Calls for regulation of car insurance comparison sites heard

Calls have been made for more regulation to be applied to car insurance comparison sites in order to safeguard customers, one consumer watchdog recently remarked.

The Which? consumer group says that these online car insurance sites need to be held accountable for how they treat their customers, as some less reputable sites have been accused of using unfair and obscure practices.  The consumer watchdog found that many of the more popular online providers of discount car insurance quotes were using assumptions and pre-selected answers in their online forms, which could lead to policies being found invalid in the face of an accident.

A researcher from Which? applied for cover at 11 different comparison websites last month, taking the five least expensive price quotes from every site.  While the researcher entered identical details in every instance, quotes ranged from a high of £660.20 to a low of £310.28.

A survey conducted by the watchdog in January to dovetail with the 11 website study revealed that customer satisfaction levels had dropped slightly over the past 12 months.  The survey, which polled nearly 9,200 members, discovered that last year’s overall satisfaction figure was 46 per cent, but the current survey found this figure declining to 42 per cent.

The study found that the insurance industry’s playing field was even, with satisfaction levels of the lowest-rated car insurance companies on par with even the highest rated car insurance comparison sites.

Richard Lloyd, executive director for the consumer group, said that customers looking for the best deals will need to pay careful attention to each comparison site they visit in order to accomplish their goals.

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