Use of Auto Insurance Comparison Websites & Benefits

People’s perception plays a key role in how they approach digital platforms that allow them screen many companies at once. Their popularity is growing every day and most consumers view them positively. Motorists see them as valuable tools to complete a boring task quickly and efficiently. They are confident in finding the lowest rates for the best policies by using these mediums. Especially drivers who know how they used to go from one company to another to get quotes find it refreshingly helpful.

The Benefits of Using Car Insurance Price Comparison Websites

A study carried out in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) shed some light into consumers’ view of these platforms. Many participants quickly identified the benefits of using these mediums. Mostly they were pleased with the availability of such a quick solution. Here are some of the perceived advantages of them;

1.     There was little doubt that these platforms encouraged motorists to habitually shop around for the lowest vehicle insurance rates they can get.

2.     They pointed out that comparison websites significantly shortened an otherwise very long process. They allowed users to complete a potentially boring and complicated job painlessly and presented complex information in an easier to understand and follow through format.

3.     Participants were confident that these sites would deliver decent money savings by enabling them to locate the cheapest car insurance quotes. They would be able to find the right product for their needs. Also, comparing the large portion of the market would inform them of the available products and providers.

4.     People, who remember the days before the Internet searches, were pleasantly happy with the way these mediums were acting like a broker. They found it to be refreshingly impartial and let the users take full control of the research and purchasing process.

5.     They pointed out that they didn’t feel they needed to be experts to be roaming the products on offer and carriers offering them. They felt that they were making the choices on their own and were happy about it.

Motorists’ Use of Car Insurance Comparison Websites

Behaviors, while on the sites, appear to be influenced by people’s attitudes towards risk. Those who are concerned about the possible implications of not being insured properly tend to be more detail oriented. They research policy offerings more attentively and look into quotes and providers carefully beyond the price.  

Those who perceive that most products and providers are very similar and therefore the risk of making a mistake is limited, run through the quote forms quickly and painlessly. They are also heavily price oriented and little concerned about the carrier. They admit that they should probably take their time to examine more carefully. However, they are prepared to trust auto insurance rate comparison websites and the insurers on them in exchange for convenience and speedy conclusion. These are probably the people who wouldn’t check at all if they didn’t think it was easy and quick.

More financially savvy users of automobile insurance comparison sites see them as a simple tool for displaying various policy offerings. On the other hand, less savvy participants have a different view. They see PCWs as advising, guiding and determining the way information is curated and displayed. Perhaps the former is more accurate in most cases while there are some site operators who try to have more control over the presentation of quotes.

Perhaps it is worth pointing out the distinction between two commonly used methods. Some sites would allow the insurers to present their policies the way they like and let the visitors go directly to the actual source. Others may want the visitors to fill their quote forms and they choose who they present the information they gathered.   

Actually, people are aware that they should look further than the price and know more about selecting the right policy coverage. But they resist looking further as they think that it will complicate the process and take them away from the main purpose of quickly and easily comparing quotes.

Most motorists agree that they make a few assumptions when they choose to use third-party price comparison websites. When they enter their details and look at the results delivered, they assume that displayed policies and add-ons are pretty similar in the way they work and the level of coverage they offer.

The FCA survey found consumers are zoned into a single focus of getting the quotes that they are hardly influenced by pop-ups, advertisements and messages on car insurance comparison websites. Also, they don’t appear to be using any of the “information” or “help” functions in there. Some don’t even notice them. That means the follow through is strong and people are more interested in the products and providers, indeed.

Entering the Required Details on the PCWs

Some users felt that opportunities to interact with PCWs were limited and they would have liked more freedom to enter some of the details. More cautious type of participants indicated that they would talk to the auto insurer once they selected a policy so that they could ask some reassuring questions and make sure all the details have been recorded correctly. Others would be comfortable in assuming that their responses have been recorded accurately and the cover would be as they have chosen.

Most users appeared to pay attention to provide required details as accurately as possible. They were fully aware that they must enter the facts to ensure they will have the coverage in case of a claim. They were still comfortable with playing around with the levels of coverage to see how the price would change.

Reactions to Results from Car Insurance Price Check Websites

Search results were received differently depending on people’s perception. Some found them confusing and inconsistent. And they felt they needed further confirmation.

Most people appeared to take the results at face value and look for a combination of cheapest price, recognized insurer and highest number of “green ticks” or additional coverage.

The more careful drivers thought that it was difficult to get a like for like price comparison and pointed out that it was perhaps a shortcoming of PCWs, which were able to layout various products currently available in the market. With hindsight, it may not always be possible to have a perfect comparison of two policies from two different companies. And perhaps PCWs aren’t meant to give you all the answers you need. At the end, you will need to consider the options and make a choice.

Initially, people were surprised and puzzled to find that quotes from two sources can be as much as $1,000 different. Common belief was that the high quotes are from over-priced companies and the lowest prices are from competitive ones and offer good value for customers.

Motorists weren’t overly concerned about policies differing in quality or coverage. There was a sense they wanted to believe that lower quotes are the best option and these wouldn’t show up on the website unless they were trustworthy or viable.   

Occasionally, consumers realized that they have to pay for some of the add-ons shown (ticked) on the PCW when they went to the insurer’s site to purchase the policy. This goes to show that you need to be attentive to details to the end.

Source: FCA