Everyone knows it makes sense to shop around for the best deals when it comes to car insurance – but what if you’re short on time? How can you find out what’s available if you can’t spend hours trawling the internet or ringing countless firms?
A possible solution is using a car insurance broker. These individuals do the hard work on your behalf by trawling through the various companies and deals on offer to find the most suitable and cost effective premiums for your circumstance. For more details on how your insurance is calculated by the different insurance providers see our guide.
The first role of a broker will be to establish your needs before submitting the relevant information to a variety of companies. Effectively they will be acting as an introducer after which it will be up to the company to decide whether to accept you as a customer.
Why go with a broker?
The simple answer is it can be easier. A good intermediary will be able to take the stress out of searching for a good insurance deal, leaving you to get on with the rest of your life. They may also be better equipped as far as contacts are concerned to strike a good deal on your behalf. The second benefit is the personal contact you will enjoy. Having a named contact who you can discuss your situation with can be invaluable. They will understand your circumstances, know what you need from the policy and be able to make the necessary decisions.
In the best case scenarios they can also play a positive role in supporting you should the worst happen and you need to make a claim. Having someone on your side that knows the score and can guide you through the process will be very helpful during what is likely to be a very stressful time.
What are potential downsides?
One negative can be the cost as a policy set up by a broker may be more expensive than an insurance agent as their fee will be included in the premium. That is why it’s so important to be clear about exactly how much a broker will be charging before signing on the dotted line. Another negative – and one for which you should also seek clarification – concerns the number of insurance companies with which a particular broker can deal. Obviously, those with a higher number of contacts are likely to be better placed to find good deals for customers. Also many policies can be cancelled within 7-14 days without charge if you find a cheaper policy.
Finding a broker
There are insurance brokers in virtually every town across the country so the chances are that you will be spoilt for choice. The bigger question, however, is how competent they are in getting you a good deal and what price you will pay for their services. Ask your friends and family members for recommendations. These unbiased views are worth far more than any flash marketing literature. If possible, seek the views of those that have had cause to claim and get an idea how helpful the broker has been through the process.
This process should help you in drawing up a shortlist of potential brokers. It will then be down to you to carry out your homework on each of them to ensure you have the right company – or individual – acting on your behalf in the future. So what questions do you need to ask? Well you must ask what experience they boast in finding appropriate cover for your particular vehicle, as well as the knowledge they have of the types of risk that you are likely to face.
Establishing the help and support that they will provide should a claim need to be made is also essential, as well as whether they can provide references or testimonies from existing clients that are happy to talk about the past service levels they have received.
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