CMA to investigate price comparison site

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating the way a price comparison site has set up its contracts with insurers, suspecting it may result in higher home insurance prices.

This comes following a year-long, in-depth study into the use of price comparison sites and other apps.

The examination found that these sites offer a range of benefits, including helping people shop around by making it easier to compare prices and forcing businesses to up their game. But where sites are not working in people’s best interests, the CMA is taking action.

The CMA has also laid down clear ground rules for all sites on issues such as communicating how they plan to use people’s personal data and clearly displaying important information like price and product description.

Andrea Coscelli, CMA chief executive, said, ‘Our study has found that most people in the UK have used a comparison site at least once so it is vital that everyone gets the benefits they deserve. The good news is that more than 90% of the people we surveyed were very or fairly satisfied with the sites they used.

‘But we have also found that improvements are needed to help people get even better deals. We have set out ground rules for how sites should behave, as well as being clear on how regulators can ensure people have a better experience online. We are also taking enforcement action where we suspect the law may have been broken.’

As part of its findings, the CMA recommends that all sites should be Clear, Accurate, Responsible and Easy to use (CARE); should be clear about how they make money; and how they protect personal information.