There are several important factors to consider when choosing a car insurance company. According to NimbleFins, cheap car insurance companies abound in the UK. Still, there’s more to consider than just cost of a policy, such as customer ratings and independent reviews of the features on offer.
A motorist can investigate real customer experiences at Trustpilot and reviews.co.uk. Some companies are listed on both, but many are only listed on one of these services. Look for ratings supported by a high number of reviews, as these will be the most reliable. However, be aware that many online customer reviews reflect the sales experience but not the claims experience. Trustpilot has added a useful feature to search for a specific term like ‘claim’ that can help find the most useful reviews.
Independent, professional car insurance reviews are also useful. For example, NimbleFins has written independent reviews of most of the top UK car insurance providers. Their reviews include an overview of the standard and optional features on offer, an opinion on how the product compares to others in the market, including a cost comparison, a summary of online customer reviews and mention of Defaqto ratings all in one place.
The Defaqto star rating system is handy for quickly comparing policies based on features alone. When comparing features, see which are included as standard and which are only available for an extra charge – or not available at all. Popular features that are often extra include breakdown cover, legal expenses, personal accident, key cover and courtesy car. If they’re add ons, how much do they cost?
Before deciding on a car insurance company, find out how policyholders contact customer service. While claims lines are typically easy to reach, some budget car insurance companies don’t have customer service call centres. While this can result in a cheaper premium, it also means that customers needing to reach their insurer for a customer service query only have online access at their disposal.
Cost is also a critical factor when choosing a car insurance company. Quotes can vary by 2-3X or more from one company to the next, often for comparable policies. This is because companies price according to their appetite to take on certain risk. A company not comfortable insuring a certain risk, such as an expensive car or a new driver, can be very costly compared to other companies in the market.
For this reason, using a comparison site can be the best way to compare many quotes quickly. This requires filling in a form with details of the vehicle and driver to get many offers from a wide spectrum of car insurance companies. Also, some high-quality car insurance companies like Direct Line and NFU Mutual are not on comparison sites, which can be worth checking.
What’s the best type of car insurance cover?
Comprehensive cover is the best out of the three types of car insurance in the UK. Comprehensive car insurance covers a car damaged in an accident that is the policyholder’s fault. It also covers policyholder’s cars against damage or loss due to fire or theft and the third-party coverage required by law.
What deductible should I choose for car insurance?
The two biggest factors to keep in mind when choosing a deductible (i.e., excess) for car insurance are the size of the excess and how it affects the insurance rate. Could you afford the deductible if a claim is made? The deductible is the amount a policyholder pays towards a valid claim. Motorists should only choose an excess that they can pay for in case of a claim. If an excess is too high, a vehicle owner might not be able to cover their share of repairs in case of a damage claim. Or be able to replace their car with a comparable one if their vehicle is stolen or written off.
Also, take into account how the insurance premium is affected by the excess. For example, a higher excess should result in a lower premium, but sometimes the savings are not enough to justify choosing a high excess.
In summary, choosing the best car insurance company can be a complicated process that can be made simpler by checking and comparing a few items:
- The level of cover (e.g. Comprehensive, TPFT or TPO)
- The features (see NimbleFins and Defaqto)
- Customer ratings (see Trustpilot and reviews.co.uk)
- Customer service access
- The insurance premium (use a comparison tool like MoneySuperMarket, Compare the Market or NimbleFins)
- The excess
Checking the items on this list can help ensure a motorist gets the best policy for their needs. Insurance companies are quite varied, so doing a bit of legwork can help ensure that the right company is found and at the right price.