Not that long ago you would hear a person say “I searched online” as if it was a badge of honour and a tool that was for the exclusive use for the educated few. The world of the internet has come on in leaps and bounds in a very short space of time.
To connect you needed a modem and this would “dial up” to a server. The drawback of this was immediately evident as the home phone would be taken up for as long as you were logged on. Then came Broadband and fibre optic cables which enabled us to be able to be logged on all day and the home phone line could still be used
This of course gave us more time to spend online and search the web for all manner of information such as the latest news, music, educational sites, goods & services etc.
The birth and growth of comparison sites had begun. Wonderful we all thought, this is how shopping should be, from buying a pair of socks to hiring a banquet hall and everything in between and beyond.
However, how many of us have been short changed from this method of purchasing items we have bought?
- Incorrect items delivered
- Damaged merchandise
- Late deliveries
- Credit cards scammed
- Just plain disappointed when product has been delivered.
Not for one minute am I suggesting that all online shopping should be avoided, I have shopped regularly many times with great success and a few I wish to forget.
I am a believer though, some items do need greater care when buying, than others, especially something as intangible as an insurance / life assurance policy or a mortgage. Each of these has 3 factors to them:
1) A piece of paper
2) A drop of ink
3) A promise
So the aim of this article is to help you to decide which method of purchase suits you best, by giving you the pros and cons of buying an insurance policy online or via a broker.
- Convenient, open 24/7 all year round
- Saves time phoning round insurance firms
- Offers the cheapest price from those that are on the site
- Relaxed form of buying
- A few clicks and you have your quote
- Will quote the cheapest price which often means the most basic policy
- To add on other sections could well end up with you paying more than necessary
- Some comparison sites run credit checks which could have a detrimental effect on a persons credit score
- Comparison sites are restrictive in the questions it asks of you. It is impossible to communicate with you regarding your own individual needs.
- The majority of websites have a default excess. If this is set too high your premium will be lower BUT you will not discover how high until the event of a claim which will cost you several hundred pounds.
- No personal service on offer.
- Any staff member you speak to is not able to offer advice as they are not qualified.
- NOT ALL companies are on comparison sites. Many of the larger insurance companies prefer to deal direct so they can be confident that clients are fully aware of what is being arranged.
- Comparison sites earn a commission from sales.
Buying through a Broker:
- Independent of all insurance firms
- Brokers normally have their own websites so 24/7 is available
- Personal service. Tailor made policy to suit your circumstances
- Professional advice given by a fully qualified person.
- You are treated as a person not a number
- Best value policy advised. This does not necessarily mean the cheapest
- Broker will often come to you for your convenience.
- All options of any policy fully discussed so you only have what is required.
- You may not wish to discuss your personal circumstances with a broker
- You may be knowledgeable and confident enough to arrange your own plan
- You may not know a broker you can trust
- Brokers will either charge a fee or receive a commission or a combination of both.
I am by definition pro broker BUT I am also NOT anti comparison sites. Using a broker offers many benefits and online also has plusses. It is important to use all information available to ensure you get what you are really looking for and not leave it till it is too late to discover you have made an incorrect decision.
Above I have highlighted some of the issues. This list is not exhaustive and I don’t doubt you will have your own ideas. If so I welcome to hear your own opinions .
For more information or to discuss further please contact:
Telephone number: 01708 640855
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority