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Welcome to the price comparison jungle!

Comparing car insurance should be a nice simple operation but there can be problems – and here are just a few ways to avoid them:

1) make sure that everything you put down on a proposal form is 100% accurate!

Insurers carry out checks on information that their clients provide them with when applying for a quotation. This is very easy for them because the amount of data available on each and every one of us is far more than we think, and insurers routinely share information about motorists in order to cut down on fraud. If an insurance certificate is issued and subsequent investigations show that some of the questions were answered incorrectly, whether purposefully or not, the policy can be cancelled. Depending upon the insurer that is selected, anything up to 25% of applicants are refused in this way, and usually there is a substantial charge deducted from any refund that they receive. Even worse, some insurers only carry out checks following a claim; if cover is withdrawn at this stage it could mean financial disaster for the drivers concerned.

2) make sure that you are comparing like for like.

Most people who apply for car insurance through a price comparison website look at one thing and one thing only; the cost. Sometimes however the benefits that the competing insurance companies provide can be completely different; for example one insurer may throw in free legal assistance in the event of an accident, another may offer a courtesy car when necessary, others may insist on different compulsory excesses. These are factors which could make quite a lot of difference to a quotation so before buying a policy make sure that you know exactly what you are actually getting for your money.

3) price comparison sites are not necessarily impartial!

Most price comparison websites are at least partly run by insurers who offer their own products alongside those of other insurance companies. Would it be cynical to suggest that they may or may not favour their own products? Currently there is a government investigation into this very question so you may feel more comfortable dealing with an independent comparer.

4) check out the companies before buying.

Not every business in Britain works to the highest standards and insurance is no different. Some companies routinely received a great deal of praise but a lot of others, sadly, attract more than their fair share of complaints and criticisms. It is perhaps no coincidence that many of those that are complained about the most tend to be amongst the cheapest. So, no matter how attractive a quote appears to be, check out reviews of the company online before buying.

Why not get a completely independent price comparison here?