If you have recently moved to Canada, you’re probably already in the thick of dealing with all the relocation processes. There’s a lot to be done, and likely, among your list of to-dos is buying insurance. If it isn’t, we can’t stress enough how vital it is to buy insurance after a big move – especially when you might be unfamiliar with the kind of weather events Canadian residents will often experience, what the traffic is like, and the crime rates. Whether you have purchased a home, are renting, driving an older vehicle, or amid the process of buying a new one, insurance is important to ensure you have a sufficient financial fallback in case of an emergency.
Depending on where you originate from, your insurance provider may not “see” your existing insurance history or even driving record at all, and this can be factored into your premiums. We’ll go into that in further detail when we break down home and auto insurance for newcomers to Canada in this short but handy guide. Read on for more information!
What to know about car insurance in Canada as a newcomer
In Canada, mandatory auto insurance can vary by province, as can coverage options. A general rule of thumb is that liability insurance is mandatory, and some provinces offer civil liability as a part of their public auto insurance program. Collision coverage, which covers you for damages in the event your vehicle is damaged in a crash with another vehicle or object, and comprehensive coverage, which insures your car against damages like vandalism, floods, fires, etc., are optional coverages which you can purchase in addition to your existing standard car insurance.
There’s also loss of use – which can provide you with a temporary rental car for the period of time where yours is being repaired or replaced – and accident benefits, which covers funeral expenses and financial obligations for your family or beneficiaries in the event of your passing in an insurable accident.
It’s a lot. Luckily, if you work with an insurance broker (like the handy experts at Excalibur Insurance!), you’ll be able to have an expert in the field who can walk you through your circumstances.
Here’s another thing: car insurance in Canada will cost a different amount, depending on the insurance options you choose, the make and model of the car you drive, your gender, age, etc. Your insurance history and driving record may or may not be considered if you are from a foreign country. Your deductible will also play a part. The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums – but that means you’ll have to pay more out-of-pocket if you get into an accident.
What to know about home insurance in Canada as a newcomer
Home insurance is not mandated by any government in Canada and is not considered mandatory. Of course, if you have not purchased your home and currently have a mortgage, virtually every Canadian mortgage lender will require you to carry home insurance before they can approve you. It may seem like yet another bill to add to the list, but home insurance should be considered a necessary expense. If your roof collapsed due to unexpected heavy snowfall or your basement flooded, you could be out hundreds of thousands of dollars – which is nothing next to a few hundred dollars a year for home insurance.
Home insurance also offers liability insurance, which protects you from lawsuit expenses if someone sues you for bodily injury or property damage. It can also cover you anywhere in the world – so if you’re planning to head back to your country of origin to visit and become injured, your home insurance in Canada will cover you. Standard home insurance will also protect your physical dwelling, its contents, and more from unforeseen perils, like fire, theft and vandalism, and more.
Home insurance can be broken down into a few different types: comprehensive, basic, no-frills, and broad. You can also purchase additional home insurance endorsements if you own any collectibles or valuables, have a pool, recreational vehicles or watercrafts, or have a high-value home.
Your premiums may also depend on your insurance history which, again, may not be considered if you’re from a certain country. Your premiums will largely depend on the overall value of your home, your coverage options, the age of your roof and systems, and your postal code. It is critical that you purchase home insurance once you move to Canada so that you can start building up an insurance history and acquire some loyalty discounts in the first few years.
How Excalibur can help newcomers to Canada save on their insurance
If your insurance history or driving record hasn’t followed you to Canada, you may notice your rates are a little higher than you’d expect. Fortunately, this can be mitigated after a continuous insurance history and a few years spent building up your drivers’ experience. That being said, if you want to know how to save costs now, then Excalibur has some tips for you.
First of all: shop around. A broker like the experts from Excalibur can help do the heavy lifting for you so that you don’t have to and can find you quotes from top insurance carriers. This helps you choose the most affordable option for the best coverage.
Second of all, if you are buying a home and a car, consider bundling your insurance policies through a single provider. Many insurance providers will offer you discounts for return customers – for anywhere between 5 to 15% off your insurance. It also helps keep it simpler and easier to track.
Finally, ask about discounts. As a new Canadian, your options may not be particularly expansive, but it never hurts to ask. Security alarms can qualify you for discounts, recent graduation, and more are all options for you to ask about to reduce your overall rates. We wish you luck on your move – and welcome to Canada!