Category Archives: York Insurance

Pet Insurance Companies in Canada

The basic information you need to know when choosing pet insurance for your beloved companion.

Is pet insurance a viable option for most Canadians?  More than ever, veterinary bills are rising because of all the advances in veterinary technology.  Today, if your pet has a major health crisis or even a routine check up, it could cost you dearly.  If you are a pet owner and are considering pet insurance, you will need an informational guide to follow for choosing the right insurance company.  This guide will give you basic information along with comparatives on the top pet insurance companies in Canada so you make an informed decision.

Do I need pet insurance?

Ten years ago, many people would have said that pet insurance was frivolous and unnecessary but times have changed and so have the needs of our furry friends.  Today, our pet’s medical care costs can rival our own!  Many surgical procedures can start around $900 and quickly escalate to over $5000.  There is no question that veterinary bills are on the rise.

So the question becomes, “Is it worth it?”  The answer really depends on you.  For some pet owners, insurance is an invaluable service that gives you the ability to provide your pet the best possible care at an affordable rate.  And, if a serious condition should arise, it keeps you from having to make a painful decision based on finances.  Yet, other pet owners are not willing to spend the money for medicines and surgical procedures.  Ultimately, only you can decide if pet insurance is worthwhile.

Does my pet qualify for insurance?

You have decided to insure your pet.  Now, you will need to find out if your pet is eligible for insurance.  Here are the basic requirements of most insurers:

  • Own a cat or dog between 8 weeks and 14 years of age.
  • You are a Canadian or U.S. resident
  • You have a valid e-mail address

If you are able to meet these requirements, you are eligible for pet insurance.  Keep in mind that some pet insurers do not have an upper limit on the age of your pet.

Pet insurance providers – basic information and advantages/disadvantages


PetCare is a leader in providing accident and illness insurance for cats and dogs in Canada.  They offer a unique variety of services and products to meet the needs of your pet.


PetCare provides several benefits to pet owners:  Unlimited lifetime accident coverage, coverage for hereditary conditions, premiums do not increase for older pets and exceptional service standards.


You plan can become quite pricey if you are not careful.  You need to make sure you understand the type of coverage you will need for your pet and make sure you aren’t signing up for coverage you don’t need.


Trupanion is a leader in medical insurance for pets.  As a founding member of the North American Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), Trupanion is a well-respected provider of pet insurance.  Trupanion was also the 1st pet insurance company in Canada to earn the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Seal of Acceptance.  The AAHA Seal of Acceptance program was created to help inform pet owners about quality pet health care.


Trupanion offers several advantages to their plan:

  • One simple plan. Trupanion offers one comprehensive policy that covers surgeries, diagnostic tests, medications, treatments and hospital stays.
  • 90% coverage. Trupanion will cover 90% of veterinary costs for any accident or illness claims that are approved (minus exam fees and optional deductible). This 90% deductible is available at any specialty hospital, veterinary clinic and emergency care center.
  • No payout limit. Another advantage is the unlimited lifetime insurance coverage that Trupanion offers. What that means for you is no per accident limits, annual limits or lifetime care limits.


Watch out for the pre-existing conditions and circumstances around the policy.  The plan may not allow for pets that are older or already ill.  And, the plan may not cover the costs upfront.


Petsecure is a leading provider of innovative insurance coverage and boasts as 100% Canadian-owned and operated.  They are also one of Canada’s oldest and largest per insurance providers.


Petsecure offers many benefits to their innovative pet insurance plans:

  • Secure for LifeTM is a coverage designed for pet owners who have concerns for their pets long-term health. This plan will cover a broad range of illnesses.
  • You can renew benefits each year. Basically, this means that if you have $2,500 of illness coverage, you will receive $2,500 towards each illness that occurs that year.
  • Secure for LifeTM gives you no limits on your coverage for life. So as long as your pet is insured with Petsecure, you will receive renewed annual coverage year after year.


There may be a delay of coverage before the policy kicks in.  In these instances, you will need to cover the cost of any services provided until the insurance coverage takes effect.  In most cases, this can be anywhere from a few days to two-weeks.

