BIBA response to the CMA’s update paper on Digital Comparison Tools

30th March 2017

In its update on ‘Digital Comparison Tools’ (DCT)  today the CMA has opted not to instigate a full market review but has confirmed it will investigate several issues raised during their recent investigation and will report further by 28 September 2017.

Graeme Trudgill, BIBA Executive Director said:  “We’re pleased that the CMA has recognised many of the issues that BIBA and its members have raised in respect of price comparison websites in the insurance market. Brokers have long had concerns that consumers are in danger of buying policies  that are unsuitable for their needs via DCTs. We are pleased that the CMA plan to investigate further the so called  ‘hollowing out’ of products  because of the undue focus on price by many of these sites.”

The CMA has also indicated that they will  consider the competition implications of  ‘most favoured nation’  or ‘parity’ clauses which in the insurance market restricts the ability of a broker to apply a price differential on a product sold via its own website compared to the price on a DCT.  BIBA believes the review is  good for both brokers and their customers.

He concluded; “ BIBA is a strong advocate of making access to insurance products as easy as possible and in this respect there are positives to a market that includes digital comparison tools that are not entirely focused on price.”

A full market review by the CMA would have provided the most extensive investigation into the issues raised, however BIBA  will continue to contribute to the CMA’s work in this area.”