Toyota Set to Sell Canadians Car Insurance

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson

Toyota is expanding its car insurance business into the world's second largest country (by area). “If everything goes well, we want to [offer policies] within a year,” Toyota Canada's president and CEO told ReportonBusiness. The automaker already sells auto insurance in Asia, Europe and Australia. University of Calgary prof Ryan Lee is good with the expansion. Ish. “Having the ability to sell insurance through an existing dealership network would give an auto maker a major advantage at the outset; however it is not clear to what extent such a move would shake up the market.” Toyota has also set its sights on the retail banking industry. ToMoCo has a bank in Poland and recently opened ZAO Toyota Bank in Moscow. In the U.S., Toyota Financial Services offers everything from mortgages to savings accounts from its offices in Henderson, NV. The juggernaut rolls on.

Glenn Swanson
Glenn Swanson

Glenn is a baby-boomer, born in 1954. Along with his wife, he makes his home in Connecticut. Employed in the public sector as an Information Tedchnology Specialist, Glenn has long been a car fan. Past rides have included heavy iron such as a 1967 GTO, to a V8 T-Bird. In between those high-horsepower cars, he's owned a pair of BMW 320i's. Now, with a daily commute of 40 miles, his concession to MPG dictates the ownership of a 2006 Honda Civic coupe which, while fun to drive, is a modest car for a pistonhead. As an avid reader, Glenn enjoys TTAC, along with many other auto-realated sites, and the occasional good book. As an avid electronic junkie, Glenn holds an Advanced Class amateur ("ham") radio license, and is into many things electronic. From a satellite radio and portable GPS unit in the cars, to a modest home theater system and radio-intercom in his home, if it's run by the movement of electrons, he's interested. :-)

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4 of 18 comments
  • Johnson Johnson on Sep 21, 2007
    KatiePuckrik: Ladies and Gentlemen, Toyota is now front runner for the Darwin Award in the category of “how to unnecessarily devalue your brand”. Huh? Devalue the brand? Right, because in Asia, Europe, and Australia the Toyota brand is considered "devalued" because it sells auto insurance there.
  • Pch101 Pch101 on Sep 21, 2007

    I don't see the branding problem, per se. As noted above, Toyota has had its fingers in a lot of pies for quite some time, and you already automakers involved in financial services, such as GMAC and Toyota Motor Credit. Hasn't been a problem for any of them so far. Still, I question this move, if only because of the nature of the insurance business, particularly in North America. Insurance companies generate profits by lowballing costs, denying claims and stalling out payments, all of which are not exactly the best ways to build goodwill. It would be stupid to lose a $25,000 Camry sale just because you pissed someone off over an $600 auto insurance policy..

  • Johnster Johnster on Sep 21, 2007

    It sounds to me like it might provide Toyota with an incentive to design safer automobiles in order to reduce the costs of claims paid out. It might also influence their design in making their products easier and cheaper to repair. Maybe they'll even start building cars with bumpers that can take a low-speed bump from another car without resulting in thousands of dollars in damage.

  • Mechie Mechie on Sep 22, 2007

    It'll be fun to see whether an owner of a 5-year-old Camry gets railroaded into accepting a cheaper, non-Toyota aftermarket fender by his 'honorable' Toyota Insurance claims adjuster... Or said Camry owner gets steered to an 'approved' repair shop that just happens not to be a Toyota dealer, but by some strange co-incidence the shop agreed to discount the published labor times by 10%... Yup... should be fun. Our provincial government's insurance regulator is notoriously weak in Ontario. Sludge was small potatoes.