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Banks cannot oblige their customers to take out insurance

The banks continue to impose the contracting of linked products in order to grant a loan after the approval of the Mortgage Law. Thus, in 59% of the cases, insurance underwriting was a necessary condition to formalize the granting of the loan. The proportion rises to 74% in the case of mortgage loans and drops to 53% in the case of consumer loans. On the other hand, only 39% of those surveyed said that taking out a policy was not a requirement imposed by the bank. These are some of the conclusions drawn from the Study on the contracting of insurance linked to mortgages and loans carried out by the General Council of Associations of Mediators, through its Business School, CECAS, and the market research company GAD3.

During the presentation, the president of the School of Insurance Business School, CECAS, Javier Barberá, revealed that six years after their first study on this situation, they have found that the situation remains the same and even new insurance lines that have little or nothing to do with credit, such as automobile policies, are being linked. They have long detected abusive and illegal commercial practices in the sale of insurance by banks that go against the freedom of customers and competition, taking advantage of their dominant position.

This problem is compounded by the fact that customers have little scope for comparison, as 60% of respondents visited only two to four banks before making a decision, and in two out of three cases (66%), the banks did not inform them of the possibility of taking out such insurance with another insurance company. Regarding the type of products marketed together with these loans, the survey of insurance brokers highlights life insurance (72%), followed by home insurance (59%) and the growing weight of automobile insurance, which already stands at 20%.

When it came to the conclusions, the speakers stressed the importance of consumers knowing their rights and recalled that the law only obliges them to take out insurance against fire damage in the event that a home has a mortgage. However, the customer is free to choose another insurance company without being imposed by the financial institution.

The consumer should also be aware that the amount of the insurance premium is usually higher if it is contracted directly with the bank. Based on data from brokers, the average premium for a policy taken out with an entity is 79% higher than that of the insurance companies and, in addition, on many occasions, coverage is offered above the real needs of the person taking out the policy.

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