New research has contradicted Biba’s damning report on price comparison sites

New research has contradicted Biba’s damning report on price comparison sites, which last week prompted the FSA to launch an investigation into the burgeoning industry.

Consumer Intelligence, an insurance benchmarking and consumer research company, claims that more than 80% of people who used a price comparison site last year would do so again in the future, and that less than 20% of consumers think the price they see on the site is the price they will end up paying.

The research also suggested that people who use price comparison sites are the most price sensitive in the market, with 79% saying price is very important to them, compared to just 67% of people who don’t use price comparison sites.

Consumer Intelligence questioned 4,000 consumers who bought motor insurance between November and December last year.

FWD, which carried out the research for Biba, questioned 250 people, 125 of whom had used price comparison sites.

The sample size has received some criticism in the national press, but FWD this week insisted it was robust and in line with the market research code of conduct.

Its research suggested that 84% of consumers believe price comparison sites can be confusing and that only 6% believe the policy details are explained fully.

Ian Hughes, managing director of Consumer Intelligence, said: “Our research shows that the people who use brokers are much more interested in service and other, non-price related items.

“The public seems to know which way it wants to go – those who value price are buying on price, those who value service are buying on service.

“If Biba truly believes that consumers need more information then it should be spending money on an education programme to persuade consumers not just to look at price.”

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