Cheap car insurance quotes - are they trustworthy?

Have you ever wondered why, although price comparison sites may have more than a hundred insurers on their lists, when you fill in their proposal form you only actually get quotes from perhaps a dozen or so? Easy. It’s because the majority of companies will not want to insure you!

Why don’t insurance companies want to give me a quote?

It isn’t necessarily because you are seen as a bad risk to them. It is far more likely that you don’t fall into the category of client that they specialise in. For instance some companies want to attract young drivers, because their systems are geared up for them and they usually pay very high premiums. Conversely other insurance companies only want to insure mature drivers with a safe record, because they are far less likely to make a claim. There are specialist companies that prefer sports car owners, and others that prefer female clients. so, if you compare very cheap car insurance prices using a price comparison site, the ones that want your business will usually offer a lower than average quote, and those that don’t will either offer you a skyhigh one or refused to quote at all.

Isn’t it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against male drivers?

It is a statistical fact that young females are less likely to have car accidents than young males, and when these accidents do occur they often happen at a lower speed and so claims are lower too.

Insurers cannot, however, offer lower or higher prices based on an applicant’s sex. They can however discriminate according to that applicant’s driving record or, sometimes more importantly, their occupation! If you have an occupation which is usually carried out by females, such as nursing, human relations, and primary school teaching, you often find that people who do these jobs get lower insurance quotes than people in male dominated occupations such as engineering, building, and car maintenance. So yes it is illegal to discriminate against people on the basis of their sex, but it is not illegal to discriminate on the basis of an applicant’s job!

Also many insurance companies are obviously looking for more female applicants; otherwise why would they have names which make it obvious that they are female oriented! Some of these sites often offer extras which only a woman would be interested in; not many men are going to ask for a quotation from a company that provides handbag cover or discounts for baby seats.

The European Union in their wisdom created a law that on the face of it was illogical, but there is a way around everything.

Why do some insurers offer extras such as free legal representation or a guaranteed courtesy car, but some don’t?

They are marketing ploys. Most so-called ‘insurance companies’ are not themselves insurers. They are brokers who put together insurance packages which are underwritten by a relatively small number of actual insurers. These companies make deals with other companies that provide these so-called ‘free extras’ but the fact is that the number of people who claim these is very low and so the cost to the broker is low as well. What the unsuspecting buyer doesn’t realise is that although they are included for the first year, very often they’re charged for, at a relatively high price, at renewal time! Many brokers actually make more money out of selling these extras than they do from selling the insurance premium in the first place.

Then is it true that the cheapest car insurance quotes come via price comparison sites?

Most of the time you will get the best deal from a comparison site, simply because no one has the time to get quotations from all the scores of different insurers out there. Do bear in mind though that car insurance price comparison sites are not run by charities. They will nearly all get commission from passing you on to the insurer; and if there is a cheaper one that won’t pay them a commission then it is highly likely that you will never see a quote from that company either. But then that’s business.

Should I get quotes from companies that don’t advertise on price comparison sites?

There is nothing to stop you getting quotes from companies like National Farmers Union or Direct Line and you may get a better quotation; but then again you may not. Everything depends on why that particular company doesn’t advertise on a price comparison site. It could be because they don’t need the business because they already have as much as they can handle; and they don’t want to pay the comparison company a commission. Then again it could be that their prices are so uncompetitive that no one would buy from them anyway, if they saw what so many other companies were charging!