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Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Price Comparison Sites in Financial Services market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report looks at consumers’ use of price comparison websites when looking to research or arrange financial services products, specifically:

  • Car insurance
  • Home buildings and/or contents insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Pet insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Gadget insurance (e.g smartphones, laptops, etc)
  • Private Medical Insurance
  • Other insurance products

Mintel’s consumer research explores the frustrations consumers experience when using price comparison websites. The report also looks at how likely consumers are to share their data with a comparison site, and what factors are important when deciding whether to share. It also analyses consumer attitudes towards price comparison websites, and specifically consumer attitudes towards different brands.

What you need to know

Consumers have mostly positive experiences of using price comparison websites, with the majority recognising that this is often the only way to find the best deal for a product. However, they still experience frustrations, namely having to use multiple sites to check for the best deal and receiving irrelevant product suggestions.

Price comparison websites are well suited to searching for insurance, where consumers prioritise the overall cost of the product. However, for other products, more factors come into play, and this is when people are more likely to encounter issues, resulting in lower purchase rates.

The launch of Open Banking in early 2018 has brought with it a number of opportunities for price comparison websites to develop their propositions. However, it also poses a major challenge, by making it easier for other types of firms to offer digital comparison tools. With the regulators still very much focused on increasing competition, price comparison websites will face a major challenge to keep up with new innovations and retain their market share.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Jessica Galletley, a leading analyst in the Financial Services sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Price comparison websites dominate the insurance market, but are less prevalent in other areas of financial services. More needs to be done to improve the search journey for products like current accounts and credit cards, such as by offering better filtering tools and capturing consumer preferences. Jessica Galletley
Senior Financial Services Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • FCA to tackle dual-pricing in insurance
              • Companies and brands
                • CompareTheMarket is the most commonly used PCW for researching insurance
                  • Figure 1: Price comparison websites used for researching insurance products, August 2019
                • Big four looking to continue growing beyond insurance
                  • PCWs spent £124 million in ATL advertising
                    • Figure 2: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by price comparison websites on financial services, by media type, 2018/19
                  • High-profile and long-running campaigns drive positive perceptions of PCWs
                    • Figure 3: Attitudes, by brand, October 2019
                  • The consumer
                    • 72% have used a PCW to research insurance
                      • Figure 4: Products researched through a price comparison website, August 2019
                    • Car insurance has the highest conversion rate
                      • Figure 5: Products purchased through a price comparison website, August 2019
                    • 12% spend less than 15 minutes researching at renewal
                      • Figure 6: Time spent researching an insurance policy renewal, August 2019
                    • Convenience is key
                      • Figure 7: Most important factor when using a price comparison website, August 2019
                    • PCWs generally perceived to be superior to buying direct from insurers
                      • Figure 8: Price comparison websites vs insurers, August 2019
                    • 87% would buy direct, but there’s no silver bullet to attract consumers
                      • Figure 9: Reasons to buy directly from an insurer, August 2019
                    • People trust traditional PCWs over alternative providers of aggregators
                      • Figure 10: Tech giants and PCWs in insurance, August 2019
                    • Customer service and data security can draw consumers to tech giants
                      • Figure 11: Reasons to consider a PCW run by a tech giant, August 2019
                    • What we think
                    • Issues and Insights

                      • Price is often the focus but delivering convenient solutions is the key
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • PCWs hold a unique advantage in how they are perceived by consumers
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                  • FCA to tackle dual-pricing in insurance
                                    • People increasingly reliant on mobile devices to shop and manage finances
                                    • Regulatory and Legislative Environment

                                      • FCA to tackle dual-pricing in insurance…
                                        • … which is likely to have a big impact on the home and motor markets
                                          • CMA delays decision on CompareTheMarket’s “most favoured nation” clauses
                                          • Market Drivers

                                            • 91% UK adults are recent internet users
                                              • People are increasingly reliant on mobile devices to shop and manage finances
                                                • The return of the savvy shopper
                                                • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                  • CompareTheMarket is the most commonly used PCW for researching insurance
                                                    • Big four looking to continue growing beyond insurance
                                                      • PCWs spent £124 million in ATL advertising in 2018/19
                                                        • High-profile and long-running campaigns drive positive perceptions of PCWs
                                                        • Market Share

                                                          • CompareTheMarket is the most commonly used PCW for researching insurance
                                                            • The PCW market is dominated by the big four
                                                              • Figure 12: Price comparison websites used for researching insurance products, August 2019
                                                            • 58% used more than one price comparison website
                                                              • Figure 13: Repertoire of price comparison websites used, August 2019
                                                          • Competitive Strategies

                                                              • CompareTheMarket: parent group exploring Open Banking opportunities
                                                                • MoneySuperMarket Group: leveraging its diversified business to achieve new growth
                                                                  • GoCompare Group: Savings as a Service to tackle ‘botheration’
                                                                    • Confused.com: a driver-centric strategy
                                                                    • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                      • PCWs spent £124 million in ATL advertising
                                                                        • Figure 14: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by price comparison websites on financial services, 2014/15-2018/19
                                                                      • CompareTheMarket is the biggest advertiser
                                                                        • Figure 15: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by price comparison websites on financial services, by advertiser, 2016/17-2018/19
                                                                      • TV accounts for 59% of total spend
                                                                        • Figure 16: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by price comparison websites on financial services, by media type, 2018/19
                                                                      • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                      • Brand Research

