Marble and the FTC want to help you report hidden insurance fees

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Marble and the FTC want to help you report hidden insurance fees

On October 20th, 2022, the FTC (aka the Federal Trade Commission) announced an investigation into the proliferation of junk fees, or the “unnecessary, unavoidable, or surprise charges that inflate costs while adding little to no value.” The FTC has proposed several solutions which, if adopted, could substantially impact how businesses both represent their products and services, and how they pass on minor costs to consumers. 

Okay, tell us more about these junk fees 

Unfortunately for all of us, junk fees can be found almost everywhere, from telecoms to travel. They can appear as “service charges” that are added to ticket prices, as out-of-network ATM fees, and even as penalties for inactivity. Junk fees add up to billions of dollars, which represents a lot of money leaving our collective bank accounts each year!

In the announcement, the FTC highlighted three areas they’re targeting: 

  • Unnecessary charges for worthless, free, or fake products or services
  • Unavoidable charges imposed on captive consumers (like when you can’t opt out of something, for example)
  • Surprise charges that secretly push up the purchase price

While the investigation doesn’t focus on a particular sector, there will most likely be implications for insurance providers. That said, it’s still early days; right now (as of late 2022), the FTC has just begun to solicit comments from the public. 

When it comes to insurance, what exactly are these hidden fees? 

Once you sign up for a new policy, you may think you only have to pay your monthly premiums. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Some providers have cancellation fees, and insurance brokers often charge extra. 

You could also be hit with a policy fee, which some insurance companies charge in addition to their premiums and use to cover administrative costs. Marble members have also seen late, cancellation, and non-sufficient fund charges, among others. 

While both New York and California prohibit the most egregious charges, that isn’t the case in other states. We know that all sorts of insurance policies from all sorts of providers can be lousy when it comes to fees — especially policies sold through a middleman.

Common hidden fees associated with different insurance policies

How can Marble help? 

While some of these fees may be reasonable, Marble is all about providing transparency to our members. We want to make sure you feel in control of your insurance, which is why, on behalf of our members, we plan to submit a comment to the FTC. If you’ve spotted any unnecessary or unexplained fees on your insurance policy or passed on from your agent, please let us know here. The submitted fees will be confirmed and automatically added  as comments. 

And in the meantime, if you’re unhappy with your rates, we suggest you shop around! Marble can help you compare policies and prices to find the best insurance for your budget. If you haven’t already, set up your Marble account today, and start earning rewards just for having insurance.