By Jonathan Davies

Car insurance on price comparison websites are facing an overhaul after an investigation by the competitions regulator into exclusive pricing.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said motor insurers hold exclusive deals with price comparison sites, promising not to offer cheaper deals on other sites. The CMA said this discouraged competition resulting in the consumers not getting the cheapest deals.

The regulator called for a ban on such deals.

CMA deputy panel chairman Alasdair Smith, said: "They certainly help motorists look for the best deal, but we want to see an end to clauses which restrict an insurer's ability to price its products differently on different online channels."

The CMA also called for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) should look into how insurers advertise insurance add-ons. Protection of no-claims bonus is an area the CMA is particularly keen for the FCA to assess.

"The way motor insurance-related add-on products are sold makes it hard for consumers to obtain the best value," Mr Smith said.

The CMA said it could save customers £20 a year on car insurance, but the AA believes bigger savings could be made elsewhere.

AA insurance's managing director Janet Connor, said: "There remains much greater scope to reduce costs by continuing to tackle the tide of insurance fraud. For example, attempts to exaggerate or make false whiplash injury claims cost up to £90 per policy. This remains a considerable burden on insurance companies but it was outside the remit of this enquiry."

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