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The not-so funny revelations about online price comparison sites

It’s long been the norm for people to use price comparison websites such as Compare the Market, Money Supermarket and Confused.com to find the best deal on their insurances. Indeed, around one third of consumers are estimated to purchase their car insurance through them.

Indeed, these do present a very easy, accessible option when looking for a cost-effective deal. Simply fill out you details and choose from a variety of quotes and options, listed from cheapest to the most expensive. This is all great if you are looking for a quick travel policy, which will cover some basic medical needs and loss of luggage abroad – but what if you’re a business or individual, with more complex insurance needs? Do these sites still work? Are they cost-effective?

It won’t be surprising that cheaper insurance policies are likely to provide you with very limited cover.

In fact, according to Mintel, the UK price comparison site market attracts up to 73% of adult consumers, all searching through for the best possible deals. Furthermore, usage of these sites is set to remain high in coming years because of the cost of living – with business owners seeking out financial services also taking to the search.

If you are a business or an individual with more complex insurance needs – for example, if you are a sole trader, own multiple properties, cars or a valuable collection – comparison sites are not always the best way to get a quote. The premium you find might well be low in comparison to quotes you obtain from a broker, but often, when a claim must be made, people find they aren’t adequately covered.

It can also be a challenging task obtaining the right policy documents and details, with many being lost in the streams of emails you receive when using a comparison site or simply lost somewhere in all the fine print.

To stay competitive in a crowded market, money comparison websites will emphasise price and brand over some finer details, thus increasing the risk that consumers could miss key policy details including coverage, terms, level of cover and excesses.

It’s true to say that since the Financial Conduct Authority started to better regulate the money comparison sites in 2014, there seems to be a lot more transparency for consumers. However, it still might be easier for you to talk to a broker, with enough experience in the sector, to help you cut through some of the insurance jargon. Brokers take a proactive outlook to policy needs – particularly with regard to the ever-increasing need for things like cyber insurance – and they pay close attention to detail.

Most brokers will take a collaborative approach to providing a recovery solution should you need to make a claim, pairing their own expertise with that of the client to help secure a solution.

Finally, a streamlined claims process is also extremely important. Insurance claims often involve a lot of administration and can interrupt someone’s life/business, particularly if there are financial ramifications. Should you need to make a claim, insurance brokers will often have dedicated claims handling and management teams to ensure the underwriter makes good on the promise to pay.

So, where convenience is desired in finding an insurance solution, it’s best to weigh up the complexity of your requirements with the solutions a comparison site can provide. They certainly present a simple, easy-to-use platform for obtaining a quote – it’s always better to double-check with an expert.

To learn more about our services or claims team, contact us on 0115 798 0786.


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