Gocompare chief says 'lows rates are insurers responsibility, not ours'

Hayley Parsons, Gocompare.com’s chief executive, has defended aggregators against claims that they are responsible for keeping rates low.

Speaking at a Biba conference seminar called ‘The growth of internet selling, how can brokers compete?’, Parsons said that price comparison sites should not be blamed for rates failing to harden.

“There is no doubt that rates have been held down in recent years,” she said. “But we don’t set the rates.”

She highlighted insurers’ claims costs as one area that should be addressed to increase rates.

Patrick Smith, the former chief executive of Swinton who recently stepped down to become chairman, told the seminar that the motor insurance market was a good example of how brokers could use the internet. “There is no doubt that the internet has taken a dominant position in our industry,” he said.

However, he warned that insurers faced “significant challenges” if they wanted to make money on the internet.