                                                                          • What you need to know
                                                                            • Brand map
                                                                              • Figure 17: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, October 2019
                                                                            • Key brand metrics
                                                                              • Figure 18: Key metrics for selected brands, October 2019
                                                                            • Brand attitudes: CompareTheMarket is associated with rewarding loyalty
                                                                              • Figure 19: Attitudes, by brand, October 2019
                                                                            • Brand personality: CompareTheMarket and GoCompare more likely to be seen as fun
                                                                              • Figure 20: Brand personality – macro image, October 2019
                                                                            • uSwitch less likely to be associated with positive statements
                                                                              • Figure 21: Brand personality – micro image, October 2019
                                                                            • Brand analysis
                                                                              • CompareTheMarket is the most differentiated brand
                                                                                • Figure 22: User profile of CompareTheMarket, October 2019
                                                                              • GoCompare is widely used but does not stand out
                                                                                • Figure 23: User profile of GoCompare, October 2019
                                                                              • MoneySuperMarket is seen as accessible and reassuring
                                                                                • Figure 24: User profile of MoneySuperMarket, October 2019
                                                                              • Confused.com brand can send confusing signals
                                                                                • Figure 25: User profile of Confused.com, October 2019
                                                                              • uSwitch sets a different tone
                                                                                • Figure 26: User profile of uSwitch, October 2019
                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                              • 72% have used a PCW to research insurance
                                                                                • Car insurance has the highest conversion rate
                                                                                  • 12% spend less than 15 minutes researching at renewal
                                                                                    • Convenience is key
                                                                                      • PCWs generally perceived to be superior to buying direct from insurers
                                                                                        • 87% would buy direct, but there’s no silver bullet to attract consumers
                                                                                          • People trust traditional PCWs over alternative providers of aggregators
                                                                                            • Customer service and data security can draw consumers to tech giants
                                                                                            • Product Research

                                                                                              • 72% have used a PCW to research insurance
                                                                                                • Car and home insurance are the most searched for products
                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Products researched through a price comparison website, August 2019
                                                                                                • Beyond motor: more consumers researching other insurance
                                                                                                  • Older generations more likely to research multiple products
                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Repertoire of types of products researched through a price comparison website, August 2019
                                                                                                • Purchase Activity

                                                                                                  • Car insurance has the highest conversion rate
                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Products purchased through a price comparison website, August 2019
                                                                                                  • Multiple conversion is higher among older age groups
                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Repertoire of types of products bought through a price comparison website, August 2019
                                                                                                • Time Spent Researching Insurance at Renewal

                                                                                                  • 12% spend less than 15 minutes researching at renewal
                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Time spent researching an insurance policy renewal, August 2019
                                                                                                    • People on lower incomes tend to spend less time researching
                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Time spent researching an insurance policy renewal, by household income, August 2019
                                                                                                  • Most Important Factor When Choosing a PCW

                                                                                                    • Getting the basics right is about convenience
                                                                                                      • Reputation of the site is the top reason to use a PCW for one in five
                                                                                                        • Final decision could be down to a promotion or deal
                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Most important factor when using a price comparison website, August 2019
                                                                                                      • PCWs vs Insurers

                                                                                                        • PCWs generally perceived to be superior to buying direct …
                                                                                                          • … but insurers are more trusted with product-specific issues
                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Price comparison websites vs insurers, August 2019
                                                                                                          • PCWs in good position to harness the potential of Open Finance
                                                                                                          • Reasons to Buy Directly From an Insurer

                                                                                                            • 87% would buy direct
                                                                                                              • But there’s no silver bullet
                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Reasons to buy directly from an insurer, August 2019
                                                                                                              • Consumers acknowledge PCWs are not whole-of-market
                                                                                                              • Interest in PCWs run by a Tech Giant

                                                                                                                • People trust traditional PCWs to be experts at what they do
                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Tech giants and PCWs in insurance, August 2019
                                                                                                                • Google beats banks and insurers
                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Interest in a PCW run by Google – CHAID – Tree output, August 2019
                                                                                                                • Stark differences by demographics
                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: repertoire of interest in different types of providers of PCWs, August 2019
                                                                                                              • Reasons to Consider a PCW run by a Tech Giant

                                                                                                                • Customer service and data security are key
                                                                                                                  • The brand itself is not enough…
                                                                                                                    • … but they could leverage their tech expertise
                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Reasons to consider a PCW run by a tech giant, August 2019
                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                        • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                          • CHAID analysis methodology
                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Price Comparison Sites in General Insurance – CHAID – Table output, August 2019

                                                                                                                        About the report

                                                                                                                        This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                                                        • The Consumer

                                                                                                                          What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                                                        • The Competitors

                                                                                                                          Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                                                        • The Market

                                                                                                                          Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                                                        • The Innovations

                                                                                                                          New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                                                        • The Opportunities

                                                                                                                          Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                                                        • The Trends

                                                                                                                          What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                                                        Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

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