When you’re ready to choose a pet insurance company, make sure you know the type of coverage your pet needs and you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each.  As with any type of insurance, it is important to do your homework so your best friend isn’t left in the doghouse.

Auto Insurance Companies in Canada

Comparing Auto Insurance Companies in Canada

The basic information you need to know when choosing an auto insurance company.

In the world of auto insurance, it’s hard to know which way to turn.  You want to find the right insurance for you – but that can be confusing and time-consuming.  Here is a comprehensive and comparative look at the most popular and economical auto insurance companies in Canada.  This guide will steer you in the right direction and won’t leave you stranded on the road without complete auto insurance coverage.

Questions to consider

By law, all Canadian drivers are required to purchase car insurance for their vehicle.  Before you choose an auto insurance company, it is important to know the type of coverage that is right for you.  Here are some questions you will need to ask yourself before choosing an insurance provider.

  • How high or low should my comprehensive and collision deductibles be?
  • It’s true that a higher deductible will lower your premium but you must consider the higher amount you will pay if a loss occurs. Ask yourself just how important it is to save on a premium if you have an accident.
  • How high should my liability coverage limits be?
  • You really cannot predict how much you will pay out if you are the cause of an accident. Therefore, you need to know how you will pay for an accident damages that goes over your coverage limits. Remember, the higher your limits are, the more your policy will cover the damages.
  • Should I have collision and comprehensive coverage?
  • Keep in mind that a leased or financed vehicle may be required to have collision and comprehensive coverage. As your car’s value goes down, you should consider dropping both these coverages and keeping the savings.

Below are listed some of the most dependable and economical auto insurance providers in Canada.  Each company provides a variety of services and coverage levels.  Here is a breakdown of what each company provides and the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate has been in business for 50 years and is headquartered in Markham, Ontario.  Allstate Insurance Company is part of The Allstate Corporation and provides a variety of property and casualty insurance products.


Some advantages Allstate can provide are:  discounts to help you save money, a one-hour promise guarantee that a claim representative will get back to you within an hour and around-the-clock service by experienced claim agents.


A disadvantage is the comprehensive collision insurance coverage.  It has a higher cost than other coverage options.  The high cost prohibits many people from purchasing it.  You will need to decide if it is a needed option or you can live without it.

American Family Insurance

American Family Insurance has been in business more than 80 years and prides themselves in making your insurance experience easy and convenient.  American Family provides auto, home, life/annuities, health, business and farm/ranch insurance to meet all your needs.


American Family Insurance has many money saving incentives for your auto insurance coverage that includes: multiple vehicle discount, good student discount, air bag discount, accident-free and good driver discounts.


Be careful of the minimum liability insurance.  Many people choose this option because it is less expensive than comprehensive insurance.  However, basic liability insurance may pay for the other party involved in an accident if it is your fault but it will not cover all of your expenses and could leave you without a car and with high medical bills.  You will want to look at this option closely and make sure you understand it completely.

Belairdirect Insurance

Belairdirect Insurance opened their offices in 1955 and has key offices in Ontario and Quebec.  Belairdirect is known for providing auto insurance directly to customers.


Belairdirect was the first auto insurance company in North America to offer online auto insurance quotes directly to customers.  They continue to provide top notch, innovative service for online users.  Belairdirect also provides a fast and easy way to manage your insurance policy online.


One major disadvantage of this auto insurance is the auto repair policy.  This policy has a complicated system of deductibles.  So rather than have one deductible for the entire repair, there are several small deductibles for each part that is replaced.  All those “small” deductibles can add up to one big bill.

RBC Insurance

RBC Insurance is touted as the largest Canadian bank-owned insurance company.  RBC has been in business for nearly 150 years.  It is a well-known institution in Canada.


One advantage of RBC is a claims response team that is available 24/7 and very knowledgeable.  RBC also offers different levels of coverage to meet your exact needs and budget.  Another advantage is the ease of getting a quote and purchasing insurance.  RBC offers online, over the phone and in-person quotes.


