably a question whether there was the need to actually regulate the sector.

“While the move has not been problematic, from a consumer point of view they are bombarded with a huge amount of paperwork. That is the nature of the world we live in. GI regulation has been beneficial as brokers can focus their attention and approach it in a business-like way as a serious income stream. There’s not really much to change. I would like to see fewer words and more simplicity, but that is unlikely to happen. Therefore, the role of advisers has never been more important.”

Jonathan Cornell, technical director at Hamptons International Mortgages

“General insurance regulation has been less beneficial to consumers than mortgage regulation has. The amount of paperwork involved has gone through the roof. I don’t think mortgage brokers have had it quite so bad as GI providers, as the Insurance Code Of Business (ICOB) followed quite quickly after the Mortgage Code Of Business (MCOB) and so mortgage brokers were already in the stride of regulation.

“For insurance providers who were not regulated before it has been hard work and I am not convinced they have all got to grips with it. In theory GI regulation makes great sense but you have to wonder if the FSA should really be bothering itself with regulating things like pet or dental insurance.”

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