Many shoppers these days are buying online – if they don’t buy online, they often start their research online before visiting a store or contacting the seller. Car & Home Insurance shoppers are no exception to this rule, and consumers usually start insurance shopping by visiting different websites for an online auto & home insurance quote.
But who owns and operates these online insurance quoting website in Ontario ? How accurate is their information ? Can you trust the information provided by these websites ?
It is probably a surprise to most Ontario consumers, but did you know ANYONE can start an insurance website in Ontario, and provide information and quotes on home, car, and commercial insurance.
Unregulated insurance websites can provide any information they choose, without any prosecution or repercussions. There’s no obligation to provide you with accurate information. These unregulated insurance websites usually don’t provide you with an insurance policy – they usually sell your information to someone else.
Here’s some suggestions to help a consumer verify the insurance website they are visiting is from a valid insurance broker or insurance company;
- In Ontario, visit websites that are owned by licenced insurance companies or licenced insurance brokers. If there is a problem with the information provided by the website, and the website owner won’t help, consumers can always address their concerns with the insurance companies or insurance brokers regulator.
- Ontario insurance companies are regulated by the Financial services commission of Ontario, FSCO. Visit Finanicial Services Commission of Ontario for more information.
- Ontario insurance brokers are regulated by RIBO, the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario. Visit Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario for details. You can verify if the website is owned by a licenced insurance brokerage, or broker by using the search option on the www.ribo.com website.
- If the website is a licenced trade mark or licenced trade name of a broker/brokerage/insurance company, this should be indicated somewhere on the website.
- If you see that an insurance companies quotes and rates are provided by an unregulated website, contact that insurance company and ask them to remove their rates from that website.