It was announced today that Martin Lewis has sold www.moneysavingexpect.com to the price comparison site www.moneysupermarket.com.
The two companies already have a close working relationship and it is estimated that almost 60% of £16 million revenue generated by www.moneysavingexpert.com in the 12 months to the end of last October from its 39 million users was earned through referral fees paid by moneysupermarket.
According to Martin Lewis “MoneySupermarket is superb at technology and it’s an easy-to-use site” and that the aim of the sale “is for them (Moneysupermarket) to use their expertise and investment to help us (MoneySavingExpert) improve in these areas so more people find our content, use it and save cash.” In response to the question of why Moneysupermarket Martin Lewis stated “as I know and trust it and it’s not owned by any product providers”. Other price comparison sites are owned by insurance companies. For example www.confused.com is owned by the Admiral Group and www.comparethemarket.com is owned by the Budget Group Limited.
Working with an independently owned company certainly gives the tie up more legitimacy however will it really be possible for the two companies to be run independently?
What does this mean to the way that people buy insurance? MoneySavingExpert has for a long time advised customers on how to get the best deal they can. If you were to follow their route to getting a great deal on your car insurance http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/insurance/compare-cheap-car-insurance then step 2 would see you use a combination of comparison sites including Moneysupermarket.com as an essential part of finding the best priced policy. Step 4 would then see you look for hidden cashback & discounts using affiliate sites such as Quidco or Topcashback to reduce the cheapest available premium further.
Comparison sites such as www.moneysupermarket.com or www.confused.com are paid a commission by insurers for every policy they sell so by following Martin Lewis’s guide of checking comparison sites and then going to a cashback site to purchase your policy. This in essence goes against the traditional comparison site business model. It will be interesting to see what impact this tie up has on the insurance marketplace going forward.