Car insurance brokers

If you’re finding it tough getting suitable car insurance at a reasonable price due to unusual requirements like lots of modifications or an imported car, a specialist broker might be able to help.

 Kath Denton
Kath Denton
Updated 1 July 2019  | 3 min read

What’s a car insurance broker?

A broker will search the car insurance market to find you the right policy.

Key points

  • A broker will search the car insurance market for you, to find you what you need
  • Don’t confuse them with agents - agents are representatives of specific insurance companies
  • If you’re having trouble finding insurance, a broker will know the insurance companies that can cover you

They have specialist knowledge of each provider and policy and act as a go-between for you and the insurance company.

Insurance brokers aren’t free - you’ll pay them a commission.


How brokers work

Brokers have relationships with a number of companies - once you’ve given them your details, they’ll pass them on to insurers and come back to you with policies that meet your individual needs.

They work independently and must follow British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) regulations.

That means they need to put you first and find you the best deal they can, both in terms of the scope of cover, and the price.


Brokers versus insurance agents

Don’t confuse brokers with insurance agents.

Agents are representatives of insurance companies and only sell that particular insurer’s products.

If you use an insurance agent, you won’t get access to a wide range of policies but you won’t have to pay any commissions either.


What brokers can help you with

If you’ve modified your car, had it imported or it’s a classic car, you might need specialist advice to make sure you get the right cover.

Standard insurance policies often won’t cover modifications, or some imported cars.

If you’re having trouble finding insurance, a broker will know the insurance companies who can cover you.

For example, if you’ve made a lot of claims in the past, an insurance broker might have access to specialist products with exclusive discounts for having a telematics box fitted in the car, to help you prove your driving’s improved.

Or a specialist broker might cover high performance vehicles, classic cars or drivers with more unusual requirements.

It’s worth going to a broker if you’re struggling to find the right deal via a comparison site.


Differences between comparison sites and brokers

While both comparison sites and brokers can find you a great deal on your car insurance, there are some differences between the two.


Price comparison websites

Probably the most important one for you is that comparing using a site like ours is totally free, whereas brokers charge a fee.

That might mean you end up paying more overall with a broker, even if the policy you choose costs a little less than your cheapest price comparison option.

We compare 365 insurers, and having access to lots of policies helps you drive down the cost.[1]

It’s also quick to get quotes - just a few minutes to give us details, with no phone calls or waiting for deals to come in.


PCW pros and cons

  • Free to use
  • Wide range of insurers to choose from, which can save money
  • Can save you time
  • Won’t always provide specialist insurance

Insurance brokers

Brokers charge a fee, so remember to factor this into the overall cost you pay.

They’ll also probably only have access to a particular number of insurers on their panel, so ask whether they’re whole of market or how many insurers they deal with.

Although they can save you time on having to call up individual insurers, you might still need to wait while they check details with insurers and get back to you.

But if your insurance needs are very unusual, a broker will have the inside knowledge to put you in touch with insurers that can cover you.


Brokers pros and cons

  • Charge a fee for their services
  • Have a select panel of insurers
  • Can save you time
  • Can negotiate special rates
  • Can find you specialist insurance

You can find our full list of car insurance companies, which includes specialist companies for younger drivers, female drivers and more.

Compare and save on your car insurance

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[1]As of December 2020

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