The world’s first car insurance price comparison app has been launched in the UK by the country’s leading price comparison company MoneySupermarket. This comes in response to the rising premiums which have been afflicting motorists in recent years on the back of the credit crunch; with the ABI (Association of British Insurers) claiming that drivers who compare prices with at least five different insurers stand to make savings of up to 30%.
Indeed, the UK has been one of the markets which has been worst affected by the global financial crisis; with the AA reporting that the average British motorist’s premiums have risen by 40%. One of primary causes of this is believed to have been the increased number of fraudulent claims being made. Insurance companies are ultimately being forced to pay out for these claims and are recovering the additional costs from law abiding motorists by charging higher prices for basic packages.
How does the MSM car insurance app work?
The MSM car insurance app is currently available for download either from the MoneySupermarket.com website or from iTunes free of charge. Once the app has been downloaded, users must firstly create a MSM profile unless they already have one. This will require users to enter information about themselves such as their age and gender; in other words, factors which are relevant in the calculation of car insurance premiums. Of course, the primary advantage of having an account set up is that these details will not need to be entered on subsequent occasions.
The company has also put a lot of thought into the way that users enter vehicle details; coming up with a quicker method which also reduce the chance of input errors. All that users have to do is take a photograph of the registration plate of the vehicle that they are considering insuring themselves on. The app will then automatically retrieve the required information which is stored about the vehicle on motoring authority databases.
Once these two sets of information have been acquired, the app will retrieve quotes available through over 100 car insurance providers. Users can then either purchase the policy online or utilise the ‘click to call’ button located alongside the quote to contact the insurer directly in order to make enquiries about specific details within the policy or arrange for the cover to be put in place over the phone by dealing directly with the insurance company. Previously retrieved quotes can also be saved for reference at a later date. This potentially allows customers to compare deals available on different types of vehicle if they are considering purchasing a new model.
Although this app is currently only usable by British motorists, the company is expecting that the concept will be copied by other comparison companies in the near future; possibly including those in over seas markets.
So far, the MSM car insurance app has been warmly received by both critics and consumers; scoring four stars out of a possible five for customer reviews on iTunes. It also on The Guardian consumer app of the week award upon its launch with the paper’s Mark King claiming that it is both easy to use and functional in terms of providing competitive quotes.
Expect to see other price comparison companies launching similar apps over the course of 2012.