Before the advent of the Internet it was very difficult to compare car insurance quotes from more than one provider. The only way to obtain comparative quotes was to visit a car insurance broker who had multiple agencies with different insurance companies, and even then you might only have been offered a quote from a favored provider who the broker liked to place the bulk of his business with.
Although this was an improvement for the customer who had more access to differing policies, competition for business was much localized and did nothing to drive down rates on a national scale. Similarly, the market for specialist motor insurance services was usually limited to one provider per car type or specialist group, on an agency basis, with little competition.
The Internet has drastically changed the old model and everybody now has access to quotes and rates from virtually every auto insurance company. The rise of the so called car insurance aggregators or comparison site has changed the way we buy car cover, for ever.
With so many options available how do you start to compare car insurance quotes and what should you be comparing in order to get the best deal for your particular circumstances?
Define your insurance needs
Before you even start to visit car insurance comparison websites you need to think about exactly what you are purchasing. You also need to think about yourself and the car you drive.
Are you a so called standard risk?
For example, do you drive a small-engined, low insurance rating group hatchback and are you in a group not penalised for its age or gender?
Furthermore you need to consider how you use your car. How often and for what purpose?
Whilst a sizeable part of the population falls within the limits set by the insurance companies that defines a standard risk, many people will not. This could be for a variety of reasons determined either by the type of car driven or more likely the attributes or characteristics of the person seeking insurance.
What to consider when comparing quotes
It is necessary not just to compare quote offerings from various sources but also extremely important to look at what is being offered as cover options for the price quoted. At the end of the day the price you pay for insurance is only for the claims service you will receive. As with purchasing anything, caveat emptor, buyer beware and check exactly what you are covered for in the event of having to make a claim. The price you pay is only as good as the cover. Many suppliers will offer so called cheaper insurance without pointing out to the prospective buyer, the cuts in covers that have been made to make the motor insurance product competitive. Beware offers which offer special discounts. You may well be getting a fifty percent online discount, but fifty percent of what?
Visit a comparison website if you are a standard motor risk and do not require special covers.
Visit a specialist car insurer if you are young, old, or own a non standard or expensive car.
Use a search engine such as Google to find providers of insurance for your car type or to find specialist providers.
For example if you own a Land Rover, type Land Rover car insurance into the search engine and you will be presented with options which are far more pertinent to you as a owner of that make, including specialist insurers who have insurance schemes for the particular make or model. Similarly, if for example you are a driver in your mid fifties, if you type over fifties car insurance into the search engine you will be presented with cheap quotes designed specifically for the over fifties market.
Always compare the covers offered on a like for like basis. For example, if one site is offering a price with a voluntary excess of one hundred and fifty, ensure the comparative quote has the same excess. Likewise, always read the policy keyfacts document before committing to a policy contract.