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The Challenge

GoCompare, the independent price comparison website, is a consumer champion that is focused on saving people everywhere time and money.

GoCompare helps people to quickly and easily find, compare and apply for insurance policies, energy tariffs, mortgages, credit cards and other banking, borrowing, travel and utilities products, and works with trusted partners to provide people with a breadth of choice across the market.

GoCompare wants to increase the likelihood of people switching from bad deals to improve their financial situation, and to prove its hypothesis that those who switch have lower bills or premiums than those who don’t. In order to see whether those who switch really do pay less for essential products and services than those who do not, GoCompare commissioned Populus to carry out detailed analysis which would make a fair comparison.

To do this Populus looked at the ‘big three’ products that most households have – home insurance, car insurance and energy bills – and compared the average bills for these products between those who switch and those who don’t. The chief challenge was identifying, through the use of survey data, which respondents were ‘switchers’ and which were ‘non-switchers’.

Populus took a fresh approach in order to solve the problem, using an innovative method and analysis technique.

The Research

The main objective of the research was to uncover the different prices paid between switchers and non-switchers. Populus examined, on average, how much more money is spent by those who do not switch vs those who have switched (amongst comparable audiences). To do this, Populus first needed to establish who the switchers and non-switchers were.

Populus carried out a nationally representative study amongst 5,000 respondents in Great Britain, who were asked to accurately report spend on energy, car and home insurance (where applicable).

The questionnaire included a number of questions which gathered information on previous switching behaviour and future intentions. It also included questions about the motives behind switching and shopping around for these services. All this data was examined concurrently and various models were run in order to determine the most effective and optimal way to best define switchers against non-switchers.

Using the survey data, Populus then compared the average prices paid by switchers and non-switchers in each of the areas. The large sample size in the survey and the depth of information from the questionnaire made it possible to calculate reliable and valid estimates of the cost discrepancies, having taken into account demographic differences between the two groups.

The numbers were cross-checked with official figures for the number of active car and home insurance policies, and the number of households, to generate population figures.

The Outcome

As a result of Populus’s innovative approach and new analysis technique, it was possible to accurately measure and calculate the difference in insurance premiums and energy bills between switchers and non-switchers.

GoCompare was able to use the research in its latest advertising campaign. You can view the full video here:


Anders Nilsson, head of PR, content and outreach at GoCompare, says:

“Instinctively, we’ve always known that people who shop around and switch regularly get a better deal than those who stay loyal to their providers.

But we wanted to prove this beyond doubt, and put a tangible figure on the cost of not switching.

“Populus developed a compelling and innovative methodology to achieve this, through which it was possible to establish how much ‘switchers’ and ‘non-switchers’ pay for essential household services.

The results were astounding – those who switch are collectively paying over £2bn less for their home insurance, car insurance and energy than those who stay put and renew with the same providers year after year.

“By raising awareness of this financial gap, and making our services as easy as possible to use, we hope to transform more non-switchers into switchers, and help them save money on the things they need so they have more to spend on the things that matter to them.”

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