Here is a general step-by-step guide on how to buy car insurance online in Canada. The actual process might differ slightly based on the insurance provider, but the general steps should be similar.
- Research: Understand what kind of coverage you need. The mandatory coverage varies by province, but generally, you’ll need at least liability coverage which pays for costs associated with injuries or damage to other people or property if you’re at fault for an accident.
- Gather Necessary Information: To get an accurate quote, you’ll need your driver’s license number, driving history, vehicle information (make, model, year, VIN), estimated annual mileage, and details about where you park your car.
- Get Quotes: Visit the websites of different insurance providers to get quotes. Major providers in Canada include TD Insurance, The Co-operators, RBC Insurance, etc. You can also use comparison websites like LowestRates.ca or InsuranceHotline.com to get quotes from multiple providers at once. You’ll need to enter the information gathered in step 2 to get these quotes.
- Compare Quotes: Once you have several quotes, compare them. Don’t just look at the price. Make sure to compare the amount of coverage, deductibles, and any extra features or benefits (like roadside assistance).
- Choose a Policy: After comparing quotes, select the policy that best suits your needs and budget.
- Purchase: Once you’ve made your selection, you can usually purchase the policy directly online. The website will guide you through the process. You’ll need to provide your personal information (like name, address, and birth date), choose your start date, select your payment plan (monthly, bi-annually, or annually), and provide payment information.
- Proof of Insurance: After purchasing, you’ll be able to download your temporary insurance card. The insurance company will likely mail you your official cards.
- Keep Your Information Updated: If any information changes, like your address or if you get a new car, make sure to update your policy.
Can I buy car insurance online in Canada?
- Alberta: Yes, you can purchase car insurance online. Popular providers include TD Insurance, Intact, and Sonnet.
- British Columbia: Basic mandatory coverage must be bought from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), which doesn’t offer online purchases. However, additional coverage can be bought online from private insurers like BCAA.
- Manitoba: Basic mandatory coverage is provided by Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), and it’s not sold online. However, additional coverage can be bought online from private insurers.
- New Brunswick: Yes, car insurance can be purchased online from various providers like TD Insurance or Intact.
- Newfoundland and Labrador: Yes, car insurance can be purchased online from various providers such as TD Insurance or Intact.
- Nova Scotia: Yes, car insurance can be purchased online from various providers like TD Insurance or Intact.
- Ontario: Yes, car insurance can be purchased online. Popular providers include TD Insurance, Sonnet, and Intact.
- Prince Edward Island: Yes, car insurance can be purchased online from various providers such as TD Insurance or Intact.
- Quebec: Basic mandatory coverage must be bought from the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), and it’s not sold online. However, additional coverage can be bought online from private insurers like Intact or TD Insurance.
- Saskatchewan: Basic mandatory coverage is provided by Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), and it’s not sold online. However, additional coverage can be bought online from private insurers.
- Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon: Yes, car insurance can generally be purchased online from various providers such as TD Insurance or Intact.
How to find the best car insurance in Canada?
Finding the best car insurance in Canada will depend on various factors such as your driving record, the type of car you drive, your location, and what kind of coverage you need. However, the process for finding the best insurance can be generalized and applied to each province:
- Know Your Needs: Understand the minimum required insurance in your province and what additional coverage you may need based on your vehicle use and personal comfort with risk.
- Get Quotes: Use insurance comparison websites to get multiple quotes. These websites can generate quotes from multiple insurance companies, giving you a wide range of options.
- Compare Policies: Look at more than just price. Compare the type and amount of coverage, deductibles, and any included extras. Also, check the claims process and customer service ratings of each company.
- Ask for Discounts: You may qualify for discounts based on your driving record, car’s safety features, membership in certain organizations, etc.
Here’s a province-by-province overview of popular insurance companies:
- Alberta: TD Insurance, Intact, and Sonnet are popular providers.
- British Columbia: For mandatory insurance, you’ll have to go through ICBC. For additional coverage, BCAA and Intact are popular.
- Manitoba: Manitoba Public Insurance provides mandatory insurance. For additional coverage, consider Intact or Wawanesa.
