Price disparity among UK insurance aggregator sites a puzzle for consumers

The aggregator market continues to exert great influence over the personal lines sectors of insurance, with over two-thirds of all motor policies purchased via such sites in 2018. However, research from GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, shows that consumers are not offered the same policies for the same price across the sites.

The company’s latest report: UK Insurance Aggregators 2019’ reveals the extent of price variation across the four leading comparison sites, ComparetheMarket.com, Moneysupermarket.com, GoCompare.com and Confused.com, and lifetime pet policies is one particular example.

GlobalData’s shoparound exercises, conducted across the four leading aggregators in each of the personal lines, motor, home, travel, and pet, highlighted disparities in pricing in each product. The differentiation means consumers are justified in searching through multiple aggregators to find the best deal, an activity which itself limits customer ‘ownership’ by any one site. Consequently, this drives confusion and limits the convenience afforded by the comparison services.

Ben Carey-Evans, Insurance Analyst at GlobalData, says: “While it is no great surprise that prices vary between the sites, the scale of some of the differences is alarming. The sites pitch themselves as being on the side of the consumer, and they certainly have made the process of buying insurance a lot quicker. However, if consumers feel the need to start checking several sites, or even the emerging trend of a comparison site for the comparison sites then the aggregator’s greatest strength, its speed, will diminish.”

GlobalData found that even the most basic offering from the same provider varied significantly in price for the same profile of customer. Emporium was one of the four providers to appear in the top 10 with all the four aggregators, but even its most basic policy ranged from £222.40 (Confused.com) to £353.76 (ComparetheMarket.com, Moneysupermarket.com).

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