Find Insurance that Fits Your Needs
Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you’ve done your homework.
- How insurance works
- What are your insurance needs?
- Drive down your rates
- Find an insurance representative who fits your needs
- Be an active participant in your insurance.
How insurance works
Before you buy insurance for your home, car or business it's important to understand how it works. We’ve outlined the basics here and your insurance representative – or one of our Consumer Information Officers – can answer any other questions you might have.
Your insurance company estimates an annual cost or premium to accept the risk of covering your home, business or car. Premiums are based on many factors, including the risk being insured, and how many losses insurers anticipate that they will have to cover in the coming year.
On a monthly or annual basis, you pay a premium to your insurer for assuming this risk on your behalf.
Your insurance company puts all the premiums they collect into one large pool. Your insurance is an annual contract, so the pool operates for only one year at a time.
Your insurance company uses the pool of funds from the premiums they collect to pay for the losses of those who make claims in that year.
What are your insurance needs?
Whether you’re renewing your insurance or are a first-time buyer, making a list of all of your needs before you speak to a representative can help you find the insurance – and insurance provider – that works for you. Here are some important questions to consider.
Finding insurance that fits your home, business and/or car insurance needs is important. Whether you’re buying, renewing or just researching a policy, consider your needs and:
What coverage is mandatory for your car? What's optional?
What’s the replacement value of your property and its contents?
What risks are unique to your business and what are you already doing to manage these risks?
Drive down your rates
It may be possible to drive down your home, business and car insurance rates by looking closely at your policy and your options. Here are 6 questions to ask yourself that could save you money.
Have I shopped around enough to find the lowest rates for my needs?
How can changing the deductible save me money?
What fees may apply if I cancel early?
Does the insurer provide 24/7/365 claims and customer service?
If I'm in my first collision, how will it affect my premium? What happens after one or more speeding tickets?
Can I save money by bundling several policies with one insurance company? Does the insurer offer discounts or loyalty programs for:
insuring multiple cars and drivers in the same household?
adding coverage for a motorcycle and/or seasonal vehicles?
adding coverage for a cottage, boat and/or recreational properties?
including multiple business coverages?
Find an insurance representative who fits your needs
Depending on where you live and the type of coverage you need, you have a few options, including:
Buying direct from a private insurance company.
Looking for a direct writer? Contact the Canadian Association of Direct Relationship Insurers (CADRI) or call 416-773-0101
Purchasing through an insurance representative such as a broker or agent.
Looking for a broker who will do the research to find the insurance you need on your behalf? Contact your local insurance brokers' association or the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) or call 416-367-1831
Looking for an agent from a specific insurance company? Contact the company directly.
Working with a wholesale broker who can find a coverage package if you have a unique or difficult-to-place risk
Be an active participant in your insurance.
Staying involved means being aware of the changes in your situation and your needs, as well as being aware of the services your insurer provides.
Here’s how you can take an active role throughout the year:
Foster a strong relationship with your insurance representative.
The more they know about what’s being insured, the better prepared they’ll be to offer the right insurance.
Stay connected throughout the year. It’s up to you to notify your insurance representative when things change (like renovating your house or adding a pool).
Provide well-organized, complete information about the specific risk – auto, home, business or other – you’re looking to insure.
Own a business? You may be asked to submit information about how you proactively manage risks – potential loss or other adverse events – such as your risk management policies and procedures.
Supply additional documentation about your business operations and why they’re considered best in class.
Make sure all information you provide accurately reflects your needs, the requested coverage and/or your organization and its operations.
You might also be interested
Know your policy
Spend more time researching personal items like coffee makers and shoes than you do insurance? You’re not alone. Make sure you understand your insurance.
Looking for ways to drive down your rates?
Like most things these days, insurance can be expensive. With just a few proactive steps, you can help take control of your premiums.
How to file a claim
To make your claim filing process smoother, make sure you understand everything you need to do and how your insurer will help you.