Insurancewide will close on 31 August 2009 unless it is bought, because of the costs of its VAT battle against Customs and Revenue (HMRC), which is appealing the site’s court victory.
The company said: “The financial consequences for Insurancewide that result from defending the action over a period of five years, coupled with the prospect of an appeal to the Court of Appeal and then to the House of Lords and even to the European Court of Justice, has made this announcement of cessation of trading unavoidable.”
James Harrison of Insurancewide says: “The financial burden on Insurancewide to commit to this ongoing legal process is simply too high both in time and resources, especially when, in spite of winning the case, we have yet to receive any reimbursement of our costs from HMRC.
“The battle with HMRC has lasted five years so far and has had a severe detrimental effect on the development of our business. It is a great personal disappointment to me and to all the team that after nearly ten years of breaking new ground in the insurance aggregation market we will have to cease trading unless we can find a suitable investor to acquire the assets of the business. Insurancewide has been a leader in its field and I remain hopeful that we can ride out this storm”.
Insurancewide claims to be the original insurance comparison site, launched in 1999.