The pros and cons of using a car insurance broker 

 Finding the best value car insurance can be a tedious and time-consuming task, and if you're short on time it's tempting just to accept one of the first quotes you receive. There is an alternative, however – and this involves using the services of a car insurance broker.

First, the broker will talk to you about your insurance needs and circumstances, and then they will check the latest deals from a variety of providers to come up with the best premium for you. Once you're happy, they will introduce you to the insurance company, which then decides whether or not to offer you their policy.

Finding a car insurance broker  

Word of mouth recommendations are the best means of finding a good insurance broker, particularly if you know someone whose broker has helped support them through a claims process. Once you have a shortlist, ask each broker about their past experience in finding suitable insurance cover for your type of vehicle, and find out what kind of support they promise in the event of a claim. It might also be worth asking them for references from existing clients willing to endorse their services.  

The advantages of using a broker 

A good broker should take all the hassle out of finding a good car insurance premium, and free up your time to get on with other things. They will have up to date insurance contacts and may be able to negotiate a better deal for you than you would have achieved going direct as an individual. They also have an in-depth understanding of the insurance market and how premiums work, and can talk you through insurance options and help you establish exactly what you need from your policy. The best brokers will also help to guide you through the claims process if you find you need to make a claim at a later date. 

The disadvantages of using a broker  

One potential pitfall of using a broker is the cost, because they add their own fee on to the final premium you pay. Make sure you establish the fee they will be charging you up front. If they are good at their job, their work should pretty much pay for itself: with their list of contacts and well-honed negotiating skills, they should be able to strike a good deal on your behalf, and you will have also saved yourself a lot of your own time. When you're choosing a broker, make sure you also find out how many insurance companies they deal with. Those with a larger portfolio of contacts will have a wider choice of deals to choose from, and are likely to achieve better results. 

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