"But I've never heard of anyone!"

To most drivers, the world of insurance is a bit of a mystery. You know you need it, you get the best price that you can, and you forget about it (and hopefully don’t need to call on it). Whether your insurance has a brand name on that you see advertised on TV, or something that’s new to you, as long as it fits the need, everyone’s happy.

But for others, seeing a brand name offering insurance that they’ve never heard of makes them uncomfortable. “Is this a real company?” “Will they still exist if I need to claim?” and so on, are the questions that they may have.

In our first few weeks of trading we’ve been fielding some questions on this subject, so today here’s a short guide to demystifying who provides your insurance, and why the names you might not have heard of might actually be the best bet for you. Read on…

The boring (but important) bit!

We’ll keep this short. Insurance providers generally fall into two main flavours (there are other nuances but this is close enough):

1 - Insurers

An example of this would be Aviva. An insurer sells insurance products that they themselves define and that they carry the risk on. Without getting too technical, this means that they have a team of underwriters making decisions about what products they want to offer, at what price, to different types of consumer, such as those of a certain age, with or without penalty points, and so on. So in this example, Aviva sell the policy, and Aviva are underwriting the policy.

2 - Insurance brokers

Generally known as brokers, the primary difference here is that these have access to a much broader selection of underwriters whose products they can sell. So for example, one of our market participants is called Brightside. You might not have heard of them, however you have heard of Aviva, and they - alongside others including other familiar names like Axa, Ageas and LV - underwrite the policies that Brightside sell. Lots of names you’ve heard of here!

Stick with us…

So, why is this important?!

Let’s look at our Brightside example. Let’s say a consumer using honcho called Amanda is 23, lives in the NW3 postcode area, has 3 penalty points on her licence and drives a Ford Fiesta. When Amanda requests bids on honcho for her car insurance, Brightside go off to each of the various underwriters who they work with to see who can best meet Amanda’s needs.

Underwriter A (e.g Axa) might decide they can’t offer an attractive price to Amanda as she has points on her licence, but underwriters B (e.g. Ageas) and C (e.g. Aviva) might both have competitive products that would meet Amanda’s needs. This means that Brightside are able to choose the one that offers the best deal, and offer this to Amanda.

So in our example here, it could actually be Aviva who are providing the policy that Amanda buys from Brightside, and if she looks on her insurance certificate she’ll be able to see this.

So these brands I might not have heard of actually bring me more choice?!

Yes!!! Exactly this!

Brokers give you the ability to access insurance from dozens of suppliers across the market, which means that you don’t need to do a ton of trawling round the market looking at millions of different insurers directly.

Here at honcho we’re deliberately working with both direct insurers and brokers, as our aim is to get you access to the best products and the best prices that meet your needs, from the widest range of providers. And as you now know, brokers have a massively important part to play in this! Have a look at each of our insurance provider pages to see which underwiters’ products they carry.

So there you go. On honcho, and across the market, there are many insurance providers that you might not have heard of. But behind those names sit insurance products from some of the biggest brands in the insurance world. And we think that this can only be a good thing for you!

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