The recently launched Tesco Compare online insurance website has been much feted by the giant supermarket chain. The question is does it offer anything new to motorists searching for the best motor deal on the market.
We have already seen the growth of insurance aggregators such as MoneySupermarket.com, Confused.com, and uSwitch et al. This proliferation of comparison sites led Direct Line to counter with it’s own marketing claims:
- You won’t find us (Direct Line) on comparison websites
- Take out the middleman and you could avoid extra costs
- Benefit from unique features such as no excess to pay if you’re hit by an uninsured driver with our comprehensive cover.
Many individuals and groups are also starting to question the validity of these comparison websites. Claims of researching the ‘car insurance market’ to bring you the best value deal are not always quite what they seem.
Specifically, one of the complaints that Direct Line made about the aggregators was about the ownership of the comparison sites. Suggesting that perhaps the price comparison sites might be biased in favour of their owners!
What many people don’t realise is that many of the competing brands of insurance advertising on your TV screens every day are all owned by a relatively few companies, and very little mention is made of the links between them. Direct Line have been very quick to point out the following ownership issues with the aggregators:
Confused.com owned by Admiral. They (Admiral) also own elephant.co.uk, Bell Direct and Diamond (car insurance for women).
GoCompare are “independent” but have received a £30m loan from esure.
Compare the Market is owned by Budget. Rather dubious here as all of the brands quoted are Budget group companies! They (Budget) also own Dial Direct and Junction who run the insurance arms of the Post Office, Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Bradford & Bingley, Homebase and yesinsurance.com.
The bottom line here is when shopping around for a first time policy or renewal make sure you get at least three quotes, from three different sources, online or offline.