Feel Financially Empowered by Optimizing Your Insurance Savings
Looking for ways to save on the essentials? See how you can save on your insurance without taking shortcuts.
Rebecca and Nate looked at their laptop screen anticipating another deficit to their bank accounts. What popped up next was a pleasant surprise. Their quote for bundled home and auto insurance with Onlia, a direct insurer, was a BIG improvement. "Finally, a break," said Rebecca.
After a tough financial year attributed to the pandemic, they’d be able to start minimizing ongoing expenses and saving in this area of their budget. With Onlia’s bundled home and auto insurance, Rebecca and Nate would be able to put $600 back to their pockets this year alone – that meant a month’s worth of groceries to their family!
And because Onlia is a direct insurer, they were able to change their insurance provider and get next day coverage, all while easing off their budget. Motivated by the savings, the couple continued to find other opportunities to optimize their spending in other budget categories.
Canadians are more cost conscious about insurance nowadays, and you should be, too
Insurance for home and auto takes up a considerable portion of a household’s budget every given month; approximately $225 - 250 for home and auto coverage combined, which on average represents about 5% of an Ontarian’s take-home pay.
Saving 10, 25 or even 40 per cent in this budget category can make a big difference in what else you can fit into a monthly spend; better quality baby formula, a tank of gas, or savings for a rainy day.
According to Fernand Vartanian, Head of Business Development and General Counsel for Onlia, it’s financially prudent to do research and shop around to understand costs and coverage for insurance. And, given that the pandemic forced so many people to be homebound and driving less, the precise coverage one needs may have shifted, offering further opportunities for savings.
The good news: you don’t have to overpay for quality insurance
Doing your homework to compare prices and coverage can save you between $500 - 700 annually.
Plus, if you opt-in to Onlia Sense™, an app that uses telematics to track and reward road users for good behaviour, you can reap the benefits of a good drive score. “The Onlia Sense app puts even more money back into the pockets of Canadians by rewarding safe driving,” says Fernand. “These rewards can tally up to an additional $450 in annual value. First-time customers tend to receive other sign-up perks, too, like accident forgiveness or claims-free history.”
To optimize your insurance savings opportunities like Rebecca and Nate did, compare your options. This can be done directly by you using an aggregator site like LowestRates.ca or Rates.ca. For Rebecca and Nate, they chose the latter and used Google reviews and recommendations from to guide their research.
Note that it can be a bit of challenge to unpack the precise details of coverage when you use an aggregator site. So, dig deep – very deep – into the details of what’s included. In Canada, default coverage is pretty standard and that’s because the regulators make sure that even the baseline policies, which are what you see most presented on aggregator sites, meet all statutory requirements.
Don’t let these myths hold you back from switching to a new insurance provider
Myth 1: I’m not an ideal client and therefore I’m going to get gouged on price
Even if you’ve had trouble in the past getting the insurance you want, that doesn’t mean you can’t get what you need in the future. Every insurance company calculates premiums differently; and it’s not just those with squeaky clean claims history who get the benefits. The right provider for you will want your business because you’re a good fit for them, and they will be able to offer you the most competitive rates. But, going direct means no added fees from a middleman.
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Myth 2: Insurance companies only call you on renewal or when there is a claim.
Not all insurers are disengaged or boring. Nowadays, the best companies in the business want an ongoing relationship with their customers – they don’t just want to interact with you when there’s a renewal or a claim. They want to be in your inbox regularly with tips and useful suggestions to help you stay safe on the road and at home.
Myth 3: You have to be smart with numbers to understand insurance.
To so many, insurance seems complicated – so much so, that they don’t want to tweak their current coverage and disrupt the apple cart. But, Onlia has simplified insurance by giving you direct information and a simple process from quote to coverage. They make coverages and add-ons clear so that customers know what they're getting out of the gate; standard policies from Onlia include added value like replacement vehicle, identify theft and other coverages that come at an extra cost with many insurers.
Peace of mind is what’s at stake when it comes to coverage
“People tend to think that bad things won’t happen to them; so they skimp on insurance. But considering your health, home and car are your most valuable assets, wouldn’t you want to protect these the most?” says Fernand.
A significant portion of the auto premium you pay, for example, is allocated to accident benefits and not just repairing the vehicle. This means that if you or your passengers end up injured, you can rely on your insurance to support you through the recovery process. And for your home insurance premium, it’s the protection you need for not only your home itself, but for freak accidents like if a friend slips, falls and is seriously injured going down your stairs, a pipe freezing, and other unexpected disasters .
To ensure you’re choosing well, understand your needs, read the proposed policies carefully and compare coverage options. My advice is to also look at Google reviews and see how the insurer stacks up against competitors in the claims process. Let’s face it, when you’re in a pinch you don’t want to be met with an unhelpful claims department when you need assistance the most.
For financially motivated Rebecca and Nate, they went from being intimidated by the insurance process to empowered. What made all the difference was the speed of getting quotes (now minutes), consistently high Google reviews of their new provider, Onlia, and a friendly onboarding process.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s high time to review your coverage and provider…. Just imagine what you could do with all those savings!