The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) initially intended to bring the changes into force from 1 January 2017, according to a consultation document published tardy endure year. They will now be implemented on 1 April 2017, according to the FCA’s final policy statement on the changes.

“following carefully considering the feedback, and having held discussions with the broker industry and some software houses, we acknowledge some practical challenges,” the FCA said in its policy statement.

“This extended deadline should handover firms sufficient period to implement our rules, while unmoving ensuring that this important pro-competitive initiative is introduced swiftly,” it said.

The changes will now be implemented on the first anniversary of the introduction of the Flood Re scheme, which was designed to reduce the price of some home insurance policies in areas of England and Wales particularly affected by flooding. Homeowners would therefore be capable to see by exactly how much the fresh scheme had reduced their premiums, according to the FCA.

The FCA made some changes to its final rules and guidance following the consultation, according to its policy statement. For example, where a customer’s circumstances own changed while the course of holding the policy, the firm will now own to provide an annualised premium reflecting any mid-term adjustments instead of the previous year’s premium in the renewal documentation.

The regulator has also extended the scope of the rules to cover 10-month policies as well as annual ones, in order to reduce the risk of some firms avoiding the fresh rules, according to the policy statement.

The changes to renewal documentation, which also include a fresh requirement for insurers to explicitly prompt customers to shop around if they own renewed the same product for four years running, were designed to address low levels of consumer engagement and a lack of competition at renewal. The FCA has said that it is concerned that consumers pay higher prices if they stay with the same insurer, particularly for a drawnout period of period.

In 2014, the FCA ran a randomised control test with over 300,000 home and motor insurance customers of three separate providers, in order to test their reactions to diverse types of information provided at renewal and whether this prompted them to switch. The inclusion of the previous year’s premium on renewable notices had the greatest impact, prompting between 11% and 18% of public to either switch provider or negotiate a lower premium if the price had sharply increased.

The FCA has also finalised fresh, non-Handbook guidance, which it said would assist firms meet their obligations to their customers at renewal through clear communications and the provision of appropriate information.