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Canadians willing to switch auto insurers, shop online to save money

(Special) – Summer is a great time for Canadians to pack up their families and hit the road to explore their city, province, other parts of the country and even into the United States.

As you get ready to head off on your summer vacation it might be a good time to review your auto insurance policy to see how much you are paying and what you are getting for your money.

A recent survey by, which publishes rates from more than 50 providers of auto, home, tenant, travel and commercial insurance, has found that as insurance rates continue to rise, 56 per cent of Canadians would consider switching insurance providers for a savings of $150 or more. The survey also found that while 57 per cent of Canadians review their insurance policy once a year, 27 per cent never review their policy and rely solely on their insurance broker or agent.

Janine White, vice-president of marketplaces and strategy at, said in an interview, many Canadian consumers simply do not understand how automobile insurance works in Canada.

“There is a common misconception among many consumers that you should go to just one source for all of your insurance,” she said. “In fact, there are three main channels where consumers can go. One is a broker, who will shop the entire market, an agent who usually represents one company, or a direct writer such as TD insurance or Belairdirect insurance. It can really pay off to shop through all three channels.”

White says it’s important to review your insurance each year because small changes to your lifestyle or personal life can make a difference to your premiums.

For example, if you installed winters tires for the first time you could save up to five per cent off your auto insurance premium. Other common lifestyle activities that could help you save on home, auto or life insurance premiums including changing your daily commute, upgrading or installing a home alarm system or anti-theft device if your vehicle doesn’t already have one, paying off your mortgage and even quitting smoking.

Another way of saving is to bundle several policies with one provider and shop around. The survey found that only 13 per cent of Canadians would be motivated to shop for a new policy driven by lifestyle changes such as getting a new car, moving or doing home renovations.

The survey also found that Canadians are increasingly doing their insurance shopping online. Fifty nine per cent of respondents aged 18 to 25 compared to 18 per cent over the age of 25 are more likely to switch insurers or shop online to save between $50 and $99.

“It’s getting a lot easier to buy insurance online,” White says. “Consumers understand more and are taking it into their own hands. In Ontario, a big ticket item like auto insurance can range from $1,800 to $2,200 or more, so it can pay to spend some time to shop the market.”

The survey also found that a little more than half of respondents review all or parts of their insurance policy coverage once a year.

Shopping around is likely the best way to save on your coverage. “At minimum you should be putting your current premiums to the test each year,” White advises. “It’s an easy way to potentially save hundreds of dollars in a matter of minutes.”


Talbot Boggs is a Toronto-based business communications professional who has worked with national news organizations, magazines and corporations in the finance, retail, manufacturing and other industrial sectors.

Copyright 2019 Talbot Boggs

Talbot Boggs , The Canadian Press

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