If you need a quote for auto insurance, it’s now faster and easier than ever to get one. Whether you are looking to switch your car insurance at renewal, buy a new car, are getting married or you simply want to shop around for a better deal, you have a lot of options. In this article, we will look at the common ways to get a car insurance quote in Ontario.

Quotes in Ontario

If you are looking for an insurance quote in Ontario, you have many choices as a customer. Ontario has private insurance companies that compete against each other for your business. You are free to shop around for quotes and choose one that best satisfies your needs. This means comparing coverages and customer service – and who’s got the best price, of course. In Ontario, you have the option of three different avenues to receive an auto quote:

  1. A direct writer (insurance agent)
  2. An insurance broker
  3. Insurance comparison sites

We will take a closer look at each – highlighting some of the benefits, and drawbacks, of each method. Here are the main ways to get a car insurance quote.

1. Get a quote online with a direct writer / insurance agent 

A direct writer is an insurance company that underwrites and sells its own policies. They also employ their own insurance agents who are experts in everything, from coverages to billing. When you’re speaking with an insurance agent, you’re speaking directly to the insurance company. For many of us that want to save time and money, obtaining a quote online through a direct writer is a better option than calling the insurance company directly. If your needs are simple or you have only one car to quote, doing one online is nearly instantaneous.

By entering a few key pieces of information, an insurer can securely pull your data without you having to enter the info yourself. However, with many insurers, you have to call in to purchase after getting a quote online. After purchase, you will have 24/7 access to your account. You’ll be able to get your documents immediately, update your coverages and payment method when you need to, and even file a claim online. Many insurance companies do give auto quotes over the phone (unless it’s a direct digital insurer). You can get your car quote with one of the company’s licensed agents. If you want to buy the policy, you can do so with the agent.

What is an insurance agent?

An insurance agent is a professional who represents a single insurance company (or, in some cases, multiple insurers). An insurance company employs them to represent that company to customers and sell their products. Because insurance agents directly represent a specific insurer, they can bind that insurer into insurance policy contracts without going through a third party. However, when looking to get a car insurance quote that’s suitable, you won’t be presented with many options.

2. Receive a quote from an insurance broker

If you have more than one vehicle, or your insurance needs are more complex, an insurance broker is the better choice when looking to get a car insurance quote. Some examples of this include:

An insurance broker is a type of insurance professional who represents individuals or businesses that need insurance coverage. Instead of promoting the products and interests of one, or multiple, insurance companies, insurance brokers have a fiduciary duty to their customers. That means they are obligated to act in the best interest of their clients. Insurance brokers can be independent or part of a brokerage firm, like isure. Because brokers don’t work for insurance companies, they can’t bind insurers into a contract without going through a representative of the insurance company.

Insurance Broker vs. Insurance Agent

There are some important differences between broker and agents that can impact you in terms of insurance prices and service.The main difference between an insurance broker and an agent is choice and independence. Brokers, like our experienced isure staff, “shop” their affiliates to get you the best policies and prices. The labour of comparison shopping is done for you. They will comb through dozens of companies to find the coverage that fits your unique needs and look for the best price.

Agents and direct writers represent only one insurance company. These are often call centres with salespeople employed by one insurance company. There is no comparison shopping for other coverages and prices. Unless you have shopped around prior to contacting an agent, you won’t know for sure if you are getting the best rate possible. This is important to keep in mind when you are on the hunt to get a car insurance quote.

3. Insurance comparison sites

It seems as though life keeps getting busier and more hectic. Finding time to shop around for car insurance can be challenging. Car insurance comparison sites have made it easier for Canadians to find the best deals on their car insurance policies. They make it easy to compare rates from multiple insurance providers with just a few clicks. It can save time for those that know exactly what coverage they need and are short on time. Comparison sites allow you to enter your personal information and vehicle details once, then receive quotes from several insurance providers. Moreover, some comparison sites offer additional tools and resources, such as customer reviews and ratings. While comparison sites are free to use, you will need to pay for your car insurance policy. The cost will depend on a variety of factors, including your age, driving history and your make of car.

Did you know? 52% of current home and/or auto policy holders have gotten an insurance quote online in the past. 

Some examples of insurance comparison sites:

What information is needed for a car insurance quote?

When it comes to auto insurance quotes, the information you’ll need to provide falls into three areas: Your details, your vehicle’s information and the coverage requirements.

1. Details concerning all drivers on your policy

For each driver that will have access to and be listed on the policy, you will need to provide:

2. Vehicle details

The type of vehicle to be insured also factors into your quote. Be sure you are able to provide:

  • Year, make and model
  • VIN number
  • Mileage driven per year
  • Usage i.e. personal, to and from work/school, or business purposes

3. Coverage details

A standard auto insurance policy in Canada typically includes four basic coverages:

  1. Third-Party Liability: Compensation for drivers if they’re at-fault in an accident and the other party is hurt or killed, covers damages to the other person’s property and related repair costs.
  2. Accident Benefits: Includes coverage for injuries sustained in a collision.
  3. Uninsured Automobile Coverage: ​​Offers coverage for injuries and damages sustained through the fault of a driver who is uninsured or unable to be identified.
  4. Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD): In provinces with no-fault insurance, DCPD means you will deal with your own insurer for car repairs and other damaged property.

Adding to a standard is when it can become confusing. For example, would you prefer collision, comprehensive or all-perils coverage? Other add-ons include ride-sharing, roadside assistance or coverage for transportation replacement are common options.

Final thoughts on getting a car insurance quote

Every car owner must have car insurance – but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck paying more than you should. When looking for the right car insurance quote, you should look for ways to maximize your savings so you can put your money where you really want it.

Here are some suggestions to help you save on your car insurance:

Auto insurance rates are determined by many factors outside your driving record and how much you drive. The simplest way to combat rising Ontario car insurance rates is to shop around. Luckily, Ontario’s private auto insurance market means that there is a sizeable selection of insurance companies to choose from. At isure, we can help you find a policy that’s affordable and that offers the right amount of protection. Speak to one of our isure representatives today to help you get the most competitive rates for your Ontario city!

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