What factors should I consider when deciding where to buy insurance?
1. Choice. You may have less choice in products if you buy by phone, or through the Internet. Also, most group plans at work offer just one type of product. Also, they cover you only as long as you are part of the group.
2. Level of service. Think about how much advice and personal service you will get. How important is that to you? Often, you pay a bit more to buy from someone who gives you advice.
3. The salesperson's credentials. Is the person you are dealing with licensed to sell insurance? Are they trained to give advice? Consider:
- If you buy through an insurance agent or insurance broker, you can get a lot of help in understanding your options and choosing the right policy.
- If you buy through the phone or the Internet, the person you speak to may not be licensed to sell insurance, although their supervisor likely is.
4. Cost. You may want to get several quotes. Sometimes, there won't be a big difference in cost between companies. Consider:
- An insurance broker will shop around for the best value for you
- Insurance brokers and agents often get a commission when they sell a policy. They may also get a bonus for selling certain products
- You may pay less for insurance that you get through work. If you need more insurance, it may cost less to buy it at work than to shop on your own
- You may get a lower quote if you shop by phone or on the Internet. However, the salesperson may not be able to give you advice, and it's not likely that you'll be able to deal with the same person in the future. The first quote they give you will likely not be the final price. Once you say that you are ready to buy, they?ll ask you more questions and finalize your quote.
Remember: Price is just one thing to look at when you buy insurance
For most people, it's just as important to get good advice.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.