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When did you last…Compare Insurances?

14 October 2022

Amidst the cost-of-living crisis, we are seeing rising costs everywhere and unfortunately, it’s no different for the various types of insurance. The easiest way to save money on insurance is to shop around for the best deal via comparison website such as MoneySuperMarket, GoCompare, or Compare The Market, who allow you to get quotes from hundreds of insurance policies to find the policy that will cost you the least. You give them your basic information about who you are and what you’re looking for, and then you’ll be offered a price for the type of policy you’re looking for.

What are the benefits of using a comparison website?

Price comparison sites are extremely useful for time poor people who know what they want, for example, a simple insurance policy and just want to get on with the purchase. They are easy, quick, offer plenty of information, and the buying process is a smooth one too.

The Pros:

Money Saving

When you use a comparison site, you input your data and the clever algorithms sift through all the relevant companies and then offer you up a list of those that can help, along with what they do and how much they will charge. You can then compare each one, and you might come across some companies that you had never heard of before and that you wouldn’t have considered if you hadn’t been presented with the information.

In this way, you can easily and quickly find the best deal, and save yourself a good amount of money in the process. Remember, though, to check what you get for your money – you might find that you are paying less but receiving less in return, so it pays to double check.


Who these days has the time to sit and plough through dozens of websites, inputting data into each one, and then comparing the results once you have them all?  The number will be a low one – there are very few of us who have that kind of time, and to be honest, even if we do find ourselves with a whole day of nothing to do, there are plenty of other pursuits that would be more enjoyable that searching for insurance.

Comparison sites make searching for a renewal quote, or even first-time insurance, convenient.  You can take a fraction of the time it would otherwise take and receive all of the information on one screen at one time.  You can even choose to have it emailed to you so you can think about it later.

Wide Choice 

There are loads of price comparison sites to choose from, and some will have the same companies on them, but there will be others that are unique to that particular comparison site.  What does that mean?  It means you can pick two or three comparison sites and input your data and have an even wider range of insurers to choose from. You’re sure to find a deal that suits you, and even if you do choose to use more than one comparison site, it will only involve you inputting your data two or three times rather than the dozens of times you’d have to do it if you went through each site individually. 

The Cons:

There Are Fees

The comparison sites aren’t doing this out of the goodness of their own hearts; they are there to make money, and they do this by charging a fee to the companies that feature on their sites.  It might be a one-off fee or a percentage; it will depend partly on the deal arranged and partly on the product bought.

Although this isn’t something you necessarily have to worry about, remember that the sellers will want to make their money back somehow, and it might be a more expensive way to use them than if you went to them direct.  Not only that, but smaller companies who don’t have much of a marketing budget but who would do an excellent job for you are effectively priced out of these sites and you’ll never get to see or hear about them.

Not All Sellers Use Them

Although there is definitely a wide range of sellers on each comparison site, they aren’t all going to be there.  This could be because, as above, they can’t afford the fees.  It might be because they can only pick one comparison site to be a member of, and it’s not the one you’re using.  Or it could simply be that they don’t want to – Direct Line is a famous example of this; they even use the fact that they aren’t on any comparison sites in their marketing.

When you use comparison sites, you won’t be getting a full picture of the market, and you could be missing out on an even better deal from a company that doesn’t subscribe.

The Personal Touch Is Gone

When you go to a supplier direct, you’ll often be given a point of contact, someone you can go to if you have any queries, and who will ensure that your product is going to give you exactly what you want it to.  This is not the case on a comparison site – you will be shown a list of potential products, and then you’re on your own.  You need to make the decision without any additional help or advice, and this can lead to people picking something that just isn’t what they need; they can be paying out for something that just isn’t going to help them if they need it to.


Price comparison sites are extremely useful for time poor people who know what they want, for example, a simple insurance policy and just want to get on with the purchase.  It’s easy, quick, offers plenty of information, and the buying process is a smooth one too.

For those who have more complicated needs, or who are unsure about the product to begin with, they might not be quite so useful; in fact, they can be positively harmful because the wrong product is bought.

It’s always wise to assess your own situation and needs before using a price comparison site. 

How to get cheaper insurance

Here are some top tips for finding cheaper insurance:

1. Pick a more comprehensive level of cover

More comprehensive levels of cover are often the cheapest options.  This is because insurers have noticed that people who take out less cover tend to make more claims.  So by taking out a more comprehensive level of insurance, you can pay lower premiums – and save money if you need to claim. 

2. Pay annually

Spreading the cost of your insurance might feel cheaper than paying your premium in one go, but it will probably cost you more in the long run.  Many insurance companies charge interest when customers opt to pay for their insurance monthly.  If you can’t afford to pay in one go, it’s worth considering other options such as paying on a 0% purchase credit card.  Just be sure to clear your balance in full before the 0% period ends.

3. Pay more excess

As a general rule, the higher the voluntary excess you agree to pay towards any claim, the lower your premium.  So try experimenting to see how much you could save by increasing the excess amount you are prepared to pay. 

Remember, though, that you’ll need to be able to afford your voluntary excess to make an insurance claim.

4. Avoid unnecessary extras

Car insurance policies, for example, come with a range of extra features,  such as legal expenses cover, windscreen cover or use of a courtesy car.  While they can be useful and bolster your protection, they will push up the cost of your car insurance package. 

5. Think about whether small claims are worth it

Making a claim means you are likely to pay more for insurance in the future.  So it’s worth doing the sums to see whether smaller claims are worth it – especially once you have taken the excess you have to pay towards the claim into account.

You can also get bigger discounts on your insurance by building up a no-claims bonus, with which you are rewarded for every year you go without making a claim.

6. Shop around

When your insurance is up for renewal, make sure shop around to find the best deal for the cover you need.  It’s easy to see how much you could save by comparing – just remember to make sure you’re comparing like for like cover.  

Some experts say the best time to renew your insurances is 21 days before your policy comes to an end.  “Insurers think you’re a low risk then, but if you leave it until the last moment, they think you’re a higher risk” says Martin Lewis.  So, be prepared and set yourself a reminder, or write it on your calendar to do it then.

The most popular comparison websites are listed below, and many will give away freebies just for using their site: