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Insurance in Canada protects your property. Interior of a home with several feet of water.

Protecting yourself and your family against unexpected danger and risk is what insurance in Canada is all about for newcomers to Canada and international students.

Even if you had insurance before you arrived in Canada, knowing about the different kinds of insurance available to you before you arrive is important. 

Insurance is part of your personal finance portfolio. Knowing how it works is smart financial planning that can end up saving you money and build security.

We’re here to help you find the insurance that is right for your new life in Canada

For example, the first type of insurance most newcomers need to understand is renters insurance. Most landlords require it (we explain below). And then there’s health and travel insurance. And for those who purchase a car for work or travel auto insurance is a must. 

WHY DO NEWCOMERS NEED INSURANCE?

Insurance is one of the key ways that newcomers to Canada can manage risks. Things can go wrong. Accidents happen. Floods happen. And you don’t want to start over financially from scratch. So, when you purchase insurance, you transfer the cost of a potential loss to the insurance company in exchange for a fee (known as the premium). Insurance companies invest the funds securely, so they can grow, and pay out when there’s a claim.

Broker vs Agent: An insurance broker is not the same thing as an insurance agent. Brokers know how insurance policies work and have access to more options than an agent. This lets them pick the best rates for the coverage you need from a wide variety of insurance companies. Read Here.

What are insurance premiums: Simply, an insurance premium is the amount of money you or your business pays for an insurance policy. Insurance premiums are paid for policies that cover things like healthcare, auto, rental, home, and life insurance. Read Here.

Why do I need risk insurance: Basically, risk insurance protects your home and property from, well, “risks and perils.” It covers property damage or loss arising from accidents or unforeseeable incidents (flood, sewer backup, frozen pipes, etc.) except for those that are specifically excluded. Read Here. 

TENANT INSURANCE

Damaged property contents require home insurance
When renting a home, you do not own the property, but you likely own the contents

Most renters in Canada get renter’s insurance and many landlords and buildings require it so it is highly recommended for newcomers and international students as it protects and reimburses you in the event of an emergency. When you rent your first home as a newcomer to Canada or as an international student always remember that while you DO NOT own the property, you most likely DO own the contents (furniture, electronics, personal possessions, valuables, etc.). 

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Why tenant insurance is a must-have: As we said, most landlords in Canada require it and here are the 5 main reasons why you need it. Read Here.

But the landlord has insurance: This is true but that only covers the building you’re living in. It does not cover your family’s belongings. The landlord’s insurance can’t always protect you from everything that could wrong in your new home in Canada. Renters insurance does. Read Here. 

To discover more about Tenant Insurance, click here.

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TRAVEL/MEDICAL INSURANCE

Toronto Pearson Airport
Protecting your travel plans and your health is important

Canada is renowned for its healthcare system, and quality healthcare is one of the reasons newcomers seek to build a life here. Government health insurance programs like OHIP in Ontario and AHCIP in Alberta let you apply for coverage once you arrive in Canada and establish your permanent residency. But it is a smart idea to buy visitor travel insurance to cover those unexpected medical expenses before you and your family are included in a government health insurance program. Without it, you could end up paying significant out-of-pocket expenses. 

What’s the difference between provincial health plans and medical insurance? Once you arrive in Canada and establish your permanent residency government health insurance programs allow you to apply for coverage. But you won’t be covered by government health insurance as soon as you arrive in the country. That’s where private insurance coverage is a good idea for both temporary visitors to Canada and people on the path to becoming permanent residents and Canadian citizens. Read Here.

Who is eligible for visitor to Canada insurance? Buying travel insurance can be particularly challenging for newcomers and international students and it requires navigating the process with risk factors related to age and pre-existing health conditions. Finding the coverage that is right for you is important, so knowing the basic requirements that you or a loved one need to meet to purchase a Canadian travel insurance policy is vital. Read Here. 

Choosing the right policy: When it comes to purchasing travel insurance, there’s no one size fits all coverage solution. As a newcomer to Canada, you need to be sure to understand your options and then figure out how to select the right coverage based on key factors like your age, dependants, health status, and deductible preference. Read Here.

To discover more about Travel/Medical Insurance, click here.

CAR INSURANCE 

person taking pictures of accident for insurance

At some point, most newcomers to Canada purchase a car, whether for getting to work, getting around town to get things done or travelling. In Canada, you MUST have car insurance if you own a car or other vehicle. This insurance is designed to protect you from having to pay to repair your car or another vehicle if it’s damaged or in an accident and from liability claims if you’re held responsible for an accident that causes damage to another person’s vehicle or injury to other people. Again, car insurance is a must if you own a vehicle. 

10 facts about auto insurance: Car insurance can be complicated and here’s a list of things that can get you started and help you as a newcomer to Canada understand how it works. Read Here. 

Understanding why auto insurance is mandatory: In Ontario, every vehicle is required to be protected by an insurance policy. The monetary fines for not having insurance are severe plus your driver’s license could be suspended for a year and your vehicle impounded for up to three months if you are caught driving without insurance. It’s important that you understand which car insurance is mandatory in order to be fully protected. Read Here.

What does car insurance cover? An auto insurance policy is an in-depth document that describes in detail what each section protects. Always be sure to consult an insurance professional if you have any specific questions about your coverage. Read Here. 

Which cities in Ontario have the highest insurance rates? While this might not be a deal breaker when choosing the city where you wish to live and work in Canada, it’s always good to know where and why auto insurance is more expensive. Read Here.

Can I insure a vehicle that is not in my name? That’s a good question for newcomers – and it’s complicated. There definitely are several different scenarios where someone, perhaps a family member or friend, might ask you to insure a car, not in your name. As always, consult an insurance professional. Read Here. 

To discover more about Auto Insurance, click here.

HOMEOWNER INSURANCE

Damaged property contents require home insurance

Did you know that most newcomers to Canada buy a home within 3 to 5 years of arriving? It’s true. And for most of us, it’s the single major purchase we make in our lives.  So, it’s a good idea to become familiar with homeowners’ insurance. It’s an important part of your financial security net, and in many cases a requirement if you have a mortgage. Knowing how much you’ll have to pay for your coverage should be factored into where and what you buy.  

Do home insurance costs vary across Ontario? Yes, they do. There is a median value for all of Ontario but this can be misleading as there are many factors that contribute to your homeowner’s premium. Read Here. 

Home insurance and natural disasters: Yes, natural disasters – ice storms in February to flooding in April to wildfires in August— happen in Canada and they can be devastating for your life. Home insurance helps protect you and your family from the potential life-altering aftereffects. Read Here. 

What is all-risk insurance? All risk is one of two types of home insurance; the other is known as a “named perils” policy. The main difference is that a “named perils” policy only covers potential instances that are listed (anything else isn’t covered), whereas an “all-risk” policy covers just about everything except for specifically named exceptions. Read Here. 

What is mortgage insurance? Mortgage insurance (not to be confused with home insurance) sometimes called home buyer’s insurance in Canada, is a way to help you spend less upfront yet still afford your home. Mortgage insurance helps you secure your home sooner rather than later by lowering the down payment you must make. Read Here. 

Basic living costs for homebuyers: No matter where you choose to live in Canada as a newcomer, these are essential living expenses for almost ALL first-time homeowners. Read Here.

To discover more about Home Insurance, click here.

BUSINESS INSURANCE

small business owner

Why do I need it? For newcomers to Canada who are entrepreneurs, business insurance can sometimes seem like an extra burden. Some business owners don’t consider small business insurance a necessity, but the fact is that even if you don’t have inventory or a retail location, your company still has financial and legal risks. Read Here.

To discover more about Business Insurance, click here.

PET INSURANCE 

She’s so cute but what if she bites a guest?

Increasingly, newcomers to Canada are arriving with pets (we love pets!). Dogs, cats and whatever. And also increasingly, pet insurance has become more important, both in terms of pet health and owner liability. 

Dogs and Home insurance: Your dog is legally considered your “property” which can come with a fair amount of liability exposure if you’re not careful. For that reason, dog bites usually fall under the purview of your personal liability insurance, which is really a part of your home insurance policy. It’s because of this liability exposure that makes it important to advise your insurance broker (and landlord!) that you have a dog. Read Here.

Pet Health insurance explained: Finding the best pet health insurance depends on what your pet situation is and what kind of coverage you’re looking for. Despite its growing popularity, only 20 companies offer pet insurance in North America in 2020. Read Here. 

To discover more about Pet Insurance, click here.

OTHER RESOURCES

 If you would like to know more about insurance in Canada, here are some helpful links:

Here are some recent articles in major Canadian media about insurance in Canada: