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Desjardins Auto Insurance Review

Desjardins’ Rating
  • Financial Strength
  • Services Offered
  • Customer Service
  • Insurance Rates
4.3

Carsurance Verdict:

Desjardins is one of the most affordable auto insurers in Canada. However, its customer service ratings are spotty. If you can live with that, it is definitely worth a shot.

Pros

  • Affordable rates
  • Offers many discounts
  • A wide range of optional coverages
  • Informative website

Cons

Poor customer service

Founded in 1944 and currently headquartered in Montreal, Desjardins Insurance is part of the Desjardins Group — the largest federation of credit unions in Canada.

To find out the quality of Desjardins auto insurance, we perused various reviews and checked how it stacks up against its peers on important factors, such as price, customer service, financial standing, and online tools.

Read on to learn Desjardins’ strengths and weaknesses and if it is a good fit for you.

Product Overview

Desjardins specializes in providing low-cost auto insurance and offers a wide range of features to Canadian drivers.

Features

Easy, Hassle-Free Claim Process

You can make a claim by calling Desjardins Insurance phone number 1-888-785-5502. Lines are open day and night. If you want, you can also initiate the claim process via its website.

Fast Online Quoting Tool

Want to purchase car insurance online? That’s no problem. With Desjardins’ superfast online quoting tool, getting a price estimate won’t take you two winks.

Mobile App

Desjardins’ mobile app, available for free download on both Google Play and the App Store, gives you online access to your insurance policy and claims, severe weather alerts, and an opportunity to save on car insurance.

Online Services

Another tool that’s worth mentioning is Desjardins’ Online Services. Once you set up an account, you can use the tool to manage your insurance policy online. You can also use your Desjardins auto insurance login details to file a claim from anywhere, at any time. What’s more, the tool gives you estimates for different vehicles — a feature that can come in handy when buying a new car.

Website

Desjardins’ website might not win any awards for its looks. But, what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in content. Filled with tons of useful information, including prevention tips for your car, it helps keep you safe on Canadian roads.

Signature Feature — Trouble-Free Option

Add this special add-on to your Desjardins insurance car quote and enjoy access to the following three most popular optional coverages.

  • Loss of Use — It covers your expenses to rent a car or use an alternate mode of transportation, such as a taxi or public transit if yours is no longer drivable.
  • Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobiles — Also known as rental vehicle coverage, it protects you when you rent a car in Canada or the US.
  • Emergency Road Service — If you are left stranded on the road, Desjardins will reimburse you up to $50 per occurrence for emergency road services, including towing, fuel delivery, tire replacement service, and more.

Financial Strength

Desjardins holds an “AA1” Moody’s rating and an “A+” Standard & Poor’s rating. This indicates that Desjardins Car Insurance company won’t look for excuses when you make a claim.

Types of Coverages Available

Like other top players, Desjardins provides all auto insurance coverages that are standard in the Canadian auto industry: third-party liability coverage, collision or upset coverage, accident insurance coverage, comprehensive coverage, direct-compensation coverage (DPCD), and uninsured automobile coverage.

In addition to these, it offers a wide range of add-ons you can tack on your auto insurance policy. Most of these options will increase your premium, of course. But they can also help you personalize your Desjardins auto insurance contract so that it perfectly fits your needs.

5-Year New Vehicle Protection

Cars depreciate quickly, especially new ones. With this coverage, you can reduce your financial burden if your baby gets totalled or damaged in a road accident within 5 years of purchase.

In the event of a total loss, Desjardins will pay you the value of your new car, minus any deductible. In case of a partial loss, your car will be repaired with original parts, as long as you had added this option to your Desjardins insurance quote.

Rental Vehicle Coverage

This add-on gives you peace of mind when you rent or borrow a vehicle for personal use in Canada or the US. If you are involved in an accident, you know Desjardins’ got your back.

Accident-Free Protection

Don’t want your monthly premium to increase because of your first at-fault accident? Simply add accident forgiveness coverage to your Desjardins insurance auto quote.

Zero Deductible Coverage

Many top-ranking Canadian auto insurers offer this optional coverage, and Desjardins is no different. Zero deductible coverage means that you won’t have to meet a certain balance before your auto insurer steps in. Such plans typically have higher premiums than deductible plans, since you don’t share the risk with the insurer.

Leisure and Recreational Vehicle Coverage

Whether you prefer touring or cruising, Desjardins motorcycle insurance might just be the coverage you need. Besides it, the insurer also provides coverage for camping trailers, motorhomes, and truck trailers. If you’re into off-road adventures instead, check out Desjardins watercraft, ATV, or snowmobile coverage.

Family Protection Coverage

It provides additional protection in case you or someone else in your family is injured or killed in a road accident.

