Few people enjoy the idea of buying insurance. It’s a necessary hassle, until you need it.
When you do need it, your choice of policy becomes incredibly important. Taking the extra few minutes to ensure the right coverage match can make a significant and/or permanent difference to your life.
People tend to choose their policies based on a few popular criteria:
- Best price. This is especially true for auto insurance. Many people just want to pay the minimum amount that provides adequate coverage. But as the saying goes, sometimes “you get what you pay for”.
- Best brand. Some national insurers make great commercials, and they work. That said, when shopping on brand, perception often trumps reality, and many nation wide insurers standardize coverage for the masses, not for your specific situation.
- Best recommendation. In the absence of a major price difference or a strong brand preference, clients tend to go with the recommendations that come to mind (whether from friends, neighbors or family). This is OK as long as you feel adequate attention is given to your specific situation. The fact your neighbor pays X dollars in premium less than you doesn’t mean they have apple-to-apples coverage, and your situation may be very different.
While all those methods have some value, we try a simpler approach: we ask the right questions to uncover the right needs. We then match you with the best policy based on overall fit.
In some cases, the best match is the lowest price. In other cases, the best match costs a bit more and is connected with a brand you’ve never heard of. What matters is how the policy performs when you need it. For example, saving $100 a year may not be worth the risk of a sky-high deductible. And going with a familiar name might be costly if they take two weeks longer on average to process your claim.
Our brokers know the industry, they know the providers, and they’re prepared to ask the right questions to know your needs.
Things You Should Know
- To get the best deal on home insurance:
- Bundle it with your auto policy.
- Bring proof of upgrades to your electrical, heating, and plumbing systems.
- Install and maintain loss prevention measures to your home such as backflow valves, automatic sump pumps, tankless hot water heaters and fire/burglar alarm systems.
- If you were in a “not at fault” accident, your premiums may still go up. There’s a separation between how your accident is viewed legally and financially. Your insurance provider has ultimate say over how they view the specifics of your case (within provincial guidelines). Consider that when setting your deductible amount.
- In 2013, 62% of all Canadian auto claims based on extreme weather occurred in Alberta. This is why comprehensive insurance can sometimes cost more here. But there are things you can do to reduce the risk of loss, like parking in your drive instead of on a street, or in the garage instead of on the drive whenever possible.
- The frequency of bodily injuries from auto accidents is at an all-time low; however, the amounts for damages or injuries are increasing. Cars and drivers are getting safer, but it more expensive to repair those cars, and settlements to compensate for injuries to other drivers are significantly higher than even 5 to 10 years ago.
- Putting different policies side-by-side is often an ‘apples to oranges’ comparison. A quote comparison-sheet only provides a very basic view of each policy. There are nuances that a trained broker can help you identify. It’s the fine-print details that often make-or-break the policy fit.