December 13, 2012

Into a world where convention rules… comes a new challenger that dares to be different from the herd… The Pro-o-o-be!

Yes, a report in this week’s Insurance Times reveals that the Competition Commission has confirmed it is to plunge its dreaded probe deep into the daylight-shunning nether regions of the motor insurance market and the supposed dodgy dealings that go on there.

The CC probe will be thrusting with particular vigour into the dark world of trumped up repair charges and over-mighty aggregators.

In a voice, perhaps, like that of John Hurt’s classic voiceover in the official wrongest car ad ever made – assuming it was JH and not just some husky-throated posh pervy uncle who happened to sound like him – the commissioners are going to be asking tough questions like:

– “if some repair firms’ relationships with insurers hike costs for rival insurers”

– “if add-on products are sold on the back of private motor insurance” (surely not!)

– “the relationship between insurers and parts/paint providers”

– “whether [that’s better!] consumers are ripped off by firms offering services after a motor accident”

– “whether the largest aggregators have market power and how this affects consumers” (as above) and

– “how automatic renewals and cancelations affect no claims bonuses”

Bankstone News for one is nothing short of agog to discover what comes to light when the CC probe is finally withdrawn and we can all find out what really goes on down there. Sadly, we will have to wait til September even for some provisional findings.

Blameless as its participants doubtless are, one can already sense the industry tensing, not to say wincing a little as the probe bears down upon them. Some might even feel like telling the Probe that, as Chris Rear repeatedly sang in that classic Ford Probe promo (and indeed as Fleetwood Mac sang previously), “You can go your own way.”


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