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The Best Home & Car Insurance Companies in Canada

Compare car insurance quotes from the best insurance companies in Canada.

What is an insurance company?

An insurance company is an underwriter, meaning they provide financial benefits due to of a sudden and unexpected event.

You pay your insurance company a monthly or annual fee, and they promise to cover you for any losses you sustain with your car, in your home, and including life.

Insurance companies has been around for hundreds of years.  They include international giants like Sunlife, Intact, Economical, and Aviva.

You may not have heard of these companies, but you may know them by their direct agencies, such as Belair Direct, who is Intact Insurance, or Sonnet who is the direct seller for Economical Insurance. 

How to buy insurance from an insurance company

You can buy insurance from a broker or directly from the insurance companies' agent.

An insurance broker (e.g. RH insurance) looks at multiple insurers (such as the ones listed below) and finds you the best rate based on your personal, car, and insurance history details.

An insurance agent will represent one company such as Duuo (Co-operators) or TD  Direct or Aviva Direct (respectively TD insurance and Aviva Insurance).

What about group insurance companies?

If you're a member of a union or school alumni, or other affiliation such as a major company or professional association, you can sometimes get  insurance discounts depending on the insurance provider.

For instance, Johnson Insurance works with the Ontario Nursing Association. Johnson insurance is Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance, but for groups. The Personal insurance is the group insurance company for Desjardins Insurance. 

Speciality insurance companies

High-risk insurance

You may also run into specialized insurance companies like Perth or Jevco, who deal almost exclusively with high-risk insurance. High-risk insurance companies work with The Facility Association to deliver affordable car insurance to young drivers, people with a number of collisions or claims, and anyone convicted of a serious or major crime such as a DUI or stunt driving. 

Bind online insurance companies

Relatively "new" insurance companies like Apollo and Onlia insurance allow you to "bind" your policy online. Binding, by definition, is the act of imposing a duty to keep a commitment. For an insurance company, binding online indicates your insurance coverage is in place, before receiving the paperwork in the mail. 

Speciality coverage

Some insurers only offer one type of coverage such as boat or motorcycle insurance. Optiom insurance, for example, provides replacement cost insurance for your vehicle, old or new. A car's value depreciates quickly and if you're in an accident, especially when the car is a total write-off, may not be enough to buy a new or used car, or pay off your lease. Optiom insurance covers that "gap" in your coverage. 

MGA insurance companies

Managing general agent (MGA) or managing general underwriter (MGU) is an insurance agent or broker that has been given underwriting authority by a major provider. They can also bind coverage, settle claims, and generally work as the intermediary between insurance carriers and customers. Another way to think about an MGA is a a type of wholesale broker working on behalf of the insurance company and fulfilling clients' needs. MGAs often specialize in speciality lines of business, especially in areas that are more rural or remote than major cities. 

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  • Home
  • Condo
  • Tenant
  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon

How do insurance companies make money?

Insurance companies make money in two ways. First, charging you monthly or annual premiums to maintain your coverage and second, re-investing that money into asset generating returns (e.g. bonds, stocks). 

The goal is to earn more than they pay out.

Insurance is all about risk which makes underwriting critical to success. The best insurance companies master the art of premium calculations. They carefully balance the cheapest rate enticing you to buy their product, while understanding the likelihood you'll make a claim leading to a payout. 

For example, If car insurance companies take on too many high-risk drivers, they need to increase rates for all and charge more for any potential new customers too. This would hurt their growth for the coming year. Alternatively, if their client base, or "book of business," is full of low-risk clients, they can afford to take on riskier drivers. It's why insurance rates change all the time – it's not only about your neighbourhood, vehicle model, or insurance history, they need to manage their profits potential as well.

What is reinsurance? 

Insurance companies buy insurance for themselves, too. If they have too much exposure to high claim payouts and excessive losses, they insure themselves with reinsurance companies around the world and diversify their risk. 

For example, if a home insurance company has too many customers making claims due to ocean flooding or wildfires, they run the risk of bankruptcy or insolvency. 

Frequently asked questions about insurance companies

Do insurance companies price match?

Are insurance companies open on weekends?

Author Bio

Matt Hands, Business Director of Insurance

Matt started his professional career at CARPROOF where he honed his marketing and analytical skills for over 3 years. Matt then took his wealth of experience to Ratehub.ca’s Toronto offices, working with insurance providers, agents, and brokers to grow and expand the Insurance business unit. He is a thought leader in the community and a valuable insurance resource to respected publications like the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Huffington Post, Yahoo News, and 680 news radio in Toronto.

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