The ABI, or Association of British Insurers, has a number of guidelines for implementation, including how to meet best practice guidelines throughout the process of creating the IPID (Insurance Product Information Document). Underlying regulations and upcoming regulations coming into force on 23rd February 2018 from the IDD (Insurance Distribution Document), and Implementing Technical Standards (ITS) for the IPID were published in February 2017, with updates and any amendments pending. However, it is important that insurance companies are aware of the current regulations and requirements there are on businesses for the implementation of IPID.
Unique IPIDs for consumer clarity
Insurance companies can offer their own unique IPIDs, as long as they follow the regulations and include everything that is necessary to ensure that customers are able to make an informed decision when buying insurance products. Insurance companies are required to follow examples such as formatting that uses icons and text to draw attention to key information and relevant information quickly. This should be easy to follow and easily available to consumers. So what are some examples of this?
The IPID must complement other product documentation
The IPID produced by each company should complement all other product information and documentation that is available to clients including pre-contractual and contractual agreements. The most important information should be highlighted and subheadings should be used to break information into useful sections. The IPID should be presented in a consistent way across the different “What is insured?”, “What is not insured?” and “Are there any restrictions to cover?” sections.
Customer-friendly language and understanding
Technical language and industry jargon should be avoided wherever possible and terms explained in plain English to ensure that customers are able to fully understand the information provided. It can be helpful to include descriptions to aid understanding, and at the same time, information included within the IPID should be based upon both consumer understanding and product performance data together. Core products and compulsory product requirements should be prioritised within the maximum page limit and minimum font size, both of which limit the document length.
Comparisons between differentiators and breaking down information
Core product information and differentiators should be highlighted to make it easier for customers to pick these details out. This can include things like the benefits, features and exclusions, as well as insurance cover limits, excess levels and more. Another guideline is that the best way to present risks and exclusions is often through utilising subheadings, for example under “What is insured?” you may have sub-categories such as “Cover for you” and “Cover to other people” – all of which help to break down information.
In certain circumstances, optional insurance aspects may also be presented within the IPID assuming that these meet regulations.
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