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Getting Your Insurance Quote from Price Comparison Websites

A growing number of people now find and buy their insurance through one of the big price comparison websites. But are they getting the best possible deal?

The Observer newspaper reviewed the main comparison sites' car insurance offerings and found that these sites certainly can find most buyers a good deal, but that you still have to put in a little work yourself to find the best possible offerings.

We've put together this guide to buying insurance through comparison sites to help you find the best possible insurance quotes and save you the legwork of getting quotes from each insurer individually.

Most of the price comparison sites cater for all the most common insurance requirements:

  • Motor insurance
  • Home insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Life insurance

For our review, we've chosen the same well-known and reputable price comparison sites that were featured in The Observer's article:

MoneySuperMarket     Confused     CompareTheMarket

These sites all boast a fairly comprehensive coverage of the UK insurance market: has access to policies from 96% of online car insurers, and 65% of online home insurance providers. searches through policies from over 50 car insurance providers, 60 home insurers and more than 450 travel insurance products.

How Do These Sites Work?, and all work in the same way:

You enter all your details into a single form.

The comparison site then contacts all the insurance companies possible and requests a quote for you, based on your details.

Within a few minutes, you are presented with a list of the cheapest insurers for your needs.

You can then view the policy details for each quote, make any changes you might want, and buy the policy – or save it and come back later.

Can I Trust Them To Offer Me The Best Deal?

At this point, you might be a bit sceptical – the comparison sites must be getting a commission from the insurance companies, so shouldn't it be cheaper to go directly to the insurers and avoid the commission?

Unfortunately, it usually isn't any cheaper if you go direct – this is why:

Insurance companies usually charge the same premium whether the policy is sold directly or through a third party – the commission is built-in to the premium.

The comparison sites get a lot of extra sales for the insurance companies – it's like cheap advertising for the insurers.

In fact, is so valued by the insurers that they are reportedly paid simply to include the insurers' products in their searches!

So although the price comparison sites are all paid by the insurance companies, just like brokers and financial advisers, they can still offer you the best deals and save you doing all the legwork yourself.

Making Sure You Get the Cover You Need

Although the insurance comparison sites can give you the best deals, they cater for a lot of different requirements and it is your job to make sure that the policies you are offered match your requirements - no more and no less.

There are a few tips for buying insurance that will help you get the right cover:

  • Shop around - don't just choose the first quote you get

  • Know what you need – if possible, make a list in advance.

  • Only buy the cover you need – remove unnecessary extras.

  • Make sure you are covered – are you eligible for the cover you have bought?

Shop Around

Even when using a price comparison service, it is important to compare the products you are offered:

Often, the exact cover provided by each of the policies being quoted is not the same – the voluntary excess might be different, for example.
Try getting quotes from more than one of the comparison sites – sometimes they will give slightly different prices, even from the same insurer.

Know What You Need

It may sound obvious, but you should decide exactly what cover you need before you start looking, or you could end up paying for cover you don't want:

If you are looking for car insurance, do you need legal cover and a courtesy car? These extras can bump up your premium, but are essential for some drivers.
With household contents insurance, items over a certain value are not usually covered unless they are individually listed – jewellery is a good example.

Only Buy the Cover You Need

Different insurers have different basic offerings – some insurers will include every possible extra in their standard quotation, making it seem more expensive.

Others will not include any extras in their quotes, making them seem cheap – but beware, once you have added in the extras you need, you may find they don't represent such good value. Read the policy details carefully.

Make Sure You Are Covered

You've found a policy and it offers the cover you need. But would you be able to claim successfully?

To ensure you are protected, follow these rules:

Honesty is the best policy – insurance companies usually find out if you have failed to declare something that invalidates your policy.

Read the policy fully – if it doesn't explicitly mention the cover you need, don't assume it is included. It probably isn't.

For example, don't go skiing without winter sports cover on your travel insurance - you'll find yourself unable to claim for anything skiing-related.

Ask before you buy – you can always save your quotes online and come back later.

Compare and Save Money!

Price comparison sites are a great way to access a wide range of insurers – more than you could ever contact directly yourself. It is worth trying more than one comparison site though, as different insurers offer the best deals to different people.



UK Insurance Guide Information © Moneysorter Ltd | Author: By Ed Parry 1999 - 2013