Protection against risk and peace of mind: this is what insurance offers. Because you never know what lies ahead in life, it's best to be prepared for a variety of emergencies. You can insure yourself against many risks, including fire, theft, sickness, car crashes and liability. You may never need to submit an insurance claim, but if something bad does happen, having insurance will help. What do you need to protect?
- To figure out what types of insurance you may need, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I own property?
- Do I have children?
- Do I have a mortgage?
- Do I have a car?
- Do I rent an apartment?
- Could I support myself if I was disabled by illness or injury?
- Do I have enough money to pay compensation if I injure someone?
- If you answered "yes" to any of the first five questions, or "no" to either of the last two, consider getting insurance.
- Tenant's insurance: Replacing your belongings could add up to a significant amount of money. If there's a fire, theft or other type of disaster, tenant's insurance will help pay your replacement costs.
- Travel insurance: Going to the United States? Europe? Asia? Consider buying out-of- country travel insurance to protect you in case something bad happens during your trip. Travel insurance will help pay for emergency medical care, compensate you if you are robbed, help you get home if your transportation fails, and replace lost luggage items.
- Automobile insurance: A car accident is a bad experience. A car accident without insurance is a nightmare! Automobile insurance can protect you from the costs of a collision or other accident (your car is damaged) or liability (your car damages someone else's car or other property, or someone is injured by your car). Before you get a car, find out what kinds of coverage are required and available in your province or territory.
- Health and disability insurance: While Canadians are covered by public health insurance coverage, not all medical procedures are included. Supplemental medical insurance may extend the range of services and drugs that you can access. Critical illness and disability insurance could prove very important if you are suddenly unable to work and support yourself financially because of an illness or injury. Dental insurance could save you money if major care is necessary after an accident.
- If you are a student at a post-secondary school, find out whether your student fees include health, or other kinds of insurance coverage. Know what is included and be sure to submit your claims!
- Home insurance: If you have property, consider getting coverage that protects you against fire, flood and theft. In addition, liability insurance protects you against the risk that someone will successfully sue you if they are injured on your property or through your actions or negligence.
- Mortgage loan insurance: Typically, lenders require mortgage loan insurance for loans made to anyone that wishes to purchase a home with less than 20% of the purchase price. This insurance will pay the lender the balance of the mortgage if you die or are unable to complete your payments.
- Life insurance: You may not think much about life insurance when you're young and single. After all, don't you expect to live quite awhile longer? But if you have dependents, such as children, a life insurance pay-out could be a very important part of supporting them financially if you die.
- Deposit insurance: Generally, Canadian financial institutions present a low risk for their account holders. Still, you may want to check to see if your bank or trust company is covered by deposit insurance from the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), which guarantees deposits of up to $100,000 if a bank fails.
- There are three options for buying insurance:
- From a broker who deals with a number of companies and tries to find you the best deal;
- From an agent who sells insurance for just one company; or
- Directly from an insurance company through a call centre and/or website.
Helpful Web Sites:
- The Insurance Bureau of Canada offers valuable information on home, auto and business insurance.
- Learn more about Mortgage Loan Insurance at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Web site.
- The Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation insures account holders at member financial institutions for up to $100,000.
- Learn about the regulation of financial institutions, including banks and insurance companies, at the Web site of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada.