LowestRates.ca: Everything you need to know
Headquarters: Toronto, ON
Leadership: Justin Thouin, co-founder and CEO
LowestRates.ca is a Toronto-based rate comparison website for auto and home insurance, as well as credit cards, loans, and mortgage rates.
On the auto insurance side, consumers can get over 30 quotes from leading Canadian insurance companies in a few minutes using the site, for coverages that include liability insurance, emergency road service, comprehensive insurance, collision insurance, and uninsured motorist coverage. They can then lock in their quote by being paired with a licensed insurance broker.
Meanwhile for home insurance, LowestRates.ca offers users up to 10 quotes. Consumers can select the type of home insurance policy they want – from comprehensive coverage and basic coverage/named perils to broad and no frills coverage – depending on how much coverage they need for their property.
LowestRates.ca in the news
January 2019: How can insurance brokers use rate comparison sites to boost their books of business?
January 2019: Study: Canadian auto insurance rates leapt in the past year
July 2019: Auto insurance rates rise again – report
August 2019: Alberta’s auto insurance “crisis” and the simple fixes needed
September 2019: LowestRates.ca Ranks No. 15 on the 2019 Growth 500
October 2019: LowestRates.ca hires insurance veteran who wants to help brokerages grow
Key people as of 2019
Justin Thouin – Co-founder and CEO
Thouin launched LowestRates.ca in 2012 after he’d already found success in his career as a senior executive for two entertainment and technology firms. He was also busy founding an executive consulting practice before he went to work on LowestRates.ca.
Thouin holds an Honours Degree in Commerce from Queen’s University, and is passionate about sports, from playing tennis to coaching kids’ soccer. As an entrepreneur himself, he pays it forward, investing in early stage venture and mentoring other up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
LowestRates.ca wants to help brokers and carriers grow their business, while helping consumers navigate the often challenging auto insurance marketplace.
Independent brokers can use rate comparison websites like LowestRates.ca to acquire leads and generate new business in a controlled and cost-effective manner, according to Sean Widdess, vice president of strategic partnerships at LowestRates.ca. Brokers who use the site will only be presented to the consumer and charged for a lead if their rate is the lowest when compared against multiple other insurance offerings.
“Traditionally, when a broker has marketing dollars to spend, they will enact a plan that will expose the brokerage to X amount of potential leads and then they will sit and wait. A couple of things can happen,” said Widdess. “Either they spend the money, wait, and hardly any consumers come, or they experience the opposite effect and the marketing campaign generates so many leads that they’re not staffed accordingly to deal with the influx of business. It can be difficult to predict and control. Regardless, traditional marketing tends to be much more expensive to acquire a customer and is not nearly as scalable.”
As Canadian brokers tune into this scalable and low-cost acquisition model, their businesses are starting to transform, according to Widdess. Purchasing leads on a rate comparison website triggers a totally different sales cycle to the traditional cycle that stems from friend and family referrals, and brokerages are seeing that this is the most efficient and controlled manner to attract new consumers.
“Insurance rate comparison is becoming increasingly popular in Canada,” he told Insurance Business. “Five years ago, the majority of consumers who visited our site had non-standard or high-risk portfolios. They were quoted extremely high premiums and were shopping around for a better price. Today, that high risk category is a very small part of our business. We’re seeing more mainstream clientele wanting to make sure they’re treated fairly and transparently on their pricing.”