Car insurance – don’t you just love it? If we’re not complaining about the wallet-busting renewal price, we’re moaning about the latest car insurance price comparison website TV commercial. It all gets a bit much.
Fortunately, it’s something we can forget about for the remaining 51 weeks of the year, unless of course you have the misfortune of having a car accident. At which point you suddenly start to regret opting for the cheapest policy, forcing you to deal with a call centre located in a place you can’t pronounce and leaving you out of pocket.
But for Mazda owners, things don’t have to be this way. According to the firm, Mazda customers are “switching rapidly to Mazda’s own recently launched insurance scheme”, which aims to take the hassle and the uncertainty away from the repairs procedure.
Which all sounds rather lovely, but isn’t that just what every car insurer will promise? Well maybe not.
As David Wilson-Green, Mazda Motors UK after-sales director explains, Mazda Insurance offers the potential to return a Mazda to factory-standard specification:
“Mazda Insurance guarantees accident damage is repaired in an approved bodyshop using the correct methodology and with genuine parts, preserving original build quality and warranty eligibility so it will again meet 5-star Euro NCAP crash standards.”
Any new owner who drives away from a Mazda dealer is automatically entitled to a free seven-day insurance cover note, which can be extended using a freephone number. Mazda says the number of owners taking up the opportunity has increased six-fold since its launch.
The scheme certainly makes sense. We’d almost certainly want our car repaired using genuine parts, at an approved bodyshop, using manufacturer-trained personnel. But Mazda claims that many “insurers avoid using genuine parts wherever possible”, going on to suggest that “insurers now aim to repair damaged parts and panels, when often they should be replaced”.
Car insurance comparison
Surely it’s just another revenue generating scheme for the manufacturers and their dealers? After all, they couldn’t match the price comparison sites, could they? Well, you could be in for a shock.
We compared the price of annual cover with Mazda Insurance to that of a well-known price comparison site.
Allow us to introduce you to James Peach. James, 34, is a single man, who drives a 2013 Mazda 6 2.0-litre Sport Nav. By day, he works as a double glazing salesman and by night he parks his £17,000 Mazda on the drive.
He lives in Harpenden, has five years no-claims discount and drives 20,000 in a year. James wants fully comprehensive cover for social, domestic and pleasure, plus commuting.
Using the ‘get a quote’ facility on the Mazda website, James was quoted £524.63 for 12 months cover. A further 10% discount is available when buying online.
James also received 75 quotes using the aforementioned well-known price comparison site, but only nine happened to be cheaper than the Mazda quote. In fact, prices ranged from £291 to £1,364, depending on the provider and package.
So perhaps the manufacturer-approved insurance schemes aren’t so bad after all? We’d certainly be grateful for the peace of mind associated with using genuine parts and panels. But whatever, it’s always best to read the small print and compare policies whenever possible. Opting for the cheapest price isn’t necessarily the best option.
But we’ll leave the final decision to Mr Peach.