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Car insurance

On 10 Sep 2012 at 11:46pm Smiler wrote:
I want to renew my car insurance, is there a decent broker round here or is online the only way these days?
On 11 Sep 2012 at 1:18am Bongo wrote:
Best to go to ALL of those comparison web sites, as they all differ quite considerably in quotes for the same insurance companies. You will also notice that the top quotes will be from those companies paying the most in advertising fees on that day. Even then, it's usually one insurance company but under at least half a dozen names. You really have to keep your eyes wide open, trawling through those websites.
A better way of getting a good deal is to search online for a voucher code, or do the deal through a cashback site.
Moneysavingexpert.com has some useful advice and tips on buying insurance.
On 11 Sep 2012 at 8:44am pete wrote:
Well done Bongo, if only everyone was as helpful as you on this website....
On 11 Sep 2012 at 8:50am Ben wrote:
Smiler watch out for the latest despicable scam. I bought car insurance with Marks & Spencer. After 3 months i changed my car and phoned to change the car on the policy, expecting a slight adjustment in price one way or another. I was told that the new car was not on the underwriters list and i would have to start a new policy thus losing the remainder my existing policy as no refunds were permitted. This may have been fair enough if i had been changing my VW Golf to a Bugatti Veyron, can you guess what car i was actually changing to....a VW Golf, same age, same engine, same colur, but with an auto gearbox. So make sure to check you can change vehicles if there is any chance you may do during the policy.
On 11 Sep 2012 at 9:12am Merlin Milner wrote:
The insurance business is over complicated and a waste of our valuable time. I would be quite happy with one national company for domestic insurance that offered cheap insurance. They operate a cartel and are as pointless as the 'choice' in directory enquiries or utilities.
On 11 Sep 2012 at 9:16am Southover Queen wrote:
That's pretty shocking, Ben.

When you're doing the comparison website crawl don't for heaven's sake add your phone numbers, or if you do make sure you tick the "no contact" box. Otherwise you'll get endless calls from them chasing you; it's a real nuisance.

Secondly there are several companies who don't appear on the comparison sites which are worth checking. I've been with CIS for years and have no complaints - their quote was cheaper by about a third for me.
On 11 Sep 2012 at 9:21am the old mayor wrote:
Like soap powders, most of the cost is actually advertising revenue !! Scandalous !!
And those TV adverts... relentless and puerile which only serves to prove my point !!
On 11 Sep 2012 at 9:42am someone else wrote:
Both times I've used a comparison website I've ended up getting completely shafted, for the sake of maybe a £20 saving, for reasons similar to those mentioned by Ben. I wouldn't ever go for the cheapest option on a comparison site. Avoid Swinton or any of their subsidiaries like the plague, and Churchill's skills and lying and deception are beyond compare. With Morethan now & they seem OK - but then I haven't claimed or changed cars so I wouldn't really know.
On 11 Sep 2012 at 9:50am Enoch wrote:
Also keep an eye on the policy excess, the cheaper the policy the larger the excess.
On 11 Sep 2012 at 10:36am jonnyboy wrote:
Having insured my cars online for years I found a broker,Mark Alexander, at a-plan insurance group in Guildford. Got my cover down to under £200 with protected bonus and only £100 excess. Try him on 01483 501 281.
On 11 Sep 2012 at 11:27am Deelite wrote:
I use RT Williams of Hove (for business and personal insurance (01273 328181) and have done for years. I check the quotes they give me most times and have never been able to better them. One year when getting car insurance they told me of an online offer that was cheaper than any they could supply. Honest or what? I took the online policy out and the next year the cost of it increased by £180! I went back to RT Williams.

I think online comparisons are way overrated and a good broker is worth its weight in gold.

Another important thing is to never renew without checking prices. The insurance companies rely on you automatically renewing to get maximum returns. A short phone call to your broker can save lot of money. This principle should be extended to the AA (who are terrible for this) and many other organisations.
On 11 Sep 2012 at 11:37am Southover Queen wrote:
That's very true, Deelite. I remember once hesitating for a nanosecond while sorting out my combined household/contents insurance with the bank. The operator interpreted the silence as my being about to turn down the offer, and he reduced the quote by 25%. As it was an expensive quote (previous flooding...) it was a BIG saving; that taught me never to accept the first offer.

The online brokers are cherry picking the very lowest risk clients leaving the rest of us with much higher premiums. If you do use them, be very certain that you aren't excluded in the terms and conditions, otherwise they'll be taking your money only to turn you down the moment you try to make a claim.
On 11 Sep 2012 at 11:42am Rookie wrote:
Car insurance is a minefield. the main problem is that you never really know how good (or bad!) a company is until you have a claim or try to change your policy. I have been through many companies over the years and I have generally gone for the cheapest quote every year after much research online. But having not made a claim in over 15 years I can't really say how good any of them were. The last couple of years i have been with elephant.co.uk......very cheap compared to everyone else but obviously I have not troubled them yet to find out what they are really like when you need them.
On 11 Sep 2012 at 12:00pm Clifford wrote:
Merlin has put his finger on it. This eternal shuffling around making a phoney 'choice' should be completely unnecessary.
On 11 Sep 2012 at 5:52pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I agree about it all being a minefield, but have never been able to beat the online quotes from the main comparison sites. However, they did want a £25 "admin fee" to add another driver to my policy!
Another tip when using the online comparison sites:
The premiums quoted vary day by day, even with the same companies through the same websites. If you can bear it, you can save money by doing your check several times, over a few days, and saving the quote each time. That tip saved me £28 last year.
On 11 Sep 2012 at 6:11pm Teacher wrote:
I added my wife on my camper van insurance and believe it or not the insurance went down. So providing your wife holds a licence and even if she doesnt want to drive your car, stick her on it's cheaper.
On 11 Sep 2012 at 7:26pm Sussex Jim wrote:
Get a camper van anyway if you want really low insurance. But be prepared to be told "We don't insure Those!" abruptly after spending a session on the phone to one of the so-called cheaper companies, as they tend to only insure the popular everyday models.
On 11 Sep 2012 at 7:36pm Rookie wrote:
Out of interest a couple of the most popular companies have always given me very high quotes. Direct line and Admiral have always been a lot higher than others for some reason.
On 12 Sep 2012 at 7:25am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I've found the same, Rookie. I think it's because of their huge advertising budgets. They need to fund them somehow.

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