Category

Insurance Online

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.

Insurance Policy or Vehicle Service Contract?

Insurance Policy or Vehicle Service Contract?

Vehicles today are increasingly complex especially with all the electrical components, and Canadians are looking for more and more solutions to protect their investment. For decades we have all associated the term “bumper to bumper” with new vehicle warranty and while it remains undefined, the term suggests that everything between the bumpers is covered under warranty. In reality, you will be hard pressed to find it in writing from any of the major vehicle brands today or any insurance policy.

Extending the manufacturers’ warranty

Vehicles come with a 3 year 60,000KM or 4 year 80,000KM depending on the manufacturer, with a few 5 year 100,000KM warranties available and are usually referred to as “New Vehicle Warranty” or “New Vehicle Limited Warranty”. When it’s time to extend the warranty, a consumer can decide between an independent insurance policy or vehicle service contracts (VSC) from the manufacturer. Be aware that a VSC is different from the original manufacturers’ warranty, it isn’t an extension of the exact same thing and they can be open to a lot of interpretation. Here are some examples of what you will be looking at:

– OBVI Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Policies
– GM Total Plus (VSC)
– BMW Certified Series (VSC)
– Mercedes Benz Certified Series (VSC)
– Toyota Extended Care Plan (VSC) (available in Silver, Gold and Platinum)
– Acura Plus Plan (VSC)
– Honda Plus Plan (VSC)
– Ford Care (VSC) (which has many different levels of coverage)
– Audi Certified Plus (VSC)
– Other third party providers of VSC and insurance

The list goes on and on. So how do you know which warranty to chose? Let’s face it, the automotive industry is a marketing giant and when it comes to the extended warranty they have great brochures often listing hundreds of components you have never heard of. But the reality is you should be most concerned with what’s NOT covered to make the decision. After all, when you need to make a claim the brochure is out the window and the small-print policy wording is called upon. It’s time for a transparent approach to extended warranty, one which provides great coverage all with easy to understand exclusions.

Does buying an extended warranty from the manufacturer provide “bumper to bumper” coverage? No. Canadians need to read and understand the policies and beyond the coverage should be considering the following when buying an extended warranty:

– Financial stability, usually best served by an insurance policy.
– Can you transfer at a dealer? The most common way to sell your vehicle
– Are you getting warranty advice from the warranty provider?
– Where can the vehicle be repaired?
– Does it include more than 160,000 KM in coverage? How many extra years does it provide?
– Who is assisting you during a claim?

To summarize; Bumper to bumper is another way of wording Extended Auto Warranty. It doesn’t literally mean that EVERYTHING is included, although it sounds like it. Always make sure you know whether you are looking at an insurance policy or a vehicle service contract, that you understand what you are reading and are happy with what is covered.

Find more information on Obvi’s Extended Warranty or get a quick online quote here.

What we learned in 2018

What we learned in 2018

As 2018 has ended, Obvi enters 2019 with an exciting milestone – we now help Canadians save over $1,000,000 each month by going online for Extended Auto Warranty and GAP Insurance.  As we prepared last year to launch a game changing platform to deliver comprehensive coverage at a fair price, we knew it wouldn’t be easy given some of the stigma facing the industry from decades of poor contracts and sales practices. Whilst looking forward in 2019, we also wanted to share the most talked about changes we implemented in 2018:

Value of KMs.  So many Extended Warranties have short term options, but this fails to recognize that you are investing in the future of your vehicle. With coverage up to 175,000 KM and a transfer clause, Obvi recognizes the investment made in your vehicle. Even if you expect to sell or trade your vehicle after 5 years, a 7 year/175,000KM policy drastically increases the value of your vehicle.  Without the KMs, the value of a warranty diminishes greatly.

The actual role of an auto dealer.  The role of the dealer is to sell another insurance providers’ Extended Warranty and GAP Insurance products, which are probably the only insurance products today that allow for a point of sale commission of 2 or 3 times the actual premium – it only makes sense to cut out the middleman to deliver customers fair pricing.

