It’s an unavoidable part of owning a car, but car insurance isn’t the feel-good part of car ownership, rather it’s an annual tribulation to secure the cheapest price possible, or to just let your existing policy roll over and pay the price demanded.
The fact is that most of us take the easy route of going to various price comparison sites, filling in their questionnaire forms, obtaining a range of quotes, pressing the button and purchasing insurance. Easy right? Whilst it may be easy it’s not always the best choice and can end up being a real headache.
Some points to consider before going onto an online comparison site and buying online;
- Can you easily and regularly call the company that you’ve purchased insurance from and speak with a friendly professional insurance adviser? Is it easy to get through? How long do you have to hold on the phone before someone answers? Is it an automated process and you have to press 1 for this and 2 for that? Does the company refuse to take calls and only allow contact by email?
- Are you absolutely 100% confident that the online company will pay out if you have a claim?
- You must have a full understanding of what you are buying.
- You must know where you are buying your insurance from as some companies on the online comparison sites are not actual ‘underwriters’ that are providing the insurance cover, and some companies aren’t professional insurance brokers either.
- When purchasing insurance do you have to speak to a salesperson that is paid a bonus the more insurance policies they sell? Does the salesperson have your best interest at heart, or their bonus?
- When buying online you need to understand the full extent of the cover provided, knowledge of whether the ‘underwriter’ that’s providing the insurance cover is regulated by the F.C.A and covered by the F.S.C.S, the full terms and conditions of the policy, the endorsements that apply to the cover purchased, what fees do both the company where you have purchased the insurance from, and the underwriter that is insuring you charge for adjustments and cancelling the policy.
- How straight forward is to make a claim. Is it a simple process? Do you have to call a number? Can you get through? Is it an automated process? Is it email only?
- What are the online reviews like of the company that you are buying insurance from?
- Are you stressed when buying insurance online? How much of your time is taken up by buying insurance online and dealing with queries mid-way through a policy?
The sensible route is still to use an established Insurance Broker to ease the pain of dealing with insurance companies. It can save you so much time, effort, stress and money.
Once upon a time, your local insurance broker was the only port of call if you wanted to get the best deal, and despite comparison sites, it still is for many.
Long-establisher brokers have long-standing relationships with insurance firms – many of which aren’t available to the public – and can put together a deal you couldn’t, and nor could comparison sites.
Not only that, but a good broker will take time to understand your exact requirements and tailor your policy to suit, whether that means occasional young drivers, regular trips overseas, using your car for work or any number of variables.
Top 5 reasons to use a Car Insurance Broker
- It’s so easy: You can phone a friendly professional insurance adviser, or indeed the same person, again and again, should you wish. It saves you time and stress. You can usually pop into their office and sit down with an expert for advice. They make it a pleasant and easy process. They definitely won’t force you to go online.
- Independent: Car Insurance Brokers are independent businesses dealing with a panel of insurance providers and are duty-bound to find you the best cover, at the best price.
- Professional: Brokers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and are professional insurance advisers that will help you obtain the cover that you need.
- Claims: We all know how difficult it can be to deal with an insurance company after an accident, but if you use a broker they will assist you with the claim.
- People: Unlike insurance comparison sites, brokers are staffed by real people with real knowledge and expertise on the product that they provide.
Even if you’ve never used a broker before and have always just used car insurance comparison sites (some of which are actually owned by big insurance companies), what do you have to lose by trying a good broker before your insurance expires?
You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised, especially when you realise you have a real professional on your side trying to get the best cover for you at the best price.