Motor Insurers Commit to Reduce Data Exchange

The UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has announced that two IT software and service providers and seven insurance companies have agreed to limit the data exchanged between them, following an OFT investigation into price coordination among motor insurers using market analysis tools called Whatif? Private Motor. The nine companies under investigation, Insurers Ageas Insurance Limited, Aviva Plc, AXA Insurance UK Plc, Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society, RBS Insurance Group Limited, Royal Sun Alliance and Zurich Insurance Plc, Experian Limited (Experian) and SSP Limited, have all offered formal commitments to the OFT “that will result in the insurers no longer being able to access each other’s individual pricing information through Whatif? Private Motor.” The Experian tool and other such products used through the insurance industry raised competition law concerns because:

  • they “enabled insurers to access individualised and highly disaggregated pricing data for vast numbers of permutations of customer risks across most competing private motor insurers”;
  • “the information accessible through the analysis tool was not genuinely public information”;
  • “insurers were able to access information about their competitors’ future pricing intentions”; and
  • “the analysis tool was updated and provided to subscribing insurers on a frequent and regular (monthly) basis”.

Further information from the OFT
OFT’s media release (13 January 2011)
(Source: OFT)