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Price Comparison Sites? No Thanks

I’m a married man with a Mercedes Benz CLK coupé. I only use it for short trips (school run!) most of the time and the odd longer run on occasion. This is because my wife and I have another car more suited to longer journeys. I want the peace of mind of fully comprehensive insurance and I pay monthly for it. Each year I shop around before renewing and here are some of my experiences.

The shopping list

When I’m looking to renew my insurance I am fairly clear on what I want. This includes:

• the best price for the cover and service I want
• ease of obtaining a quote
• transparency of product
• full details of cover in plain, transparent English
• ease of accessing a quote
• ease of completing purchase of a policy

Shopping around

Because of my frustrations with price comparison sites I prefer to go directly to insurance companies. A lot of us will either stick with the company we have had a positive experience of or look at a few others to see if they can beat the current quote. I’m no different. Because of my age I’ve been with Saga. They’re not bad, it’s easy to renew, and they’ve been relatively competitive. Recently their quotes started to go up so I shopped around. Several were frustrating immediately because of the poor performance of their web pages, the complexity of the forms to be completed, and the silly amount of what I consider superfluous and unnecessary information requested. The RAC’s site didn’t like my computer and crashed several times whilst I tried to get through the initial questions (no problems with other sites open at the same time and my internet speed is good). Direct Line were the least frustrating of other companies I tried. Their on-line forms were easy to complete, they asked for much less information than other sites (especially price-comparison sites) and I got a quote within a couple of minutes. It was very competitive, easy to navigate the site, and a minimum of information was required.

Price comparison sites

What can be frustrating about some price comparison sites is that the initial “quote” is a guide. When I have been re-directed to the potential insurance provider’s own site there have been further questions that have resulted in a variation of the quotation. Having to give further information and detail was time-consuming and having to return to shopping around afterwards was frustrating.

Then there is the “We’d like to tell you about” clause; fail to untick the box or unsubscribe or whatever and you are bombarded with endless emails for eternity. A lot of price comparison sites require you to effectively sign up with passwords, memorable quotes, relatives’ names etc in order to be able to access the site and required information in the future. No thanks.

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