James Daley

By James Daley

Yesterday, I wrote a blog about how the insurance broker Endsleigh has been selling Payment Protection Insurance alongside its home and motor policies. Although Endsleigh was quick to reassure me that it had been cleared by the OFT to do this, I raised some broader questions around whether it was giving customers all the information they needed to make an informed decision about a complex product.

This morning, I received a formal response, which included an encouraging statement that they would suspend sales of PPI while they review the sales process:

"As Fairer Finance have said there is a place for payment protection insurance as it meets a real customer need. To that end, Endsleigh sought, and received confirmation from the regulator at the time, to ensure we would not be in breach of any regulations when offering this product for sale.

"We are grateful to Fairer Finance for pointing out about the opportunity to make exclusions clearer, and we will therefore be stopping sales of this product while we consider the best way to do this."

It's ok to talk about protection

It's encouraging that Endsleigh responded so quickly, and I hope that it will have a good think about whether it's ever appropriate to sell PPI alongside car and home insurance policies. I'm not sure it is.

Helping more people use insurance as a safety net - should they be unable to work - is important. Many families have astonishingly little savings, and could last only for a few weeks were the main breadwinner to end up out of work.

But insurers need to have this conversation at the right time with customers. Protecting car insurance payments might seem like a priority for car insurers, but there's every chance that if you're sick and unable to work that keeping your car on the road is not a priority.

If you're talking to a customer when they're taking our a mortgage, then it's the perfect time to talk about protection. But not just PPI, other options as well.

Endsleigh's attempts to flog PPI as a last minute add-on to a motor policy felt very similar to the ways PPI was sold alongside loans and credit cards. All credit to Endsleigh for acting so quickly. I guess we can chalk it up as Fairer Finance's first victory.