Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to your most commonly asked insurance questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of our most Frequently Asked Questions. Click the plus sign beside the question to expand the answer. The first set contains more general FAQs and the second addresses questions related to car insurance and car insurance quotes.
1. How does the InsuranceHotline.com service work?
Consumers complete a simple online form, answering the same basic questions asked by most insurance brokers and agents. The process typically takes between 5 and 10 minutes and all personal information submitted is secure and protected.
InsuranceHotline.com then runs this information against its database of over 30 insurance companies to determine the lowest rate offered through its large network of licensed insurance professionals, which is then presented to the consumer.
If the rate presented is lower than what the consumer is currently paying, they simply provide their contact information and are connected with a licensed insurance broker or agent subscribing to InsuranceHotline.com who can provide the rate quoted. In addition, consumers are shown the rates of the 2nd and 3rd lowest priced insurer offered through its network of licensed insurance brokers and agents, all free of charge. All of this information is also instantly sent to the consumer by email.
Once the consumer gets in contact with the insurance broker or agent, they are able to confirm details of the quote and receive professional advice as to their insurance needs. From that point, it is entirely up to the consumer as to whether they wish to purchase the policy. There is never any obligation.
2. Is the rate given to me accurate?
We use the same rating software as the majority of insurance brokers in Canada (i.e., Compu-Quote Rating Services). When you call a broker, they take your details and do quotes with the companies they are contracted with, usually 3 or 4 different companies, and then give you a rate from those companies. InsuranceHotline.com, however, check rates from more than 30 of the top insurance companies in Canada, giving consumers a more comprehensive view of the universe of insurance rates to help ensure they are quoted the lowest rate available.
Rates are based on the information provided, and we update regularly to ensure our accuracy. Most rate discrepancies occur due to wrong information inputted. For example, many car models are similarly-named; Nissan Altima vs. Nissan Altima SE. This discrepancy can lead to a considerable difference in rates.
3. What if I don’t receive contact information for the company?
When you complete the questions on the form, you will be given the lowest rate available in our database of over 30 insurance companies and offered through our network of licensed insurance professionals.
On the page where you see the lowest rate available for you, you must then complete the contact information form and click on the “FINISH” button before you are given the insurance company and representative contact information. If you did not do this, then the quote was not saved into our system and you will have to re-do the quote form.
4. Is this a secure site?
Yes. This site uses VeriSign's Digital Certificates to secure and encrypt data so that you can be assured that your information is protected by industry leading Internet security technology.
5. My current insurance company has significantly increased my rate; how can I get a lower rate?
Use InsuranceHotline.com to get a rate comparison. You can check whether your rate is comparable to the lowest rate available from our database of over 30 different insurance companies through our network of licensed insurance professionals. If you find that your rate is lower, that means you’re paying a fair price for your insurance. If your rate is higher, we suggest that you proceed in getting the insurance company name.
6. Is there a fee for getting an insurance quote?
No. To ensure that you are not overpaying for your car, home, motorcycle, life and commercial insurance, we invite you to compare your rate to the lowest rate available from InsuranceHotline.com's database of over 30 insurance companies, through our network of licensed insurance professionals. All quotes completed on InsuranceHotline.com are absolutely FREE.
7. I am having difficulty with my current insurance company over a claim or ticket; what should I do?
You may wish to check out the Financial Services Commission of Ontario if you are an Ontario driver, as they are the regulatory body for insurance in the province. There are similar regulatory bodies throughout the country depending on your province.
8. I called the insurance company and they would not give me the name of a broker or agent or said they are not taking new business.
An insurance company is obligated by the regulatory body of the government to give you the name of a broker or agent which you can call that would be writing new business. If you run into problems in Ontario, please call the Financial Services Commission of Ontario at 1-800-668-0128 and ask to speak to the Ombudsman.
