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File Image: IOL

The rising trend of online comparison

By Opinion Time of article published Nov 20, 2020

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More than ever, South Africans are shopping online – and that’s driving a rising trend of online price comparisons. New Kantar research indicates that South Africans intend to increase their spend on insurance in the coming months, which raises the question: Why don’t some big-name South African insurance companies offer online quotes?

The Covid-19 crisis has pushed consumers to change not only the way they live and work but also the way they buy. Currently, more than 60% of South Africans have access to the internet. Added to that, leading data insights company Kantar’s recent Covid-19 Barometer report on South Africa noted that the ‘use of e-commerce and online orders continue to increase, highlighting the appetite for digital engagement with products and services.’

Kantar predicts a dramatic increase in certain consumer behaviours. Some 81% of South Africans surveyed said they intend to increase their online purchases, while 33% said they intend to take out more insurance. That’s despite the 46% of respondents who said they intend to decrease their household spending.

Comparison platforms like Hippo.co.za, iHound, CompareGuru, and Better Compare offer exactly the kind of service consumers are craving, a system that enables them to compare insurance quotes side by side to ensure they get the best deals.

‘The financial fallout of Covid-19 has been huge, and most consumers have become more price and value-sensitive,’ says Bradley Du Chenne, CEO of Hippo.co.za. ‘This is coupled with the general state of people re-evaluating what’s important to them in this post-Covid reality. We’re seeing an increase in visitors to Hippo.co.za comparing costs and weighing up their options. Consumers want value at the best price, and the way they’re getting it is through unbiased comparison while shopping online.’

Hippo.co.za works with a wide variety of trusted partners to provide its service. ‘These include more than 55 leading South African providers: the likes of iWyze, King Price, Budget Insurance, Discovery Health, Momentum, Direct Axis, Dialdirect and Medihelp.’

‘By having access to Hippo.co.za’s wide variety of partners, consumers know that they are getting the best possible deal. Our side-by-side comparison tool also lets them compare apples with apples and means that no partner gets preferential treatment. It’s a completely unbiased online shopping comparison – and that can only be good for the consumer,’ says Du Chenne.

However, some big-name South African insurance companies are still not offering quotes online and thereby not enabling consumers to make a fair comparison. ‘Not all insurers are willing to join an online comparison site like Hippo.co.za,' says Du Chenne, ‘Insurers may fear starting a price war or perhaps they are not aware of the various ways in which they can partner with an aggregator.’

‘The good news for consumers is that – like other comparison platforms – Hippo.co.za is regularly adding new partners to our list. As the number of South Africans who are purchasing insurance online continues to increase, it makes sense for every insurance provider to be transparent in their pricing and offer customers a fair chance to compare and save on their insurance,’ says Du Chenne.

PERSONAL FINANCE

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