Thematic review: Price comparison websites in the general insurance sector

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Price comparison websites (PCWs) have rapidly increased in popularity among consumers and are a key distribution channel for retail general insurance (GI) products, especially for private motor insurance.

PCWs are generally regarded by consumers, product providers, trade bodies and other regulators as helping to provide choice for consumers by enabling them to compare products in a simple and accessible way.

However, there are risks that PCWs may not provide appropriate information to allow consumers to make informed decisions, and to make clear their role and the nature of the service they provide. There is also a concern that consumers' focus on headline price and brand when using PCWs could distract from crucial product features such as policy coverage and terms.

We wanted to better understand consumers' experience of using PCWs and their understanding of the role played by the PCWs. To do so, we conducted a combination of desk-based reviews and consumer research.

This report summarises the findings of the FCA's thematic review focused on the intermediation of general insurance products