9. What is the difference in insurance if my vehicle is financed?
With some insurance companies there may be a difference in insurance rates, if the vehicle is financed. If the vehicle is financed, the finance company may require that you to carry full coverage, which means that you must have collision and comprehensive coverages on your policy.
10. I have an RV/motorhome that I want to insure.
We do not offer insurance quotes for RV’s, however, the best place for your RV insurance would be where you place your auto insurance. They can add this to your auto package and often add discounts for packaging the two together. All companies which offer auto insurance also insure your RV.
Adding your home insurance to that package can further reduce both your auto insurance and often the RV insurance as well.
11. The broker says the quote is wrong or won’t call me back; what should I do?
InsuranceHotline.com uses the same rates and insurance quoting software as the industry does. If the information you entered was correct, any broker representing the insurance company, that InsuranceHotline.com quoted, should be able to write up your policy for you.
If you are experiencing difficulties getting the same rate quoted from the broker as you received from this service, or can’t get a broker to respond to you, we have some suggestions:
1) Many brokers are unable to take on new business and don’t return calls. We ask that you contact three different brokers for the insurance company you were quoted. While one broker may not be able to place the business, another can.
2) We send hundreds of consumers to the insurance company websites to find a broker. One suggestion is not to call the first couple of brokers listed, as they probably are receiving the majority of calls and are very busy as a result. Try looking further down the list.
3) You may also wish to speak with brokers outside of your area. The rate is based on your postal code, not where the broker is located, so whether the broker is in Toronto or Ottawa or Windsor, this will not affect the rate you were quoted. We also suggest you email or fax the quote we sent you to as many brokers as you can, and write on it to call you if they can place you with this insurance company.
4) InsuranceHotline uses the same quoting software as the insurance industry does. Tell the broker that the quote was calculated using the Compu-Quote Rating Software and email it to them. If a broker questions the accuracy of the rate, simply ask them to identify where the error occurred.
90% of rate discrepancies occur due to the wrong information being input, either by the driver or by the broker. For example, many car models are similarly-named (Nissan Altima instead of Nissan Altima SE), and this can lead to a considerable difference in rates.
12. The rate quoted is higher than what I am currently paying
Rates are based on the information provided. We use the same rating software as the majority of brokers in the country (Compu-Quote Rating Services).
There are a number of reasons why the quote you received could be higher, including:
90% of rate discrepancies occur due to the wrong information being input. For example, many car models are similarly-named (Nissan Altima instead of Nissan Altima SE), and this can lead to a considerable difference in rates.
Some drivers, if they have had an accident in the past six years and were found at-fault or partially at-fault, may have an endorsement called Accident-Forgiveness or Accident-Protection on their existing insurance policy. This type of coverage is not transferrable to another company, and the rate calculated will be higher because the driver is being charged for an at-fault accident that their current company has forgiven and not charged for.
Last Year’s Rate
If your rate is from last year’s renewal, the system may not be able to generate something lower. Insurance companies can file for rate increases up to 4 times per year, so your rate from last year will be based on different rates than today. Wait for your renewal and then compare.
Comparing Rates Correctly
Some companies withdraw 9, 10, or 12 times a year, so compare your total annual rate, not a monthly rate twelve times.
If the rate is approximately 10% different, it may be due to a loyalty or renewal discount. If you have property insurance with the same company, you may be eligible for another discount of approximately 10%. This can be transferable when you speak to the broker representing the company quoted.
Please double-check that you completed the form properly. In particular, look carefully at the license/insured sections. If you skip the “Insured Since” question, you may be rated as a new driver. Also, if you have a full G licence, please make sure you completed the G section, not the G1 and G2 which are for new drivers only. This can cause the system to rate you unfairly as a new driver.
International Driving Experience
If you have international driving experience and are being credited for that with your existing company, the quote will be higher. InsuranceHotline.com does not quote for international driving records.
Auto Insurance Quoting Questions
1. What is “Graduated Licensing”?
Graduated licensing is a multi-stage program to allow new drivers on-road driving experience under conditions of reduced risk. Graduated licensing generally restricts highway, night-time and unsupervised driving during the early stages. Throughout the later stages, restrictions are removed once the driver completes further testing.
