By Vicky Anscombe on 25 March 2015

In a move that will delight consumers and watchdogs alike, the Financial Conduct Authority is set to ban opt-out selling in financial services markets.

Last year, the general insurance market was reviewed, and add-ons were put under the microscope. This is thought to be the reason for the regulator's review.

The FCA said in a statement: "Following a market study into the general insurance add-ons industry last year, the FCA found that opt-out selling often results in consumers purchasing an insurance product they don't need. Some consumers are not even aware they have bought an add-on."

Opt-out selling is the practice of defaulting consumers into buying a product, which they then have to opt out of.

For example, this could be using pre-ticked boxes to sell the consumer add-on insurance. We're proud to say that we don't use this method during our sales process - when we offer you the opportunity to insure your journey through The Trainline, our boxes are already unchecked.


The FCA is proposing a ban on add-on sales of regulated and unregulated products offered alongside financial products, such as legal expenses sold with home insurance, breakdown or key cover sold alongside motor insurance, or protection cover when taking out a mortgage or credit card.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition, said: "This is about ensuring consumers can make the right decision on what add-on insurance they do or don't need. Forgetting to un-tick a box at the end of a purchase is not making an informed choice.

"These proposals will mean that consumers will be in a better position to decide what they want and consider the options available to them. Fewer consumers will end up with products they didn't want or don't even know they own."

← French Alps air tragedy: What if I want to cancel my trip?

Chemmy Alcott reveals the drama behind The Arctic Circle Race's abrupt finish →