Be Wiser is a popular car and home insurance broker, but how do their prices compare—and how is their customer service? Read our review to find out.
In This Review
- Be Wiser Car Insurance: Overall Review
- Customer Reviews and Ratings
- Cost Comparison and Discounts
- Cancellation fees, phone numbers and policy documents
Be Wiser Car Insurance Overall Review
Be Wiser is UK broker that supplies a range of car, bike, van, home, contents, business and commercial insurance products. They've been in business since 2007 and work with a panel of 30 insurers including some of the largest car insurance companies in the UK.
What types of insurance does Be Wiser sell? Be Wiser sells a range of vehicle and home insurance products, including:
- Bike Insurance
- Black Box Insurance
- Breakdown Cover
- Business Insurance
- Car Insurance
- Convicted Driver Car Insurance
- Helmet & Leathers Cover
- Home Insurance
- Multi Car Insurance
- Older Driver Insurance
- Travel Insurance
- Van Insurance
- Young Driver Insurance
Be Wiser Sales Brands: Be Wiser operates 9 different brands that specialise in different types of products and customers. Here is a brief overview of the Be Wiser brands that you may come across on comparison sites or elsewhere:
|Be Wiser Brands|
|Be Wiser Insurance||The original Be Wiser sales brands, which is rated as a top 50 UK Insurance Broker|
|Insure Wiser||A Be Wiser brand you're likely to see on comparison sites|
|Be Wiser Online||The Be Wiser website|
|Call Wiser||For those who prefer to call to get a quote|
|Be Wiser Business||A team of professional insurance advisors for business insurance needs|
|Street Wiser||Telematics plans for young drivers aged between 17-25 years|
|World Wiser||For drivers over the age of 50|
|Career Wiser||The recruitment arm of Be Wiser Insurance|
|VVIP||A dedicated team providing a bespoke service including specialist insurance where required|
Customer service: Be Wiser call centres are based in the UK, and they seem to take pride in being friendly and experienced. Our overall comment after reading through online customer reviews is that Be Wiser customers are generally happy with the prices they pay and the service they receive, whether for the renewal process or sorting out damage to their car after a claim—but some are surprised at the fees charged so make sure you understand repercussions of cancelling or making other admin changes before you buy.
What's the Maximum No Claims Discount?
The maximum no claims discount you can get with a Be Wiser policy depends on the underwriter, but Be Wiser says that policyholders typically reach maximum level of discount after 5 or 6 years. They also say that standards vary across insurers but the maximum number of years NCD that insurers will show on their records is typically 9 years.
Most insurance companies will offer a 30% discount if provided with proof of 1 years claim free driving and can offer up to 65% or 70% discount if the maximum discount is applied. The table below indicates a typical level of discount on offer based upon the number of year’s claim free driving, according to Be Wiser.
|Be Wiser No Claims Discounts|
|1 year no claims||30% average reduction|
|2 years no claims||40% average reduction|
|3 years no claims||50% average reduction|
|4 years no claims||60% average reduction|
|5+ years no claims||65% average reduction|
Getting a Be Wiser quote
Remember to start shopping for car insurance early because the best time to buy car insurance is typically 3 weeks before the start date and prices get more expensive the longer you wait.
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Be Wiser Features
Be Wiser insurance policies will vary depending on the underwriter, but according to their website all annual policies include free Gadget & Bag Cover, Misfuelling Cover (like LV), Breakdown Cover, Claim Assistance, 3 Months Personal Accident Cover and a 24/7 Free Phone Claims Helpline.
When you get quotes, even through a comparison site like our partner on_current="true" url="https://quote.nimblefins.co.uk/car-insurance?id=76f4ecd6e1ca7c2f442633593566fdaa" eventaction="click" eventcategory="In text click to quote" eventlabel="Compare Car Insurance"QuoteZone/link], you'll typically get a few policies/underwriters to choose from. There, you'll be able to see which policies include features like Audio Cover, Breakdown, Claim Assistance and a Courtesy Car, as well as your excess. Be sure to take note of the excess because in our sample test the policy excesses ranged from £150 to £3,000, which is a MASSIVE difference. Generally speaking, we think £3,000 is too high on an excess—remember you have to pay this much towards a claim!
Be Wiser Car Insurance Customer Reviews
|Be Wiser Ratings & Customer Reviews|
|Trustpilot customer service rating||3.9 out of 5|
|Feefo||4.7 out of 5|
|Reviews.co.uk||2.9 out of 5|
While Be Wiser generally have good customer reviews with an average TrustPilot score of 3.9 out of 5 stars at Trustpilot, you should read these complaints before buying. Common complaints include higher-than-expected fees when cancelling or for missed payments, as well as high interest rates for paying in monthly instalments instead of annually. Here are some sample customer comments:
"... my van was stolen and instead of any sympathy these idiots kept trying to take payments..." (Note: when a car insurance company pays out on a stolen vehicle you do usually have to continuing making the payments, as they expect the entire year of premium as if you'd paid upfront.)
"... a problem with our bank meant a missed payment. we received nothing from them just a email of cancellation of the 30th December stating the policy been cancelled on the 5th December?? and we needed to pay £100 for the fees plus other fees of £40..."
"Got a quote through go compare paid up and thought that was it only to get a phone call next day to say i had to pay £150 more."
"Had an accident (non fault) had legal claims assistance but when it came to it, they said they do not cover legal costs and only point you in the direction of their solicitors. This was not made clear and now have a legal bill."
"Yesterday i sold my car and bought a newer car as you do. Called up today to have my insurance transferred over and was told the 'insurance company wont accept my newer car as its market value is a lot higher than my old car'... so I enquired about (cancelling)... a £100 admin fee, £60 odd for the discount i was offered, £30 odd to be paid to the insurer!"
"... it turns out they charged me 48% interest rate..."
Some of the negative reviews reflect customer confusion about how car insurance works. For example, if an insurer is paying out on a claim such as theft or writing a car off, it's typical that the policyholder is still obligated to pay the entire premium outstanding. This can mean you keep up with monthly payments even after your car is stolen or written off—this is how the motor insurance market works.
It's not all bad news, however. On the plus side, customers report getting a good price and being able to negotiate at renewal, even with spotty driving histories, and the ease of contacting Be Wiser. Here are a few positive customer reviews of Be Wiser (and Insure Wiser) car insurance to give you an idea of what existing policyholders like:
"Lovely surprise for my birthday—a £78 discount on next premium. That's worth considering!"
"We had a good result on the return of the vehicle and an excellent finish and Slater Gordon were very helpful."
"Found it really easy to get my car insured. I was a new driver and had an accident (partly my fault) and the insurance company I was using at the time, quoted my renewal at £3400... Insure wiser quoted me £1900 cheaper and it was a hassle free getting insured with them. I would happily recommend them, they even sent me a £50 voucher off my renewal on my birthday:)"
"Really happy with my policy, any problems, was able to contact them by email or phone no bother, would insure again with them."
"Renewal quote reduced when I explained I had had a cheaper quote elsewhere, all sorted, no problem."
Be Wiser Car Insurance Quote Comparison
To get an idea of how Be Wiser prices compare, we compared quotes at our partner QuoteZone—Be Wiser's comparison site brand www.insurewiser.co.uk is part of their panel—for a new VW Golf with a 45-year-old driver. We found that Be Wiser fell somewhat mid market—but notice that some lower premiums are associated with a higher excess (the amount you have to pay towards a claim). These are sample prices only, and your quotes may be quite a bit different depending on the factors of your application. For reference, compare any quote you get to the average cost of car insurance in the UK.
|Car Insurance Estimates for new VW Golf in SE England||Premium||Excess|
|Got You Covered||£1,960||£3,000|
Be Wiser Car Insurance Discounts
There are a few standard ways to save money on car insurance, such as discounts for good driving records, no claims discounts and paying in full at the start of each policy year.
|No Claims Discount||Each year you don't make a claim should increase your No CLaim Discount up to 9 years—Be Wiser doesn't go higher than 9 years.|
|Pay upfront||Pay your full premium at the start of the policy to save money (variable APR)|
|Buy your policy early||Buying your policy a few weeks in advance of the start date can save you money|
Admin and Cancellation Fees
Since Be Wiser is a broker and you end up paying fees to both Be Wiser and the underwriter, cancellation costs tends to be higher.
If you cancel within fourteen days, the premium you will pay will be calculated by the number of days on cover (the insurer might impose a minimum premium of £25.00 plus IPT) plus Be Wiser's cancellation fee of £23.00.
Cancelling after fourteen days means the insurers might calculate their premium owed on "Short Period Rates", representing the time on cover and an additional charge equal to three months premium. Plus Be Wiser charges a £100 cancellation fee after the cooling off period.
|Be Wiser Administration Fees|
|Amendments to policy||£35 plus 20% of the insurer premium|
|Refunds by Cheque||£20|
|Collection of Direct Debit payments by Credit/Debit Card||£15|
|Payments not honoured by your Bank or Credit Card company||£25|
|Telematics Driving Fine||£25|
|Cancellation of your policy within 14 days||£23|
|Cancellation of your Policy after 14 days||net return from Insurers less a charge of £100|
Important Be Wiser Car Insurance Phone Numbers
Be Wiser customer service opening times are: Mon – Fri 8:00am - 5pm.
|Be Wiser Car Insurance Contact Numbers|
|Customer Services||0333 003 8450|
|Car insurance customer hotline||0800 0420 387|
|24 Hour Helplines|
|Claims||0800 298 2820|
Policy Documents & Claims
Other Car Insurance Reviews
If you'd like to compare Be Wiser to other car insurance companies, see our other car insurance reviews below: