How to find the best deal on your insurance using price comparison sites

You might make big savings on insurance by using price comparison websites, so it’s worth putting in a bit of time to get the best out of them. Remember they’re just showing you prices, not choosing the best product – you don’t have to pick the top result.

Top tips for using comparison sites

Always check more than one site

Different insurance companies appear on different comparison sites.

No single website can get you quotes from every single insurance company - and some big insurers, such as Direct Line and Aviva, don’t appear on comparison sites at all.

Know how they make their money

Comparison websites don’t sell products themselves, they show you details and prices from insurers and make their money in several ways:

  • they get paid from advertising which appears on their site
  • from ‘click-throughs’ where the site earns commission when a customer clicks through to the insurer’s website and buys a product
  • some sites earn money from sponsored listings, where companies pay to have their products appear at the top of the search results.

Cheapest isn’t always best

Comparison sites will try to hook you in by showing you lots of low prices.

Remember that the cheapest insurance policies might not be such great value.

They might have a high excess or not the right cover for what you want.

If you do select a product from a price comparison website, you’ll normally click through to an insurance provider’s website to complete the purchase.

At this point, certain insurance providers will try to sell you extra products (also known as add-ons).

Before you buy these extra products, it’s important to consider whether you really need them and how much they cost (as there will be alternatives).

First isn’t always best either

Comparison sites don’t give ‘regulated advice’.

That means they provide you with product information but not whether a policy has the type and level of cover suitable for your needs.

So, it's important not to assume the first result is the best. Especially because the first result in the list might be ‘sponsored’.

They’re not usually suitable for complex insurance

Many of the insurance policies featured on comparison sites are standard products and won’t necessarily take your personal circumstances and needs into account.

Also you might have questions about unusual or complicated insurance needs that comparison websites can’t answer.

For more complex insurance such as income protection, critical illness or private medical insurance, or if you do have unusual circumstances, speaking to a financial adviser or broker who specialises in the type of insurance you need and who can give you personal regulated advice is likely to be a better option that a comparison website. 

Don’t just ‘auto-renew’ with your current insurance provider

If you already have an insurance policy, whether that’s for your car or home or something else, it might be tempting to just ‘auto-renew’ when your insurer sends you a quote for the following year.

But even though insurers have to tell you how much your insurance premium cost the previous year to compare with their new quote, it’s important to take a few minutes to check on comparison sites to see if you can get a better deal with another insurer.

If you do find a cheaper price on a comparison site but don’t want to switch away from your current insurance, you might use any cheaper deals you find to haggle down your current insurer.

How to use price comparison sites for insurance

Step 1 – work out what policy and cover you need

Once you know the kind of insurance policy and level of cover you’re looking for, you’ll be able to use comparison sites to help you get a good deal.

If you’re using comparison sites to search for a good deal instead of renewing with your existing insurer, you can use the terms and level of cover for your existing policy as a good starting point.

Make sure you understand the different type of cover you’re searching for. For example, car insurance has three main types: ‘third party’, ‘third party fire and theft’ and ‘comprehensive’.

Step 2 – pay attention to which answers are pre-filled

Insurance is complex and relies on many details that are specific to you, but comparison sites often make assumptions so they can make the process simpler for you.

They sometimes use pre-filled answers to give you a standard set of results.

The policies they suggest might not be suitable if you have any non-standard requirements.

For example, if your house has a thatched roof or you’re over or under a certain age.

So it's important to check all the questions have been answered correctly.

You must make sure the details are right or you might not be covered if you need to make a claim if you do go ahead and buy the insurance.

Step 3 – use more than one comparison site

Comparison websites cover different providers and products – remember not all providers appear on comparison sites.

Step 4 – always check before you buy

When you’re transferred from the comparison site to the insurer’s site, it’s important to check all the information is correct.

If you don’t do this and incorrect information has been given to the insurer, you might end up paying for invalid insurance.

Finally, always read the documentation before you buy a policy.

If the documents aren’t available on the comparison site, click through to the insurance company’s own website to find and read the documents.

If you can’t find them, don’t buy the policy. You need to make sure it’ll cover you if you need to claim.

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MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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