The Difference Between Car Insurance Brokers and Online Comparison Websites

With the emergence of live online insurance comparison websites, many people are flocking to the internet to get their car insurance quotes. When I say ‘live’ I am talking about instant quotes where you can continue and purchase your product straight away. So with this convenience of comparing quotes easily online, do traditional insurance brokers have a role to play in today’s society?

The short answer is yes, it is important to get a car insurance quote from an insurance broker as well as a comparison from a live quote car insurance comparison websites. The reason is because each method offers you a different range of companies and underwriters to compare from. You are comparing totally different companies and more importantly different underwriters which means you will get a better range of quotes. You are hard pressed to find an insurance company in Australia offering commissions and their product through both online comparison websites and through traditional brokers. They usually only support one type of broker if they support any at all as several companies go through neither.

The software the brokers use is very similar to the system you use online but the only difference is it is private to the broking industry and is for offline purposes only. Some of Australia’s largest insurance names only go through traditional offline brokers. If they decided to liaise with online comparison websites then they would get a large backlash from their broker network and the result would be damaging to their distribution network and sales as only a very small proportion of insurance is sold through comparison websites. Many of the insurance companies offering their product to affiliates are either newer companies to the Australian market, such as Budget Direct, or a new product from an existing company such as Bingle which is part of AAMI.

It is impossible to say which method will provide you with a cheaper car insurance quote as for some situations traditional car insurance brokers will be cheaper and other time the comparison websites will offer you a better deal. The important thing to understand is that they both offer products from different underwriters and so by using both methods to get a car insurance quote you are ensuring you get a proper comparison. I know of one ‘supposed’ online comparison site in Australia, probably the largest, which offer only one underwriter in the ten live car insurance quotes – check it out yourself, the policies are almost identical and in most cases are identical. This is the type of misleading information to be wary of and which you avoid by using the dual method of broker and online comparisons.