FCA criticise insurance price comparison sites over failings

The regulator asks: Do price comparison sites really help consumers to choose insurance policies or do they just confuse them further?

The Financial Conduct Authority have been looking into 14 comparison websites (which between them account for 90% of the market) and have found that many are failing regulatory standards. The sites that compare many types of insurance, have been found to be failing customers expectations and some even breaking the rules.

The websites have been criticised for focusing too much on price and failing to disclose other policy details such as the excess that would need to be paid out in the event of a claim. Customers do not realise that the quote given does not always assess the suitability of the policy for them and their individual needs.

The FCA also saw instances where comparison sites owned by insurance companies or brokers, were failing to clearly display potential conflicts of interest.

The BBC reported:

“Small print on Gocompare.com informs customers that it is 50% owned by insurance company Esure. Another site Confused.com is owned by Admiral Insurance but the site say they are a completely separate business and pride themselves on being impartial and independent. The FCA have found no evidence that’s such firms had profited as a result of their potentially conflicting interest.”

The watch dog said that it has been in contact with all of the firms it had identified problems with and will be conducting follow-up checks to ensure they have complied with regulations.

Price comparison sites may be seen as a popular, quick and easy way to shop for insurance but customers are advised to read through details of their policy carefully.

Here at Coast we do not appear on any price comparison sites. Instead we focus our attention on dealing with our customers directly and ensure each receives great customer service. Call today and we will be happy to talk you through your policy step by step. Based on your individual needs we will provide a quote that is right for you, Freephone 0800 614 849.