Advice For Utilizing Comparison Websites
The explosion of the insurance comparison website has resulted in many people searching independently as opposed to using a broker. This has led to a sharp decline in the brokering industry, and sparked a healthy growth of new, cheap insurance companies. The British motor insurance market is considerable, with the estimated 25 million cars on the roads all legally bound to have insurance cover for at least third party damage. The strength of competition in this market is illustrated by the wealth of television adverts we are continually plagued with from these comparison sites I need not mention the company names, but a certain marketeer and portly, mustachioed opera singer instantly spring to mind!
If you decide to opt for this avenue, ensure that you are entering information as accurately as possible. Incorrect information breaches the principle of good faith and can result in the policy being invalidated and subsequently lead to an insurance company refusing to pay out for a claim. Also, where possible speak to an advise and offer as much information about your circumstance as possible. If the car is fitted with optional extras or loaded with features to arouse the intentions of a car thief, such as a satellite navigation, be sure to make them aware.
Conversely, if it is fitted with features that you believe reduce the chances of a claim e.g.: car security, reverse parking sensors etc. make sure the insurer is aware as this can help lower the premium. Do not make assumptions about how this will affect the premium however, as different insurers rate on various factors in a myriad of ways. Avoid common misconceptions, and research reviews on a chosen company. Acknowledge that even factors outside of your control, such as non-fault claims and local area claims (not just relating to crime) will have an effect on the pricing.
Many insurance companies have well-staffed sales departments, but poorly staffed customer service and claims so make sure you contact these departments as an indicator of how capable they are to satisfy any mid-term issues you may have. Beware premium rate numbers for these services despite a free phone sales line, although is a despicable practice many businesses, not just the insurance industry, are adopting. Many of these new insurance companies offering competitive pricing will deliver extremely poor customer service and are likely to increase the renewal premium the following year, so be prepared to shop around annually.
I would advise caution when insuring with a non-reputable company, having worked for one of them and witnessing the horror stories first-hand. However, using of the major insurers is no guarantee of sparkling service. Providing you disclose all necessary information, getting your motor insurance policy can be a simple and hassle-free process. If you do have difficulties with a company, the Insurance Ombudsman Service is available to offer fair, unbiased mitigation.