Monthly Archives

October 2018

Canadian Insurance Market

Canadian Insurance Market

It’s moving online incredibly fast

As we have already seen in Banking and Investing, technological advancements for Insurance are reaping huge rewards for customers. Recent advertising efforts by State Farm and Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) are clear indicators that online insurance options in Canada are gaining market share every month. State Farm recently launched a high-profile commercial with professional athletes and a famous actor to promote their personal touch, as online offerings powered by bots are gaining market share every day.  The IBAC started a campaign warning Canadians about purchasing insurance online and launched www.beforethequote.ca, advising to go directly to insurance brokers rather than online.

We can credit State Farm for the humorous advert and focusing on the personal touch aspect that some customers might appreciate. The IBAC has taken a different approach of provoking uncertainty and fear, the long-time insurance sales tactic, in the hope of preventing Canadians from looking online for insurance.

Billions of dollars have been invested globally into bringing insurance online with a huge focus on improving the customers experience, so we want to look deeper into the IBAC’s message and see what’s going on;

  1. Advocacy or My broker shops for me. While they can and should be, the reality is that most Canadians receive their home, auto, boat, trailer and other renewals directly from insurance companies and not from the broker. You are likely paying direct to the insurer and the renewals come direct from them too.
  2. My policy is customized.  The customization of insurance occurs long before the quote as insurers themselves have created off the shelf custom packages for home, business and auto insurance.  Insurance companies have worked hard to develop leading packages and this has resulted in very simple policies that are only subject to a relatively standard list of exclusions. The final touch to customize a policy is to ask good questions about the client, be it for business or personal insurance, which can be accomplished with online systems very easily and much more efficiently.
  3. Online insurers don’t pay claims. Online insurance is simply a different division of the same insurance company you might already be dealing with. Claims handling and behaviour from these insurance companies are going to be consistent with both channels. Buying online is not any less reliable, and it certainly does not mean that your claim won’t be paid.
  4. Online insurance is without expert advice. Online insurance industry leaders like Obvi Inc. and Zensurance have something important in common; they are brokers who provide expert advice. Customers still have access to live insurance agents or brokers who can provide guidance throughout the entire online process.  With an online chat, a customer can also ask for a transcript of the conversation to document any advice received that influenced their decisions.
  5. Lower premiums equal less coverage. It is very common for one insurer to offer the same coverage at a lower rate than another insurer. What makes the online world more competitive is how efficiently products can go to market and how claims are opened and tracked which can create substantial savings for customers. Just because insurance is cheaper online, doesn’t mean it isn’t as good if not better.

Are some people still renewing insurance in person? Maybe. Does this mean you have to buy insurance online? Not at all, but the online world is everything the traditional market fears.  It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s convenient and gives consumers the ability to effectively manage a very important product which happens to be a noticeable household expense. What kind of insurance is available online? Here are your options:

  • Home Insurance
  • Auto Insurance
  • Extended Warranty for your vehicle
  • PET Insurance
  • GAP insurance
  • Personal Umbrella
  • Life Insurance
  • Small and medium size business Insurance
  • Travel Insurance

Canada should be excited about online innovators that have re-imagined the insurance industry and the benefits available. The online insurance world is starting to open up in Canada, and it’s something to embrace rather than fear.

Buying Insurance Online

6 Reasons Why Canadians Should be Buying Insurance Online

Almost everything these days has moved online, some things faster than others. There is no doubt there are many advantages to moving to the online world be it in banking, retail sales, social networking, news and just about any other thing in our lives. But some things have been much slower to move online than others, which brings us to insurance. Most of us are still buying our insurance like it’s 1999. Lately there has been a big push for home and auto online but what about all the other products out there? Most of the European insurance industry is light years ahead of Canada as less than 5% of insurance is currently transacted online in Canada.

Going online is the best

Traditional insurance sales will try to scare you away from online by pushing that you don’t really know what you are getting, your policy isn’t custom tailored to you, and you don’t get the benefits of an expert that knows the product. But are you really getting that now and will you really be losing any of that? Here’s why you should be buying insurance online.

Reason #1- Control

With online insurance you can shop where you like, when you like and can better pick and choose your coverage. You don’t have to rely on the traditional channels that sell one or two companies’ products. It’s also easy to check a company’s reputation and level of service. You can also easily compare what different companies are providing.

Reason # 2- Your Time

In our fast-paced world, you don’t have time to shop around for your insurance using the old methods of calling and asking for quotes, waiting for a response, and having to decipher what coverage you are getting. You can also shop on your own time when its convenient for you rather than a company’s office hours.

