January 19, 2016, 8:47 am

Making Sense of Online Insurance Comparison Sites

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Insurance
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With CNN echoing what a lot of us have long felt – that insurance premiums are seemingly getting higher with each passing year – it’s become increasingly more important to comparison shop car insurance quotes before you finally settle on a coverage. And thankfully today, it’s much easier to research car insurance costs than ever before. The Internet is packed with solid car insurance comparison websites that can help you find the right coverage at the right price – no matter your type of vehicle or situation.


Let’s make sense of online car insurance comparison sites below.


Using Insurance Comparison Websites

While shopping online for car insurance, it’s critical that you input the right information. Quotes are only as accurate as the information you provide, and so it is important that you enter your details carefully, and not just rough estimates. Once you feed in your details, you will see a number of car insurance quotes. These are mainly listed from the cheapest to the most expensive. As you review your online quotes, here are a few things you should be on the lookout for:


  • Does the quote include a discount for purchasing online?
  • Does the quote only apply to new clients and not existing ones? – This is especially important if you find that the cheapest quote is with your existing insurance provider as this rate may not be valid for you.
  • Does the quote have a no-claims discount?


Many online car insurance comparison sites offer the ‘basic’ insurance policy so it may not have provisions for no-claims benefit, legal expenses or windscreen cover. If you want to cover these risks, go for comparison websites that list offers beyond the minimum and basic policies.


Price isn’t Everything

It’s easy to get attracted to the cheapest coverage you see, especially when you’re comparing several car insurance quotes online. However, purchasing cheap coverage may cost you more in the long run if your policy does not provide the extent of coverage you need. Compare the quality of coverage as well as the price. Quality insurance comparison sites allow you to compare the benefits of each policy by factors such as:


  • Whether windshield coverage is included
  • Whether you get a discount if you pay by direct debit
  • Whether a courtesy vehicle is included


Car insurance shopping means striking a balance between the cost and quality of the coverage. Make sure that you consider all the benefits that are important to you, and remember that most car insurance comparison websites only acquire quotes from a small subset of insurance providers.

If you want to get the cheapest car insurance, you have to gather quotes from multiple car insurance comparison websites and compare the quotes from the insurance providers and not the comparison sites. Then you can go for the cheapest option that offers the coverage you want.


When you use most online comparison sites, you will click through to the insurance provider’s website to complete a purchase. However, there are other sites that offer full service purchasing within them, like CoverHound’s auto insurance quotes online comparison site. But regardless of the comparison or insurer site you use, there’s a good chance they’ll try offering you add-ons before you check out. Be weary of these add-ons. Make sure there are no other alternatives and that you actually need them before purchasing.


Know How the Website Makes its Money

Most comparison websites are not in the business of selling the products themselves; they will usually show you prices and details from insurance providers, and make their money either by:


  • Charging for advertisements that appear on their site
  • Charging for sponsored listings – some companies are likely to pay to have their insurance products appear at the top of the search results
  • Charging for click-throughs where a site will earn a commission when a website visitor clicks through to the insurance provider’s website and successfully purchases a product


Of course, as we mentioned above with CoverHound, this is not always the case.


How to Use Comparison Websites

  1. Know the type of policy and coverage you want. Use comparison websites to get insurance quotes, and not to find out the quality of a policy. Once you have an idea of the policy coverage you want, you are in a better position to find a great deal on comparison sites.
  2. Look at the pre-filled answers. Comparison websites make assumptions to make the process of finding quotes easier for you. This includes the use of pre-filled answers for a standard set of results. Always make sure that the details are right, or you may find out that you are not covered when you make a claim.
  3. No spam. It is your right to opt out of email and other marketing by ensuring that you check or uncheck related boxes. If you don’t, you are likely to get both phone calls and marketing emails, so read every page carefully.
  4. Check before your purchase. When transferred to the insurance provider’s site, always verify that all information is correct. Doing this ensures that you are purchasing the right insurance coverage.





Read policy documentation before you purchase. If the documentation is not included in the car insurance website, go to the insurance provider’s website. If no information is available, don’t buy the coverage. You need to make sure that your insurance coverage does cover when you make a claim.


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