UK Insurance Aggregators 2017

"UK Insurance Aggregators 2017", explores consumer purchasing behaviour through price comparison sites and how it is changing. It discovers what is most influential to customers when selecting a policy through the channel and reveals the brand strategies of the four leading sites. Their distinct approach to advertising is also highlighted, as well as key factors that will influence the market over the coming years, including regulation and new technology.

Aggregators remain a prominent route to market for private motor cover (the insurance product primarily established in the aggregator space) and to a lesser extent home insurance, travel insurance, and pet insurance and SME cover in turn. Growth is expected in the number of consumers turning to these platforms for cheap policies – although popularity is closely tied to the ebb and flow of rate movement driving shop-around behavior. As per our General Insurance Consumer Survey, aggregators are losing share of personal lines product distribution and are being utilized less for other purposes, such as research. However, the number of customers opting to switch provider at the end of a policy is increasing, and it is these consumers who would be most inclined to resort to aggregators to find a different policy.


– The main four aggregators have reported an improved year-on-year financial performance.

– Aggregators are receiving less web traffic despite continued investment in promotional activities.

– The big four have all launched new marketing campaigns despite their advertising expenditure continuing to fluctuate across the board.

– Over half of pet insurance customers now purchase through a price comparison website.

Reasons to buy

– Gather a greater understanding of how customers are utilising price comparison sites for research and purchase across car, home, pet, and travel insurance markets.

– Align your price comparison site partnership strategy with a view of how to maximise potential business; both by a view of the site’s competitive position and an understanding of how customers are engaging with quote listings.

– Be aware of which price comparison sites are returning the lowest price quotes, spending most on marketing, and applying various strategies to differentiate.

– Appreciate the weaknesses that remain in this distribution channel, and keep an eye on the new approaches, propositions and players that may well drive future opportunities.

– Adapt your distribution strategy to ensure it still meets customer purchasing behavior.

– Ensure you remain competitive as new innovations revolutionize the consumer purchasing journey.

– Be informed of how new technology could impact the aggregator channel over the next few years

Companies mentioned

BGL Group


Admiral Group

Competition and Markets Authority

Financial Conduct Authority






Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1.1. Aggregators remain relevant despite a decline in footprint 3

1.2. Key findings 3

1.3. Critical success factors 3


2.1. Introduction 9

2.1.1. Defining aggregators and their purpose 9


3.1. Mapping the aggregator customer 10

3.1.1. Aggregator influence is tailing off despite signs of growth 10

3.1.2. Continued growth of the direct channel indicates reduced aggregator usage 11

3.1.3. Aggregators are progressing despite a decline in distribution share 12

3.2. Aggregator use is primarily decided on familiarity 15

3.2.1. Customers remain loyal to an aggregator they are familiar with 15

3.2.2. Customer acquisition for smaller and newer comparison sites is a mountain to climb 15

3.2.3. Price is essential to influencing customer purchases on aggregators 17

3.2.4. Almost two thirds of consumers do not look past the top five quotes on an aggregator 18


4.1. Aggregators need to vary their approach to the market 20

4.1.1. and are the most dominant 20

4.1.2. offers consumers the cheapest average premium price 21

4.2.’s revenues hit record heights 22

4.2.1. enjoys record half-year sales 22

4.2.2. focuses on the characterization of the brand 22

4.3. reports strong insurance growth 23

4.3.1. recorded a strong financial performance in 2016 23

4.3.2. New investment in consumer tech aims to create more business opportunities 23

4.3.3. announces new GP partnership with Thomas Cook 24

4.3.4.’s television ads have not been well received 26

4.4. benefits from increased market competition and a refreshed advertising strategy 26

4.4.1. A competitive car market has helped improve’s financial performance 26

4.4.2. has benefited from an increase in car sales and insurance premiums 27

4.4.3. looks to revive its ad campaigns with the use of James Corden 27

4.5. profits jump after Gio Compario reintroduction 28

4.5.1. reports higher revenues and an increase in customer interactions 28

4.5.2. The return of Gio Compario sparks renewed interest in the site 29


5.1. Aggregators are seeing the effects of their advertising waver 30

5.1.1. The main four providers are seeing a decrease in web traffic 30

5.1.2. Total advertising expenditure fluctuates across the four main providers 31

5.1.3. Aggregator advertising has more of a positive impact on consumers 32

5.1.4. has moved away from television advertising 33

5.1.5. continues to favor television adverting 34

5.1.6. 2016 saw significantly reduce its advertising expenditure 35

5.1.7. is seeking to drive brand awareness more than specific products 36


6.1. Technology encourages window shopping in the aggregator space 38

6.1.1. Consumers often fail to follow through with a purchase on an aggregator platform 38

6.1.2. Aggregators can utilize connections to customer data to improve convenience 38

6.1.3. New digital insurance players set an example, offering more customer empowerment 40

6.1.4. Brolly's AI advisory model has potential for the aggregator market 41

6.1.5. PolicyGenius shows how to provide consumers with a more personal touch 41

6.2. Regulation seeks to improve aggregator competition 42

6.2.1. CMA renews investigation into insurance aggregator conflicts 42

6.2.2. A revamp of the initial application procedure could help mitigate underinsurance 43


7.1. Abbreviations and acronyms 44

7.2. Definitions 44

7.2.1. Home insurance 44

7.2.2. Pet insurance 44

7.3. Methodology 44

7.3.1. Primary sources 44

7.3.2. Secondary sources 45

7.4. Further reading 45

List of Tables

List of Tables

Table 1: Familiarity and cheap prices are the top two reasons for using an aggregator 17

Table 2: Annual average motor insurance premium 23

List of Figures

List of Figures

Figure 1: The use of aggregators to research insurance products is declining 11

Figure 2: The proportion of switchers using an aggregator is declining across motor and home insurance 13

Figure 3: Consumers switching at the end of a policy is rising for all but pet insurance 14

Figure 4: Customers are more inclined to opt for an aggregator they have previously used 16

Figure 5: Price is the most influential factor in personal lines when selecting an insurance policy on an aggregator 18

Figure 6: Customers typically select policies close to the top of the list on a price comparison site 19

Figure 7: and lead the way in the aggregator space 20

Figure 8: offers the cheapest average price within its top 10 quotes for an average driver 21

Figure 9:’s GO app aims to provide easy switching and comparative services to mobile customers 24

Figure 10: The Now GP mobile health platform connects patients with qualified GPs via remote video call 25

Figure 11: Motor insurance is the focal point on 28

Figure 12: has the most UK web traffic of the main four providers in 2017 thus far 30

Figure 13: Total advertising expenditure continues to fluctuate for the main price comparison sites 32

Figure 14: Marketing campaigns are more effective for the main four providers in comparison to the smaller 33

Figure 15: has reduced expenditure on television campaigns in favor of cheaper alternatives 34

Figure 16: Television is’s preferred marketing channel 35

Figure 17: pulled back on its advertising expenditure in 2016 36

Figure 18: Recent years have seen steadily increase its advertising spend 37

Figure 19: MyLicence can help aggregators better validate customers while also combatting application fraud 39

Figure 20: Digital Fineprint illustrates new elements comparison sites could leverage from social media linkage 40


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