Compare the Market vs Confused vs GoCompare vs MoneySuperMarket

Compare the Market vs Confused vs GoCompare vs MoneySuperMarketHere we’ll be pitting the 4 major insurance comparison sites against each other. Each has become a household name with their innovation changing the way that most of us buy car insurance online. Just a single owner is a major direct insurer and 3/4 are based in Wales. 2 of the founders were women. Confused’s Sara Murray was in fact first to market and so who knows where we would be without her vision. She has perhaps been as important to the industry as Bet365’s Denise Coates has been to online gambling. You’ll come to learn that Compare the Market vs MoneySuperMarket has become the clash of the titans in that battle for dominance.

Yet, recently demerged GoCompare are always progressing and the original comparison site (Confused.com) is making great strides forward. We’ll be putting each brand to the test across 10 areas scored between 1 and 4 per category. The objective is just to give us a bit of an introduction into these insurance portals that can save you time and money. Each is free to use and you can freely run sample quotes and not proceed. This is handy to compare prices against the 2 UK’s biggest insurers (Direct Line and Aviva) who exclude themselves from such sites. Each however underwrites policies found on comparison searches whether that’s through alternative brands or brokers. Let’s begin with the basics and the owners.

Notes:
– Each company is termed as they brand themselves.
– However, when scoring we’ll use an abbreviation (CON, CTM, GC and MSM).
– Scoring between 1 and 4. When there is a tie the points are shared between those places.

Compare the Market
Compare the Market Car Insurance
@ www.comparethemarket.com + www.comparethemeerkat.com
Founder: Douw Steyn
HQ: Peterborough, England
Mascot: Aleksandr Orlov
Owner: BGL Group Ltd

BGL through the subsidiary of BISL Ltd operates through a few of their own brands such as Budget and Dial Direct. They are however more famous for their partnerships business called Junction. Here they broker on the behalf of major blue-chip companies. Established retail partners include M&S and Post Office. Then there are major banks such as Lloyds and Santander. An impressive customer base of 8 million customers are collectively served that is much larger than Admiral’s 4.4 million tally.

Confused
Confused Car Insurance
@ www.confused.com
Founder: Sara Murray
HQ: Cardiff, Wales
Mascot: NA
Owner: Admiral Group Plc

The Admiral Group has crafted a range of successful insurance brands including Admiral, Bell, Diamond and Elephant. Through each they are the underwriter. As an intermediary they have Confused that generates over 1 million quotes each month. The Group has also spread overseas to serve France, Italy, Spain and the United States. The total worldwide customer base is 4.4 million, of which 3.3 million are UK based.

GoCompare
GoCompare Car Insurance
@ www.gocompare.com + www.giocompario.com
Founder: Hayley Parsons
HQ: Newport, Wales
Mascot: Gio Compario
Owner: Gocompare.com Group Plc

Just the sole trading brand exists here, but GoCompare is certainly a powerhouse attracting around 5 million visits each month. There has been some big recent developments on the ownership front. This comparison site was owned by Esure Group Plc. Esure had acquired an option in 2007 to purchase 50% of the business (this was fully exercised in 2010). It was announced in December 2014 that the remaining 50% would be taken. Bizarrely, the split went through in late 2016. It doesn’t make much sense why they’d want to sell up. This leaves the past owner trading as Esure and Sheilas’ Wheels.

MoneySuperMarket
MoneySuperMarket Car Insurance
@ www.moneysupermarket.com
Founder: Simon Nixon
HQ: Ewloe, Wales
Mascot: NA
Owner: Moneysupermarket.com Group Plc

The comparison brand name is used by the owner, but this is a grouping of 3 companies. The others are MoneySavingExpert that you’ll be familiar with from Martin Lewis and then there is TravelSupermarket. It is noted that across the trio they average around 23.6 million unique visitors each month. The bulk of revenue (£250.1m out of £281.7m) is generated through MSM who have been the dominant force in Google search for many years. It has been the big financial terms that has made the big difference. They have for instance took the #1 ranking spot for credit cards and loans for a long time now.

What We Compared…

Experience
1) The Launch Year = Lots of history is a good measure of a professionally run and trustworthy business.

Financials (2015)
2) Comparison Revenue = High portal revenue means lots of customers using it. We marked profit when known.
3) Group Revenue = We moved on to the owner’s numbers. Bigger should boost future investment.

Popularity
4) Google Search = Data showing how much they are being searched for under their 2 main brand terms.
5) Social Media = Facebook and Twitter followers. An active social media is good, but not critical.
6) Traffic (Alexa UK): Which site gets the most visits from UK users according to Alexa (owned by Amazon).

Service
7) Design and USP = We picked out the best feature and then ranked the rest by their portal designs.
8) Quotes Fetched = Which comparison site provides the most quotes when fetching?
9) Rewards = Is a reward provided when you go on to take out a policy?
10) Savings = How much could you save on your cover when using them? More info below.

