By entering your information just once, a car insurance comparison site can make it easy to get instant quotes from multiple insurers. However, even though you supply the same personal data, the prices you get between comparison sites can often be very different.
Reasons for the difference
There are a number of reasons why different comparisons can produce different results and prices:
Comparison sites only compare rates from insurers they have agreements with. Some comparisons might include insurers that others do not include.
You will notice on some comparison sites that they state how many companies they compare.
- Confused compare 132 insurers
- GeneralSure compare 110 insurers
- MoneySuperMarket compare over 100 insurers
- CompareTheMarket compare 137 insurers
- GoCompare compare 140 insurers
Whilst including more insurers in the comparison provides a better market coverage, it doesn’t always mean you’re getting the best price from an individual insurer.
Even though a specific comparison site includes the same insurers as others, they may have negotiated better rates just for their site from certain companies. This is why you might sometimes see a different price for the same insurer on different comparison sites.
Unique products or schemes
Insurance companies often have multiple car insurance product offerings. For example, they may have a young driver product, a telematics product, an older driver scheme or a classic car option.
Even though a comparison site includes a specific insurance company, it might not have access to all the products and schemes offered by that insurer and so therefore cannot include all the rates that company has available in the comparison.
On the other hand, other comparisons may have negotiated with an insurer to include rates from multiple products and so the customer will see a more in-depth comparison of prices from that company.
Comparison sites are essentially referring customers to insurance companies. They are not taking on the risk themselves. They make their money by charging the insurer a commission or broker type fee.
The fee that a comparison site takes from the insurer will be part of the contract agreement they have between each other.
Although comparison sites do not charge the customer directly, the rates they offer may take into account any fees they charge the insurer.
By far the best way to ensure you’re getting the cheapest rate is to get a quote from as many comparisons as you can. It only takes a few minutes to visit each one and by doing so you are getting a larger market coverage.
There are really only a handful of comparisons as many others are simply using a rebranded version of an existing comparison, known as a white labelling. For example, Uswitch uses the Confused comparison.