Kate Armstrong’s letter was such a poke in the eye that I thought I should respond (MW May 26.)
She was perhaps right to pick up on the idea of sites “freezing and crashing” as being a bit out of date – this wouldn’t have been my choice of words either.
In fact, what our research uncovered is that consumers routinely fall out of the quote process because they reach dead-ends or unsolveable usability problems.
Thirty-three per cent of the 129 quotes started by respondents in our research were not finished. Bad usability and poor communication were the biggest cause of this fallout. Even on the Confused.com site.
Kate is right that aggregation is the future of the online insurance market. Consumers are hungry for aggregated comparison content. They don’t have to trawl around hundreds of sites to find a better credit card, so why can’t one site be a source of comprehensive comparison content for car insurance?
But the fact is that aggregate sites do not yet deliver. In our research, neither of these aggregators provided enough quotes to convince shoppers that they could stop shopping around. Clearly aggregation it is not yet in its final, mature form.
Meanwhile, shoppers continue to suffer in an inefficient market that reflects the way insurers want to sell their product, not how consumers want to buy it.