I read Jason Hulott's comments on aggregator websites with great interest (www.insurancetimes.co.uk, 28 April).

While Mr Hulott makes some valid points, there are other factors that deserve due consideration.

Brokers are now very aware that the internet has become the best source of new business out there. According to a Research & Markets survey, the number of people searching for and arranging insurance online doubled between 2003 and 2005, and there are now 7.6 million online quotes generated each month.

With 11 million sites offered up from a single Google search, it can be confusing for consumers to find what they are looking for and increasingly difficult for brokers to stand out in the crowd.

With this in mind, aggregators such as moneysupermarket.com which give consumers access to a range of financial service providers, can provide an effective solution.

It is fair to say that the majority of the general public are not experts in insurance. Aggregator sites provide a 'one stop shop' for an indicative quote, which is subject to confirmation, and which allows them to make comparisons and an informed decision when they come to buy their insurance.

For brokers, relationships with aggregators have become by far the most viable route to generating online business, enabling them to pass on expensive business-to-business consumer marketing to a third party. It gives brokers the chance to compete with directs without having to spend millions on advertising.

The reality is that aggregator websites are now an integral part of the insurance market and there is a powerful business case for investing in this distribution channel.

By adopting new technology that genuinely supports this medium, we can ensure that online portals aggregate accurate quotes - rather than aggravation - for the consumer and ensure a healthy stream of business for brokers.

Rick Slater
General manager