When was the last time you needed to arrange or to renew insurance cover for your home or motor car? If it was at all recently, there is a very good chance that you shopped around online, comparing the policies that suit your needs to the best prices offered by internet-based insurance providers.
Indeed, there may have become an accepted wisdom in shopping for your insurance online – there is a huge range of choice of providers, a wealth of different policies and a fiercely competitive online market that keeps prices as low as possible.
Step back from that accepted wisdom for a moment or two and consider whether a local broker might offer a better service – yet still match the lowest prices you are likely to find on the internet:
- if you are shopping for your insurance online, you need to know exactly what policy you need – the extent of the cover offered and the detailed terms and conditions of any particular policy;
- if you are dealing with a local broker, you are likely to receive advice about the policies available to meet your particular needs and a recommendation about one underwritten to suit your personal needs;
- if you are shopping online, the business is conducted at a distance through the anonymity of the internet – you may be offered a telephone helpline, but nine times out of ten this is likely to be to a call centre, where agents do little more than stick to a script and whose incentives are often geared to the hard sell of a particular product;
- if you are dealing with a local broker, you get the personal touch. You might choose a face to face visit to the broker’s office or you might rely on a personal telephone call, but either way, you are likely to be provided genuinely helpful advice and guidance;
- if you are shopping online, the accepted wisdom is that you are more likely to find the cheapest price – comparison websites and competition amongst the major national providers encourage especially attractive prices;
- yet – in the case of motor insurance, for example – some local brokers are able to match even the lowest price you might find on the internet for a comparable policy – one such example is Alan Blunden Motor Insurance Brokers;
- if you are looking for motor insurance in Essex, for instance, you may need to live within the area in order to be able to take up such a price match offer, which might be limited to certain makes or models of vehicle;
- there might be other considerations, too, such as an age qualification and a minimum period for having held your full driving licence;
- if you have arranged your insurance online and subsequently need to make a claim, you might find that you are practically on your own – or need to chase up every step in the claims process through a call centre, talking to a different person each time you call;
- if you are dealing with a local broker and enjoy the personal relationship that offers, you are more likely to receive the help and guidance you need in making any such claim.
Supporting your local economy
In addition to the comparative advantages you are likely to enjoy through going to a local broker, moreover, you might also take comfort and confidence from the fact that you are doing your bit to help the local economy – and thriving local businesses are often responsible for the air of peace and prosperity that marks out desirable neighbourhoods from those that are less so.
Mark Searcy is Director at Alan Blunden Insurance Brokers. Based in Westcliff on Sea, Essex, the company not only provides great value insurance to local people but nationally as well, online, via their sister sites www.cover4letproperty.co.uk and www.cover4caravans.co.uk. With roots that go back to 1946, Alan Blunden Insurance Brokers still retains the family ethos of offering a personal, one-to-one service as well as the convenience of buying online, if preferred. Find out more about them on LinkedIn or Twitter