When to compare commercial insurance brokers and cost?

There is an advert, that once you’ve heard the lyrics, you spend the rest of your day humming “go compare”…and for those seeking a personal insurance comparison, it’s now a natural impulse to test the market for cheaper insurance. But should you be doing the same with the commercial insurance policies that protect your company from business risks?

Personal Insurance Comparisons

Comparison sites are everywhere and now play a key role in the sale of insurance. However, it is important to approach these sites with caution as the cheapest cover may not always be the right one for you.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released several reports offering their review of price comparison websites. The report concluded that price comparison websites left customers focused on price and brand, rather than the terms of the policy and whether this would cover their needs.

In the review, the FCA said that customers mistakenly believed comparison sites would provide them with quotes based on the best policy for their needs, and had assessed the suitability of cover.

It is also important to remember that not all policy options may be available on comparison websites. For example, individuals who own high-performance vehicles with a fleet insurance policy will have more specific needs. Many of these individuals may be able to find more suitable, comprehensive and/or cost-competitive cover elsewhere.

Also, by simply going for the cheapest policy, you may find yourself short of cover when you need it most, so be sure to check the small print!

Many comparison websites use a blanket approach to get as many quotes out as possible. This means they sometimes make assumptions about your personal details and your requirements.

This may sound harmless but making assumptions about your insurance history, personal circumstances or policy requirements could have a drastic knock-on effect on your premiums or the level of cover you receive.

Despite their drawbacks, insurance comparison sites can be an efficient tool for obtaining insurance at a competitive price. However, just remember the following:

  • Not all comparison sites compare the same providers and policies. Check which compare the most companies and which ones keep your personal details private.
  • If you have a relationship with a commercial insurance broker, check with them before you buy. Many insurers are fighting back against comparison websites and are offering similar levels of cover at competitive terms through brokers. This also gives you the opportunity to discuss the level of cover with a specialist on a one-to-one basis, to ensure the cover you are buying is right for your needs.

Commercial Insurance Comparisons

The reason most businesses choose to shop around is that they feel they are getting poor service, don’t feel loved, getting the wrong advice (which sometimes they don’t realise) and cost.

In our opinion, the renewal of commercial insurance should be approached very differently to personal insurance as some of these insurance policies are obligatory and required by law, whilst other policies within your insurance programme may be based on a thorough risk management review during which your business operations are assessed and the likelihood of an incident occurring factored into the requirement for insurance protection.

This assessment very often requires specialist expertise and knowledge. So if you’re planning to go out to another broker to get alternative quotes, here are some key factors to consider:

  • Their expertise and knowledge of your sector
  • Their insurance relationships to ensure they can access the markets that will offer the most competitive rates
  • Their account management team and structure to ensure you will get the right expertise
  • The claims management support and processes

Also remember, if your industry is specialised there may only be a select number of insurers with a product to offer anyway. However, with the expertise of a good insurance broker, they can help you demonstrate effective risk management which may help to reduce the likelihood of an incident occurring within your business and help you secure the most competitive rates from insurers.

Finally, most businesses change and diversify over time. An online form will not ask the in-depth questions a broker will ask about your future business plans or the contract types you might be looking to commit to. An online policy is an off-the-shelf product, and, as we know, no one business is the same. Talking to an insurance broker makes you more confident that your insurance program will offer the proper protection.


In summary, if you have the right relationship with your broker and getting the right advice, they should fully understand your business risks and be able to represent you effectively to insurers when your renewal is due. You can therefore be confident your insurance programme is cost-effective and meets your needs.

If you would like to work with an insurance broker with over 50 years of experience, that is passionate about ensuring clients get a speedy and reliable service, that has relationships with leading insurance companies and is trusted by many trade associations – why not get in touch to understand more about how we would manage your insurance programme?