- New Brunswick: TD Insurance, Intact, and Allstate are commonly used.
- Newfoundland and Labrador: Consider providers like TD Insurance, Intact, and Johnson.
- Nova Scotia: Popular providers include TD Insurance, Intact, and Allstate.
- Ontario: Ontario has many insurance providers, including TD Insurance, Sonnet, and Intact.
- Prince Edward Island: Common providers include TD Insurance, Intact, and Allstate.
- Quebec: Mandatory insurance is provided by the SAAQ, but for additional coverage, Intact, TD Insurance are popular.
- Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Government Insurance provides mandatory coverage. For additional coverage, consider providers like Intact.
- Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon: Commonly used providers include TD Insurance, Intact, and Allstate.
Remember, “the best” insurance isn’t always the cheapest. It’s the one that provides the right amount of coverage and good customer service at a price you can afford.
Buying car insurance online vs agent
Buying car insurance can be done either online or through an agent, and both options have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a brief overview of both methods in the context of Canada:
Buying Car Insurance Online
- Convenience: You can get quotes and purchase a policy at any time that suits you, without needing to schedule an appointment.
- Comparison: You can quickly get quotes from multiple providers and easily compare them.
- Speed: The entire process can be completed in a short amount of time. Some providers offer immediate coverage.
- Control: You can take your time to read through all the details of a policy without feeling any pressure to make a decision immediately.
- Less Personalized Service: While some providers offer online chat or phone support, it might not be as personalized or knowledgeable as working with an agent.
- Complex Needs: If you have complex insurance needs or a unique situation, it may be harder to find a policy that suits your needs online.
Buying Car Insurance through an Agent
- Personalized Advice: An agent can provide personalized advice based on your situation. They can help you understand what coverage you need and don’t need.
- Assistance with Claims: If you need to make a claim, an agent can guide you through the process.
- Understanding Complex Policies: Agents can explain the complex aspects of certain policies, helping you understand exactly what you’re purchasing.
- Limited Options: If your agent only represents a single insurance company, you may not get the variety of quotes you would get online.
- Availability: You’ll have to work around the agent’s schedule, which might not be as convenient as buying online.
- Potential Bias: An agent might prioritize the interests of the insurance company they represent over your interests.
Whether you should buy car insurance online or through an agent depends on your personal preferences, your level of understanding of car insurance, and how complex your insurance needs are. It’s worth exploring both options to determine which is the best fit for you.
How to compare car insurance quotes online? Tips and tricks
Comparing car insurance quotes online can be a straightforward process, but there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make sure you’re getting the best deal and the right coverage.
- Know Your Coverage Needs: The first step is knowing what type of coverage you need. This could include liability, collision, comprehensive, and personal injury protection.
- Use Comparison Websites: Websites like LowestRates.ca, Ratehub.ca, or InsuranceHotline.com are good places to start. They can provide you with quotes from multiple insurers at once.
- Get Quotes for the Same Coverage: When you’re comparing quotes, make sure you’re comparing the same types of coverage and the same limits. If one quote is for more coverage or higher limits, it will naturally be more expensive.
- Consider More Than Just Price: While price is an important factor, it’s not the only thing to consider. You also want to look at factors like the insurer’s reputation, their customer service, the ease of the claims process, and any additional benefits they offer, like roadside assistance.
- Understand Your Deductible: The deductible is the amount you’ll have to pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. A higher deductible generally means a lower premium, but it also means you’ll pay more if you need to make a claim.
- Look for Discounts: Many insurers offer discounts that can help lower your premium. This could include discounts for being a safe driver, having a car with certain safety features, or bundling your car insurance with other types of insurance.
- Check the Final Price: Some insurance comparison websites may not include taxes or additional fees in the initial quote. Always click through to the insurer’s website to verify the final price before making your decision.
- Review Annually: Your situation can change from year to year, and so can insurance rates. Make a habit of comparing car insurance quotes every year to ensure you’re still getting the best deal.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to effectively compare car insurance quotes online and choose the policy that best meets your needs.