Consumer Intelligence's research for January 2004 reveals a dramatic change in the top performers in the motor insurance sector. For the first time since external monitoring began, nearly 50% of all companies in the league table are brokers and one is a high street broker. This comes at a time when Norwich Union has closed HHH because it is concerned about the growth of supermarket insurers.

The movement of brokers into the top ten shows they have learned lessons about negotiating policies and commission sacrifice from the supermarkets. Couple this with their ability to close deals and hey presto!

The dramatic shift in the market shows how important it is for consumers to shop around. It also shows that the major direct players should not take the demise of the broker for granted. Price Check research shows that quite the reverse is true.

The entry of Abbey and Cornhill Direct into the monthly payment table shows the tightness of pricing among providers. Their policy of not charging interest on monthly payments effectively reduces their annual premium by around 10%. For customers who prefer to pay by Direct Debit, these two companies suddenly become serious players.

Price Check represents just one of the 124 metrics measured by Consumer Intelligence, which benchmarks the price and service performance of direct financial services providers. Clients receive independent, actionable data that enables them to flex their offering to gain competitive advantage. For more information, call Andy Akerman on 0117 311 8340 or log on to