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Can I find the best value deals on price comparison websites?

We’re always searching for ways to save on bills and insurance. So can price comparison websites like Comparethemarket help? And how can you make the most of comparing with us? Follow our top tips for finding the right deals on car, home and life insurance, loans, credit cards, energy and more.  

We’re always searching for ways to save on bills and insurance. So can price comparison websites like Comparethemarket help? And how can you make the most of comparing with us? Follow our top tips for finding the right deals on car, home and life insurance, loans, credit cards, energy and more.  

Written by
Alex Hasty
Insurance comparison and finance expert
Reviewed by
Kate Hughes
Insurance expert
Last Updated
5 OCTOBER 2022
5 min read
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Comparison sites can help you save 

Used the right way, we can help you make significant savings on your car insurance, home insurance and life insurance, to name but a few. 

Even the government agrees that sites like ours can be helpful. In an in-depth report, the Competitions and Markets Authority found that people mainly have positive views and experiences of comparison sites.  The report found that comparison sites "can offer a very easy consumer experience and useful comparisons. Among the sectors studied, this seems to work best in car insurance, where comparison sites are well established." 

Here’s how to make the most of Comparethemarket.  

1. Search for the right thing 

Make sure you look for quotes that are appropriate to what’s right for you. It’s no good looking at a list of basic, third-party car insurance prices if you want comprehensive cover  or looking at life insurance premiums if you need combined life and critical illness insurance.  

2. Don’t just focus on price

Cheap insurance can be tempting, but the basic monthly or annual premium we show you shouldn’t be your only consideration. When buying insurance, you’ll also want to think about:  

  • The level of cover  
  • The policy excess (the amount you’ll have to pay towards a claim) 
  • Whether you want any add-ons to your cover 

Take car insurance, for example: the lowest cost policy isn’t likely to include extras, like a courtesy car if your car is damaged in an accident. 

Once you have a list of quote results, you can see what impact making some changes will have on your quote. For example, you can customise your quote by increasing or decreasing the excess amount, or add or remove optional cover, to see what impact this would have on cost. 

But remember, don't choose an excess you can't afford if you need to make a claim, or leave out cover that would make a real difference to your situation if you did need to claim. Especially with more complex types of insurance, like life insurance and critical illness cover, you need to pay close attention to the level of cover offered so you get what you need. 

Plus, prices alone won’t tell you anything about what kind of customer service you can expect.  

3. Check our assumptions and answer truthfully 

To save time when you compare some products with us, we make what we call ‘assumptions’ or ‘statements’ about facts that apply to you. For example, in the case of car insurance, these include your car being right-hand drive and having a certain number of seats.

You’ll be asked to confirm the assumptions are correct. But if any of them aren’t, you need to edit them. If you don’t and you go on to buy a car insurance policy, it might not pay out if you make a claim.

Likewise for home insurance. If you live in a house that has subsidence or live on a flood plain and don’t say so, you could find that your home policy is cancelled or won’t pay out if you make a claim.

If you edit the assumptions, we can then show you quotes that are suitable for your circumstances, if they’re available. 

4. Read the small print 

The cover offered by insurance providers isn’t all the same. Some might include particular types of cover as standard while others might expect you to pay to add it on.

Never buy an insurance policy without reading at least the policy summary, to make sure it’s right for your needs and circumstances. If you’re not sure what a policy offers, contact the insurance provider directly before deciding whether to go ahead and buy. 

5. Don’t see quotes as advice 

Listings on price comparison sites aren’t designed to provide professional financial advice. A policy might stand out in a search, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good fit for you and, unfortunately, we won’t be able to fix it if it turns out to be unsuitable. So make sure you understand what’s offered by the policy. 

Keep comparing policies regularly

Comparing doesn’t stop once you’ve bought your policy. If you simply let your insurance auto-renew, you could miss out on some great deals, so compare on a regular basis. If you use our app, we’ll do the hard work for you, letting you know if there’s a better deal before your next car insurance or home insurance renewal. 

And for products like life insurance and critical illness insurance, check regularly whether you can get the same cover for a better price by switching insurance provider. 

Top tip 

Creating an account with us will save you the hassle of filling in your details every time you compare. We’ll keep your details and previous quotes on file, so you can get a quote faster. You’ll also get a year of rewards if you buy a qualifying product such as car insurance. 
  
Sign up online or via the Meerkat App.  

Did you know?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has introduced rules to stop home and car insurance providers increasing prices for existing customers on renewal, while only offering their most competitive deals to new customers. 

Under the new rules, most insurance providers will be required to offer the same price to existing customers as they would to new customers. The FCA aims to make the insurance market fairer and estimates that consumers could save £4.2 billion over 10 years. 

Frequently asked questions

How do price comparison sites make money?

If you buy a product through Comparethemarket, the provider will pay us a flat fee or a commission percentage. Our price comparison service is free for you to use and doesn’t affect the way we rank our products.   
See more about how we make money

What can I compare through Comparethemarket?

As well as car insurance, we offer a price comparison service for a whole range of essential products and services, including:  

Insurance Household utilities Financial products

It’s not currently possible to compare home energy with us. 

Why should I use a price comparison site?

Save time

A price comparison site can give you a quick, easy and impartial overview of suitable quotes in a matter of minutes. It saves you the hassle of trawling through a whole bunch of websites in order to find the right product for you.  

Added perks

Many comparison sites also offer rewards, like our Meerkat Movies and Meals, which you can claim when you take out a qualifying product.    

Save money

Ultimately, price comparison sites could help you save money by matching your needs to the right products. But don’t just take our word for it – the CMA report found that consumers primarily visit comparison sites "to save money, compare a large number of providers, save time and get a better idea about prices".

Can I trust the results on Comparethemarket?

Yes, we’re impartial. The results we show you are not affected by any fees we receive from providers. Our results are based on what you’ve told us are your needs, then ranked from the cheapest to most expensive. You’re also able to filter your results to suit your needs.

We work with dozens of providers, across a wide variety of product types, to help you find the right deal. We compare providers big and small. We can’t guarantee that every provider and product available is covered – some choose not to appear on comparison sites. But using our comparison service, you’ll save lots of time and can still get a great deal. 

Alex Hasty - Insurance comparison and finance expert

At Compare the Market, Alex has had roles as Commercial Associate Director, Director of Trading and Director of Growth. He’s currently responsible for the development and execution of Comparethemarket’s longer-term strategic options, ensuring the right breadth of products and services that meet customer needs.

Learn more about Alex

Kate Hughes - Insurance and finance expert

As an award-winning journalist, author and broadcast commentator, Kate has been writing about personal finance for more than 20 years. She’s the former Money Editor for The Independent. Her work has appeared across the UK broadsheets as well as a number of international titles. Kate brings her financial expertise to inform her readers on ways to save money. She’s also written a book. ‘Going Zero: One Family’s Journey to Zero Waste and a Greener Lifestyle’ is available now.

Learn more about Kate

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