Health and Wellness

Cost of Living in Canada: What Insurances to Get

One of the money-grubbing items are the insurances being offered left and right. There are a number of insurance providers here in Canada but my discussion here will not be about which are the best ones. Instead I will be talking about which type of insurances are necessary when you start living on your own here in Canada – all based from experience!

Health Insurance

Within the first month of my stay here in Canada, I was not yet covered by the provincial health care plan until the 3rd month. This is where I needed to get a personal health insurance for myself, just for the period that I am waiting for my Ontario Health Insurance Plan card to arrive. An example would be the Visitors to Canada Insurance.

Now, after receiving the OHIP card, I would suggest to still get a private health insurance supplement to the government health insurance. Why? Because there are services that aren’t covered by the OHIP and it is better to have something backing you up in times of need.

For an instance, you needed to call an emergency ambulance to transfer you from your house to ER, you will have to pay out of your pocket for the ambulance service. Dental services are paid by clients, but health insurances can pay 50-100% of its costs depending on your insurance plan. Even eye examinations are not covered by OHIP except for kids. Another example is the medication expense, wherein the OHIP coverage depends on the age of patient. Selected prescriptions are covered under OHIP only for seniors and below 25 years old.

Life Insurance

Upon receiving my OHIP card, a friend of my mother-in-law booked an appointment with me to discuss the variety of insurances they offer. I can’t fully remember the options but I took a life insurance which I am paying up til now and will be fully paid on its 20th year.

What do you get from this? In the event of your death, the policy pays a tax-free benefit, to your beneficiaries. It is something everyone should consider getting because you can see it as something you can leave to your loved ones in monetary form in the event you pass away.

Tenant Insurance

This is important and usually required when renting an apartment or leasing a house. What is covered by this type of insurance? For an instance, the perils covered in The Cooperators policy are the following: Fire, lightning, explosion, falling objects, impact by aircraft or land vehicle, riot, water, smoke, windstorm, hail, vandalism, theft, transportation of personal property, electricity, accidental glass breakage and collapse due to weight of snow, ice or sleet.

As someone who already bought this type of insurance, I would suggest that as soon as you were given a policy, take a video of each room recording all of your belongings. Make sure you start the video clip with a newspaper to take a shot on the recording day’s date. That will be very useful in case you need to show proofs of your belongings, especially the expensive ones, if let’s say your rental house collapsed.

Car Insurance

If your driver’s license is still in G1 level, you aren’t going to be charged yet for a premium. But once you upgrade your license to G2, then you will start to pay monthly premium. In my case, it was added to my husband’s car insurance premium as I am the secondary user of the insured car.

There are factors being considered to determine the rate of your premium. Demographics is one of the factors wherein they look at your gender, age, driving behaviors and time spent in driving.

Interestingly, they also consider the place where you live. People who live in the city pay more than those in rural areas. The larger population are said to have higher risk of vehicle crime. Also, if you are living near major roads and intersections, there is a chance that you will pay more as well. Higher traffic volumes corresponds to higher risk of vehicular accidents.

Of course, driving record is important for the insurers as well. They must see if you have at fault accidents and other driving behaviors that could potentially cause road accidents. All of these make your premium go up.

One last tip that I can give is to compare insurances being offered by various companies. Whether it be home, life, or car insurance, you can use Ratehub to do comparisons so you can make an informed decision.

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