Who really reads the T&Cs right? Yes, we have all ticked that box online which authorises the website/Google to harvest your data, but just in case you DID want to read them, are insurers terms n conditions any better, or worse than the average 12,000 word essay from your local energy provider?
With the UK government recommending their website copy should not be harder than the reading capabilities of a nine year old, SaveOnEnergy.com/uk were interested in finding out which household industries’ terms and conditions are most difficult to understand. To do this, SaveOnEnergy took to Which? to uncover the top five service providers for six different household necessities. They then calculated the Flesch-Kincaid Level – the standard equation for estimating reading age – for all T&Cs, before calculating an average grade score for each industry, as well as an estimated average reading time.
YOUR CURRENT ACCOUNT TERMS ARE BASICALLY A THESIS
The Results SaveOnEnergy.com/uk found that in first place and with the most confusing T&Cs is current accounts, with an average Flesch-Kincaid score of 14.7! This puts the reading age of these T&Cs at 18+, or those with a university level understanding. The average time spent to read these terms and conditions is 42 minutes and 52 seconds.
In second place are the T&Cs for home insurance, with a score of 12.6, giving them an average reading age of 16-18 years. Home insurance T&Cs are also the second longest to read, clocking up an average reading time of 96 minutes and 25 seconds. Yes that’s right, over an hour and a half to wade through home insurance docs – there has to be a better way surely?
Ranking third, not too far behind Home Insurance, is mortgage lenders – 11.8. Like Home Insurance, the estimated reading age is 16-18 years for the contract to be fully comprehended. Mortgage lenders have the lowest average reading time, at only 30 minutes and 32 seconds.
WHAT IS AND ISN’T COVERED
Most insurance has that crucial box, stating in plain english what is – and what is not -covered. Usually that summarises the key points well. But as the legal case of Business Interruption highlighted, confusion can cost insurers millions when things go wrong.
Mybe it’s time that Buildings and Contetns really stresse that what is covered is the rebuilding or repair of the property – NOT THE PURPLE BRICKS VALUATION – in large type, right at the start of the docs? Just an idea.