Insurance Comparison Sites
Over 10 million of us use comparison websites when it comes to finding the best car insurance deal and why not? Surely it’s better than spending hours trawling through different car insurance providers?
But let’s be clear on something, not all comparison websites are as clear as they should be!
The FCA aims to clamp down on these comparison providers with a strict guideline on all comparison companies to ensure that they make it crystal clear to customers what products are being compared. With a whopping £650 million being paid out to these digital comparison tool operators in a number of ways mainly through the commission that they earn as a result of getting customers to click-through to insurance companies.
How they make money you ask? Well for some of these sites they are paid a commission every time someone uses their site to find the right insurance and then gets transferred through to the actual insurance company. Some will receive commission purely for redirecting potential customers whilst some will need to ensure that their ‘lead’ is converted to an actual ‘sale’ before they are paid by the company the customer decides to use. Whilst the majority of comparison websites are fully compliant with FCA regulations, some offer the most basic information to their customers in order to achieve the click-through rate they want. Some can be misleading and provide very little information on the actual product itself which can then lead to customers not really getting the deal that they initially thought they was getting.
One way of ensuring that you are using a reputable comparison website it by checking that they are FCA regulated, this way there is some means of redress should you have a complaint about the service that you received from them. According to a survey by YouGov many of us are not fully aware of what we are paying on top of our insurance premium just because we have selected our insurance company through the sure of an online comparison website. Hidden charges can be just one area that we need to be aware of and any comparison website worth its salt must make sure that its customers are clear about any extra charges they will incur for using the site in the first place. Another concern for some is ensuring that you protect your personal details and making sure that the website does not retail any of your personal details or sell them on to third parties who it believes you may be interested in, you can do this by not ticking any boxes that asks if you are happy to receive further information about other companies,
My main issue it making sure that the products and services offered to me are ones that are specific to what I need and my own set of circumstances, one thing I have learnt is to make sure that if I do use a comparison website that they don’t preselect drop down boxes for me – your circumstances are unique to you and so make sure you check every box or option that is on the site to get the tailored package you wanted in the first place. After all one size doesn’t necessarily fit all!
Saying that, there is a wealth of really great comparison websites out there who don’t actually charge the customer a penny. This is because these companies receive their commission direct from the many different insurance providers on their panel of top UK insurers. They will provide an over view of all of the products offered by the UK companies that they work with and will base their search on the details that you have provided them with and not just show you the results that bags them the biggest slice of the pie.
Word of wisdom from me, check for FCA status, double-check that you won’t be charge or at least find out what the charge and if in doubt just don’t use them.