An insurance plan provides you with protection (usually financial) from unexpected life events. There are many different types of insurance, and only you (and sometimes the government) can decide which insurance plans you actually need. We’ll start with insurance plans offered by the government.
Employment insurance – An insurance plan that protects you from job loss that is no fault of your own. It provides you with 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings to a maximum of $573 a week. Employment Insurance participation is mandatory and you will pay 1.58% of your wage each paycheque up to $856.36 in 2020.
Long Term Disability – An insurance plan that protects you if you are disabled long term and cannot resume working. Most plans offer to supplement you with 60%-70% of your regular wage for up to two years. After two years you will only receive benefits if you cannot work any job. Participation in Long Term Disability insurance is not mandatory.
Car Insurance – An insurance that pays for repairs/replacement of things damaged in car accidents. Car insurance is not offered by the government in most provinces, but there are some (I’m looking at you Saskatchewan). It is, however, required by the government to drive a car. There are varying levels of car insurance plans. Lower plans will only protect damage to other vehicles if you are in an accident. More expensive plans will cover your vehicle for any accidental damage that you cause or have happen to you. If there is a loan on your vehicle, a more expensive plan with collision insurance is often required. In the provinces with private insurance firms (not government run), shopping around and negotiating on price can save you a lot of money each year.
Other than government regulated or mandated insurances, there is a plethora of other insurance plans that can protect you from anything life throws at you – for a price. Let’s take a look at some of these plans.
Home owners insurance – An insurance plan that will repair/replace your home in the event of major damages. Be wary of home insurance and know your plan well, there are a lot of events that might not be covered by your plan. If you have a mortgage, home insurance is required. Shopping around and negotiating on price can save you a lot of money on home insurance.
Renters insurance – An insurance plan for renters that protects their property within a home they are renting.
Condo deductible insurance – An insurance plan that will pay for your condo building’s insurance deductible in the event you are determined to be at fault for large damage to the condo building. Condo insurance deductibles can be as expensive as $50,000, this insurance will cover this. It also covers your property within your condo, and upgrades to the condo from the base model (appliances for example).
Pet insurance – An insurance that will pay for vet bills in the event your little friend goes through a rough patch. Pet insurance is becoming more popular as people learn how expensive vet bills can get in no time at all.
Travel Insurance – An insurance plan that covers you for numerous types of emergencies that could happen on your trip, such as: medical emergencies, delays, supplier cancellations and even lost luggage (we all know how often that happens). It is usually recommended because it is not that expensive, and a medical emergency in a foreign country could be financially disastrous without it.
Life Insurance – An insurance plan that pays out to your family in the event of your death. If you have dependents, it may not be a bad time to start looking into having a life insurance plan, just in case. There is a chance you already have a life insurance plan with your employer – check the deductions section of your paycheque and see if one is there! Life Insurance is frequently offered with home mortgages as well. These are less beneficial than separate life insurance plans because the total payout continues to go down as you pay down your mortgage. If the premiums for a standard life insurance not tied to a mortgage are the same or similar, it would be the better option to take.
Critical Illness – An insurance plan that pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a critical illness. Critical Illnesses are serious medical conditions like cancer or heart attacks.
Long-Term Care – An insurance plan that provides payments if you require care in your home or a facility.
Health Insurance – An insurance plan that covers medical bills not covered by your provincial health care plan
As you can see, I was really not joking about the quantity of insurance plans available. You should assess what kind of insurance plans you need and choose accordingly. If you are interested in purchasing an insurance plan but don’t know how, contact an insurance broker to help you. Don’t just buy the first insurance they offer you, though. As I mentioned before, shopping around and negotiating a price could save you big money on insurance.