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Think Small on Vehicle Insurance ; PERSONAL FINANCE

Mar 16, 2007

Small players in the car insurance market have beaten big brand names in competitiveness over the past year, a study shows.

The top 10 consistently competitive motor insurers in 2006 includes online insurers and relative newcomers, according to price comparison service

Its analysis of more than three million premiums quoted through its car insurance channel last year shows that online insurer returned the cheapest average annual premium at 276 pounds.

Other names that made the top five were Post Office, Zurich, More Than and Liverpool Victoria.

Big brands Barclays and the RAC also made the top 10, as well as supermarket bank Sainsbury's.

However, some traditional names languished at the bottom of the table.

Despite forging a name as the "fourth emergency service", AA Insurance ranked alongside Marks & Spencer, Bradford & Bingley, Endsleigh and Swinton as the most expensive insurance providers.

Debenhams, a little-known player in the motor insurance market, was found to offer the most expensive premiums.

At almost pounds 1,500, its average quote was more than five times that of

Richard Mason, managing director of insurance at, said: "It is not surprising to see the younger, nimbler online insurers providing consistently competitive premiums given their lower overheads when compared with the traditional insurers."

He said the findings were useful for motorists renewing their cover.

(c) 2007 Birmingham Post; Birmingham (UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

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