Comparison sites fail to deliverComparison site quotes aren't always reliable

24 March 2012

Home insurance policy

Use comparison websites carefully to ensure you get the right deals

Which? has discovered that customers searching for financial products are not always given the product they want or for the best price.

Our research has found that many of the top comparison sites use pre-selected answers and assumptions in their online forms. In some cases this makes quotes appear cheaper, but can result in you getting a policy that will cost you more in the long-run. 

Pre-selecting a high voluntary excess, before adding a compulsory excess could mean that a policyholder has to pay far more up-front in the event of a claim., for example, pre-selects a £400 voluntary excess. 

Comparison site assumptions

Assumptions when buying car insurance or home insurance, for instance, can create problems if they are missed when completing the online form. For instance, a box showing that the customer has no prior motoring convictions could lead to the policy being invalidated, if they actually do have some. 

Which? also found that some comparison sites add extra benefits to the quote, even if the customer may not want them. automatically added no-claims bonus protection, which could cost the policyholder more than they'd think. One quote we received resulted in a £75 increase in the total premium. 

Consumers doubt comparison sites

The problems highlighted with comparison sites have filtered through to consumers. In a survey, some 39% of those who searched for financial products on the sites chose not to make a purchase. Of these 14% said that they didn't trust the quotes they got, while 12% were unhappy with the quotes. 

More on this ...

  • Price comparison sites - further information on comparison sites
  • Recommended providers - the importance of choosing the best car insurance policies
  • Which? Money Helpline - for assistance when considering financial products