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Which very cheap car insurance policy is the best one for you?
That will depend upon just what you want it for.

If you drive a cheap car, that has just about got through its MOT test and will not cost you a lot to replace, then you may just want to just get your car street-legal. Once upon a time a third-party policy would have been enough. If you had an accident which was your fault the insurer should pay for any damage or injury you caused to other people, and you'd either fix your your own car yourself, or scrap it and if someone stole it you'd just shrug your shoulders and buy another one. The problem is that third party insurance now is often even more expensive than comprehensive cover! Take a look at our article here. Looking for the most economic comprehensive policy? Be careful. That really low price might turn out to be the most expensive in the end, after you've paid for excessive penalties, charges and extras. See our article on cheap car insurance tricks that some insurers pull. And don't bother complaining to the ombudsman, they are all listed in the terms and conditions. You DO read them before you buy insurance, don't you?

Despite all this there ARE bargains out there. You just have to look around and compare benefits as well as costs - make sure that you know what you are buying and which extras, if any, you will be hit with before committing yourself. Every insurer has to make all the information available in an easy to find, and read, format so please, please do so and then you won't suffer from any unexpected extra expenses.

Sometimes cheapest isn't really best
You probably have a vehicle which is at least half decent and which you want to protect. A third party fire and theft policy should at least cover it if someone stole it, or it set on fire (subject to certain conditions, as you will read below), but otherwise you would need fully comprehensive cover, at the cheapest possible price.

The problem is that in this world you usually get pretty much what you pay for, and if a particular policy is extremely cheap there will almost inevitably be a good reason for it. There will be two things you will have to look out for; firstly, just what does it cover; and secondly, in the event of an accident, just how much trouble will you have making a claim. There are a number of cheap insurers out there, but if you look them up on Google you will find that far too many of them have a dreadful reputation for trying to wriggle out of paying on claims. We do of course have an insurance ombudsman who people who feel they have been unfairly treated by insurance companies can turn to, but there are quite a few insurers selling policies in Britain who are based in Gibraltar. Gibraltar does not have an ombudsman scheme and although these insurance companies can voluntarily agree to join the UK one we do not know of one single company that has done so. Therefore, if you have a policy with a Gibraltar-based insurer that refuses to pay out, you could well find yourself having to go through a long and expensive process to try to force them to pay; and you could well find that because the policy, which forms the contract between you and the insurer, contained get out clauses in their favour, that you lost your case anyway. You may feel that it is worth paying that little bit more to a British-based company, in order to have that extra protection.

How middlemen push up your prices
There is usually no set price for a motor insurance policy. This is because the underwriters ask for a certain price, and then extras are added on by whoever sells it to you; usually a broker. Many of the 'insurance companies' in Britain are in fact brokers and not insurers; companies like the AA, RAC, Budget, Halifax, Churchill, Privilege are all brokers. To make things more complicated their products are then sold again by other brokers or through price comparison websites; all of whom take a bite out of the cherry. By the time the poor motorist pays the inflated premium several companies get a slice of the action before the money is handed over to the people who actually underwrite the policy! fortunately selling motor poplicies is a cut throat competitive business so there are bargains to be had, provided that you know where to look.

Do price comparison sites offer the lowest premiums?
Most vehicle insurers and brokers have special offers from time to time, and sometimes these are quite generous. The problem is that there is no way of telling when they will be available. This is a good reason to use a price comparison engine, because it will get you quotes from a very large number of insurers which should include their latest offers.

However, how impartial are they? Remember that most larger comparison sites are owned by insurers who have their own products to promote. Are their results really impartial? Do they necessarily show the cheapest price available? Remember that none of them compare policies from every single insurer in Britain, and many (most) only display offeres from those that pay them a commission. Someone, after all, has to pay for those lavish TV adverts. So, sometimes you will get a better price from a small broker (if you can find one) or a well known comparison engine you feel you can trust.



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