An insurance comparison website has removed online material from its website after ASIC became concerned that some of the content was misleading.
JustEzi formulated a comparison tool, called Ezi-Estimates, for car insurance. The estimates ranked insurers by price, from lowest to highest, after the consumer entered certain details.
ASIC was concerned that JustEzi had not received access to insurers’ data but based the estimates on a formulation created by the website operator.
ASIC found the Ezi-Estimates were significantly different to quotes offered by the relevant insurers. Further, on many occasions the price rankings placed on the relevant insurers were inaccurate.
ASIC found the estimates may be misleading because a consumer may consider: an ‘Ezi-Estimate’ to be the same as a quote obtained from an insurer’s website; the ranking (on price) given to insurers to be the same as the ranking (on price) if the quotes were obtained from the various insurers’ websites.
ASIC acknowledges that JustEzi has removed the comparison tool. Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said the matter is part of ASIC’s ongoing work on comparison websites. “We have been targeting this area of the market to ensure that operators of comparison websites are providing accurate information and not misleading consumers. Comparison websites can be very useful for consumers and can stimulate competition, but these outcomes will only occur if the information is accurate.
“ASIC can, and will, take the necessary action to ensure comparison websites comply with the law,” Kell added.