Why a broker?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for nearly a decade, you’ve probably heard of price comparison websites. Besides sticking in your memory because they are annoying/cute (depending on if we’re talking about an opera singer or a meerkat), they have become very much the norm for the general public buying insurance. But now both the market and competitors have adjusted to their presence, are they such a good deal?
Cheap or easy
As you may have noticed, things in life tend to fall into mutually exclusive categories, with rare exceptions. You can have a fast car, or an economical car. Food can be healthy and easy to prepare, cheap and easy, or healthy and easy, but rarely all three. And much in the same vein, insurance can either be cheap and cut out some protection, or it can cover everything you need and ensure you don’t end up the subject of a newspaper article that starts ‘my home insurance nightmare’. The latter tends to come with better service as a bonus.
So which is right for me?
This very much depends on your situation. Are you struggling from month to month, or stuck on a low income while you’re young and work your way up in a career? Then price comparison sites may well work for you, provided you’re well informed, and don’t mind risking more of a loss if something bad did happen. They are very much a gamble, but they’re a cheap gamble. On the other hand if your income is established and you’re securely saving for the next step, whether that’s a house deposit, early retirement or that new kitchen or car you’ve been eyeing, then price comparison sites become a bit of an unnecessary risk. A small difference in monthly premiums probably won’t effect that new car or retirement plans, but finding out your price comparison home insurance doesn’t cover everything after disaster strikes? That could set you back quite some time.
So what are the advantages of using an insurance broker?
Here are a few reasons why it might be better to go to a broker for your insurance:
• Free access to expert advice. Comparison sites and brokers get paid in the same way, they are paid commission by the insurance provider for finding them a customer. The difference is, brokers have specialist advice and don’t mind sharing it. Most will be more than happy to answer any questions you have, whenever you have them, over the phone or in person. They can use this knowledge to help find you the insurance that covers everything you want.
• Know your options. Insurers won’t always offer you every type of cover when you go direct, and they don’t always put all their options on price comparison sites. Brokers have access to the full details of available cover, and can show you policies you didn’t know existed.
• Find the right cover for your circumstances. A broker will ask you about your circumstances and what you want covered, as well as inquiring about any existing policies that might overlap. Asking these questions in person rather than through an online form allows them to build a better understanding of your personal needs, and use their wide knowledge to find a (possibly less well known) policy to fit.
• Get a good price. Brokers can often get you a good deal not available to others by comparing prices and product features. They also have access to special broker pricing. Brokers get a good deal because the risk is lower for the insurer. Brokers are professionally trained to choose the right policy for their customers, and not to under insure, therefore avoiding unnecessary claims while maintaining the correct premium income.
• Find rarer, specific policies. On comparison sites you might not find cover for things – like income protection or critical illness – that need to be tailored to suit your needs. You certainly won’t find special or bespoke cover on there, so if you want to insure something unique like a high-value antique or a collection, a broker will know where to go.
• Your claims are taken care of. If you need to make a claim, your broker may speak to loss adjustors and claims departments and do as much as possible for you so you don’t have the hassle and worry.
How do I go about trying this out?
Using a broker is simple really, and speaking for ourselves you can try out our services while still on your existing policies without paying us a penny. Simply give us a call and ask us about the policies you have as well as the cover you’d like. From there we can transfer your policy over if you like so you can try us out for free. If you want to go back on renewal, that’s quick and easy too, though we find very few of our customers do (a fact we are very proud of). Call now, or save our number in your to-do list if you’re busy, and see if you could do better with a broker.