Following a review of insurance price comparison websites by the Financial Conduct Authority
which found that websites did not always ensure that consumers were given the appropriate
information to help them make informed decisions, A-Plan, the high street insurance broker in
Chelmsford is providing a free Sense Check Service to local residents and businesses who
have searched for an insurance product online and want some peace of mind before they
proceed. The review by the FCA found that some comparison sites did not offer clear
information on the level of cover or excess.
Ben Hatt, Branch Manager of A-Plan in Chelmsford said: “We can understand why people
might want to get price indications from comparison sites, but there is much more to
insurance than just price. The challenge with buying insurance online is that there is very
little (or no) human interaction. Policies are very often bought purely on price, and because
everything is online, very often the customer is unable to have the policy properly explained.
We see many, many examples where people do not understand their cover, from policy
exclusions, bigger excesses or other elements of a policy like bonus protection or permitted
uses of the vehicle, which can lead to disappointment in the event of a claim.
“Getting the right cover in the first instance can help avoid a potentially painful claims
process. That’s where a local broker should earn their keep. They should ensure the policy
is properly arranged, carefully gathering the right information from the policyholder. They
should then explain the main elements of the cover and any exclusions in a way that is
understandable, and does not leave scope for disappointment in the event of a claim. In
addition, some brokers such A-Plan will have a specialist claims manager who acts as a
single point of contact for clients, and looks after each claim from beginning to end.
“If local residents in Chelmsford are searching for a new policy, whether that’s for home, car,
van or work, they can contact us to arrange a Sense Check Service to look at the insurance
cover they are considering.
Brian Stickney, who recently bought his van insurance from A-Plan, said: “I am no expert on
insurance so would rather talk to someone who is. I can explain what I want and how much I
can afford and let them do the work. I just like having that peace of mind and knowing that if I
do need to make a claim, there’s someone I can contact who will look after me, rather than
having to deal with an anonymous call centre. That’s why I use A-Plan.”
A-Plan’s Comparison Site Sense Check
- Have you checked the excess you would need to pay if you needed to make a claim?
- Consider how you would fund the excess if it is a large sum as this could affect the
progress of your claim.
- Have you checked the exclusions? These are often in the small print of the policy.
- If there is anything non-standard about your car or home a comparison site may not
provide the right level of cover, so be wary.
- Are you choosing to pay by instalment? Do you know what interest rate you will be