A Question of Money: ‘Can you recommend a price comparison website?’: Belfast Telegraph

Posted on August 20, 2009 · Posted in Belfast Telegraph

 

Q. I want to reduce the cost of my car insurance. I know there are lots of price comparison websites, but I don’t know which to use. Can you recommend some? AN

 

A. It is sensible to use more than one of the price comparison websites and see if they reach the same conclusions.

This is particularly important with car insurance, as several British insurers will not offer cover in Northern Ireland. Price comparison websites may check a limited number of insurers, so you may not draw a large enough range of quotes. By using more than one comparison website you increase the pool of potential insurers.

You might also compare the best prices against those offered by direct insurers and an insurance broker.

There are concerns about some price comparison websites that earn commission from the companies that win business through them. Two codes of practice have been drawn-up — one from Consumer Focus on energy price comparison sites. While energy price comparisons are not relevant here as we have limited competition in the market, a Consumer Focus symbol should provide confidence in a website’s objectivity.

Last month another code of practice was launched, which should gain the membership of all reputable price comparison websites.

At present only Beatthatquote.com is a full member of the scheme. Sean Gardner is head of the Comparison Consortium, which operates the code of practice. He says that other websites are in the process of ensuring their systems are fully compliant with the code of practice.

They have to go through due diligence first, which can take some time, he says.

When sites are approved they will display a CCA sign with a tick, or similar sign of code compliance.

Price comparison websites that are involved in the Comparison Consortium and which Gardner expects to become fully compliant with the code include many of the leading operators in the field, which can therefore be regarded as trustworthy.

These include Moneysupermarket.com, Confused.com, TescoCompare, MoneyExtra.com, uSwitch.com and Moneyexpert.com.

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