Take a moment to think about your monthly budget. Where does your money go? If you’re like many consumers, you probably spend the greatest percentage of your income on necessities like your mortgage, car loan, and insurance coverage, as well as chipping away at credit card debt. Now think about what you could do if those expenses were reduced. Whether your daydream includes taking a vacation, saving for retirement, or just enjoying the fruits of your labor more, lowering your interest rates and premiums could make it a reality—and LowestRates.ca can help you to do so.
Justin Thouin, the financial product comparison website’s co-founder and CEO, chatted with RewardExpert about the inspiration behind his company and why Canadians should visit LowestRates.ca whenever they have a financing or insurance need.
First-of-its-Kind Financial Product Comparison Website
Launched in 2012, LowestRates.ca was inspired by several of Thouin’s personal experiences.
“When I was renewing my mortgage, the bank that I was with told me my rate was increasing despite the fact that I had been a longtime loyal client,” Thouin explained. “I asked if there was anything they could do to keep the rate the same or even make it better.”
When the bank said the disappointing offer was the only one they could give, Thouin decided to call around and see what opportunities he might find at other financial institutions. One offered him a lower rate, and he conveyed that fact to the bank that held his mortgage.
“They said, ‘Oh, good news for you. Now we’re able to match the rate of our competitor,’” Thouin recalled. “I realized that was kind of crazy. A mortgage, and mortgage interest, is likely where you spend more of your disposable income than anywhere else. It shouldn’t be something you have to haggle. And I didn’t think many people were even aware that they could.”
When Thouin was working in the U.K., he had noticed ads for financial rate comparison websites.
“They were everywhere you looked: on TV, billboards, the sides of buses,” he said. “But that type of site didn’t exist in Canada. I realized that Canadians needed it. People in Canada could compare the prices of smaller ticket items like flights and hotels, and they needed to be comparing financial items like mortgages, insurance, and credit cards as well. That’s where they spend most of their disposable income and where they can save the most money.”
Compare Multiple Offers Quickly, Easily, and For Free
Thouin said anyone in Canada with a home, car, or credit card can benefit from comparing offers on LowestRates.ca.
“We allow them to compare the market quickly, easily, and for free,” he added. “They can make sure they are getting the best offer for their unique needs. We also offer a wealth of educational articles that answer common questions about personal finance.”
While 70 percent of all personal financial transactions in the U.K. start on rate comparison websites, Thouin said the number is still much smaller in Canada.
“The reality is that less than 20 percent of the Canadian population has ever used a financial rate comparison site,” he said. “It’s a big opportunity, and one of the big jobs we have is educating Canadians that sites like ours exist where they can compare financial products for free just like when they go to Expedia or Trivago to compare flights and hotels.”
Car insurance comparisons make up the biggest percentage of LowestRates.ca’s business. Thouin said the company has recently expanded their proprietary comparison engine for car insurance into Quebec and the Atlantic provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and Labrador.
“We’re offering more of Canada the opportunity to compare their car insurance rates and make sure they’re getting the lowest price each and every year,” he added.
Get the Best Rate Possible Every Time
But that’s not all consumers can compare. LowestRates.ca’s propriety search engine also allows Canadians to compare rates on mortgages, credit cards, and car loans, as well as insurance products ranging from home and renter’s insurance to travel and life insurance. You can even get rate comparisons for pet, dental, and health insurance.
“You can literally save thousands of dollars in mortgage interest, insurance payments, or credit card interest in minutes,” Thouin said. “And it’s all completely free. There’s no pressure to actually purchase or accept an offer. We provide all the options so that you can feel comfortable and confident that you’ve compared the market and done your due diligence to make sure you have the absolute best rate possible every time.”