If you've got a driver's license and drive a car, by law, you must have auto insurance.

how it works

There are other types of insurance: 

  • Purchase insurance may be useful if you make many online purchases. It insures your items in case of damage / theft during transit.
  • Warranty insurance is a guarantee promising to replace / repair damaged cars, appliances, equipment, tools, and electronics, withing a certain time frame. 
  • Travel insurance includes health and travel delay / cancellation insurances.  Health insurance is useful when you travel out of province (health care is provincial).

how do you buy insurance?

You can buy insurance as an individual or opt into a group insurance plan. Group insurance tends to be less expensive. 

  • Your / your spouse's employer may offer group insurance to employees. Depending on your age / student status / living arrangements you may be covered through your parents' insurance.
  • Your college / university may offer insurance through the student union and, later, alumni insurance plans.

An insurance broker helps you shop around and find good deals. Should you use one or buy insurance directly from the provider?

When buying insurance, make sure to:

  • Find a competitive premium for your desired coverage. Be wary of low premiums - always make sure you're comparing policies with the same coverage. Remember, the more the insurance covers, the higher its monthly premium.
  • ​Check for special offers / discounts, but don't be swayed by them - you'll be stuck with the regular coverage / premium once the offer expires.​

key features

Insurance policies financially protect your person or property from specified loss, damage, illness, or even death. 

If you've insured something, like your car, house, or health, you won't be financially liable if something bad were to happen.

  • Instead of paying from your own pocket, you will file a claim against your insurance policy. 
  • If  your claim is granted and you'll receive an insurance payment.
  • When you purchase life insurance, your beneficiary (the person you designate) will receive an insurance payment upon your death.

An insurer will mix individual insurance risks into large pools. Each pool member will pay an equal share of risk through premium payments. This makes insurance more affordable for those with very high risks. ​

Glass doors begin to fly open, and waves of people flood the narrow streets.

Maya’s quickly swept up into the crowd. Heart racing, she...


They're multiple choice - always choose the most appropriate answer. 

Click on the icon to join Maya and sprint through insurance.  It should take you about 7 minutes.

Test your knowledge - take a FinStart quiz!

If you own a home, you need to insure your property. Some landlords ask for proof of home-insurance.

 Maybe you live in residence and your school offered property insurance - should you buy it?


  • A regular fee you pay in return for protection.
  • Determined by your insurer - you'll complete a questionnaire / provide documentation regarding your credit history, current debt, ability to pay financial obligations, any other insurance you may have, the value of the property you're insuring (home insurance), your age and driving record (auto insurance), or lifestyle choices / health (life / health insurance), and your insurance history.

Limit of Coverage and Deductible

  • Limit of coverage is the maximum amount an insurer will pay to cover a loss. Higher limits tend to carry higher premiums. 
  • Deductible is the amount you would have to pay, from your own pocket, before the insurer's coverage kicks in. Insurance with lower / no deductibles tends to carry higher premiums.

Quality of the Insurer

  • Do they have a good online platfrom / sales team?
  • Is it easy to make premium payments?
  • Is it easy to file claims / receive compensation?
  • Do they have a good reputation and financial standing? Remember, your insurer won't be able to pay claims if they go bankrupt.

How can you learn about the quality of your insurer? Check consumer reports - for example, JD Power's rating of insurers at https://canada.jdpower.com/.

what's next?

If you work, your employer may have disability / life insurance policies in case something were to happen to you.

Click on the diagram to find out how insurance works.

​This will open our video player.

Specialized medicines, like dental and physiotherapy can be expensive. Insurance can help cover the cost - consider your options.

What is it?