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Buying Car Insurance Online VS Agent 

With the convenience of the internet, many people are shopping online for groceries, toiletries, clothing, and many other products. This also falls true for car insurance. The most convenient and economical way to purchase car insurance is by buying it online. It is also the safest way with our country’s current situation.  

Different Ways to Purchase Car Insurance

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There are basically three ways a driver can purchase car insurance. These methods include:

  • A broker – a broker has access to a number of insurance providers they represent and sells you the best insurance rate for your situation
  • An agent – typically sells car insurance for one company
  • Direct Writer – purchasing car insurance through an insurance a company call centre or direct website 

Ontario has the highest insurance rates out of all the other provinces in Canada, so really does pay to shop around to find the best possible insurance rate for your situation. The Canadian average cost for car insurance in Canada is approximately $1320.

Do I Need a Car Insurance Agent?

No. An Agent sells insurance products for a specific company, you can use a broker that has access to many insurance companies. The agent works directly for a specific company. A broker receives a commission from the insurance company and works directly for you. 

Is it Cheaper to Buy Car Insurance Online or Through an Agent?

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Typically it is cheaper to buy car insurance online through a brokerage. Brokerages have access to many insurance company providers which allows them to obtain the best possible insurance rate for you.

Disadvantages of Insurance Brokers

There are very few disadvantages to using an insurance broker. Some disadvantages may be:

  • Forming a new relationship
  • They may be sales driven
  • They may not have full knowledge of other insurance products

Advantages of Buying Online

There are a number of advantages to purchasing car insurance online. These advantages include:

  • You are not pressured to purchase
  • You have an opportunity to shop around
  • You can do it from the convenience of your own home
  • All the information you require to provide is at your fingertips
  • It’s free

Disadvantages of Buying Online

The only advantage of buying car insurance online is the fact you are not face to face with the insurance seller. Some people prefer to deal with an insurance provider in person. 

Advantages of Insurance Brokers

There are many advantages to buying car insurance through a broker.  These advantages include:

  • The broker works for you, not the insurance company
  • Brokers are licensed through the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario 
  • Brokers are professional and experienced
  • Brokers have access to various insurance providers enabling them to find you the best insurance rate 
  • Brokers provide you will full disclosure on commission rates and their effect on your premium
  • Your privacy is always protected

Is it Safe to Buy Auto Insurance Online?

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Yes. It is just as safe to buy auto insurance online as it is in person. 

About Insurance Brokers

A good insurance broker always has their client’s best interests at heart. This is due to the fact that the broker is working directly for their clients and not for anyone particular insurance provider. A broker is paid directly from the insurance provider for any business they bring their way. The client does not pay anything to a broker for the services they provide. All brokers in Ontario must be licensed through the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario. Insurance brokers are professional and trained knowledgeable individuals in the insurance industry. Insurance brokers have access to numerous insurance providers which allows them to find their clients the best possible rate for their situation. Insurance brokers can be found online to make your car insurance shopping very convenient. 

When Can Insurance Companies Share Your Personal Information?

There are certain privacy laws in place in Canada that protect your personal information. For this reason insurance companies for the most part cannot share information with one another. Insurance companies are not permitted to share personal client information for the purpose of previous rates and coverage. However, since the passing of Bill S-4 known as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, insurance companies are permitted to share clients’ personal information without their consent for the discovery and prevention of fraud. 

How Do Online Comparison Sites Work?

Online comparison sites are a great way to discover the competitive rates offered by various insurance providers. These types of sites are user friendly and provide a convenient alternative to calling individual insurance companies. 

Buying Car Insurance Through An Agent

When you buy car insurance through an agent, they have the company’s best interests in mind. An agent works directly for an insurance provider, not for you. Many insurance agents try to upsell insurance products and may approach you about other insurance products the company sells. This may or may not be beneficial to you. In the end, if you are unhappy with an insurance provider you can always shop around before your car insurance policy expires to find a better rate and coverage. However, it is not a good idea to let your car insurance lapse, this can directly affect your insurance history. 

Buyer Beware

Even though purchasing car insurance online is extremely safe, there are always exceptions. There are certain red flags that you can look for that are indicators the insurance sellers are not above board. If someone is charging you a fee to find you the best car insurance rate, it’s a fraud. Insurance brokers and online comparison sites get paid directly by the insurance providers, not you. When you decide on a company to go with for your insurance needs you can check several websites to determine their authenticity. It is always a wise idea to purchase your car insurance from a well-known and reputable insurance company. You can also check to see if an insurance broker is legally licensed to sell car insurance. It is better to practice safe measures when purchasing car insurance. In the event of an accident, it could cost you a large amount of money if you don’t have legally obtained car insurance, even if you purchased it unknowingly.

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