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Consumers urged to shop around for specialist insurance

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05/02/2008

A specialist insurer may not always offer the best deal to women motorists and older drivers, Moneysupermarket has warned.

The price comparison site’s research into the difference in quotes between specialist insurers and traditional providers showed the former may not necessarily provide the best deal. For example, it found that a 30 year-old woman driving a Focus, Astra or Megane would receive an average quote of £269 from the cheapest women-only brands. However, this is 55% more than the average quote from traditional providers of £174. Diamond, a woman-only car insurer average £301 for these cases, 73% more than traditional insurers, according to Moneysupermarket.

Richard Mason, director of insurance at moneysupermarket.com, said: “Specialist insurers such as Sheilas’ Wheels, Ladybird and Diamond promote themselves to women as the value alternative, catering specifically for their needs. But our research shows it pays to shop around all of the market. While these insurers may sometimes come up trumps on price, and with extra benefits such as handbag cover, chances are they will be usually be beaten on premiums.”

Older drivers fared no better, Moneysupermarket found. A 60 year-old with a Focus, Astra or Megane would be quoted an average of £88 with Swiftcover, but £255 with RIAS (a specialist for over 50 year olds) – nearly three times as much.

Mason concluded: “Motorists shouldn’t only rely on specialist insurers no matter what specialist group they may be in. It pays to scour the market for the best cover to suit your needs.

“With specialist providers such as Sheilas’ Wheels also entering the home insurance market, there is even more onus on consumers to shop around for the best price and cover.”

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