Aggregators accelerate online car insurance

Your recent article “Online car insurance boom slowed by website glitches” (MW May 12) has caused much scratching of heads within the car insurance industry.

“Websites that keep freezing or crashing”? Was this research undertaken in the Nineties? Granted, sites up to three years ago did have some difficulties, but technology has come on in leaps and bounds since, and with broadband in an increasing number of homes and businesses, problems such as these should be negligible.

Another concern that I have relates to the claim that in order for consumers to feel quotes are valid, a search has to include at least one of the “big six” companies. This suggests that if you have one big name,

customers will end their search. This simply is not the case. Time and again our research shows that what people really want is a service to search all car insurance sites simultaneously, so that they can see the cheapest prices – from all providers

Furthermore, price, not brand, is the biggest deciding factor for car insurance. In fact, 73 per cent of people base their car insurance purchase on price, while only 13 per cent base it on the brand.

One good point that Tom Woods raises is that “confusion over why prices and cover vary so much between insurers, all adds to the ‘noise’ and anxiety surrounding purchase decision-making.” Most people do get confused when they search for car insurance, but this is more often than not because they inevitably give differing information every time they use a website or call to get a quote. It is exactly for this reason that aggregators have been set up to ensure that drivers can put in their information once, to get a full and accurate like-for-like comparison.

Undoubtedly, reliable, user-friendly sites are key to encouraging more people to search for insurance online, but it will be those sites that shop around for consumers to find the cheapest deal – saving time and hassle – that will be the future of the car insurance sector.

Kate Armstrong

Managing director

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