Is it worth getting someone else to sort out your insurance for you? Here’s what you need to know about hiring a car insurance broker.
Back in the days before comparison websites, you had two options if you wanted to get a car insurance policy that wasn’t overpriced:
Spend hours getting quotes from a range of insurers and figuring out the best option.
Pay an insurance broker and let them do all the legwork for you.
These days, using a car insurance price comparison site is much more common, but there are some who still prefer using insurance brokers.
What is an insurance broker?
A car insurance broker’s job is to research the insurance market and find the best deals for their customers.
They can either be a one-person-band or part of a company.
What do insurance brokers do?
In a nutshell, a car insurance broker trawls through a number of companies to find the most cost-effective cover for your needs.
You and the broker chat about what you want your policy to cover, such as:
They then act as the middleperson between you and the insurance company and should look out for your best interests when presenting you with insurance deals.
What are the positives of going with a broker?
You may have been put off choosing a broker in the past, because of horror stories of ghost brokers and dodgy policies. But there could be some positives of buying insurance this way.
One of the main reasons why people went with brokers in the past – because they saved you time – isn’t as relevant anymore.
That’s because insurance comparison sites like ours compare dozens of insurance quotes in only a few minutes. You can now get cover for your car without even breaking a sweat.
Where brokers might still come in handy is in the personal touch.
Brokers might also have expert knowledge about the insurance industry. This could come in handy if you’re in need of a specialist policy., such as if you have a classic car or if you’re looking to take your car abroad.
They might also be able to help you out if you need to make a claim in the future. Having someone to guide you through the process could make the whole thing a lot less daunting.
Brokers also have to put customer needs first, above their own or an insurer’s. They must adhere to this as part of the rules of the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA).
What are potential downsides of an insurance broker?
Brokers need to make their money somehow. So, even if they get you a good price, they’ll likely throw in their fee on top of that.
Before you sign the dotted line, make sure you’re both clear about how much you’ll have to pay for their services, and what they will be doing for you. Otherwise, the final figure might surprise you.
There are also concerns surrounding ghost brokers.
This is where a broker gets you a cheaper policy by fabricating your details. You might risk driving without a valid insurance policy and they still get to pocket the fee.
In some cases, dodgy brokers give you a fake insurance certificate and take all the money. In either case, you’re not covered and could be breaking the law.
Finding a broker
There are insurance brokers in virtually every town across the country, so you’re most likely to be spoilt for choice.
The key thing is to find one that’s competent enough to find you a policy that suits both your needs and your budget.
Your first port of call should be to ask family and friends for recommendations. Their views should be fairly unbiased if they’ve had first-hand experience with a local insurance broker.
This should help you draw up a list of potentials, and it’s up to you to narrow it down. In particular, look out for a broker that:
Has experience in getting proper cover for your particular kind of car
Can show knowledge of the types of risks and costs you’re likely to face
Is willing and able to support you should you make a claim in future
Can provide testimonials and references from previous clients.
It’s always worth spending some time researching the broker online and social media, as this will alert you to anything dodgy going on.
Finding a suitable broker can be a time-consuming process.
If time is something you don’t have much of, that's where we can help. When you use our service you can compare dozens of car insurance quotes all in one place.
Compare car insurance quotes
Do car brokers save you money?
The cost of your car insurance will depend upon many factors, such as how long you’ve been driving and the type of car you have.
Where you buy the policy from could also affect the price, and that’s why it’s important to shop around to make sure you’re not getting ripped off.
Choosing to use a broker could work for you as they can approach specialist insurers.
But before you buy, it's worth shopping around first, to make sure the price really is the best available to you.