While it’s quite likely that insurance companies stay aware of what the competition charges, each company has its own formula to take all variable factors into account. Each company is thus betting its formula will be more successful in collecting premiums and reducing claims payouts. It’s unlikely that one company would set prices to match another.
However, that’s not the only kind of price matching. Consumers can take an offer from one company and ask for a similar or better deal from a second. Does that happen in Canada? It may be possible, but it’s not very likely.
As a consumer shops around comparing auto insurance rates, they will find that even with all of the same variables, auto insurance rates vary significantly from company to company. Every auto insurance company will assess risk based on their own compiled data, claims and experience even though the driver’s profile information remains the same. You will not generally find an auto insurance company that will price match.
When you provide an auto insurance company in the province of Ontario your address, your make, model and year of vehicle, your driving record and your driving profile (daily travel to work etc.) as well as the number of licensed drivers in your household, it is up to the company to compare that information with the collected information they have with drivers with your similar profile. It is based on this comparison that an insurance company will assess your risk.
Contacting an insurance agent will provide you only with the quote from the insurance company that agent represents. Even an insurance broker can only provide you price comparisons between the limited number (usually 4 or 5) of insurance companies he or she is representing.
Provincial Insurance Regulation
In Canada, four provinces have public insurance as all or part of their car insurance coverage. Since these marketplaces have little or no competitive environment, shopping for a deal is probably not going to be very productive. A driver looking for low-cost coverage will need to choose levels of coverage and deductible rates that provide the desired premium.
In provinces with private insurance, each provincial government has regulations which insurers must follow. Certain coverages are mandatory, and various other aspects of the way insurance companies operate are controlled either by the government or how the insurance company itself proposes how to do business which is usually reviewed and approved by the provincial oversight body. Then, the company is bound to its commitment and cannot change the way it does business without new approval from the government. The Insurance Bureau of Canada is a great source for car insurance information across the country.
How to Negotiate a Lower Car Insurance Premium
Though it’s not likely that you can price match car insurance in the same way you could with, let’s say, home electronics, the various components of a car insurance policy, and the insurer’s policies themselves may give you some control over your premiums.
Car insurance deductibles are a good place to start. Raise your deductible limit – the amount you pay before insurance pays out – to lower your premium. If your car is older, there’s no need to carry collision insurance if you would simply buy another car should anything happen to your current one. Adding an improved theft deterrent system in your car can reduce the cost of comprehensive insurance. A new technology-assisted, usage-based discount is available from some insurers if you install a telematics device that collects and stores information about how your car is driven. A conversation that starts with price matching could end up in your insurer telling you of any number of discounts of which you may not have been aware.
More Tips to Get Cheap Auto Insurance
There are many ways to ensure you are getting the best price on your auto insurance coverage.
- The right kind of auto insurance coverage. Make sure you are aware of the different types of coverage options you may have.
- Use Ratelab’s car insurance calculator to comparison shop over 50 insurance companies to find the lowest rate and best fit for your car insurance needs.
- Ask about combining insurance policies Home/auto/rental insurances can often be combined for greater discounts.
- Ask if you can save by paying the entire year insurance rates up front.
- Does your employer negotiate rates with an affiliated insurance company?
- Ask if you can alter your deductibles. Higher deductibles will often lower rates.
- Check your member benefits with some of the associations you already belong to (AAA, Costco, Credit Card Companies, Credit Unions) offer discount group rates along with perks of membership.
- Maintain a good driving record. The best way to keep your insurance rates low is to build an excellent history of driving. Your history of accidents or convictions is the foremost determining factor toward the cost of your insurance.
- Visit The Insurance Bureau of Canada to see how your car measures up when it comes to stolen or high-risk vehicles.
- Ensure your insurance company is aware of all of the safety features on your car, air bags, anti-lock brakes, theft prevention devices all can contribute to a lower premium.
Online car insurance calculators, like the one right here at RateLab, are effective tools to find out the best price for your car insurance needs. Enter your basic insurance information and RateLab searches over 30 companies to determine which will offer you the lowest premium. Use that quote as a tool to base your final policy around.