The Financial Services Authority has warned price comparison websites to take particular care when suggesting policies to customers and make sure they are not inadvertently sold policies that don't cover their needs.
According to a letter sent by the FSA to several major sites, the sheer complexity of individual policies means the burden should be on websites to make sure the customer is eligible, rather than leaving that task to the customer.
Among other concerns the FSA expressed was that some sites have begun giving star ratings to policies, or listing some as a "best buy." It noted this risked such sites crossing the line between providing information and giving advice, which entails much tighter regulation.
The authority also argued that sites which list results in ascending order of price need to take greater care to make clear that the cheapest policy available won't necessarily be the best fit for the customer's needs. In particular sites need to draw more attention to exclusions and excess levels in the cheaper policies.