Time was when practically our every insurance need was likely to be met by the friendly insurance broker found on most high streets up and down the land. You might think that the services of your local insurance broker have been overtaken by the recent explosion in internet sales of insurance and the use of comparison websites.
In fact, some long-established brokers have never been away – and others may be making a comeback – so what might be some of the reasons for using just such a local service the next time you are looking for car insurance?
- local is probably one of the words that says it all;
- they are just that – on hand just where you might need them, a relatively short distance from your home;
- being just a convenient hop away, the broker’s office is somewhere you may drop into, make a telephone call at a local rate and build a genuine face to face relationship;
- this may prove the perfect antidote to the impersonality and anonymity of arranging your car insurance online – directly with the insurer or through a comparison website – let alone the frustration of attempting to deal with a voice at some distant call centre;
- but there are more important reasons perhaps than just the friendly atmosphere of a local broker;
- if you are looking for a motor insurance broker in Southend, for example, you may find the reassuring balance between a long established business and a broker experienced and expert in the provision of motor insurance;
- here the principal reason for using a local broker, for instance, may be the sheer breadth and depth of knowledge he is likely to have;
- it is typically a knowledge which works in two directions – on the one hand, the local broker may have an even better understanding of your motor insurance needs than you yourself, and on the other hand a detailed knowledge about all that the motor insurance market has to offer;
- what the broker may be able to do, therefore, is secure a much closer match between what you really need and what the market may provide than any number of comparison websites;
- according to the consumer association’s Which? Magazine, a broker is able to offer guidance about the most appropriate cover, particularly when you have a unusual car;
- comparison websites may be able to point you in the right direction – but only if you have a certain knowledge of the insurance you need, understand the policy descriptions you may read on the screen and accept that comparison websites are rarely exhaustive in the insurers they list;
- that is not to say that the local broker is necessarily in competition with comparison websites or large national insurance providers – simply that their business is entirely oriented towards a local client base;
- in recognition of the loyalty and special status of the local customer, in fact, one Southend broker is offering to match any premium offered online for a comparable motor insurance policy;
- residents living within a 25-mile radius of the town, can use the internet to find the most competitively priced motor insurance and rest confident in the knowledge that their local broker is happy to meet that price for the same type of cover;
- the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is able to help you identify a broker operating in your area.
Despite the apparently irresistible rise in the use of the internet for buying motor insurance, there remains an important role for the local broker.