A local banker, a solicitor, an insurance broker and an architect are at a networking event in Poole. Discussions turn to the state of the high street and how something must be done to save them. Having all said that they shop locally whenever possible, the broker asks:
‘Do you buy your insurance locally?’
Embarrassed silence follows.
‘Um, well no; but its different with insurance isn’t it…’
‘How do you mean?’
‘Well its quicker, and it’s cheaper to buy online.’
The broker nods, pauses and asks, ‘So, how long did it take you to get your cover sorted last time you renewed?’
‘Well, by the time I’d done some shopping around on a comparison site, compared quotes and got through the forms about an hour, I suppose.’
The broker smiles, ‘An hour? You could’ve called me and been done in 5 minutes.’
The architect laughs, ‘Ah yes, but it was cheaper’
‘You sure? Did you check all the providers or just the ones paying to be on the website?’ the broker smiles again. ‘And it was definitely like for like-for-like cover and you checked all the exclusions?’
‘No’ he confesses at length.
‘No’ the broker grinned, ‘that’s my job’
And the penny dropped.
Why It Pays To Buy Insurance Locally
The internet is a wonderful thing. It has made communication easier than ever before and made the world a smaller, more connected place. Like most innovations though it has come at a cost. High streets up and down the land have been battered by the rise of online shopping and physical communities have been left impoverished as a result.
In fairness some goods and services are probably better served online. Being able to order food, wine, games and the like is great. The brands we buy are the same regardless of the channel they come through and having them delivered is massively convenient.
When it comes to things such as buying insurance though it’s rather more complicated and it’s also rather more important that you get it right. Order the wrong type of beans online and the worst that can happen is that they go uneaten. Order the wrong cover or a policy that doesn’t give you the protection you need and the consequences can be dire.
5 Great Reasons to Buy Insurance Locally
So why does it pay to buy insurance locally? Well here are 5 great reasons why when it comes to insuring what matters to you, on the high street beats online every time:
Reason 1: It can be cheaper
Sounds like a bold claim? It isn’t really. Price comparison websites only offer you products from providers who have paid to be on them. This means you are comparing only a fraction of the total market. An independent insurance broker such as Coversure which has relationships with many of the UK’s leading insurers can look beyond these providers to find you cover that could be well be cheaper. As a recent FT article found, price comparison sites can leave you feeling far from epic…
Reason 2: The cover can be better
If you need to insure something simple and you have no personal complications; you’re not old or young, you’re don’t need cover for anything business-related and you know the exact rebuild costs of your property and the value of its contents, then getting cover is easy.
Back in the real-world things are a little more complex than that, and to get the cover you need you’ll need help to make sure you have the right levels of protection. There’s also the issue of the quality of cover. Online you will often see super low-priced cover that looks extremely tempting. But who’s behind that cover? And is there a risk that they won’t be around when you need to make a claim? Using unrated insurers can be a real risk: just ask any of the taxi drivers who chose Alpha for their cover…
Reason 3: It can (almost certainly will!) be quicker
List after list of policies, question after question, form after form, these sites can quickly become a black hole of time – especially if you are looking to insure something complex like a business. In a way I sympathize with these sites, they have no choice but to ask you to fill in all these forms. A few minutes on the ‘phone to us and we’ll do the hard work for you.
Reason 4: It will be simpler
Come into an insurance broker’s office and have a chat with a specialist and you can invariably get a simple solution to your needs. This is especially true if you are looking for cover for businesses with multiple needs such as a tradesman, a courier or a hotel owner they will be able to recommend complex needs covers such as commercial combined. They’ll also do the shopping around for you while you get on with your life.
Reason 5: Personalised advice
Online content is great. Blogs, articles and vlogs can all be great sources of generic advice. What they can’t do is provide advice that is tailored to your needs and circumstances.
Getting the right insurance starts with getting the right advice. As the broker said to the solicitor at the networking meeting, ‘Would you expect me to buy legal advice online? Trusting my business’s affairs to either a set of broad facts that may or may not take into account my personal circumstances or to some artificial intelligence powered chat bot?’ He admitted that the idea horrified him.
Insuring the Communities’ Interests
Now, I know I speak as someone with a vested interest, but as well as being an insurance broker I am also a part of the Poole and Weymouth business communities. Both my businesses are on high street locations and I have seen first-hand how many businesses have struggled to stay afloat – and this in areas of the country which have weathered the downturn better than most. Giving people access to informed independent advice – be that legal, property or insurance advice – is an important community service and adds massively to the health of our local business communities.
So next time you need to get an insurance quote and if you want to save time and money then hit the high street, not a website. You’ll be glad you did…
Like Some Insurance Help?
If you’d like some help getting the right insurance for you, then please get in touch. You can call the Coversure Poole team on Coversure Poole on (01202) 801 782 or email us by clicking here.