In short, insurance helps protect you against risks. Providers agree to pay you compensation for pre-agreed losses, damages, illnesses, and death, in exchange for regular payment of a premium. Failing to pay your premium means your policy won’t be active, so it’s important to prioritize paying any insurance policies you have. Most people will have at least one form of insurance. As such, it’s important to have a good understanding of the different types of insurance available in Canada.
Insurance is essential as it can help you stay protected against events that could leave you out of pocket. Imagine, if your house were flooded, would you be able to replace everything that was damaged? If the answer is no, you should have home insurance, and even if the answer is yes you could replace everything, the question changes to would you want to pay for everything? Not all forms of insurance are mandatory but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have them. For example, car insurance is required by law, home insurance is often required by your mortgage provider, and travel insurance is really just in your best interest. Most people simply don’t have the means to fund the sort of payouts that insurance providers can which is why they need insurance.
Types of Insurance
There are several different types of insurance that are available in Canada, some of the main types are outlined below.
Home Insurance – Home insurance is available to homeowners or renters and protects the contents of your home from theft or damage – this is known as contents insurance. Home insurance can also be purchased that protects your home from damage, such as floods and other natural disasters. Although, this has to be purchased by the building owner and not the tenant.
Condo Insurance – Condo insurance, formally known as HO-6 insurance, is a type of home insurance that’s reserved for people living in condos. This type of insurance covers your condo’s contents and any damage that may happen inside the dwelling. The condo owners hold the insurance policy that covers the structure of the entire building.
Auto Insurance – In Canada, car insurance is required by law. Every driver is required to have a valid third-party liability insurance policy. The nationwide minimum amount of coverage is $200,000, the only exception is Quebec where the requirement is $50,000 of coverage. It’s also mandatory for drivers to have coverage that will pay for their medical expenses and loss of wages if they have to miss work as a result of an accident. The only place exempt from this is Newfoundland and Labrador.
Life Insurance – Having a life insurance policy can protect your family from financial hardship if the worst was to happen. A one-off, tax-free payment can replace your income and help your family to continue living the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.
Disability Insurance – This insurance helps you maintain an income if you’re unable to work due to an unexpected illness or accident. The usual rate that is paid by disability insurance is anywhere between 60 and 85 percent of your usual income. It’s generally restricted by a maximum amount or a specified length of time.
Travel Insurance – The Canadian government advises people to buy travel insurance for every trip they make out of Canada – even if they’re just spending a day in the United States. Travel insurance can help cover the costs of medical treatment and emergency evacuation, damage or theft of your personal property, and any losses you sustain if your trip has to be rearranged or canceled.
Insurance Brokers in Canada
There are countless insurance companies in Canada each with their own policy limits and benefits. Here’s three of the biggest that cater for most requirements:
Manulife Financial – Manulife is the largest insurance provider in Canada and one of the biggest in the world. The company provides attractive packages primarily covering life, health, and travel insurance. Manulife dominates the market thanks to its wide range of plans and great premium prices.
Sun Life Financial – Known primarily as a life insurance company, Sun Life also offers health, travel, and business owners’ insurance. Sun Life is well-received thanks to its comprehensive plans and affordable rates.
Desjardins Insurance – This company offer a wide range of policy types including auto and home insurance, as well as more specialist kinds of insurance such as tenant insurance and boat insurance.
How can I get the best deal on my insurance?
The best way to for you to get the best deal is by shopping around. Never be content on the first quote you get as it’s almost certain that there’s a better offer just around the corner.
Is it worth bundling my insurance?
Yes, it makes paying your bills simpler and most providers offer discounted rates when you combine your insurance plans with them.
I have a medical condition can I still get insurance?
Yes, most insurers offer policies to people with underlying health conditions.
Can I meet with an agent or is the whole process done online?
Most major providers will have agents in major cities that you can meet with if you’d prefer to discuss things on a face-to-face basis. At the very least, you should be able to talk with somebody over the phone.
Is the insurance industry subject to regulation?
Yes, the Canadian government plays an active role in ensuring that a level of fairness and quality is maintained in the industry.