Compare the Market vs Confused vs GoCompare vs MoneySuperMarket

Experience:

1) The Launch Year

1) CON: 2002
2) MSM: 2004
3) CTM: 2006
4) GC: 2006

= Confused.com was the first comparison site to launch in the UK of the 4. MSM’s history does date back further though. They had started out in 1999 in the mortgage sector. Time passed and we saw www.insuresupermarket.com in 2003, but it wouldn’t be until 2004 that they’d add financial (credit cards, loans) and insurance to their main site. The final pair each arrived in 2006, but Compare the Market launched at the start of the year and GoCompare came towards the end in November.

Financials (2015):

2) Comparison Revenue

1/2) CTM: NA
1/2) MSM: £250.1m
3) GC: £118.9m (PBT: £23.3m)
4) CON: £75.4m (PBT: £12.5m)

3) Group Revenue

1) AG: £2.12b (PBT: £377m)
2/3) BGL: £507m (PBT: £70.4m)
2/3) MSMG: £281.7m (PBT: £79.8m)
4) GCG: £118.9m (PBT: £23.3m)

= Revenues across 2015 shown with PBT (profit before tax) when this information is made available. BGL’s financials are not broken down, but we’re pretty confident that Compare the Market has the highest revenue of the 4. We’ll split the points though as MSM would likely be more profitable. In the Groups area, there is also a sharing of points for BGL and MSMG since one has higher rev and the other has higher PBT.

Popularity:

4) Google Search

1) COM: 1.25m (Compare the Market: 1.2m, Comparethemarket: 50k)
2) GC: 914k (Go Compare: 823k, Gocompare: 91k)
3) MSM: 764k (Moneysupermarket: 673k, Money Supermarket: 91k)
4) CON: 262k (Confused: 201k, Confused.com: 61k)

= Average monthly searches made in Google via their AdWords Tool for the 2 main spelling variations of each company. We rounded off the numbers. Confused’s data is a little skewed since not all searches will be relevant to them. Regardless, their tally is still the smallest of the bunch.

5) Social Media

1) MSM: 68,725 (FB) | 51.1k (TW)
2) CON: 39,295 (FB) | 66.1k (TW)
3) GC: 12,693 (FB) | 20.1k (TW)
4) CTM: 4537 (FB) | 5834 (TW)

= We took the exact count at time of posting for Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TW). Twitter rounds off sizeable counts. The big surprise was how low Compare the Market’s tallies were. They are obviously new to the social media game, but the truth is that their meerkat campaigns are that successful that they are attracting enough brand loyalty without the need of turning to social.

6) Traffic (Alexa UK)

1) MSM: 257
2) CTM: 394
3) GC: 560
4) CON: 634

= Alexa UK is a ranking (updated daily) of the most visited sites, but the results are filtered by visits from local IP addresses. It’s very impressive to see all of the 4 sitting comfortably within the top 1000. MoneySuperMarket’s #1 ranking is unsurprising considering their dominance on many of the high volume financial keywords in Google search.

Service:

7) Design and USP

1) GC: Search by Defaqto Star rating + excellent design
2) CTM: Excellent design
3) MSM: Very good design
4) CON: Good design

= GoCompare’s Defaqto Star search is an excellent tool that helps you to identify high quality policies rather than just the cheapest quotes that most people instinctively quickly look to. The rest of the rankings are sorted by the overall design and smoothness of the interfaces. The top 2 are exceptionally crafted.

8) Quotes Fetched

1) MSM: 145
2) GC: 125
3) CON: 119
4) CTM: 110

= Exact figures are quoted by the top 3 whilst CTM’s tally was counted from a list shared by them. It should be noted that this is a policy tally and not an individual insurer count. Many of those included usually have a secondary premium cover option. What you’ll also tend to find as well is that just because well over 100 quotes are possible, you’ll typically receive much less based on your details entered. Younger drivers in particular may struggle to see more than 20 prices successfully fetched.

9) Rewards:

1) CTM: Magical Reward (Meerkat Movies + Frozen Toy)
2/3/4) CON: No promotions
2/3/4) GC: Same
2/3/4) MSM: Same

= As well as Magical Reward, The Toy Collection is available through subsequent purchases across other products. Points are shared out between 2, 3 and 4.

10) Savings:

1) GC: 51% save up to £286.44
2) MSM: 51% save up to £284.50
3) CON: 50% save up to £282.81
4) CTM: 50% save up to £282

= Each comparison site heads a figure of what percentage of their customers managed to save on cover. This is in contrast to not using their portal or one of their 3 rivals. Just be a little wary with this data as although it is independent, the results are taken from a small sample of people. Compare the Market’s tally is not shared to the exact pence. Whilst they ranked last, they are the only company to reward purchases.

Final Scorecard:

1) MoneySuperMarket (29.5 Points)

2) Compare the Market (25.5 Points)

3) GoCompare (24 Points)

4) Confused (21 Points)

Final Note:
Further testing on these sites will be following soon.

Data Was Taken: February 2nd, 2017.