Graduated licensing laws vary from province to province. To find out the process in your province, click on the link below:
- Ontario www.mto.gov.on.ca
- Alberta www.transportation.alberta.ca
- Quebec www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca/
- Nova Scotia www.gov.ns.ca
- New Brunswick www.snb.ca
- Newfoundland www.gs.gov.nl.ca
- PEI www.gov.pe.ca
- Yukon www.gov.yk.ca
- NWT www.dot.gov.nt.ca
- Nunavut www.gov.nu.ca
2. What is “Collision” coverage?
Collision coverage covers accidental loss or the cost of repairing your vehicle if involved in a collision with another object or tips over. Collision coverage is optional to purchase but usually required if your vehicle is financed or leased.
There is usually a deductible amount indicated and this amount is either paid by you, toward the cost of repairs or is deducted from the loss settlement. Higher deductible lowers your insurance premium.
3. What is “Comprehensive” coverage?
Comprehensive coverage covers accidental loss or the cost of repairing your vehicle if damaged by fire; theft; attempted theft; vandalism; lightning; windstorm; hail or rising water; earthquake; explosion; riot or civil disturbance; falling or flying objects and missiles.
Comprehensive coverage is optional to purchase but usually required if your vehicle is financed or leased. There is usually a deductible amount indicated and this amount is either paid by you, toward the cost of repairs or is deducted from the loss settlement. Higher deductible lowers your insurance premium.
4. What is “Drivers Training”?
Insurance companies offer a better driving record to drivers who have completed an accredited drivers training course within the last 3 years. Your insurance company may ask for a copy of your drivers training certificate.
5. How do you qualify for a “Retiree Discount”?
You may qualify for a retiree discount if you meet the following criteria:
- You do not earn or receive income from any office or employment.
- You are not engaged in any professional occupation.
- You do not operate a business and have not been employed for 26 weeks or more in the last 52 weeks.
- You are 65 or older or you receive a pension under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or the Quebec Pension Plan or receive a pension registered under the Income Tax of Canada.
6. What is an “At-Fault Accident?”
If involved in a car accident, your insurance company is required to assign the percentage of fault for each of the drivers involved in the accident. Insurance companies determine responsibility for an automobile accident according to the “Fault Determination Rules” located in the Insurance Act. These rules allow insurance companies to fairly assign fault in accidents resulting in fair compensation for everyone involved.
7. What is Pleasure and Business use?
Pleasure use includes driving to and from work. Business use means that you use your vehicle either full time or part time for your work; e.g., sales calls, etc. If you're an Uber driver, find out what this means for your insurance here. .
8. What is Third Party Liability coverage?
Provides coverage if you are legally responsible for an automobile accident that causes bodily injury or death to another person or damages to property.
9. Driving experience outside of Canada & USA
Driving experience outside of Canada & the continental USA is not recognized by most insurance companies. The majority of insurance companies will consider these drivers as “new drivers” until driving experience is gained in Canada.
10. My vehicle is not listed?
If you can not locate your vehicle to obtain a quote, please consider the following 3 options:
1. If your vehicle is older than 15 years, it may no longer be in the database. Please select a comparable model to complete your quote and then contact the brokers or agents offering the lowest rate to confirm the price.
2. If the vehicle was released this year, it may not be in the current version of the vehicle database, so please select a comparable model and contact the broker or agent to confirm the price.
3. Verify that you have selected the appropriate car manufacturer.
11. What is a “Lapse in Insurance?”
A lapse of insurance coverage will impact your driving record if:
- The lapse was due to a policy cancelled for non-payment of premium;
- The driver was convicted of driving without insurance during the lapse in coverage
- The lapse was due to a drivers license suspension
- The lapse was due to a policy cancelled for misrepresentation or non-disclosure.