If you live in Greater Manchester and need car insurance you have two options: use a local broker or a national price comparison service. Which will give you the best policy, bearing in mind that the best policy for you is not necessarily the cheapest one? Here are some pros and cons for you to consider.
Advantages of using a Manchester broker
Brokers are experts in the insurance market, and can sometimes find you discounts and better rates than you could get yourself on price comparison services, particularly if you already have any of your existing policies (such as your home insurance or life cover) through that broker.
Also, many people prefer to work with a local broker, rather than an Internet based company, because they feel more comfortable dealing with someone local. This can be particularly important if you have a bad driving record or an unusual vehicle to insure.
Local brokers often have arrangements with local insurers, and can often tailor your policy to fit your needs better. You would also have access to a real person if you needed to make a claim against your policy.
Advantages of using price comparison services
Price comparison services are quick and easy to use, and can provide you with a wide range of quotes from different insurers all at once, including those you may not have had access to if you had used a local broker. This can be helpful if you are in a hurry and need to get a policy in place, or if it simply isn't convenient to to visit the broker, or ring them during their office hours.
Price comparison services can often provide quotes from very many more insurers than local brokers, so you may be able to get a cheaper policy as a result. You can also use price comparison services to compare prices for optional extras such as courtesy cars, legal representation or breakdown cover; and since results are displayed online you can check the reputations of individual insurers too, using review sites such as Trustpilot.
Disadvantages of using a Manchester broker
Brokers usually do business with a limited number of insurers, so not all insurers are likely to be available through them. This can make it difficult to get the best deal for you, as you may not be able to get quotes from some of the top insurers that would otherwise be available if you used a price comparison service, and which might have policies that were a better fit for you.
Local brokers may also charge a fee, which can add to the cost of your policy.
A local broker may not be able to get you the best price because they lack the scale of the price comparison sites. These can generate thousands of policies per day, whereas an individual broker may only pruduce a small number, so they have much less influence with the insurers.
Disadvantages of using price comparison services
Price comparison services often don’t offer you access to the same insurers that a local broker perhaps could, because they usually only offer quotes from insurers on their panel, whilst a local broker is often free to deal with whichever insurers they wish. Also price comparison services usually don’t offer you any personal advice about the best policy for you. This can mean that you end up buying a policy that really wasn't suitable for your needs. Price comparison services often don’t offer any bulk discounts either, if you take other policies such as your home or accident cover as well.
Factors to consider when deciding between the two
- Your driving record: if you have a bad driving record, many insurers on price comparison sites may not wish to offer a quote at all, so you may have no choice but to speak to a broker.
- The amount of time you have: getting quotes from a broker may take a while, but with a price comparison sites you could compare quotes and get a policy within just a few minutes
- Your preferred way of doing things: Some people prefer to work with a local broker for the more personalised experience, while others prefer the quick and easy process of price comparison services.
Summary of the differences
- Manchester brokers often offer access to a range of Manchester insurers, while price comparison services often offer a much wider range of quotes from different insurers.
- Local brokers may be able to negotiate discounts for you if you take out more than one policy with the same insurer. They can also offer you advice on which policies best suit your needs, and can help you with claims on a personal basis are usually accessed through an agent, while price comparison services are usually online.
- The insurers on price comparison sites can also help you with claims but this is likely to be by telephone or online, rather than face-to-face.
- Brokers often have agencies with a limited number of insurers but price comparison sites usually deal with a much larger number, so offering you a wider choice of premiums and benefits.
There are benefits and drawbacks to both ways of buying your insurance, whether online or via a Manchester insurance broker, but why not get an online price comparison quote now? It only takes a few minutes, you would be placed under no obligation whatsoever and you would get your quotes displayed online immediately, rather than having to wait for a broker to get back to you with them. Go for it, you may be pleasantly surprised.