Should You Take Out Car Insurance Via A Broker? – Forbes

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The Forbes Advisor editorial team is independent and objective. To help support our reporting work, and to continue our ability to provide this content for free to our readers, we receive payment from the companies that advertise on the Forbes Advisor site. This comes from two main sources.
First, we provide paid placements to advertisers to present their offers. The payments we receive for those placements affects how and where advertisers’ offers appear on the site. This site does not include all companies or products available within the market.
Second, we also include links to advertisers’ offers in some of our articles. These “affiliate links” may generate income for our site when you click on them. The compensation we receive from advertisers does not influence the recommendations or advice our editorial team provides in our articles or otherwise impact any of the editorial content on Forbes Advisor.
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The comparison service on our site is provided by Runpath Regulated Services Limited on a non-advised basis. Forbes Advisor has selected Runpath Regulated Services Limited to compare a wide range of loans in a way designed to be the most helpful to the widest variety of readers.
Published: Jul 29, 2022, 12:15pm
Shopping around for car insurance when your existing policy comes up for renewal each year is the first step in getting the best deal. But, rather than searching for the best car insurance policy yourself, you could employ a broker to do the legwork for you. 
This guide explains how car insurance brokers work – as well as their pros and cons – so you can decide what’s best for you.
A car insurance broker is an independent person or company that researches the insurance market on your behalf to find the best deal. 
Your broker will ask you to provide a few personal details alongside any particular policy requirements such as adding additional drivers, the type of cover you require, and how much voluntary excess you’re prepared to pay. 
Your broker will then look for the most suitable car insurance policies to meet those needs. 
Car insurance brokers act as a platform between you and insurance companies. And, under  British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) rules, they must always put your interests first. 
There are certain situations in which buying car insurance through a broker could work to your advantage. 
You could get preferential rates. Some brokers have relationships with insurance providers that mean they can negotiate more favourable rates on car insurance. 
You’ll have access to specialist expertise. Brokers have extensive experience which can be helpful in some scenarios – for example, if you own a classic car and need a specialist policy or if your personal circumstances mean it’s harder for you to find insurance.
You could get help making a claim. Car insurance brokers can often guide you through the process of making a car insurance claim. As well as making the process less stressful, brokers will make sure your interests are covered and, in the event of a disputed claim, can argue the case on an equal footing with the insurer. 
You might find a more suitable policy. If you’re unsure of all the terminology or you’re not sure which car insurance policy is right for you, using a broker could help you to get the right level of cover at the best price. 
While using a broker has a number of advantages, there are also a few downsides to watch out for. 
Perhaps the most important is that many brokers only work with a panel of car insurance providers which means they won’t be able to search the whole market and might not find the best deal available.   
What’s more, you might have to pay a fee for the broker’s services or a commission payment could be added into your premium, making it more expensive. For this reason, it’s vital that you know exactly how much you will be charged before agreeing to anything. 
You might also feel it’s unnecessary to use a broker to find the best car insurance deal, particularly as you’ll need to find the time to talk to your broker and run through your requirements. 
Price comparison websites make it quick and easy to search the market and find a good deal at a time that’s convenient for you – whether that’s from the comfort of your own sofa or on your commute to work. 
A ghost broker is someone who sells you a car insurance policy that doesn’t exist or isn’t valid, meaning it won’t pay out if you need to claim. 
Ghost broking is a type of scam that makes you believe you’ve found a cheaper car insurance deal, when the reality is you have no cover at all. The scam usually works in one of two ways:
To ensure you don’t fall for this type of scam, always be wary of brokers who contact you via social media or advertise their services on message boards in local businesses. Remember that if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 
If you’re concerned you bought your car insurance policy through a ghost broker, contact your insurance company directly or check whether your policy is included on the Motor Insurance Database.
To be sure you’re using a regulated, authorised car insurance broker, always search for one using BIBA’s Find a broker service.
Using a regulated broker means you can go to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you have a complaint, and you’re protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the event your insurance provider fails. 
I’ve been writing about personal finance issues for many years across a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers. My role is to demystify financial products, explain people’s options and help them make the most of their money.

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