Users of comparison sites are seeking features rather than price, research suggests.

Research from has suggested that insurance purchases made through comparison sites are driven by more than price.

The internal research, which examined all motor insurance quotes provided to customers in April, revealed that 45% of the aggregator’s motor customers did not buy the insurance that was listed as the cheapest.

From that result, the aggregator concluded that almost half of its customers were considering other factors when choosing motor insurance, such as level of cover, excess or key features such as warranties, courtesy cars, windscreen cover or no claims bonus protection.

According to Kal Samra, managing director of Comparethemarket: “For a long time our broker and insurer colleagues have protested that price comparison sites are commoditising the market and bringing everything down to price. But our own experience proves that this isn’t the case.”

Neil Walker, motor manager for Allianz, added: “Insurance should never be bought on price alone, particularly where the price may be influenced by higher excesses or where the policy may provide less cover than actually required.

“Aggregators can provide customers with a useful starting point. But as well as the right price, customers should always ensure they have the right level of cover for their personal circumstances.”

The research backs up recent findings from GfK NOP. In a UK-wide survey of 60,000 consumers, the research company revealed that 19% of respondents in 2007 said they would choose a home insurance provider based on features, compared with 14% in 2002.

Meanwhile, Biba last week welcomed as a member. It said Gocompare’s philosophy of comparing insurance products on their suitability to individuals’ requirements as well as price was aligned with its calls for price comparison websites to provide clear and fair information, and to ensure they did not mislead consumers.