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Where Should You Get Your Car Insurance: Bank, Dealer, or Broker?

Moneymax Editorial Team

Moneymax Editorial Team

Last updated December 21, 2021

Looking for comprehensive car insurance coverage for the vehicle you're buying? Need to renew your expiring policy? You're probably wondering where you can get decent auto insurance in the Philippines. A car insurance buying guide would really be helpful right about now.

Going directly to top car insurance companies to shop around for the best policy isn't practical. Neither is randomly picking an insurance firm. The sheer number of choices in the market is overwhelming—there are nearly 70 car insurance providers in the Philippines to choose from, based on the latest Insurance Commission data.

Filipinos have three options to get car insurance: through banks, auto dealerships, and online brokerage companies that connect buyers with insurers. Unfortunately, many just settle for convenience, hastily buying comprehensive insurance offered by banks or dealers that are financing their vehicle. Little do they know that they can find better deals for so much less through online brokers that partner with top providers.

Be an informed consumer. Before you sign up for a policy, find out what you'll gain and lose from buying insurance through a bank, casa, or online broker. In this car insurance buying guide, we compare the three insurance intermediaries in terms of convenience, the variety of options, costs, and customer service.

Criteria #1: Convenience

car insurance buying guide - convenience

Banks and Dealers: One-Stop Shop for Buying Car Insurance

Banks and car dealers make it easy and quick for their clients to get auto insurance services. If you're buying a car via an auto loan or in-house financing, you'll be offered an insurance policy that's already packaged with the car purchase.

You can buy and insure your vehicle in one place at the same time. No need to go to the insurer's office and talk with different people.

In car dealerships, filing a claim and renewal is just as convenient, as an insurance representative can readily process your request.

Online Brokers: Convenient Option for Comparison Shopping

On the other hand, getting auto insurance through an online broker seems to involve more work because you're buying an insurance plan separately from the car purchase.

Nevertheless, insurance brokers save you time doing your research and calling up different insurers. Through their easy-to-use online comparison platforms, you can get car insurance comparison quotes in just a few minutes without leaving your home or office.

For instance, you can simply visit a comparison site like Moneymax, enter your car model and other relevant details, and choose your preferred coverage. The site will then show you a personalized table that allows you to compare the benefits and premiums from major car insurance companies in the Philippines.

Criteria #2: Car Insurance Costs

car insurance buying guide - car insurance costs

While buying insurance through banks and auto dealers can save you a lot of time, the same can't be said when it comes to premiums. You'll pay a steep price for the convenience.

Ask anyone who has purchased vehicle insurance from a bank or dealer, and you'll get more or less the same response: "Tatagain ka niyan sa presyo" (They'll charge you overpriced premiums).

So in this car insurance buying guide, let's see which of these insurance intermediaries can save you more money in the long run.

Auto Dealers: Priciest Car Insurance Rates

Dealers make a lot of money selling insurance to their customers. In an interview with TopGear Philippines[1], a former sales agent revealed that 45% of the cost of insuring a vehicle goes to commissions.

This means dealership-sourced insurance premiums cost much higher than a policy bought through another mode. Having your vehicle insured through the dealership also becomes more expensive when it includes add-on covers you might not actually need.

Banks: Lower Premiums Than Dealers Yet Still Expensive

Banks offer lower rates than dealerships, but this doesn't mean they provide the best prices.

For example, the annual premium for a 2018 Toyota Vios (PHP 500,000 fair market value or FMV) with Acts of Nature (AON) coverage costs almost PHP 15,000 when you get insurance from a bank.

Is the price fair enough? When you search the same car model and FMV with AON via Moneymax, you'll find lower rates at around PHP 12,000.

Is the Free First-Year Car Insurance Worth It?

To entice customers, banks and dealers offer promos such as free car insurance for the first year. Tempting as they may be, such freebies come with certain restrictions.

For one, your mortgaged car's insurance will be locked in with the bank's or dealer's insurance partner for the entire loan term. That's three to five years. This means you can't get car insurance on your own when you're dissatisfied with the insurance sourced from the bank or dealer.

While the free first-year insurance may cover AON, it may not include a Third-Party Liability coverage—you'll have to buy it separately. You won't be able to customize your car insurance coverages.

The cost of such promo would, of course, be compensated for elsewhere, like a higher interest rate on your car loan. In the end, you don't get to save money from the free one-year auto insurance.

Online Brokers: Cheapest Car Insurance Rates

Comparing quotes through professional brokers is the cheapest way to get car insurance. An independent comparison platform such as Moneymax allows you to save money on insurance by up to 30%.

Various insurance policies are gathered from the top providers in the country, enabling buyers to compare prices and choose the policy that offers the best coverage at the lowest cost. Using the car insurance comparison service comes at no cost.

Read more: Honda Car Insurance Prices for Top Models in the Philippines

get auto insurance online

Criteria #3: Variety of Insurance Options

Because what's a car insurance buying guide without options? You should definitely check out what your options are when you're deciding where to get your car insurance.

car insurance buying guide - insurance options

Banks and Dealers: Limited Choices

Banks and auto dealers don't provide as many options for insurance providers as online brokers do. Your choices are limited only to the bank's or dealer's accredited insurance firms. There's no opportunity to compare the insurance policies of different providers.

When you get an auto loan from banks like BPI, for instance, the only option is its own BPI/MS insurance. You can opt to buy insurance other than what BPI offers, but you'll have to have it approved by the bank.

As for dealerships, their agents represent a certain insurance provider, so their recommendations for an auto insurance policy may be biased.

Online Brokers: Enabling Customers to Compare a Variety of Insurers

In contrast, online brokers—with the variety of their insurance partners—don't have that vested interest when selling a policy from a particular company.

Criteria #4: Customer Service and Reliability

car insurance buying guide - customer service

The quality of customer service is also a critical consideration when choosing between a bank, dealer, or online broker for your car insurance purchase.

Online Brokers: Helpful for Car Insurance Purchase

Online car insurance brokers can help you from finding the best deals and applying for insurance to obtaining your policy. Some can also help you when filing a claim. Moneymax, for example, has its own claims portal that can help customers with their claims.

Banks: Hit-or-Miss Customer Experience

When you visit online car insurance forums, you'll find both positive and negative reviews about how banks handle insurance claims. Some customers don't experience any delay, while others complain about the slow processing and non-responsive customer hotline.

The downside to getting insurance from a bank is that you're left to your own devices. Since their main expertise is in banking, they'll pass you on to another party when you're filing a claim.

Dealers: Good Service for Certain Kinds of Claims

This is where dealers have the edge over banks. The agent can help the client with the processing of a claim with the insurance company. You can expect the casa to take care of all the legwork and repairs.

Dealers provide great service for own damage claims. However, many customers observe that dealers aren't as helpful when it comes to third-party claims. Like banks, they'll just make customers contact other parties to address their claims.

Deciding Where to Get Car Insurance

To recap the points discussed above, here's a comparison table you can refer to:

car insurance buying guide - banks vs dealers vs online brokers

Car Insurance Buying Guide Tips

Still, torn between the three options for your car insurance purchase? Here are some tips to help you decide.

  • Ask for car insurance quotes from multiple sources. You can easily get quotes in less than five minutes from car insurance comparison sites like Moneymax. Make sure to get proposals from at least three insurance providers.
  • Compare the costs of getting insurance through the bank or dealer versus the online broker. When comparing comprehensive car insurance plans, consider not only the rates. Check also the benefits included in the package and the quality of customer service. This way, you'll find out the insurance with the maximum benefits at the lowest price.
  • Compare the coverages banks, dealers, or online brokers are currently offering. Choose the provider that will let you customize the coverage you actually need on your daily driving experience.
  • Don't just accept what the bank or car dealer offers. Know that you can opt-out of the insurance that's bundled with the car you're buying. More so if you think the price is unreasonable or you're dissatisfied with the coverage. As a consumer, you have the right to shop around for options outside the bank or car dealership.
  • Make sure that the insurance company you're going with is accredited by the bank or dealer that's financing your vehicle. Ask your sales agent or check your car loan provider's website.
  • Always haggle if possible. Some insurers offer credits for vehicles that have safety features like air bags, or for people who are considered to be low risk. Whatever the case, remember to always inquire about discounts and freebies, if there are any.

Get a Free Car Insurance Quote!

Below is a list of top car insurance companies and their features. Compare your options and get a taste of how an online broker like Moneymax can make auto insurance better for you.

Car Insurance Company Maximum Total Sum Insured Casa Eligibility Accredited Repair Shops Overnight Accommodation Towing Services Vehicle Removal Crane Services
SGI Philippines

Get free car insurance quote - CTA


₱5 million 5 years 36 Up to ₱2,000 Up to ₱5,000 ₱10,000
Malayan Insurance

Get free car insurance quote - CTA

₱7.5 million 3 years 58 Up to ₱1,000 Up to ₱4,000 Up to ₱8,000
Mercantile Insurance

Get free car insurance quote - CTA

₱5 million 10 years 77 Up to ₱2,000 Up to ₱5,000 Up to ₱10,000
MAPFRE Insular

Get free car insurance quote - CTA

₱5 million 10 years 366 Up to ₱3,000 Up to ₱5,000 Up to ₱10,000
Stronghold Insurance

Get free car insurance quote - CTA

₱3 million 10 years 167 N/A N/A N/A
Prudential Guarantee

Get free car insurance quote - CTA

₱3 million 10 years N/A Up to ₱2,000 Up to ₱5,500 Up to ₱15,000

Final Thoughts

Where should you get comprehensive car insurance: through a bank, dealership, or online broker? Did this car insurance buying guide help narrow it down for you?

All things considered, it's still best to buy from a reputable third-party insurer through an online car insurance broker. Doing so allows you to get car insurance that's tailor-fit to your needs and budget.

If you weren't able to do it on your previous insurance purchase, never make the same car insurance mistake[2] with your renewal.

auto insurance in the philippines


The Moneymax Editorial Team consists of talented and experienced writers, editors, investors, and subject matter experts on a mission to help Filipinos build healthier financial lives. Browse the Moneymax blog for information and advice on credit cards, loans, insurance, investments, and other personal finance topics. For more financial news and articles, follow Moneymax on LinkedIn.