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Cues of credibility and price performance of life insurance comparison Web sites


  • Robert N. Mayer,

  • Jisu Huh,

  • Brenda J. Cude

  • Robert N. Mayer is a professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah ( Jisu Huh is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota. Brenda J. Cude is a professor in the Department of Housing and Consumer Economics, University of Georgia.


An array of Web sites is available to help consumers find the best deals on products and services. While these sites have the potential to save time and money by directly comparing alternatives, consumers still have the task of assessing the credibility of these comparison sites. Experts recommend that consumers look for certain key disclosures or “cues” to assess a site's credibility (e.g., a site's identity, the currency and authoritativeness of its information, its sponsors and business relationships, and its privacy practices). Focusing on 32 life insurance comparison Web sites, this research found that these recommended cues are often not present on Web sites and, when they are, do not seem to predict a site's ability to deliver the lowest-priced quotes for term life insurance policies.

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