BY EMILY DELBRIDGE Updated May 09, 2018
An insurance quote is an estimate of what your rate could be with a potential insurance carrier. Quotes are subject to change depending on how much information you give at the time of the quote. The more forthcoming you are with information, the more accurate your insurance quote.
01 How long does it take to get a car insurance quote?
Young man looking at car insurance on laptop
Getting a single quote should not take much of your time. A lot of factors can affect the amount of time it takes to get an insurance quote. How many drivers and vehicles you have and where you get your quote, can all affect the time it takes to actually get a quote.
Call an insurance agent: You can expect to spend five to ten minutes giving an agent your information. Then it is typical for the agent to call you back with a quote. The call back time can vary from within the hour up to several hours. Your call should be returned on the same day unless you called late in the day. The return phone call will probably take an additional five to ten minutes depending on how many questions you have about the information given to you.
Get a quote online: 15 minutes is advertised as the time it takes to get an insurance quote online. Certainly, the time varies according to your computer skills and how many vehicles you need insurance on. Online quotes require a lot of detailed information in order to get an accurate quote.
02 How many car insurance quotes should you get?
Three to five insurance quotes should give you a good look at what is available. A quick tip on getting multiple quotes at one time is to utilize independent agents. Independent agents sell insurance through multiple insurance carriers. An independent insurance agent will be able to check with each of its insurance carriers and give you their best rate. Ask an independent agent which companies they quoted you through so you do not get duplicate quotes when calling around.
A couple different online insurance websites give you the opportunity to get quotes from multiple insurance carriers too. You only need to input your information a single time to get quotes from several carriers. Getting multiple quotes at once is a huge time saver regardless if it is from an agent or online.
03 How do you select the best automobile insurance quote?
Most people pick the best insurance quote based on price. A couple of other things to consider include how efficient the agent was at getting the quote to you and explaining all the information. If you are going the online route, how did you like inputting all of the information on your own? Do you feel comfortable with all the insurance terminology?
Just as important is whether or not the quote has the coverage you need and want. When you are getting quotes on car insurance, you should have each company run the quote a similarly as possible. It is the only way you will know which carrier has the best price for you.
04 How often should you get automobile insurance quotes?
Getting quotes often is advertised frequently. But, how often should you really be getting insurance quotes? It really depends on your relationship with your insurance agency. If you love your insurance agent and trust them whole heartedly, then maybe you should never shop for a new insurance carrier. There is something to be said for good service.
Sometimes enough is enough when it comes to price though. And, there is nothing to say you can’t find good service somewhere else. If your car insurance premium increases significantly renewal after renewal, it is probably time to start inquiring about new insurance quotes.
To put an actual number on it, you should check around every two to three years unless something is happening to make you unhappy with your current carrier. Getting quotes will give you the information you need to make sure you are still receiving a competitive rate. If the price difference with the new quote is only a little bit cheaper, you should probably stick with what you have.
Automobile insurance quotes are one thing you should be comfortable with as a car owner. Insurance rates are always changing. Checking around for automobile insurance quotes could potentially save you hundreds of dollars.
What is Car Insurance?
In order to operate a vehicle in Canada, you need to have a valid car insurance policy in place at all times. Car insurance policy requirements vary from province to province, depending on the type of insurance system each is mandated by (public vs. private). However, you need to have a minimum amount of third-party liability insurance, to protect yourself financially in the event that you injure someone or damage their car/property. You’ll also need a minimum amount of accident benefits, which provides coverage for any medical/rehabilitation costs that resulted from an accident. You can also decide to buy more than the minimum amount required, as well as purchase additional coverage (such as comprehensive insurance) on top of your basic car insurance policy.
Why Compare Car Insurance Rates?
You might think that car insurance quotes for the same driver/car would be similar across all providers, but every car insurance company has its own costs to cover, based on data about all of their existing users/claims. Broken down, every car insurance company has a number of “risk groups” it divides people into, and they charge premiums based on the claims experience of each group. When an insurance company gathers information about you, their system places you into one of those groups – and a portion of your quote is based on the group you’re in. You can’t see what goes on behind the scenes, but the group you’re placed into and the premium that follows could vary greatly from company-to-company, which is why it’s wise to compare car insurance rates and see who can offer you the cheapest insurance.
How Car Insurance Rates are Calculated
Dozens of factors contribute to the total cost of your car insurance premium, all of which can be divided into four categories:
Your driving profile
Your car insurance provider
Based on the information you provide for your driving profile, the car insurance company will place you into one of its risk groups, which outlines the majority of the costs in the other points. You can read more about how car insurance rates are calculated on our site.
How to Save on Car Insurance
Car insurance rates vary from province-to-province, city-to-city and provider-to-provider. There are some costs you can’t control, such as the base rates determined by the public car insurance systems in British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. However, there are a number of ways you can save money on your car insurance, including:
Maintaining a safe driving record
Increasing your deductible
Making all payments on
Asking for discounts
You can read about these tips and find more ways to save on car insurance on our site.
How to Buy Car Insurance
When you’re ready to buy a new car insurance policy, you can do so in person or over the phone, at a bank/credit union, insurance company or insurance brokerage. If you haven’t already done so, we always suggest you start by comparing car insurance rates online. We shop the most competitive providers to bring you a list of the best car insurance rates in Canada. Even if you don’t use one of the providers on our site, you should at least do this as part of your research, to make sure you know what’s available to you. Once you’ve picked and purchased the best car insurance coverage for you, the insurance company is responsible for providing you with a certificate of insurance to keep in your vehicle. The certificate lists details about the vehicle that’s insured, the coverage you have on it and the period of time which you are covered.