Brokers face loss of income as some comparison sites clamp down.
Brokers that use price comparison sites are set to lose out, following a move by some of the sites to clamp down on cross-selling.
Biba has received complaints from brokers that have found clauses in their contracts that stop them cross-selling policies to customers who find them through the sites, also known as aggregators.
This cross selling – for example, selling a household policy to a customer who has signed up for a motor policy – is a key source of income for brokers.
To compete effectively on price comparison sites, brokers often sacrifice their own fees to tempt customers, knowing they can make the money back through cross-selling other products.
Graeme Trudgill, Biba technical and corporate affairs executive, said: “Brokers have always cross-sold business across their books and developed relationships with clients. It is a concern for our members that it has been highlighted to Biba that there are some clauses that inhibit the ability to cross-sell, and this is affecting their book of business.
“Our members are not happy about this.”
Debra Williams, managing director of Confused.com, said she was shocked that some competitors were trying to stop cross-selling. She added that all aggregators should give brokers the best chance to retain business. “This is exactly why the industry gets a bad reputation,” she said.
Williams said Confused.com placed no restrictions on cross-selling. She said that to give brokers the best chance of retaining customers and renewing business, Confused did not solicit customers on the product they purchased until two years after the transaction took place.
She said: “Brokers usually make money from ancillary sales, not from selling the actual policies so we think this is only fair.”
Trudgill said Biba would be meeting aggregators to discuss this.