If an aggregator places “misleading” content on its website, the buck should ultimately stop with the insurer, a broking boss has said.
This is in response to news of a price comparison website removing “misleading” content after ASIC expressed concern has yet again thrown the credibility of aggregators into question.
JustEzi formulated a comparison tool, called Ezi-Estmates, for car insurance. ASIC was concerned that JustEzi had not received access to insurers’ data but based estimates on a formulation created by the website operator.
JustEzi removed the online content but some market observers suggest this latest case adds weight to the argument that it is better to use a broker.
Robert Cooper, director of Cooper Professional Risks, said the onus of what content aggregators publish somewhat rests with insurers when quotes are provided.
“The information may or may not be misleading but the aggregator usually takes its information from the insurer. If an insurer allows an aggregator to market their products, they have to stand by that content. That should be law because it would mean the insurance company is careful in what they provide to the aggregator.”
“Aggregators are not acting for the client, they are acting for the insurer and it is an easy way for insurers to sell their products. They should be held accountable.”
Insurance broking CEO Tony Christian said the news of aggregators providing ambiguous content was concerning but not a surprise.
“For car insurance I have a couple of recent examples where I found pricing from major insurers far better than that proposed on the TV adverts.”
“With health insurance for example,” he added. “They don't appear to have access to the major funds and don't quote them at all.”
However, online insurance broker and comparison site iSelect said it went to great lengths to ensure its website’s content was compliant and accurate.
An iSelect spokesman told Insurance Business: “We don’t place a mark-up on the products we sell to customers. The price is identical to what the consumer would find if they went directly to the insurance provider. But by coming to iSelect, they receive that advice and personal analysis.”
“Our model chooses the right product to match the customer’s needs, using a needs-based analysis.