≡ Menu

What Do You Need? Your Guide to Canadian Insurance

In Canada, the total value of written life insurance premiums amount to $49.33 billion. That doesn’t even include the $57.4 billion value of written home, car, and business policies.

That already tells us how important insurance is to Canadians. After all, they protect us from the financial risks of illnesses and deaths. They also provide coverage for accidents, property damage and losses, and liabilities.

Canadian insurance plans come in so many different forms though. Some are legally-required, while others are optional. But being optional doesn’t mean you should bypass them, as they can be a life-saver in case of accidents.

So, which of the types of insurance policies in Canada should you get? This post will discuss the most important, so keep reading!

1. Public Health Plan

Public health insurance is available to both citizens and permanent residents. In fact, it’s more of a legal requirement than an “option” for them.

Public health insurance plans differ from one Canadian province or territory to another. For example, British Columbia has the “Medical Services Plan” (MSP). In Ontario, the tax-paid insurance coverage is the “Ontario Health Insurance Plan” (OHIP).

Which one you should get (or likely already have) depends on the state or territory you live in. If you’re a new resident, and you’re eligible for public insurance, be sure to apply for it.

Not only because the law says you need to, but also because it makes health services more affordable. Your public health insurance will cover any medically-necessary health services.

That said, it won’t cover you for any preventative service, such as routine physical exams. Nor would it provide coverage for dental fillings or prescription medications.

2. Private Health Insurance

A study estimated that as many as 731,000 Canadians borrowed money to buy prescription meds in 2015. All because their public plans don’t pay for these drugs.

Enter private Canadian health insurance, also known as supplemental or individual health insurance.

They exist to “supplement” the gaps left by the limited public health plans. Such gaps include some level of coverage for prescription medications. They also cover some of the cost of oral health services, like dental check-ups and fillings.

Note that not all medical and dental practitioners accept all insurance plans though. So, be sure that your physician, surgeon, and other doctors work with your chosen insurer. When choosing a good dentist, make sure to verify their affiliation with your insurer too.

You’ll also find dental health insurance plans separate from private health insurance. These are more robust, offering greater coverage for dental services. If you have a predisposition to oral health risks, consider this type of insurance too.

You can read more here on the benefits and reviews of private insurance plans and providers.

3. Critical Illness Insurance

In 2017, the Canadian Cancer Society estimated 206,200 Canadians have developed cancer.

Experts also say that nine in 10 Canadians meet one risk factor for heart disease.

50,000 cases of strokes, the main cause of physical disabilities in Canada, also happen every year.

Those are sobering, if not downright frightening statistics. What’s more, neither the public nor private health plans provide coverage for these.

But critical illness insurance does. The best insurance providers cover all types of cancer, as well as heart disease and stroke. This insurance policy helps ensure your financial survival if you develop such illnesses.

4. Disability Insurance

Disability insurance offers income protection if you become disabled and unable to work. It’ll cover a part of your annual salary, usually three to six months’ worth. With this, you can ensure your financial survival until you can get back to work.

You can qualify for disability insurance at work, or you can get your own private plan. Be sure to check with your employer, as it may already be part of your employee benefits.

5. Automobile Insurance

Like public health insurance, automobile insurance is also a legal requirement in Canada. For good reason: There are 34.3 million registered vehicles in the country. Vehicle insurance protects all motorists, passengers, pedestrians, and properties.

The required basic coverage also depends on which state you live. For example, a third-party liability coverage of $200,000 is enough in Ontario. But you must also carry accident benefits, uninsured automobile, and property damage insurance.

6. Homeowner’s Insurance

The government doesn’t mandate home insurance. But most mortgage companies do. If you’re about to apply for a mortgage, you may have to buy this insurance.

But it’s practical and logical, as it protects your home and your possessions. It’ll cover you for cases of theft, loss, and damage to your properties.

If an accident, such as a fire, occurs and you can’t live in your home, your home insurance may pay for living expenses. These are the costs of staying in a hotel or renting a temporary home.

7. Life Insurance

Life insurance isn’t also mandatory, but many still buy them for financial protection. In 2017, there were about 22 million people in Canada who owned life insurance with a total value of $4.7 trillion. That same year, life insurers paid $12.5 billion in benefits.

This type of insurance will protect your family and dependents during your passing. They will receive a death benefit, the amount of which depends on how much you purchased. Some payouts are for $100,000, while others are for $500,000 (or higher).

When buying a new life policy, be sure to consider your household’s financial needs. For example, they need at least $3,000 a month to maintain the kind of lifestyle they have now for the next 10 years. That means you should get a life policy with a benefit of at least $360,000 (excluding inflation).

Don’t forget to factor in funeral costs, which now averages $6,000. Your computation should also consider debts, including mortgages, car loans, and personal loans. At the very least, your policy’s death benefit should cover these expenses.

Don’t Risk It: Get These Canadian Insurance Plans Now

Canada sees 160,000 car accidents every year. They land people in the hospital, causing disabilities and time off from work. Accident victims also have to rely on prescription medications and therapies for recovery.

That should be enough reason to buy the right Canadian insurance policies ASAP. With these, you can protect your loved ones and your finances.

Need specific advice for getting your employees health insurance? Then be sure to check this guide we have on this topic!