As online shopping takes centre stage in households across the province, most retailers, financial institutions, and service providers have created online platforms that attempt to make it simple for you to buy their offerings online. Online car insurance is no exception.
Consumers enjoy the ability to research what insurance options are available to them, get a quote anytime they wish and to compare rates between companies.
To meet this demand, many Ontario insurance providers have created online portals that walk consumers through the quoting process easily (with varying degrees of success) and allow them to obtain a quote. Some of these companies will allow the visitor to complete the transaction, while others may require some level of human contact with a broker before the auto insurance policy is issued.
But is online car insurance safe? In this post, we will explore how online car insurance works and determine if it is the right choice for you.
Is it safe to purchase an auto insurance policy online?
When considering is it safe to purchase a car insurance policy online, we need to consider two aspects of safety. First, is it safe to enter and transmit your personal information online to the insurance carrier? Second, will you receive an insurance policy that best protects you, your family, and your vehicle?
Online data safety – You have undoubtedly heard about some of the data breeches that have affected companies across North America. These breeches, which included leaking the personal data of vast numbers of customers, are indeed concerning. However, we must also put them into perspective, as the leaks represent only a small percentage of the number of online platforms that collect personal information. This risk can be mitigated by using only reputable websites that provide you with a clear policy on how they collect, use and store your data.
Proper insurance coverage – Ensuring you have adequate insurance protection including optional coverages when you purchase online car insurance is also a concern. While the online experience offered by companies such as aha insurance will guide you through the process in a simple manner, not all insurance websites are as easy to use. Many of them are simply data entry sites that offer little in terms of advice or options, making it difficult for some users to identify and purchase the coverage that they need.
At aha insurance, we believe the best model is to provide a way for customers to get an accurate quote quickly using our awesome technology. Many customers can receive their guaranteed quote 100% online. If we need to clarify any part of your quote, one of our licensed insurance professionals will reach out to you to ensure you have the right coverage at the best possible price, adding an extra level of security for your peace of mind.
How does buying online car insurance work?
There are four basic steps to buying car insurance online.
- Gather your information
Before starting the process, gather the information that will be required for you to receive an accurate auto insurance quote. This should include a copy of your vehicle registration and information on each of the drivers of the vehicle. Some companies will ask you for the driver’s licence number for each if the drivers on the policy, while others will just ask you to enter the names and birthday of each driver along with information on prior accidents and traffic tickets.
At aha, we gather most of the information we need for your quote from your driver’s licence number. If you enter a driver’s licence number, the company may connect to a provincial database of driving and accident information, making the quote very accurate. If you enter driver information manually, the quote will only be as accurate as the data you enter.
To compare apples to apples, it is a good idea to use a copy of your existing car insurance policy as a guide when entering your information.
- Enter the information
As you begin entering your information into the website, you may find that some companies only ask for limited information and will provide you with a “quick quote” that is usually not guaranteed. While this is a fast way to get a rough idea of premiums, you may end up with a final price that is quite different from what was presented in a quick quote.
We suggest getting a quote from a company like aha with a modern online presence that walks you through the process step by step, and that can provide a guaranteed quote.
- Confirm your policy
With your quote in-hand, it is a good idea to review your insurance to ensure it meets the needs of you and your family. At aha insurance, we may contact you and ask a few more questions to ensure you are properly insured.
- Provide payment information
Once everything about your car insurance policy is perfect, you will be asked to enter payment information. Most insurance providers offer a range of ways to pay, from pre-authorized monthly debits from your bank account or credit cards and even old-school cheques.
Who should consider shopping for home and auto insurance online?
Advances in technology have made it possible for most people to purchase home and auto insurance online. We strongly encourage you to get quotes from a company that offers a modern, easy to understand user interface that clearly presents you with options and who has licensed insurance professionals available by phone in case you run into problems, have a question, or simply want to ensure your coverage and insurance premiums are accurate.
Can I buy auto insurance online without a car?
One of the principles of insurance is that the policyholder must have an insurance interest in the vehicle. That usually means you either own or lease the vehicle, or in the case of car rentals, you have contractually agreed to be responsible for it. We cover the topic in detail in this post.
If you are borrowing a car from a friend or family member, their insurance will provide you with coverage. You can also buy insurance at a car rental office. Many people also have what is called non-owned auto insurance through their work benefits or on a premium credit card.
How can I find the best price on different types of coverage?
It’s helpful to compare quotes, but shopping for insurance shouldn’t be a chore. Each insurance company has their sweet spot, where they provide their best rates. Some companies like to ensure people who live in urban areas, while others target rural communities. Some companies prefer older drivers while others cater to younger families. In each case, their insurance rates will align with this target market. Therefore, to find the best price on car insurance we encourage you to get quotes from several companies.
Better yet, choose an insurance brokerage like aha insurance, who will automatically find you the best rate and insurance products from among the many companies they represent.
Buying your car insurance online can be a safe way for you to take control of your insurance needs. As technology continues to advance, the customer experience continues to improve. Choose an insurance provider with an easy-to-use interface that can provide you with an accurate car insurance quote quickly and who offers a human element in case you have any questions or issues.