UK Insurance Aggregators 2020

Compare the Market increased its share of respondents in 2019, making up over 50% of the four main lines of personal lines insurance. Confused.com and GoCompare offer the cheapest premiums for life and non-life insurance products but also spent the most on advertising in 2019. Cited by 37.0% of respondents, the leading reason for consumers choosing to purchase insurance from a price comparison site (PCW) was because they had used the site before. The increased sophistication of aggregator platforms means they now sell commercial and life insurance products, but PCWs remain heavily reliant on the four main lines of personal insurance.

This report explores ever-changing consumer purchasing behaviors via price comparison sites. It identifies what is most influential to customers when selecting a policy through this channel and reveals the brand strategies of the four leading sites. Their approaches to advertising are also highlighted, as well as the key factors that will influence the market over the coming years, including regulation and new technology.

Scope

– PCWs’ most important market, motor insurance, experienced a 7.3 percentage point (pp) decrease in the uptake of purchases. This was due to a decrease in premiums for the first three quarters of 2019.

– There was a 4.2pp uptick in home insurance purchases through a PCW, reaching 26.7% of distribution. This was due to an increase in the cost of home insurance.

– SMEs still seek advice when purchasing insurance. Yet micro and small enterprises are more likely to purchase insurance through a PCW, with both seeing a 2.1pp uptick in aggregator purchases.

– Life products on PCWs experienced the greatest decrease in sales. Income protection decreased 4.9pp and critical illness decreased by 4.1pp. This illustrates that consumers still prefer to purchase life insurance in connection with their mortgage or through the advisory channel.

Reasons to buy

– Adapt your distribution strategy to ensure it still meets customer purchasing needs and behaviors.

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

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

– Learn about the differences in pricing between the top four comparison sites.

Companies mentioned

MoneySuperMarket

Confused.com

GoCompare

Compare the Market

BGL Group

Admiral Group

Competition and Markets Authority

Financial Conduct Authority

insurethebox

Saga

Quoteline Direct

InsureandGo

Coverwise

Paws & Claws

Purely Pets

Perfect Pets

Amazon

Google

Honcho

Weflip

Hastings

Bell

Alpha

Admiral

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.1. Aggregator web traffic is heavily reliant on returning customers

1.2. Key findings

1.3. Critical success factors

2. AGGREGATOR MARKET

2.1. Aggregators save customers time and increase competition

2.2. The PCW channel is strongest for motor insurance

2.3. The smallest businesses look to PCWs for commercial insurance

2.4. The PCW channel is less popular for purchasing life products

2.5. Startups tweaking the aggregator model are forcing established PCWs to innovate

2.6. Brolly and other insurers are addressing dual pricing

2.6.1. Insurtechs such as Honcho and Anorak make quotes more relevant

2.6.2. PCWs are modernizing their capabilities to remain competitive

2.7. The changing role of aggregators in the SME insurance market

2.8. The products generating more research traffic have seen higher sales

2.9. Conversion from research to sales in personal lines insurance

2.10. The size of the business determines SMEs’ pre-purchasing activity

2.11. Consumer purchasing behavior for life products through PCWs

2.12. Market distribution of SMEs on PCWs

2.13. Tougher enforcement of renewal transparency could pose a threat to auto-renewals

3. COMPARISON SITES BY CHANNEL

3.1. Reasons for consumers choosing PCWs over other purchasing channels

3.2. More competitive premiums and convenience drive SMEs to PCWs

3.3. Disparities in quotes offered by PCWs pose issues for insurers

3.4. Motor

3.4.1. The IPT rate could influence the future motor insurance market

3.4.2. The Civil Liability Act will further reduce PCWs’ motor market share

3.4.3. Average price varies considerably across the leading aggregators

3.5. Home

3.5.1. Home insurance premiums increased throughout 2019

3.5.2. Confused.com has the best value home insurance policies

3.6. Travel

3.6.1. Consumers are offered a wide range of affordable travel policies

3.7. Pet

3.7.1. Pet insurance policies can vary greatly on price, even among the cheapest policies

3.8. SME commercial insurance

3.8.1. PCWs deliver the same policy quotes for SME insurance

3.9. Life products on PCWs

3.9.1. Income protection

3.9.2. Comparing premiums for income protection across the PCWs

3.9.3. Critical illness

3.9.4. Comparing premiums for critical illness across the PCWs

3.9.5. Term assurance

3.9.6. Comparing premiums for term assurance across the PCWs

4. COMPARISON SITE PROFILES

4.1. Overall

4.2. Familiarity with a particular PCW influences consumer decision-making

4.3. Compare the Market

4.3.1. Compare the Market’s parent group recorded profit in 2019

4.3.2. Compare the Market launched an automated tool to keep up with startups

4.4. MoneySuperMarket

4.4.1. MoneySuperMarket leads the way in the mobile app space

4.5. Confused.com

4.5.1. Confused.com saw revenue and profits rise

4.6. GoCompare

4.6.1. GoCompare’s financial performance was positive in 2019

4.6.2. GoCompare has devised a five-point plan to improve insurance renewals

4.6.3. GoCompare looks towards fintech

5. MARKETING

5.1. Compare the Market’s advertising increased to almost £10m

5.2. MoneySuperMarket remains focused on TV advertising

5.2.1. Confused.com spent the most on advertising of the top four PCWs

5.2.2. GoCompare’s advertising spend continued to decline

6. APPENDIX

6.1. Abbreviations and acronyms

6.2. Definitions

6.2.1. Home insurance

6.2.2. Life insurance

6.2.3. Pet insurance

6.2.4. SME commercial insurance

6.2.5. SMEs

6.3. Methodology

6.3.1. GlobalData’s UK Insurance Consumer Surveys

6.3.2. GlobalData’s UK SME Insurance Surveys

6.3.3. Comparing the data with previous editions of this report

6.4. Secondary sources

6.5. Further reading

List of Figures

List of Figures

Figure 1: PCWs are more widely used to purchase personal insurance than commercial lines

Figure 2: Percentage of SMEs that purchased insurance on a PCW by size

Figure 3: Term assurance was the only life product to see an increase in purchases via PCWs

Figure 4: Usage of PCWs for research at renewal is widespread across different business lines

Figure 5: Conversion from research to sales fell in all lines except travel insurance in 2019

Figure 6: SMEs increasingly consulted PCWs for research purposes in 2019

Figure 7: Sole traders are most likely to visit a PCW before purchasing commercial insurance

Figure 8: Life products struggle on PCWs

Figure 9: Familiarity with PCWs drives return customers

Figure 10: Price is the main factor behind SMEs buying insurance via PCWs

Figure 11: Despite a sharp increase in Q3 2019, the average cost of premiums decreased

Figure 12: Confused.com is the cheapest option for motor insurance

Figure 13: Household premiums had a sharp increase throughout 2019

Figure 14: The price gap between sites is smaller for home insurance

Figure 15: The COVID-19 outbreak has affected travel insurance premiums for 2020

Figure 16: MoneySuperMarket had the fewest available pet insurance quotes

Figure 17: A lack of competition results in the same prices and providers for SME insurance on PCWs

Figure 18: Confused.com and GoCompare have the same partnerships with insurers

Figure 19: GoCompare offers the most competitive quotes for critical illness

Figure 20: The top four PCWs offer similar prices for term assurance

Figure 21: Compare the Market accounts for over half of the four personal lines markets

Figure 22: Compare the Market leads the way within the SME space

Figure 23: Confused.com remains the leading advertiser, but the gap is narrowing

Figure 24: Compare the Market’s spending on digital advertisements increased in 2019

Figure 25: TV dominates MoneySuperMarket’s advertising spend

Figure 26: Confused.com had a strong focus on radio advertisements in 2019

Figure 27: GoCompare’s advertisement spending decreased in 2019

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