Once you’ve been living in your new home in Canada, and you’re all settled, you’ll most likely start thinking of long-term factors such as insurance for your home and car or perhaps even life insurance.
It’s important to prepare for any unforeseen tragedies such as an injury, damage to your car or home for example. Having insurance in place to take care of these unforeseen circumstances can bring great relief to you and your family. Allowing you to focus on recovery or rebuilding if need be.
Another benefit of having insurance is knowing that you’ll be able to leave money for your children or loved ones one day and by doing so, creating financial security. Let's explore in detail the different types of Canadian insurance.
Types of Insurance You’ll Need in Canada
1. Health Insurance
The Canadian government uses the tax income to provide somewhat free essential medical services. The official name is Medicare. Each province and territory is responsible for allocating its own healthcare services, which means the extent of medical cover will vary from province to province.
Is the Canadian Medicare Free?
The answer is yes, the medical services offered as free are limited. This is why having private health insurance is important. Medicare will only cover medically necessary and hospital physician services.
Provincial Health Insurance Plans Typically Cover:
- Emergency hospital treatment
- Most primary and secondary care, i.e. any medically necessary services to help diagnose and treat any injuries/illnesses
- Maternity services (including prenatal and postnatal care)
When using the Medicare services, you’re not billed directly, as bills go to the government, and there are no excesses to pay.
What Does Canadian Medicare Not Cover?
Here’s what provincial health insurance plans typically don’t cover:
- Prescription medicine
- Ambulance services
- Dental care
- Eye care
- Hearing aids
- Limb prostheses
- Psychologist care
- Tests required for official documents
Please note that this list will change depending on the province or territory you’ll be living in. And some items on the list are covered by medicare for children, people over 65, and people on low incomes.
Should I Get Private Health Insurance in Canada?
Getting private health insurance in Canada is purely dependent on your medical needs. Even if you’re fit and healthy and perhaps wear prescription glasses, you may want to consider getting private health insurance.
Private healthcare insurance plans cover services such as:
- Prescribed medications
- Routine dental care
- Corrective vision care
- Physical and psychological therapies
- Emergency medical services when travelling abroad
It would also be worthwhile having private healthcare insurance if you’re:
- an elderly
- travelling between Canadian provinces/territories a lot
- Canadian employer’s group health insurance doesn’t offer enough
- taking prescription medicine regularly
Healthcare premiums for a family in Canada are around $157 per month, for an individual male it’s an average of $47 per month and for an individual female, it’s $80 per month.
2. Property Insurance
Having a property is probably one of the biggest financial investments you can make. Replacing or repairing a home in the event of theft or fire can be extremely costly. Having property insurance will give you a sense of peace knowing that if anything happens, you’re covered. You’ll also be required to have property insurance by financial institutions before receiving a mortgage.
Property insurance pays for damage to or loss of your house, condominium, or property. The insurance company may cover:
- damage, theft, or loss of your personal possessions;
- personal property stolen from your vehicle
- damage or injury to others who visit your home or property (for example, if someone falls in your driveway and is injured)
- accidental damage you cause to others' property (for example, if a fire that starts in your house causes damage to your neighbour’s house).
Below are a few of the best home insurance companies in Canada:
|Canadian Home Insurance|
|Home Insurance Provider||Features|
|InsuranceHotline.com||Quick and easy comparison shopping for the best home insurance rates from more than 30 insurers online.|
|SquareOne Insurance||Get quotes, buy policies and make claims online.|
|The Co-operators||A trusted, Canadian-owned institution for over 70 years.|
|Allstate Home Insurance||Option to personalize your home insurance.|
|TD Home Insurance||Offers additional enhanced home coverage and optional add-ons.|
3. Vehicle Insurance
If you would like to own your own vehicle in Canada, it’s mandatory that you have car insurance. In all Canadian provinces and territories require drivers to have at least liability and accident benefits or bodily injury coverage. Some provinces may require extra coverage to own a car. Auto insurance can be provided by a public or private insurer.
Mandatory Vehicle Insurance in Canada
- Liability insurance - covers losses such as injury or death that your vehicle causes to other people or damage to their property. It doesn’t cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle.
- Accident benefits - covers the cost of your own medical expenses and loss of income when you are in an accident.
Optional Vehicle Insurance in Canada
- Collision insurance - covers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if you hit another vehicle or object.
- Comprehensive insurance - covers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle due to other types of damage or loss, such as vandalism, fire, or theft.
Vehicle Insurance Policies per Province or Territory
Province and territories that have purely private auto insurance systems:
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island.
Province and territories that have hybrid auto insurance systems, in which residents must purchase the mandatory basic insurance through the provincial government:
- British Columbia
Quebec residents have two insurance policies:
- Government insurer - insures against injuries to people resulting from the operation of motor vehicles
- Private insurer - insures against property damage
4. Pet Insurance
Pets become like family, they are like family. We buy the food we think is the best, make sure their sleeping area is as comfortable as possible and make sure they get all the love and attention. So why not make sure they are covered too? Pet insurance is the best thing for your pet and pockets when an emergency occurs which will lead to an unexpected veterinary bill.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
You’ll pay a monthly fee, and if your pet becomes sick or injured the insurance company will cover a certain amount of the expense. Below are some examples of costs that are commonly covered by pet insurance:
- Sudden illness
- Diagnostic tests
- Emergency care
There are pet insurance companies that offer extra services on their packages such as checkups, vaccinations or parasite prevention. There are generally five factors that vary the cost of pet insurance:
- your location
- your pets breed
- your pet's age
- the deductible you choose
- the extent of coverage
A deductible is what you agree to pay for your vet bills before your policy kicks in. So if your deductible is $200 then you’ll have to cover 100 percent of the expenses until you meet that amount and only then will the pet insurance begin to cover any additional amount after that.
Affordable Pet Insurance Companies in Canada
- Pets Plus Us Accidents Plan
5. Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is very important, especially if you’re travelling with all of your belongings when moving to Canada. When you take out travel insurance you are covering yourself against travel risks such as lost or stolen luggage, cancellation cover if you can’t travel because of any unexpected medical or personal reason. You’ll also be protected from unexpected medical costs.
Travel insurance could cover the below list of items, depending on the insurer:
- Trip interruption
- Trip cancellation
- Trip delay
- Lost or delayed baggage
- Medical coverage
- Medical evacuation
Who can apply for Canadian travel insurance?
Any person who immigrates to Canada as a permanent resident and is covered by Medicare will be able to apply for Canadian travel insurance.
Those who are going to Canada with a work visa, study visa, or travel visa can apply for a flexible travel insurance while in the country.
How to Move to Canada
There are over 100 different immigration programs available in Canada. They vary from being an international student to being a truck driver and more. One of the most popular programs is Express Entry, which will contribute 332,750 towards the goal of over 1.2 million immigrants being welcomed by 2023.
Express Entry also has one of the fastest processing times of as little as six months. Click on the link below to see if you’re eligible for Express Entry or any of the other Canadian immigration programs.