A study from experts at Which? has suggested that comparison sites don’t collect enough data to provide consumers with an accurate car insurance quote.
Do you buy your car insurance through a price comparison website? Experts have suggested that some sites could be charging up to £200 more than the going rate due to gaps in their data collection methods.
And while asking less questions inevitably speeds up the process of purchasing insurance, it also leads to the chosen insurer having to make costly assumptions on behalf of the driver.
In one case, the consumer group discovered that one insurer had wrongly assumed that the driver had previously made a claim for damage to their vehicle, simply because there was no option to state otherwise.
The questions answered when getting a quote via a price comparison website are agreed by a range of insurers on a panel rather than individually, meaning that some providers get different information than they would have received if the individual had gone directly to them for a car insurance quote.
Two unnamed insurance providers admitted that the difference in the data collected by car insurance comparison sites and that collected by them directly can lead to the exact same person receiving vastly different quotes.
Another example given by Which? is that of in-car technology, such as dashcams and other security features, which is known to reduce insurance premiums by up to 15%, but only four of the major car insurance comparison sites actually took this information into consideration.
It was also noted that, while it is compulsory to inform your insurer of any recent driving-related incidents, not all car insurance comparison sites allow you to specify whether or not these incidents led to making a claim – in fact, when contacting two insurance companies after getting a quote, both said that they had adjusted the premium unfairly due to the restricted amount of information given to them by comparison sites.
One insurer, Churchill, reduced the premium by more than £200 after adjusting the information to better reflect the driver’s circumstances.
What’s been said?
A spokesperson for Hastings Direct told Which? that despite encouraging their partnered price comparison websites to be as specific as possible when retrieving data from potential customers, it is ‘ultimately their decision to make’.
Also responding to the research from Which?, a spokesperson for Churchill said that said that if ‘anyone purchasing through a price comparison website is unsure of what details need to be provided, then there is still an opportunity for them to phone their preferred company to provide any further detail, should they feel it might have an impact on their premium.
Editor for Which? Money, Jenny Ross, described the revelations as ‘concerning’, stating that motorists should ‘look at various levels of cover from different providers, and shop around every year’ to make sure they get the best possible deal.
Should I use a car insurance comparison site?
In many cases, using car insurance comparison sites like Confused.com, MoneySupermarket and Compare The Market is the best way to get a cheap car insurance quote – however, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t get a quote directly from the insurer as well.
There are even some reputable car insurance providers not on comparison sites, meaning that you could be missing out on a cheaper quote elsewhere by getting quotes solely from comparison websites.
Which insurers are not on comparison websites?
It is a common misconception that all of the ‘big’ car insurance providers are accessible via comparison websites – some insurers, like Admiral, only offer some of their products there with popular options like Admiral Multicar only available to those buying directly from them.
For a full breakdown of the best car insurance companies not on comparison sites, learn more here.
Car insurance with Bobatoo
If you’d rather not go down the route of a car insurance comparison site and don’t wish to contact insurers directly, another option is to get a free quote today with Bobatoo. Simply tap the green button below: