Price Confidence from Norwich Union; Insurer Shows Competitors' Car Quotes as Well as their Own

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The UK's largest insurer launches a brand new web and phone service that gives customers the prices and products of its rivals - even if they're cheaper.

By showing them our competitors' prices, regardless of whether we are the cheapest or not, we are giving them the chance to make an objective decision about what they are buying.

Customers seeking a motor quote, on will be offered new simple ways to check the insurer's motor policy and price against its competitors. They will also be offered the chance to check policy cover and feature details with over 140 (1) other car insurance providers in the market.

By giving people an instant service that benchmarks its policy against other providers, Norwich Union believes it will give customers confidence in the price and product it is offering.

David Tyers, director of marketing at Norwich Union, said, "The truth is no insurer is cheapest all of the time; the difference is we will tell customers when we are and when we are not. "But clearly we hope that we will be competitive for many customers and we know, as a package, our motor insurance represents great value and people will choose to buy from us."

The new price checks are:


On the homepage and the car insurance landing page, customers will see examples of quotes given by Norwich Union and three from a range of competitors. The "price checker" changes every five seconds and shows recent examples of independently shopped car quotes. (2)


As customers are filling in their motor details on the car insurance quote page a box will appear giving an example price that "someone like them" has received recently from Norwich Union and up to four other competitors.
The prices shown are for comprehensive car insurance based on the closest match for the customer's gender, age, geography and car type. All prices have been recently researched and are an illustration of what someone will pay, not the exact price. (3)


Once a customer has filled in all their details and has received a car quote from Norwich Union they will be offered the chance to check its final price against other motor insurance providers. They will also be able to check competitors' cover details such as excess, courtesy car and legal services as well as up to 30 other features if they want to.
All prices on the Full Check will be provided in "real time" and cover details are sourced from each provider's website.(4)

In addition Norwich Union has teamed up with the independent analyst Defaqto, giving customers the opportunity to compare Norwich Union's motor cover with the whole market.(5)
This means a customer can check instantly what their existing insurer covers them for and compare it to the policy Norwich Union is offering.

The Closer Check and Full Check are also available on the phone through Norwich Union's call centres. Staff will have the same detailed information on competitor motor prices and products, at their finger tips, if the customer would like them.

Norwich Union, part of Aviva, believes the new price checkers will give customers the chance to check their quote in context with other insurance providers in the market in a quick and easy way without the hassle of shopping around.

"Over the years the way consumers have shopped for insurance has changed dramatically -- from brokers, to direct insurers and online buying and more recently the advent of price comparison sites. Now we think it's time to do something different," says David Tyers.
"This is all about the customer being confident with the prices and the products we are offering, clearly something that is increasingly important in today's economic climate.
"By showing them our competitors' prices, regardless of whether we are the cheapest or not, we are giving them the chance to make an objective decision about what they are buying."

But while customers can check prices and covers on the Norwich Union website, they will not be able to buy competitors' insurance directly from it. If a customer does choose to buy from another provider, they will be able to "click through" to an independent site which will be able to offer them the same price they have seen on the Norwich Union site. (6)
Norwich Union is the first direct insurer to show customers competitor prices as well as their own. The service is only available for car insurance at this time.

Following the launch of the Price Check Norwich Union has withdrawn its direct products
from all price comparison websites. Direct prices for Norwich Union car insurance can
only be bought directly via the website or over the phone on 0800 888 999.

Notes to Editors
1.The number of insurance providers on the Defaqto database via Norwich Union's website. There are a total of 142 providers and 214 products as of Sept 2008.
These include all providers on the First Check, Closer Check and Full Check.
Defaqto are a leading provider of financial services research.

2. The First Check uses quotes researched by Consumer Intelligence for both Norwich Union and other leading providers. The quotes are obtained in the last two to eleven weeks. Consumer Intelligence provides benchmarking services for insurers across the industry.

3.The Closer Check uses information from Norwich Union and other leading insurance providers researched by Consumer Intelligence in the last two to eleven weeks.
It is an illustration based on a customer's basic insurance requirements. It is not the price a customer will pay for either Norwich Union or another provider.

4. All price and cover information shown in the Full Check is provided by E Insurance Services Ltd. With the insurance provider's agreement they source "real time" prices and cover information direct from each provider's website. E Insurance Services Ltd and all providers included in the comparison are regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

5. Defaqto is a leading provider of financial services research. Their information on competitor products will be available on the Norwich Union website. They provide details of 142 providers and a total of 214 products as of Sept 2008

6. If a customer wants to buy from another provider they will be directed to, an independent cost comparison site, which is run by E Insurance Services Ltd.

Norwich Union is the UK's largest general insurer with a market share of around 15%, with a focus on insurance for individuals and small businesses.

It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment products and one of the largest Financial Adviser (FA) providers. FAs provide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business in the UK.

In the summer of 2009 Norwich Union will change its name to Aviva. Aviva is the world's fifth largest insurance group and operates in 27 countries. Aviva is to become the customer brand worldwide, thus enabling the company to compete even more effectively on a global scale for the benefit of customers, staff, business partners and shareholders.

Norwich Union's news releases and a selection of images are available from Aviva's internet press centre at


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Erik Nelson
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