A comparison exercise conducted by Moneybags found that on average, insurers charge 13% more on car insurance than brokers. “This flies in the face of some direct insurers’ marketing campaigns which claim that ‘cutting out the middleman and going direct saves you money’,” says Angelique Ruzicka, editor of Moneybags.
“Consumers should shop around for the best insurance quote and should approach both brokers and insurance companies to get the best possible price. Our car insurance comparison proves that insurers are not always the cheapest. The added advantage of going through a broker is that you get independent financial advice something which you cannot get from speaking to a call centre agent. The broker will then in turn liaise with your insurer come claim time which cuts out the hassle of doing it yourself and waiting in call centre queues,” adds Ruzicka.
Insurers’ excess quotes were also 16% more on average than those quoted by brokers. “Paying less in excess charges will save you money in the long run too. It’s very important to find out what the excess is when you get an insurance quote. Sometimes insurers will ramp up your excess to lower your fees, which is not always an advantage as come claim time you may not be able to pay the excess to get your car repaired,” adds Ruzicka.
There are some pros to going direct. “When it comes to getting an instant quote the direct insurers generally won every round as they were able to give an immediate answer over the phone, which was very convenient. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy with the brokers. If we phoned a broker in the morning some were able to get a quote back to us by the end of the day but others took more than a day to get back to us,” says Ruzicka.
Cheaper car insurance tips:
- Shop around but be careful: make sure that you are comparing like for like cover. Sometimes insurers make tweaks to your policy and give you a cheaper quote. Make sure you don’t lose out on any benefits.
- If you want to pay cheaper premiums you have the option of ramping up your excess but make sure you can afford this excess come claim time.
- Find out if the insurer/broker is willing to reduce the premiums if you enhance the security features of your car.
- Haggle: don’t accept the first quote you get. “We found that brokers were less flexible once they issued us with a quote but direct insurers were keen to negotiate when we didn’t sign on the dotted line immediately,” adds Ruzicka.
- If you are a good driver consider having a telematic device installed. Some insurance providers are willing to reward good driving behaviour.