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Getting the cheapest car insurance

Buying the cheapest policy used to be simple. You went to a broker who looked through a list of insurance underwriters to find one that offered the lowest quotes based on your address, the car you were driving and your accident/conviction record. These quotes were based on their own experience, backed up by statistical records. However, individual underwriters had a lot of discretion about how much to charge. Because a lot of the work in calculating the quote involved real human beings, often discussing prices over the telephone, the system was not very efficient and consequently the commissions that brokers charged was quite heavy; often up to about a third of the total premium.

Then computerisation came along

Computerisation speeded the quote process up considerably. Less manual effort was needed to work out profitable premiums so costs fell; at the same time more modern-looking companies entered the insurance market. The commission that brokers earned fell in the face of increased competition.

Then the Internet came along

The ability to bypass brokers completely by buying online slashed costs even further; then the introduction of price comparison sites meant that many motorists had no need to speak to a broker at all, and the increased efficiency meant that commissions fell even further!

All good news for the motorist?

Commissions payable to intermediaries, such as brokers and the owners of price comparison systems, have fallen to an all-time low, which has meant lower costs for most motorists. On the other hand they are missing out on the advice that a trained broker can give them, with the result that some people have bought the wrong policies for their needs. There is still a place for an independent broker for many drivers with non-standard issues such as expensive cars, convictions, bad accident records, etc.

...And in the future?

The use of telematic (black box) technology is likely to increase, giving more personalised quotations. Driverless car technology could disrupt car insurance completely; even if a car has a driver innovations that help with parking, staying in a lane, keeping a good distance from the car in front, etc etc are likely to reduce accidents, and premiums too. Check out the articles below to keep up with the latest developments; then perhaps you will be able to buy very cheap car insurance too.

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Telephoned quotations are provided by Alternative Insurance Brokers, of Anglia House Carrs Road, Cheadle, Cheshire, SK8 2LA, registered in England No 8253536. Alternative Insurance Brokers is a trading name of Alternative Propositions Limited which is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, registration number 602443.