Realtime advice that counts. It is important for the team at Obvi that we can communicate instantly through our instant chat system to answer questions and service our customers. What separates Obvi’s advice is that you are speaking with licensed insurance advisors from the same office that will see you through a claim.  This service model creates a culture that not only celebrates new customers but those same customers who are satisfied with a claim.

Reviews. The reality is that insurance, or any financial product for that matter, isn’t something customers like to review or blog about.  Launching a new brand with a product that might not be called on for many years makes it even more interesting.  Our mission is simple – create a trusted and transparent brand that’s focused on bringing value and a better experience to customers. We see it as important to stay engaged and present on social media, Google, and places like the Better Business Bureau to grow trust and allow customers to see how we are doing.

Warranty as an Insurance Policy? Most Canadians don’t associate vehicle warranty as an insurance policy, but it is a requirement in most provinces today. The insurance industry is highly regulated to ensure that customers are treated fairly – especially when it comes to claims.

We live in an online world. Everything we do has an online option so why doesn’t this come to mind with insurance?  The Insurance industry is caught between legacy players fighting to hang on and innovators like Obvi creating real time solutions for Canadians. Major banks in Canada simply embraced and promoted the benefits of technology, where as the Insurance industry hasn’t been so ready to change.

It was recently reported that residents of British Columbia could save $434,000,000 if ICBC could create an online solution – will they innovate and find a way to pass along the savings? We hope so, just as we are doing with our specialty products.

Should I buy extended warranty on my car?

Should I buy extended warranty on my car?

Extended warranty can be great – it gives you peace of mind that if something breaks on your vehicle, you can claim back the money for the repair, which could otherwise be very costly. Obvi is changing the way that extended warranty is brought to the market in Canada, meaning that some of the negative ideas people had about extended warranty no longer exist with Obvi.

We want to bust the bad points and show why Obvi is the one and only company you should come to for extended warranty in Canada. Should I buy extended warranty on my car? With Obvi, yes you should.

Should I buy extended warranty on my car? Obvi busts the bad points

We are going to break down some of the negative things people say about extended warranty and explain why Obvi is different:

  1. The company could go bust and I lose out. We all know what happened to Sears, and it’s true – a warranty contract from the retailer isn’t always as reliable as it once was. However, Obvi sells an insurance policy and not a warranty contract. What this means is that whatever happens to Obvi, you’re covered by the insurer.
  2. You pay a lot for extended warranty at the dealership – Again, absolutely true. That’s why Obvi is great. Obvi cuts out the middleman meaning no dealer commission and you can go online directly to Obvi, which is why we are priced lower and you save money.
  3. I don’t understand the policy. With lots of companies, you are given a policy full of technical jargon that might leave you confused with hundreds of components covered or not covered. With Obvi, the policy is easy to read and understand and put in simple terms.
  4. What if my needs change? Obvi has created the only extended warranty in Canada that can transfer through a dealer trade.  What this means is that even if you don’t use the warranty, you can get a better sale or trade value with an Obvi warranty being transferred to the next owner. If something happens and your vehicle is a write off, then there are cancelation and refund options.

Who is extended warranty for?
Obvi extended auto warranty for your car, truck, or SUV can take your comprehensive coverage up to 7 years or 175,000 km, whichever comes first. Eligible vehicles in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba must have 30 days or 1,000 km of remaining manufacturer’s auto warranty. So, if you fall within these limitations, then extended warranty is definitely an option for you.

Should I buy extended warranty on my car?
Vehicles are becoming more and more complicated and it doesn’t take long to realize a return with a properly priced extended warranty. You’ll have peace of mind so no need to worry. With Obvi, you won’t pay the dealership commission meaning you will again save money, and because you are buying an insurance policy, you know we will be around when you need us. Even if you don’t use the warranty while you own the car, you can still realize a return from higher resale value on the vehicle! Find out more and get a free quote now.

Warranty Contract or Insurance Policy

Warranty Contract or Insurance Policy

Warranty Contract or Insurance Policy

Extended Warranty is something that customers know and love, a one-time investment in future peace of mind.  But what happens when the company you have purchased from goes bankrupt? And what steps can be taken to ensure you are covered no matter what?  Most extended warranties are long term, 3,4,5,6 or 7-year extended warranties which in this rapidly changing retail world should have consumers concerned about the financial stability of anyone providing an extended warranty.

With the recent bankruptcy of Sears and the demise of others like Future Shop, customers need to be reminded that a warranty contract from the retailer isn’t always as reliable as it once was. The auto industry was saved by gov’t bail outs after the 2008 Financial Crisis and with the North American automobile market is struggling to find ways to keep new buyers coming through the doors, it only creates more concern for warranty purchases.

Lets breakdown the two forms of warranty available in the market:

Manufacturer’s Extended Warranty Contract (Service Contract)

Dealers are heavily incentivised to sell the manufacturer’s extension of your vehicle warranty.  There is no standard format, wording or regulatory framework around this method of extended warranty. Most importantly, there is no monitoring of the financial stability or ability to pay the claims.

Insurance Policies – Extended Warranty

Consumers have the option of purchasing an insurance policy to extend the warranty of their vehicle. In fact, many dealers are selling third party insurance policies with excessive markup while the customer isn’t aware they can look online.

With the help of Obvi Inc. this can be done without paying dealership commission, which is how you save money. When you receive advice from Obvi, it’s good to remember that this is the same company that would handle your claim.

Obvi sells insurance policies, and unlike some where you are locked in after 30 days, if an event happens such as your car is stolen, you do have the option to cancel. Obvi gives you a plain and simple insurance policy that is easy to understand without technical jargon and is built to pay claims.  Our motto – if it’s not excluded, it’s included! With very few excluded components, this is great for customers given the significant savings and long-term financial stability.

If you’re looking to save money and not pay the middle-man, and want to know that you will be paid in the event of a claim, Obvi Inc is the perfect solution. Get a quote today.

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.

News Release: Calgary entrepreneur tackling biggest problems around warranties

Obvi Inc.’s simple online platform is solving problems facing consumers           

For Immediate Release

Calgary, Alberta, May 16, 2018 – While many in the consumer world are leery about insurance and warranties, Obvi Inc. has launched a simple and innovative online platform that has set out to tackle some of the biggest problems facing consumers. Obvi is bringing the Canadian insurance industry on par with other countries.

“Our intuitive online platform provides our customers with a cost-effective extended auto warranty both easy to understand, and clearly written,” said Joe McBurney, Obvi President.

The world of insurance is more than just personal home and auto coverage, and there are several specialty products well suited to online direct sales. A technological revolution in the insurance industry more commonly known as “insurtech” has made its way to Canadian customers. Insurtech investment for 2017 realized more than $2 billion in funding, bringing the six-year total to more than $8 billion world-wide. As a result, the Canadian marketplace is positioned for rapid transformation in all aspects of the insurance industry.

“As the market is evolving, and more complex policies are starting to be offered directly online, insurtech is rapidly changing the extended warranty business with a big, long overdue, win for consumers,” said McBurney.

Before Obvi, warranties used to cost more than the repairs themselves. Most policies aren’t transferable at a dealer trade. Rolling an overpriced warranty into a customer’s finance plan increases the amount of interest customers pay and creates a loan to equity imbalance.

Obvi’s standard policy is a 7-year/175,000 km term for all vehicles, including Canada and U.S.-wide repair coverage, also allowing coverage to be transferred between owners upon resale or trade, either through private sales or through dealerships.

In North America, insurance and warranty products have not really made the leap to the online world. Internet-based insurance purchasing has been available in the UK for more than 10 years, and now more than 80 per cent of the UK personal insurance market is sold or generated online.

“You wouldn’t buy home insurance from your realtor – or health insurance from you doctor. We are giving Canadians a fast, easy, trustworthy way to purchase their extended auto warranties right from the source who also handles the claim,” says McBurney.

For more information about Obvi visit: obvi.ca.