Reason # 3- Your Money

Buying insurance is often a necessity for a variety of reasons but why pay so much more for something because of outdated processes? Technology has drastically cut the amount of hands that are needed to get you the best possible coverage. By going direct, the extra commissions can be removed saving you money.

Reason # 4- Less paperwork

Processes can be streamlined, and information kept digitally. Ever want to know what’s covered on your policy and tried to find that renewal document you received last year? Online forms are interactive and can help eliminate unnecessary lines of questioning. You can upload supporting documents without the need to photocopy, courier or mail.

Reason #5- Transparency

An online policy will allow you to see and understand all features of what you are getting. In addition you can review the reputation of the company issuing the policy. Always remember to carefully review policies and if something isn’t clear engage the chat bot who is a live insurance agent.

Reason # 6 Easy access to complete policy details

A good online broker will make it easy to connect and answer questions and provide a level of advisory to complete a policy purchase. When going through the quote process, you should be able to carefully review what coverage you are getting and do it when its convenient for you. Again, always remember to carefully review policies and if something isn’t clear contact the company and ask.

So there you have it; Canadians should be buying insurance online. It’s simple, convenient for you and can save you a lot of money. Get started today with a quote from Obvi.

Which Cars Have The Best Warranty?

When researching your next new or used vehicle purchase it’s a good idea to consider which one comes with the best vehicle warranty. All new cars, trucks, and SUVs come with a manufacturers comprehensive and powertrain warranty.  Most comprehensive manufacturer warranties are 3 years/60,000 km or 4 years/80,000 km with powertrain coverage generally being longer. Whats the difference between comprehensive and powertrain?

Comprehensive Warranty Powertrain Warranty
·        Covers defects in workmanship on most all working parts of the vehicle such as electrical, fuel systems, air conditioning ·        The powertrain warranty covers the parts of a car that provide power and make it move. This is the engine, transmission and drivetrain.

 

Other types of vehicle warranties included from the manufacturer:

  • Hybrid/Electrical powertrain coverage is also provided for a separate term and varies amongst automakers, but most are around 8 years/160,000km.
  • Roadside assistance is also included with new vehicles and ranges anywhere from 3 to 6 years or 60,000km to unlimited km’s.
  • Some manufacturers provide varying terms of coverage for certain components such as emissions, radio systems, batteries and other wear parts.
  • Manufacturers include varying terms of rust perforation warranty on new vehicles.

Its important to read the fine print of any warranty and understand the various levels of coverage.

Which car comes with the best car warranty in Canada? That goes to Mitsubishi offering the overall best vehicle warranty at terms of 5 years/100,000 km for the comprehensive coverage and the best powertrain warranty at 10 years/160,000 km.  You can decide for yourself which car company has the best vehicle warranty depending on what your needs are. A list of the current coverage each manufacturer offers for its comprehensive and powertrain warranties is provided at the end of this blog to help you determine which car has the best warranty for you.

Regardless of the type of vehicle considered, you may notice that all the manufacturers warranty’s have something in common: coverage generally expires long before it is truly needed.  Each manufacturer has determined when they can offer protection without having to charge for it and this equates to what is known as manufacturers warranty. Once the time or distance allowed has been exceeded, an extended warranty is needed for further coverage.

What’s the best extended car warranty? We have discussed this topic in previous blog posts to some extent but here are some additional things to consider. Automotive retailers are in a position to offer:

  • A third-party warranty, most likely in form of an insurance policy
  • Extended coverage from the manufacturer, most likely in a “service contract”

What is often misunderstood at this point is that the automotive dealer is selling a policy or contract for which they have no overview or administration role in the event of a claim. The sales agent has a laundry list of tactics and years of sales training to earn a commission. Car buyers should look online for alternatives and ask a lot of questions. Don’t feel pressured to immediately buy the extended warranty at the time your purchasing your new vehicle.

Here are some things you should be concerned about:

  • Transfer/Cancellation options– your needs are always changing does your warranty support that?
  • Time and Distance –Don’t let years of coverage trump KM’s. Make sure the extended warranty doesn’t expire before 160,000 Km’s
  • Offer of a “no claim credit”– If it sounds to good to be true it usually is. Typically you pay a premium for this and getting the money back is rarely a straightforward process and might require the purchase of a new vehicle from the same dealer.
  • Fine Print– You mostly need to be concerned about what isn’t covered – fancy brochures won’t be brought out when a claim happens.
  • Price– Shop around, rarely do you get a reasonable price for extending a warranty at a dealership.

Find out more about Obvi and our Extended Warranty and get a free quote now.