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
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
These sites all boast a fairly comprehensive coverage
of the UK insurance market:
Confused.com has access to policies from 96% of online
car insurers, and 65% of online home insurance providers.
Moneysupermarket.com searches through policies from over 50 car
insurance providers, 60 home insurers and more than 450 travel insurance
How Do These Sites Work?
Moneysupermarket.com, Confused.com and Comparethemarket.com
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
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, Moneysupermarket.com 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
Making Sure You Get the Cover
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?
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
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
For example, don't go skiing without winter sports cover on your
travel insurance - you'll find yourself unable to claim for anything
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