You may ask yourself, what is best, buying insurance through a comparison website or purchasing from a broker?
In recent years these sites have become ever more popular. Likewise, the way we buy building insurance has changed dramatically. There are now many comparison websites that are becoming more popular. It means that consumers can compare the price of hundreds of insurance products from the comfort of their own home. But is it the best way to buy insurance? Do you get what you pay for? Will it cover the cost of rebuilding your property? Or will it just a be cheap insurance?
Why have comparison websites become so popular and are they really the better option?
These sites seem an easy option when looking for a better deal on insurance. It’s simple and easy to fill out the details and then have a wealth of quotes to choose from. They are usually ranked from cheapest to most expensive. It seems ideal for those of us that have a busy lifestyle who want the opportunity to shop around for the cheapest deal in the simplest way. But, cheap insurance is also likely to provide a very limited level of cover. The rise of comparison websites has brought about a rise in competition among insurers. They know they need to be at the top of any search results to be in with a chance of winning the sale. This has led to stripped-down cover and high excesses.
Building insurance comparison sites are not always the best way to get a quote. They don’t always necessarily cover the cost of any claim because the building insurance cover is less than you would normally get. Whilst the insurance premium might well be a lot lower you often find that they don’t cover all of what you might need. For instance, it might exclude cover for burst pipes, and it is important that you check. They may not cover the cost of other items that have been excluded on the policy.
You might feel that you have bagged yourself a bargain after using a comparison website. But you may run into further costs if you have to make a claim and find that you don’t have enough cover. Obviously, you take out insurance to make sure that you are actually covered when you need to claim. What you don’t want is to make a claim and suddenly find that your insurance doesn’t cover it.
You may also find that to keep prices low some insurers have now increased the excess or added a voluntary excess. This means that if you have a £1,000 claim you might end up paying for the first £750.00.
Do price comparison sites offer the best deal?
Price comparison websites work by giving you a list of quotes for the product that you want to buy either commercial or landlords insurance. You search for what you want and the deals that match your search term show up on the screen with the “best deals” near the top.
What about excesses?
If you have ever used a comparison website. You may have seen that you are asked to state the amount of excess to pay on your policy. This is usually the voluntary excess and, this is then added to any compulsory excess. So in the event of a claim, you could have to pay a much higher sum than first thought.
Did you know that insurers pay to be at the top of the list? Insurance companies choose to pay for preferential comparison site listings instead of advertising by other means. For them, it is a better use of their money. For the end-user, though it can result in a confusing and misleading sales journey. The quote at the top of the listing may not be the highest level of cover.
Most favoured nation clauses
These are one key issue that you need to be aware of. They are the so-called “most favoured nation”. Arrangements between the insurance companies and the comparison websites. This is where the websites strike a deal with an insurer. Meaning a particular product cannot be sold at a cheaper price anywhere else.
Does this sound anti-competitive? The regulators believe it is. Because of concerns in this practice. The competition and markets authority have recently launched a separate investigation into an unnamed comparison website. Household insurance in particular. This report found that it wasn’t always the cheapest cover and/or the best possible price.
BIBA said that whilst they support consumer choice, clients need to be aware that they are not taking or speaking to experts. They may not be realising that the low prices sometimes result in having benefits stripped out or a high excess.
Price isn’t everything
While brokers always earn a commission there will always remain a place for individual advice and understanding individual needs.
This can be especially true when a customer is seeking cover for nonstandard risks that may need specialist knowledge. A broker can offer more support to a customer. To ensure that the level of cover offered meets their needs and can continue to offer help in the event of a claim being made.
Whilst price is always going to be a huge deciding factor. For many people. You might find for a very small extra amount you have much better cover well within your reach and you need to check whether you have this option. Price comparison websites don’t give you this they are looking for the best possible price at the least cover.
When people buy travel insurance based on a price. They don’t check or understand what excess they may need to pay should they have a claim. Many consumers don’t realise that any excess applied is per person and per section. Which isn’t the total excess for everyone that is covered on the policy which could also lead to a disappointment.
Whilst there are often filters available on many price comparison platforms consumers don’t always understand enough about the product to use them. As such they may not experience the negative financial impact until a claim is made which it can be too late.
Do price comparison websites offer the best deal?
Not always as outlined above.
There are several different reasons why these may not be the best ones as follows:-
Sites might make assumptions about you and the kind of insurance that you need. When you use a price comparison platform you are giving details like your age, job address and all these can affect your insurance costs. If you get a deal that doesn’t include these you might end up paying more for your cover. For instance, it may not cover you for bust pipes or actually cover the cost of your home.
Some price comparison websites are sponsored by insurers. Which means they list the best deals for those insurers near the top of their listing. They should, however, have a sticker saying sponsored.
Deals displayed on comparison sites may not be as cheap as they seemed. Quotes with low premiums might be at the top, but the excess you will have to pay could be very high you might not be able to afford the cost if you need to claim.
Price comparison platforms don’t always scan the entire market. Often different sites have different algorithms. This means that they can’t give you different search results so you may not be seeing the best available deals.
No thrill cover
The cheapest deals which may not cover your needs. The lowest premium and an affordable excess is cheap upfront. But you might not find it is covered for accidental damage and end up paying them more for the damage yourself. It can pay to go direct to companies like ourselves to discuss this. We deal with all sorts of building insurance cover and we can discuss dealing your insurance premium and trying to reduce this without reducing the cover.
Why use a Broker?
Brokers such as us will work with a panel of insurers and so will have access to the whole market. Often brokers have access to insurance products that cannot be bought on a comparison website. Buying your building insurance from a broker can give you access to expert advice and help you gain the most suitable insurance.
We will, for instance, talk to you over the phone and go through what cover you actually need. Also, discuss the property in detail and your personal circumstances. We can check what cover you already have on your current policy and then match it or increase it. You may not appreciate that a lot of insurance companies offer insurance products with low levels of cover on comparison sites.
Yet brokers have policies that cover a substantial amount of items such as:-
- Property owner’s liabilities in case tenants injure themselves
- Loss of rent cover and alternative accommodation when the property is uninhabitable.
- Accidental damage
- Malicious damage by a tenant (most policies don’t cover this)
- Theft by the tenant (often excluded by many insurers)
- Trace and access for damage to the property when finding a cause of a leak
- Lock replacement
- No reduction in cover for up to 30 days when vacant
- Eviction of squatters
We would be able to provide you with fantastic personal service and you won’t just be another number in a computer. We can identify what you need in relation to any specialist cover.
One of the major benefits in purchasing through a broker is to ensure that we are able to help you when you have a claim on your policy. You will often find that claims can be quite arduous and difficult to deal with.
I have a cheaper quote from an online agent than my broker but I am not sure about the cover what should I do?
What you should do is check that your policy covers you for everything that you actually want. You will often find with online comparison sites that they are selling you the cheapest policy with the least amount of cover. It is fine to have a saving of £10.00 or £20.00 in your pocket today. But when it comes to making a claim and it costs you thousands because you haven’t got the appropriate cover. It could cost you so much more money in the future. It is important that you are aware what your policy actually covers.
You will often find with online comparison sites that they cover the very bare basics such as party, fire and theft. Are you covered for malicious damage? Are you covered for accidental damage? Will it cover the cost of rebuilding your property? Building insurance cover can have lots of different insurance premiums but they don’t always cover the cost of rebuilding your home. You have to be very careful what they do and do not include.
The likelihood is no and that you will have a problem when you come to make a claim. It is not the sort of thing that people realise that they are trying to save as much money as possible. We understand that this may be the case and we will always try and guide you in the right direction to ensure that your policy has what you require. You won’t be just clicking a button and not being able to speak to somebody you can actually talk to us over the phone and we will happily go through it with you. Yes we may be being paid a commission but we are ensuring that you get the best possible product and we will happily disclose this at any time.
We are not being paid to show you five different policies. Having the top policy coming to the top because the insurance company has paid for it like comparison sites. Most comparison sites have an agreement with their providers that they not only pay for a commission on their policy but also pay to be at the top of the list. Whilst it may save you money it doesn’t guarantee that you have actually got the right amount of cover.
One of the main reasons people go with a company like ourselves is that it could help you save time. We have the personal touch and we will look for the best possible product for you not only the first time that you contact us but every time thereafter. We will be able to help you through making a claim and guide you through the process to make it a lot less daunting for you.
iInsure have saved clients thousands of pounds over the past twenty years and ensure that this is not just done when you take the policy out but every year. You will often find with comparison sites is that all they are interested in is getting your business for the first year and then not thereafter. We are here to help you every year and we are not going anywhere.
Why don’t you look at our Google reviews a constant five stars can’t be wrong. Yes they are all clients and none of them are made up and we can assure you you wouldn’t get that on a comparison site. We are here to help you every year not just one year and to ensure that you are a long term client of ours and that you recommend us in future. It is in our ethos. Don’t hesitate to contact us on (01273) 827090.
What to do next?
If you decide to buy from a comparable website it may be an idea to check the policy wording. This is to ensure that your property and possessions are adequately covered and you are aware of what is not covered should you make a claim.
We will be able to provide you with added benefits and look at the small print.
Please do not hesitate to contact us in this regard.
We provide quotes for all types of insurance that will cover the cost of anything that you require on a fully comprehensive policy. We cover commercial property, unoccupied property, unoccupied residential property, industrial properties, business insurance, multi-property landlord insurance and many more. Ranging from legal expenses cover, contents cover, tenant’s liability insurance, blocks of flats insurance, holiday home insurance and block insurance. There are very few properties that we will not be able to cover. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0273 827090 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Choosing the right type of landlord insurance for your property.
You will find that many building insurance comparison websites don’t always cover you for everything you may need. There are a lot of options for landlords on property insurance. Here is an example of what the type of insurance that there are and items that we have already outlined above.
