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Car Insurance: Using A Broker vs. Dealing Directly – The Claim Game

Our education is obviously important, and we are so lucky to even have one. But, despite the best efforts of our teachers and the perseverance of our parents, going to school doesn’t teach us everything we need to know to survive in the real world. I know in my life, the most important things I’ve learned I had to figure out on my own as an adult. But why couldn’t these things be taught in school? Why did we not have subjects like how to apply for jobs, coping with failure, debt, taxes and what the hell you are supposed to do when you find yourself in a car accident. On that last note, insurance would be a pretty helpful subject to have as well. I wasted so much money on bad insurance policies, and I have had to learn it all the hard way.

When I bought my first car I chose a widely advertised car insurance that seemed to be the popular choice for the majority. Sure, it was a bit expensive, but I reckoned the price indicated the quality of insurance and service you’d receive – until I needed to claim. I was in a minor car accident in which my Ford Fiesta’s front bumper was badly damaged. It took ages for my claim to be processed and the lack of interest was astonishing. When my car was finally fixed, the bumper was a completely different silver to the rest of the car and it had to be redone.

When I bought my second car a few years later, my beloved Nissan X-Trail, my car insurance shot through the roof – apparently women can’t drive 4×4’s very well. This annoyed me more than I can ever put into words so I moved over to another widely advertised, female-friendly insurance. The perks were amazing and it was also cheaper than my previous one… until I had to claim. I was involved in an accident where a crazy pregnant lady crashed into the side of my car in a one way, single lane road while I was turning, she was busy texting on her phone while driving and did not see me. The side of my car as well as my front bumper was damaged… and war started. She refused to take my phone calls, so I tried to get my insurance company involved. According to them, it was pointless. Apparently, if you are the one turning you are always in the wrong when it comes to an accident. Isn’t that mental? That was nothing…. I eventually gave up and submitted my claim. I only had someone respond to me 3 weeks later, and when I took my car in I was told repairs would take 7 working days. 7 days came and went, and when I phoned to follow-up…. they had forgotten to fix my car. I shit you not. After two weeks, I went to fetch my car and had to wait two hours for someone to help me. When they brought my car out I was shocked… the spray paint was patchy, the inside of my driver door was covered in sticky, tar-like glue and they charged me for replacing things that were never replaced. I complained, the manager apologized and I took my car back for them to do a better job… TWICE. Also, they charged me double excess even though it was one accident that caused both points of damage. It was a nightmare. I learned my lesson…

So this happened today 😭😭😭😭😭

A post shared by Maz (@caffeineandfairydust) on

I always thought using a broker would mean paying even more on your car insurance, so I never bothered. Also, NO-ONE TAUGHT ME ANYTHING ABOUT THIS! I thought I’d give it a shot and phoned up my friend, Cindy (3 Kids 2 Dogs & 1 Old House). I trusted her and figured she’d be less inclined to screw me over. Cindy co-owns an Insurance brokerage called Incompass, and I was shocked at the difference in the level of service from the get-go. I have been a client with Incompass for about two years now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way – even after claiming.

Jemimah, my consultant and guardian angel, found me the perfect insurance. It was less than what I was paying and it had an excess waiver. She shopped around and found me the perfect package to suit all my needs and I have been with the same insurance ever since. I was involved in a nasty hit and run last year, the entire side of my car was wrecked. I popped Jemimah an e-mail and my car was booked for repairs a few hours later. I think it took about a week for my car to be fixed and it looked better than new. I was so happy with the service, and the fact that I did not need to pay any excess was brilliant!

 

The team at Incompass have been amazing to deal with, and I happily recommend them to anyone that needs short-term insurance. Give them a chance, if you are not happy with their service – it’s not like Cindy can hide or anything. She is kinda all over the internet and pretty easy to find! Also, how can you not trust an insurance broker with purple hair?

So, I have learned a few very expensive lessons in my car-insurance journey. The difference between dealing with a broker and dealing directly is one of them…. I wish I knew all of this sooner …

  1. Even though dealing directly might seem like a cheaper option, they usually nail you with the excess amounts and skimp on quality repair shops.
  2. Because a broker is solely focused on your unique needs, he or she can help with comparison-shopping, honing in on the best prices for the coverage you need. They can even advise you on how to best bundle or customize your policies in ways that agents might not be able to do (either because they are restricted in their policy offerings, or simply because they lack the insight into your specific needs).
  3. In fact, a broker will be able to access certain companies that only sell through brokers or agents giving you more choice than if you contacted companies directly.
  4. Brokers are largely far more efficient at cross checking policies than consumers, and very good at educating their customers, explaining what types of cover were available and answering queries (Jemimah at Incompass is a godsend when it comes to this).
  5. An experienced insurance broker knows the business inside and out and will be able to handle any claims to ensure that the best settlement is achieved.

Go have a look at Incompass’s pretty and easy-to-use website for more information – they are also on Facebook.

 

  • Sponsored by Incompass, but ALL opinions are my own
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Maz Halliday

Maz is a Fashion Designer from Cape Town, South Africa. She is a full-time working mom to two of the most gorgeous, yet tiring kids you will ever lay eyes upon. She maintains her sanity by blogging at Caffeine and Fairydust and rocking from side-to-side in her bath tub at night (with a glass of bubbly - no one ever said you can't be fabulous while having a nervous breakdown). She aims to broaden people's perspectives - and in the process will either make you laugh or p%#@ you off. Don't be shy... come say hi!

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3 COMMENTS

  • Kirsty Muir

    We switched to Incompass almost 2 years ago after following Cindy’s blog for a while and it was the best decision. Service levels are exceptional!

  • Victoire

    That 7 day fixing your car thing hit home for me too! I had to hire a car for a week when my car was repaired and by the end of the week my car had still not been fixed! I think it took a month to fix. When I eventually got my car back the battery had to be replaced because the car had just been standing around for so long! What a nightmare. Thanks for this article, I feel like getting hold of Cindy right away, but I am inbetween cars at the moment so will have to wait!

  • Lila

    Maz, thanks so much for the post.Really thank you! Great.

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