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Independent Insurance Brokers

February 17th 2008

as insurance services website confused.com website moneysupermarket.com website

I must say I've been quite impressed by the efficiency of the online comparison sites such as confused.com or moneysupermarket.com (I'm sure other titles are available too!). For the uninitiated, the host site poses a series of relevant questions, just once, then rushes them off to any insurance body willing to take part (for that read either offering insurance cover to the dumb fool who's completed the request or agreeing a commission payment to the host site for each new customer). They certainly take the effort out of answering all those questions over and over again with each new quote. And the access one gets to so many insurance companies is staggering. But you have to ask – am I getting the cover I need?

As is often the case, I only found out the generalist nature of the 1001 offers once I clicked through to the best one...fully comp. cover for any Tuesday as long as it isn't raining, with a £1000 excess and no drivers. I exaggerate a little of course, but what you get back can only be unspecific, even if the host site has excellent tables for displaying those important comparisons such as courtesy car or legal cover. It is unspecific because of those questions remaining unasked at the beginning of the process, such as “do you need partial business use?” or “have you got a wooden leg?”.

So it was at this point that I decided to approach a local Independent Broker (A.S. Insurance Services) – armed with a few of the best online offers. Naturally the dialogue started with all those questions I had had to answer for the comparison site, but then it changed. I had a chat, a friendly conversation with a real person, with other smaller questions about work, car usage and such like. I admit, she was a “nice lady” and I'm easily won over, but she knew I would only be interested in a sensible quote in the same region as the armfuls from the web – so she matched the best quote I had! Fair enough, her company has the flexibility to do that, but I also got all the reassurance that the cover was based on all of the important facts which would later need to be accurate should I be unfortunate enough to have to claim – don't forget, if the insurance companies can find a discrepancy to fail your claim, they will do just that, so accuracy is of paramount importance.

I decided to put my business with the local broker – the cost equalled the best online prices but came with added confidence and a “nice lady” to deal with (disclaimer – not all brokers are either ladies or “nice”).

I have inevitably returned to my broker armed with many online home insurance quotes and have saved enough money in one year alone to pay for a new spare set of wheels to save my alloys from off-road incidents (even though I'm covered!).

Mike.

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