Comparing car insurance
To get the best level of car insurance cover for the best price, you need to invest some time in comparing several quotes from different insurance companies before you buy.
Online price comparison websites can help speed up the process, doing a lot of the legwork for you from the comfort of your own home – but you still need to make sure you're comparing like-for-like.
How do you know if one policy is better than another?
Car insurance quotes by phone
You could contact each insurer separately by phone in order to get an accurate quote. This offers the advantage of having a trained sales person at the other end to guide you through the process and make sure you get the most suitable cover at the best price. This method can be very time consuming, however – as you have to make lots of lengthy phone calls to different providers before you can even start to compare quotes.
Comparing car insurance quotes online
A more popular way of comparing car insurance quotes is to do it online. If you choose this option, there are a few important steps you should follow to make sure you're comparing like-for-like and genuinely finding the best deal for you:
- Decide what level of cover you want (e.g. fully comprehensive), and make sure all of the online quotes you retrieve are for that same level of cover. You may also want to start off comparing the basic package from each insurance company, and then follow up with a separate comparison of quotes that include all of the extra features and options you'd like added on to the basic package, if you can afford it (e.g. replacement car hire if your car is off the road). Check that the basic coverage from each provider is the same, and if there are differences weigh up how important they are to you.
- Remember that if you get quotes through several individual insurers' websites, rather than a single price comparison website such as this, it may be difficult to compare like-for-like – mainly because the wording will vary from one site to the next, making you unsure if you are comparing policies that are exactly the same.
- When you compare premiums, look at the excess on each policy (the amount you pay in the event of a claim). With a higher excess you will generally pay lower premiums, but if you end up having a particularly unfortunate year on the road the lower premium for a higher personal outlay won't turn out to be a bargain.
- Last but not least, compare the financial resilience and consumer rating for each insurance provider you're considering. This will give you the peace of mind that the company you choose will be there when you most need them. You will not be securing a good deal if you opt for the cheapest company but later find that it is not around to pay a claim, or leaves you waiting around for a long time before you receive your payout.