The Relation Between Desjardins and State Farm in Canada

Desjardins purchased State Farm’s Canadian insurance branch in January 2015, making it the second-largest property and casualty (P&C) insurer in Canada. According to Insurance Business Canada, the brand transition officially commenced on May 1, 2018, while the date for its completion is Dec 31, 2019. Till then, State Farm’s Canadian customers will be served by their present agents, who will eventually become a part of the Desjardins brand.

Desjardins Insurance Customer Service Ratings

Desjardins’ customer service ratings are nothing to shout about. It came dead-last with two stars in 2019’s J.D. Power Canada study for the Ontario region. It fares slightly better in Quebec, where it earned a 3-star rating and came seventh among ten insurers reviewed.

Surprisingly, Better Business Bureau (BBB), a non-profit organization that checks how companies handle complaints, gave Desjardins Insurance an “A+” rating. However, the insurer could only manage a score of 1.5 out of 5 on Insureye, an independent auto insurance website. That said, we advise not taking this to heart, since there’s a definite negative bias on such sites. Arguably, this is because consumers are more likely to share a negative experience about Desjardins’ customer service than a positive one.

Available Discounts

Desjardins auto insurance reviews show that it offers a wide range of discounts, perhaps more than what most Canadian auto insurers offer.

Multiple-Vehicle Discount — Have more than one car? Get all of them insured with Desjardins and save big time on insurance.

Safe-Driving Discount — Most top auto insurers in Canada offer this discount, and Desjardins is no exception. You can participate in the Ajusto Program to shave precious dollars off of your car insurance. Desjardins rewards drivers once they complete 100 days of trips and drive 100 kilometres. You can save up to 25% through the Ajusto Program.

Loyalty Discount — Desjardins is among a handful of Canadian auto insurers that reward loyalty, even if it was toward another car insurer. If you’ve been with the same company for 3 years or more, expect a handsome discount on the switchover.

Multi-Line Discount — Pair Desjardins’ home and auto insurance and win a discount on both coverages.

Hybrid Vehicles Discount — Buy an electric or hybrid car and Desjardins will reward you for your environmental awareness.

Students Discount — Are you under 25 and a full-time student or a recent graduate? Congratulations! Car insurance just got cheaper for you, by up to 10%, thanks to Desjardins’ special discount for students.

Winter Tires Discount — You can lower your Desjardins auto insurance quote by 5% by installing quality winter tires (i.e., ones marked with a snowflake symbol) during the cold season. According to the Rubber Association of Canada, these tires offer up to 50% more traction compared to all-seasons, which in turn significantly reduces the risk of a winter car accident.

Garage Parking Discount — Park your car in a garage or a private driveway instead of the street and stop your premium from dropping.

Desjardins Auto Insurance Rates Comparison

Desjardins is one of the more well-known names in the Canadian auto industry, but the main question is — does it offer dependable car insurance at a reasonable price?

In short, the answer is — yes.

To find out the cost-effectiveness of Desjardins’ auto insurance products, we gathered a quote in Calgary. At $137 a month, its Calgary quote was the cheapest around. Our research shows that this was the case with Desjardins insurance quote we got in Ontario as well.Desjardins Car Insurance prices compared to its main competitors in Calgary

In fact, it was not just Ontario, Desjardins comes across as an affordable insurer in other Canadian provinces as well. In other words, if cost is the single-most-important factor when buying your car insurance, you should definitely include Desjardins in your list, regardless of where you live.

Our referenced driver in Calgary was a 40-year-old single male with a clean record, driving a 2018 Honda Civic Sedan SE averaging 15,000 kilometres.

Desjardins Insurance Compared to its Main Rivals

Desjardins vs RBC Insurance

When it comes to customer service, RBC does better in 2019 J.D. Power’s Canada study while Dejardins was on the front page of BBB’s website. The former earned an impressive four-star rating in Ontario in the J.D. Power’s study, whereas Desjardins came last. BBB, on the other hand, gave the latter the highest-possible rating of “A+” but awarded RBC only a “B-”.

However, Desjardins’ car insurance products are easier on the pocket than RBC’s. And as far as financial health is concerned, both are in a robust shape. RBC received an “A” rating from A.M. Best while Desjardins grabbed an “AA1” Moody’s rating and an “A+” Standard & Poor’s rating. In simple English, this means both insurers have a strong ability to pay claims.

All in all, put Desjardins Group Insurance above RBC, if you want the best bang for your buck, and below it, if your priority is quality customer service.

Desjardins vs Aviva Insurance

For many of us, auto insurance comes down primarily to cost. If that’s true for yourself as well, both Desjardins and Aviva should be on your list since both offer cost-effective insurance. Desjardins’ car insurance quote is slightly cheaper (in most places), although Aviva leads by a decent margin in Quebec.

However, if you value customer service, you might want to avoid both. Aviva’s record in J.D. Power’s Canada study is probably as bad as it gets, coming last in the Atlantic and Alberta regions, second-to-last in Quebec, and third-last in Ontario. Desjardins Auto Insurance, on the other hand, is last in Ontario and third-last in Quebec.

Desjardins, unlike Aviva, offers usage-based car insurance coverage through the Ajusto program. However, ride-sharing coverage is something that you will only get with the latter.

Between Desjardins and Aviva, the choice really boils down to who is cheaper in your city and whether you need ride-sharing coverage or not.

Desjardins vs Intact Insurance

Desjardins delivers a much better bargain than Intact across Canada. For instance, the Desjardins Insurance quote in Edmonton is a whopping 49% cheaper than Intact’s.

Desjardins also offers more discounts than Intact, which is a little surprising. One would think the latter might want to cut its customers some slack, considering that it is not the most affordable insurer around.

However, Intact puts in a comparatively better show in the customer service department. It came seventh out of a dozen insurers reviewed in the J.D. Power’s Canada study for the Ontario region, while Desjardins Car Insurance came a cropper with a last-position finish. In other provinces, Intact’s performance is a mixed bag. While it grabbed the second-highest position in the Atlantic region, it came third and second-to-last in Quebec and Alberta, respectively.

Nonetheless, Intact enjoys a definite advantage when it comes to ride-sharing and car-sharing coverage. It offers not only Uber ride-sharing insurance but Turo Insurance as well — aimed at those who want to monetize on their car’s idle time.

To sum it up, consider purchasing car insurance from Desjardins if you are looking for a cost-efficient auto insurer. On the other hand, Intact appears to be a great option for car-sharing and ride-sharing insurance. You might also want to look at Intact if you live in the Atlantic region and don’t mind paying extra for top-notch customer service.

Best Alternatives

If Desjardins’ customer service ratings tick you off, you should check out The Co-operators. However, mind you, it will set you back by a few dollars, since its rates are a bit expensive. You can also consider The Personal’s insurance — a part of the Desjardins group — especially if you live in Ontario or Quebec. It enjoys top ratings in these two provinces and is just as cost-effective as Desjardins.

On the other hand, if you are looking for ride-sharing coverage, start your search with Aviva or Intact, depending on whether you want Lyft or Uber coverage. Sonnet, in contrast, might be perfect for all those who don’t mind paying extra for a great set of online tools.

Perhaps the best course of action would be to get a Desjardins quote and check how it stacks up against the competition. Only then will you know for sure if this auto insurer is right for you.

Our Expert Verdict

Desjardins is one of the lowest-cost providers in a fiercely competitive Canadian auto insurance industry. It offers a full suite of optional coverages and is in good shape, financially speaking. On top of all this, Desjardins’ insurance claims process is quick and easy.

However, Desjardins performs poorly in customer service. For this reason, we can’t give a universal recommendation for it. Nonetheless, if your priority is affordable auto insurance and you’re patient with Desjardins’ customer service, you might be in for a treat.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does insurance from Desjardins cover?

Besides providing car insurance, Desjardins offers home insurance, pet insurance, and recreational and leisure vehicle insurance.

2. Is Certas owned by Desjardins?

According to Desjardins auto insurance reviews, the answer is yes. Desjardins offers insurance products through Certas and Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company.

3. How can I get a discount on my car insurance?

Desjardins offers a number of discounts that makes it easy for you to save on your monthly insurance premium. For starters, you can participate in the Ajusto Program, which uses telematics to reward good drivers. You can also cut down on costs by buying multiple insurance products, such as Desjardins tenant insurance, or insuring multiple vehicles. The insurer also rewards drivers who use winter tires, drive a hybrid or an electric car, park their car in a garage, are under 25 and a full-time student or a recent graduate, or have been with the same insurer for three years or more.

4. Did Desjardins buy State Farm?

In 2015, Desjardins bought the Canadian arm of State Farm Insurance, which had a sizeable auto, home, and life business in the Great White North. Given this fact, it’s not surprising that Desjardins became the second-largest P&C insurer in the country after this move.

5. How do I submit a claim to Desjardins?

Filling a claim with Desjardins is a pretty straightforward process. Customers can place calls using a special hotline number, 1-888-785-5502. Alternately, they can log onto Desjardins’ auto insurance website and submit a claim online.

Sushant Mehta

Sushant Mehta is an auto insurance specialist and a contributor at Carsurance.net. He has a keen interest in insurance, tech, and finance, and he’s been covering these topics for several years now. When he’s not working, he likes to escape to the lower Himalayas with a book or two to keep him company.

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