Landlord building insurance.
This covers the cost of re-building your property if the worst happens. This could be something like a fire, lightning strike, earthquake, burst pipes or subsidence. The re-build cost isn’t always the same as the market value or the price you paid for the property. Please read our previous article on how to calculate your sum insured.
Landlords contents insurance – Work out how much it would cost to replace the contents in the property.
If your property is unfurnished, you will probably only need a small amount of cover, but you should always check. If it is furnished, then you will need a lot more.
This covers the cost of damage to your property or contents caused accidental by your tenants. Not all insurers cover this cost and it can be an added extra to your landlord insurance quote. You should always check.
This covers you if the tenant deliberately damages your property. It is not normally a standard cover especially on building insurance comparison websites so again you should always check to see if it is included.
This covers you if your tenants are injured or ill because they haven’t taken proper care of your property. There are various limits you can request.
How much does landlord insurance cost?
When you choose your landlord insurance it is best to find this UK wide. Don’t specifically look for cheap landlord insurance.
The cost of your landlord insurance can vary, depend on a range of factors and these include;
Condition of your property – The better condition it is in the cheaper your premiums will be.
The security measures at your property – Better security such as alarms and locks mean cheaper insurance.
Level of cover you want – The more you will pay if you add extras.
Your claims history – If you have a higher number of claims the more expensive your insurance will be.
Your tenant – Their employment status may affect the price of your insurance premium.
The location of your property – The better and safer the area your property is in, the cheaper your insurance will be.
We don’t just deal with landlords’ insurance we also deal with business/professional indemnity insurance.
Would you like a business insurance quote? Click here.
We can tailor a business insurance quote from a range of leading insurers to ensure that you business is protected. Please don’t hesitate to call us, it only takes minutes.
Our providers tailor the business insurance specifically designed for your business and its unique needs. We are here to help you make sense of types of cover and find the right policy for you, leaving you free to focus on making a success of your business.
What is business insurance?
Business insurance protects businesses against losses that happen as a result of normal business activities – particularly when a compensation claim is made. There are different types of cover for all different types of risk, from legal liability, property damage, to employ related issues.
Why do I need business insurance?
You need business insurance to protect you against the everyday risk that come with running your business. Business insurance can cover you against things like professional mistakes, accidents, thief, damage and legal fees.
Is business insurance a legal requirement?
There are some businesses that must via their professional body have business insurance. It depends on what business you are in. Employers liability insurance is a legal requirement for most businesses that have staff, while other types of cover, such as professional indemnity, may be required by regulatory bodies.
What type of business insurance do I need?
This can depend on what type of business you run and the risk you face.
If your business interacts with third parties, whether that’s customers, clients, suppliers or other members of the public, then you need to consider having public liability insurance.
If your business offers advice or a professional service, or if you handle client data or intellectual property, then professional indemnity insurance could be an important cover.
When you have one or more employees, then its likely your business is legally required to have employer’s liability insurance.
How much does business insurance cost?
The cost of your policy will depend on several factors, including the nature of the business you run, the type of insurance you need and the levels of cover you choose.
When your premium is calculated, the insurers will consider how likely you are to make a claim and how much the claim would cost. Usually, a business that is perceived as a risker will pay a higher premium than a business that is considered low risk.
We know that quality, tailored cover is important to you but should not cost you a fortune. Don’t hesitate to contact us to obtain a quote.
What does business insurance cover?
There is a whole range of different types of business insurance to cover various business risks.
This can be from public liability insurance which is normally where a compensation is made against by a member of the public for injury or damaged caused by your business.
Professional indemnity insurance can cover compensation claims made against you by a client because you made a mistake in your work and they suffer the financial loss as a result.
Employers liability insurance can cover workplace injury or damage claimed by a member of staff.
There are also additional business insurance covers to protect your buildings, contents, business equipment, tools and stock. Don’t hesitate to ask us.
How much business insurance do I need?
The level of business insurance you need depends on the type of business you run and the particular risk you face.
We can offer anything from a million up to a maximum of 10 million of public liability insurance and between 50-2 million professional indemnity insurance. However, if you require more then we can go to specific provider.
When choosing your cover levels, you should check your contracts to see whether your client requires a level of cover and check the guidelines from your regulator or professional body. You should also consider the value of your contracts and the scale of works.
What is commercial insurance?
Business insurance is also sometimes referred as “commercial insurance”. The two terms usually mean the same thing, insurance designed to protect businesses from the risks they face.
Can I get business insurance before registering my business?
Yes, you can get business insurance before registering your business. When you buy your business insurance, you wont usually be asked for your company registration number or any other business registration details.
Can I get business insurance without a trade license?
You can buy business insurance before you have a trade license in place however once you start trading, if your business still doesn’t have necessary licenses, your business insurance may be invalid and claims may not be paid and you should always check this.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for a quote on 01273 827090 or click here to put your details in.