Choosing the right insurance provider for you!


There are many places and ways to purchase Property, Vehicle and Commercial Insurance.  Here’s some helpful straight talk about Insurance providers.


Your list of Insurance provider possibilities:

  1. An Independent Insurance Broker – like us at Costen Insurance!
  2. A Bank.
  3. An Agent who represents only one insurance provider – known as a Direct Writer.
  4. An Online Insurance Provider.


An independent Insurance Broker works for you:  

A committed, top-performing independent Insurance Broker, like Costen Insurance, delivers choice, expert knowledge, value and personal service.  Simply put, we work for YOU!

Your independent Insurance Broker takes the time to know and understand you and your insurance needs. Then they offer you a choice of insurance ‘products’ from several different providers, while working diligently to ensure that you’re getting the most appropriate coverage, the best value, expert advice and personal service.

Insurance is about managing risk and creating peace of mind…prudently and affordably.  It’s also about great service, advice and support when you have a claim. Insurance is complicated.  You’re best served by a knowledgeable and caring professional who knows you…and is on your side!

When there’s a claim:  Making a claim is disruptive and stressful. This is when we ‘shine’.  A great independent Insurance Broker, like Costen, will support and advise you during the claim process and act as a mediary between you and the Insurance Company, if necessary.


Direct Writers:

There are many insurance providers these days and they all claim to be the wise choice for you.  Some of these insurance alternatives are called Direct Writers and include banks, captive agents and online sellers.  Some of them have fancy TV ads that talk only about price.

These Direct Writers work for one specific insurance company and offer only the products and rates of that one supplier.  The people you deal with online, or in a branch, are typically not insurance experts. They sell mass-market, cookie-cutter solutions based on price alone. While often attractive on the surface, these policies don’t necessarily serve clients’ individual needs…especially when there’s a claim.  In fact, each year, many former Costen clients return to us after just one poor Claim Experience with a Direct Writer.

When working with a Direct Writer, you’re typically dealing with a Call Center, waiting on hold and speaking to someone new each time you call. At Costen, your call is quickly answered or returned, by someone who knows you.

Direct Writers who operate online might seem convenient, but the responsibility is then on you to choose the right coverage and deductible, and supply all the info correctly about you and your vehicle or property.  Any error or omission on your part could result in denial of a future claim. An Independent Broker, like Costen Insurance, guides and coaches you on what’s best for you and checks to make sure that all your information is correct.

When calling to ask for advice about a possible claim, most Direct Writers will automatically record that as an actual claim on your record, even though no claim may be filed, and no payout made to you. But this ‘unclaim’ can negatively affect your rating and the cost of future premiums.

Furthermore, many Direct Writers, especially those who sell online, will only review your policy application when you have a claim.   Then, your claim may be denied if the insurance company finds that information was omitted, or entered incorrectly by you at the time of application.  So, coverage can be uncertain until after a claim is actually made.  But, then, it’s too late.

As an Independent Insurance Broker, we work for you.  We provide expert advice before registering a claim.  In some cases, coverage may not apply, or damages could be less than your deductible.  We also advise you as to how putting through a claim may impact your future insurance premiums and we help you develop the best claims strategy.

Beware!  Some Insurance Brokerages, who claim to be ‘independent’, are actually owned by an insurance provider and, therefore, have limited ways to serve you.  At Costen, we’re truly independent.  We work with many top insurers, offer choice and experience…and are totally committed to you!


Costen delivers advice and coverage for all your Insurance needs: 

  • Full-service, independent Brokers, like Costen Insurance, will advise you on, and cover, all your insurance needs, including Commercial and Business Insurance.
  • We have special relationships with many different property insurers, including wholesalers, who will look at unique situations and create solutions for almost any type of insurance need.  Direct Writers, on the other hand, typically have little flexibility in coverage options because of strict underwriting rules, limited coverage options and a lack of in-depth experience.
  • While we focus on property, vehicle and liability insurance for individuals, households, condos, organizations and businesses, we can also refer you to local experts in the Life Insurance and Financial Planning field for your personal and business needs. It’s part of our commitment to offering you great service and total peace of mind.


Check out this great little video that explains a bit more about the differences between an Insurance Broker and a Direct Writer:


Get to know us better!  More interesting info about Costen Insurance: 

  • We’re a large, independent, family-owned Insurance Brokerage, committed to extraordinary customer outcomes since 1987. We’ve grown to 6 locations in the Greater Calgary and Cochrane area.
  • Together, our expert Team has over 150 years of professional experience. And they commit to quick responses, proactive reminders and insanely friendly service.  😊
  • We take what we do very seriously. Insurance is complicated and our clients are counting on us!  But we also believe in being joyful, as we remove your insurance stress.  Expert advice, joy and gratitude improve everybody’s day!
  • We work with over a dozen insurance providers to deliver customized insurance solutions at competitive pricing for both Personal and Commercial Insurance.
  • You choose the way to contact us, and the way we contact you. Choose from phone, text, email, live-chat or in-person. And, yes, even fax!
    • We offer prompt, on-line Quote submissions from our website for Property, Vehicle, Motorcycle and Commercial Insurance. Just go to
    • You can also receive quotes for and secure a variety of small Commercial Insurance packages and Travel Insurance, right from our website. We’re easy to find at
    • Our desktop portal and mobile App, myCosten, allows you to easily access your Policy documents, print your Pink Cards  (Vehicle Liability Insurance Cards), submit requests, and more, 24 hours a day.
    • You can also find us on Social Media, including our Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tik Tok.
  • Our monthly E-Newsletter delivers important seasonal tips and reminders re your home and vehicles, insurance-related news, product updates and customer contests.
  • We do a Customer Appreciation Draw every month for gifts that say Thank You  to our wonderful customers.
  • Through our Customer Referral Program, we raise funds for the Helping Families Handle Cancer Foundation and other community charities. In total, we’ve contributed over $12,000.


If you have any questions about this or anything insurance-related, we’d love to assist you!


Thank you,

Your Costen Insurance Team