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 stagnation of the broking industry, and sparked a healthy growth of new, low-cost insurance insurance companies. With all vehicles legally bound to have insurance cover for at least third party damage, and an estimed 25 million cars on Britain’s roads, the insurance market is considerable. The fierceness of competition in this market is demonstrated by the wealth of telelvision adverts we are bombarded with from thos comparison sites I need not mention the company names, but a certain meerket and a rounded, moustachioed opera singer instantly spring to mind!

If you choose 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 prejudge about how this will impact the premium however, as difficult insurers rate on a variety of factors in a myriad of ways. Avoid common misconceptions, and look up customer opinions 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 extremely well-staffed sales departments, but poorly staffed customer service and claims so ask for and ring each of these for an indicator of how well they will handle any mid-term issues you may have. Watch out for premium rate numbers for these services despite a free phone sales line, although this is a disappointing practise many businesses, not just in 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. Having worked for one of these companies and witnessing the horror stories, I would advise caution when insuring with a non-reputable company. That said, using one of the well-known providers of motor insurance is no guarantee of good service. Providing you disclose all necessary information, getting your motor insurance policy can be a simple and hassle-free process. The Insurance Ombudsman Service is available for those who do have difficulties, to offer fair, unbiased mitigation.