Auto insurance can easily be one of the most frustrating aspects of being able to get on the road and drive. It usually comes down to money, and though some provinces or cities may be worse than others, finding the most affordable rates is a little easier with these sites, albeit with mixed results.
Kanetix touts comparing insurance rates throughout Canada as its main feature, but it is also keen on positioning the site as a way to set up coverage online, too. The scope is pretty impressive, at first glance, and it has also separated rate requests for classic cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles, which is nice.
The site does do a great job of simplifying the process from start to finish, and its user-friendly interface definitely helps the cause, but it should be noted that it doesn't aggregate rates from every insurer. Up to 42 firms and financial institutions from all over Canada are partnered with Kanetix, but it probably could be a wider gamut than that.
I went through the motions to get quotes from the site and compare them to my own insurance company's rate. The best rate Kanetix could muster was $700 more than what I pay over the course of a year. A friend found a rate $100 cheaper, so it's clearly hit or miss.
Insurance Hotline basically weaves users through the same process the others do by asking all the questions a broker would ask. Everything is laid out nicely, and going through the process shouldn't take more than 10 minutes.
While I generally liked what I saw from this site, I didn't really understand why I was forced to put my phone number in to see the full list of quotes. There's also a disclaimer on the right that says companies offering "special discounts" don't show up in the quoting process because they can only be relayed over the phone. The problem is that you're pushed to a representative at the final step anyway.
This should be unnecessary when you're just anonymously inquiring to see what other rates are out there. More than 30 companies are part of the site's pool, and the best rate it gave me was $120 cheaper than what I pay now. That's nice, but it would be better if the site allowed for more window shopping.
Car Insurance Brokers of Canada
This site initially comes off as something like a government site, and it does offer some helpful information on the left, but it's not quite as seamless as the other two.
The biggest disparity here with the others is that the site seemingly only supports a handful of firms. Not sure what that means when a blanket statement like, "We only represent major insurance companies," is prominent in the section that explains what the organization is about. In the instance where you prefer a wider range, a link on the left can take you to another site: Auto-Insurance-Quotes.ca.
The best quote it could find was $600 more per year than my current rate. But again, a friend was able to find a cheaper one for himself that was $150 less. That being said, all three sites make it clear that the figures are estimates, so mistaking even one little detail can alter the final tally significantly.