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Customers unconvinced by Amazon’s price comparison site

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Less than half of home and car insurance customers would consider buying through Amazon if the retailer went ahead with plans to launch an insurance price comparison site.

Reports over the summer suggested Amazon was sounding out some of Europe’s top insurers to see if they would contribute products to a new UK price comparison site.

However, a study by market research firm Consumer Intelligence found it may struggle to attract customers away from the established players.

The poll of 1,300 people found 42% of customers would consider buying car cover and 43% would consider buying home cover through Amazon.

A quarter said they would be worried about insurers knowing about their Amazon spending, rising to 31% among under-25.

Around 87% of customers shopping around for insurance use the current big four price comparison sites – Compare The Market, GoCompare, MoneySuperMarket and Confused – underlining the scale of the challenge Amazon would face.

The research did pinpoint a potentially rich seam of customers – Amazon superfans who have Prime accounts and own Amazon Echos. Around 60% would consider Amazon for car insurance and 61% for home insurance. Among those who don’t have Prime accounts or Amazon Echos, just 34% would consider Amazon for car insurance and 35% for home insurance.

Phil Paterson-Fox of Consumer Intelligence said: “Amazon launching into the insurance price comparison market is undoubtedly a significant threat to incumbents, but its success is by no means a foregone conclusion.

“Around 87% of customers who currently shop around use the current big four price comparison websites and Amazon would need to provide a reason for those people to sign up when they are already using at least one price comparison website. They would also need to persuade insurers to sign up and pay.

“Amazon may be able to use existing customer data to make obtaining quotes easier and as a major retailer they may be willing to accept lower margins and pass the benefits on to customers. It has the financial strength, but does it have the appetite to take on the big four?”

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