Has this ever happened to you? You call an insurance broker, give them all your information, and get back a super quote that meets all your needs at a price that might be significantly cheaper than what you are currently paying. Or maybe you have a few tickets on your record, and you expect your rate to go up, but the quoted premium is not nearly as high as you expected.
But then when you ask the broker to finalize the policy for you, the premium is not what you discussed. Sometimes the difference is minor. Sometimes it’s not even close. This is always frustrating. At the very least, you feel let down. In extreme cases, you may feel like you were deliberately deceived.
Unfortunately, this happens all the time when you’re shopping for insurance. Whether you’re shopping online, on the phone with a broker, or even in person. About 80-90% of quotes change at least a little by the time the policy is finalized. Sometimes, the premium could even go down (but nobody ever complains about that LOL). There are a bunch of reasons.
As one of the leading insurance brokers in Ontario, Mitchell & Whale provides hundreds of quotes a day on products ranging from home and auto insurance to cyber liability insurance for businesses, to specialized policies for items like vintage motorcycles and right-hand drive cars. We pride ourselves on doing a thorough job, and asking all the right questions, before offering you a series of quotes from different insurers. If you’re sure your answers are 100% accurate, your quote should be accurate, but there might still be some possible discrepancies because of human error.
In order to verify that your driving record is correct, your broker has to get your permission, and then the insurance company has to pay $15 to get your driving record from the Ministry of Transportation. Because of the cost, they usually only do this after you’ve finalized the policy. So the initial quote is often based on YOUR best recollection of your driving record. This causes many of the discrepancies.
We asked one of our most experienced brokers to explain this phenomenon, who is responsible, just how much the quote can vary and why, and what you can do to get the most accurate quote.
The following are examples of information that could be entered incorrectly when getting a quote:
There are myriad examples, but the point is that small details can change your premium by hundreds, even thousands, of dollars a year.
There are three reasons that the information used for a quote can be wrong.
At Mitchell & Whale, we try our very best to give you an accurate quote. That’s one of the reasons that we stopped offering online quotes. Online quoting software relies on the client to input accurate information, and these quotes are almost never correct. If you call for a quote, the broker can ask for your driver’s license number and pull up your records on the spot. They can also ask more questions when your answers aren’t clear or contradictory.
Regardless of how you choose to buy insurance, talking to someone is always preferable to getting an online quote, because a live agent can ask for clarification if necessary. And regardless of whether you get a quote by phone, in person or online, try to have all the relevant documentation handy before you begin. Mostly, that means your driver’s license and the VIN number of your car. With this information, your broker will likely be able to give you a quote you can count on.
Before asking for a quote, have the following information handy:
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments below! Mitchell & Whale is a fast-growing insurance brokerage in Ontario, striving to make insurance _not suck_ one customer at a time. Give us a call today to discuss any of your insurance needs at 1.800.731.2228.