How to Find the Best Car Insurance Company for Your Needs
Looking for the best insurance company to deal with? Many motorists insure their cars with inferior insurers that could leave them by the roadside in an emergency, with delays to claims or quibbles over policy details. You can drive along that road more confidently when you are covered by a reputable and reliable underwriter.
FCA Compliance is Essential
Formerly the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the Financial Conduct Association (FCA) is an independent body that regulates the insurance industry to ensure that motorists are sold policies in a fair manner. It is vital any company you approach for a policy is FCA compliant. If you want to see if they are what they say they are, the FCA website has a facility for searching their database of registered companies to check. If the insurer is registered abroad, is it fully authorised? Many aren't.
Consider a specialist insurer
If you have a standard vehicle which needs straight-forward cover, then there is a large pool of companies to choose from; a quick search on a Price Comparison Site can usually give you a selection of attractive quotes to consider. For drivers who present a particularly high risk, for example younger, new drivers or those with motoring convictions, a specialist broker that advertises expertise in providing cover for motorists who are traditionally difficult to insure may well be a more promising avenue to explore. Policies for high group cars, luxury cars, sports models, high-performance hot hatches, classic cars and vehicles which have been modified are also often best obtained from niche companies that have the necessary experience in dealing with motors that are out of the ordinary for all the right reasons.
Cheapest isn’t always best.
A competitive quote is highly desirable, but a closer look at the small print may reveal that there are significant penalties for later changes to the policy, the scope of the policy is limited or there are restrictions on how and when your vehicle can be driven. It’s helpful to list the key things you want from your protection, for example a low excess, unlimited mileage or No Claims Discount (NCD) cover and check your proposed insurer provides them. Stripping out added benefits such as breakdown cover can help keep premiums low. In addition, make sure you provide all the information you have on your housing tenure, driving habits, smoking status and car security, all of which impact on premium price.
How good is their after-sales service?
Whilst many customers find that the Sales Team go out of their way to be obliging, they can often have an unpleasant shock when they come use the Customer Care side of the business. Consumer review sites are a good way of finding out more about the type of service you’re likely to receive. Some brokers publish the results of their internally generated customer satisfaction surveys, which may offer some indication on what to expect. Remember to check before you buy what you will have to pay if you decide to change policies or terminate your cover before the twelve-month contracted period is over.
Can they provide the exact policy you're looking for?
Brokers base their cover calculations on an enormous selection of variables. Some, such as driver age and experience, NCD and vehicle group, have a significant impact on price. Others, including overnight parking location, mileage, driving style and occupation have a smaller influence, but when considered altogether can knock a substantial amount off your renewal. The best company for you is going to be one that is prepared to take the time to consider all the information you give them and provide an individualised quote which has been tailored to your specific circumstances.
Are they endorsed by a car owners’ club?
Many motoring clubs negotiate good deals with one or more
providers when members use them for cover. If you’re a member of a car owners’
club, have a look at what companies the club and other members recommend. If
you’re not a member of a club, it’s worth joining one if possible. You can
insure for less through some brokers if you are a member of the BMW Club, MG
Owners’ Club or a similar organisation.
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