The cost of your policy may be raised by extras that are added in.  Read your policy carefully for bundled items such as roadside assistance and rental car coverage.  If  you decide to cancel these items, it could same you a bundle.

Regardless of which auto insurance company you choose, make sure you do your homework and compare and weigh each company’s advantages and disadvantages and then decide which coverage best meets your individual needs.

What is Term Insurance

Term Life Insurance

When looking at finding the right life insurance that is suited to your specific needs it’s important to get all the facts allowing you to make an accurate decision.  The best insurance plan is designed to secure the financial situation of your loved ones in the event of your death.

Term life insurance is essentially the first type of insurance that was ever offered.  It is designed to protect the buyer of the policy for a specific time period or “term”.  This is usually a block period of 5, 10 or 20 years.  Some companies have now begun to offer coverage for up to 30 years.  At the end of this period the coverage expires and the buyer must then purchase another policy usually at a different rate.  To get a better understanding of how term insurance works versus permanent insurance think of it as leasing versus buying.  With term policies the insurer has agreed to “lease” the policy at a fixed rate for a designated amount of years, whereas with permanent policies the holder has purchased the insurance investing in a long term asset.

Term life insurance is the cheapest way to acquire premium coverage.  Initial cost is usually low but increases as the policy ages.  It does not carry any cash value and amounts are only paid out to the beneficiary in the event of the insurer’s death.  The advantage of term life insurance is that it offers temporary coverage to those on a tight budget.  Depending on the company and package, it also has some level of flexibility allowing room for adjustment as the individuals needs change.  Examples would include early cancellation or upgrade to permanent coverage.  The death benefit remains constant within the term period. It is designed to give the policy holder piece of mind that in the event of sudden death, the family, any debt left behind and funeral arrangements will be taken care of.   This is advantageous especially for those with young families and small business owners who do not have the extra means to invest in extensive life insurance policies.

Term life insurance typically holds no cash value; its function is only to offer protection for a designated time period.  If the insurer dies even one day after the policies expiration date no payout is to be given.  Most insurance companies will offer renewal options but under certain conditions, such as insurability.  This basically means that the insurance company will only renew the policy as long as the policy holder has not already been deemed terminally ill. Other companies might offer different packages which will allow a person to renew their policy without proof of insurability.  There is also the option to convert a term policy into a permanent one.  This is especially useful if someone does become ill and will not be able to renew their current policy.  Another scenario is often times the permanent insurance premium becomes less expensive compared to the original termed policy due to its maturing age.  Calculation of rates for term life insurance is the same as permanent life insurance.  The difference is in the payout.  With term life insurance the benefit paid after death is usually lower than with other types of insurance.  This is mostly based on the unlikelihood of the policy being paid out.  This helps to keep the premium cost down as well, giving available options for coverage to those on a tighter budget.

Term life insurance is not any better or worse than other types of coverage.  When deciding on which package is the right one, a person must first recognize their individual needs and financial situation.  Taking on a 10 year term policy that is guaranteed to be maintainable within the current budget might be the better option to purchasing a premium benefit that might cause financial damage in the long run.

What is Permanent Insurance? (Canada)

Many people who buy life insurance while understanding the value really don’t know the types and what makes them different. The two basic types of life insurance in Canada are permanent insurance and temporary insurance. Temporary insurance may be better known as it is necessary for some transactions such mortgage financing or as part of a group policy. These types of policies tend to have a pre-determined period of protection.

Permanent insurance on the other hand is meant to protect you for a lifetime. Once the premium payments are being made, your coverage is intact. This type of insurance can also be divided into categories like universal life and participating life. A universal life plan carries a cash saving component, which, depending on the value can eventually cover payments for the policy sometimes in part or fully. This is an important factor in the event that the insured party encounters financial difficulties.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Permanent Insurance

The suitability of this type of policy will depend on the individual’s situation. Many people buy this type of insurance for the following reasons:

  • To ensure that loved ones can continue to enjoy a good standard of living if they die. The benefits can also help to cover taxes and other costs associated with death and burial.
  • Some types have cash value which can be used to help finance your retirement or a child’s college tuition or even pay for a well-deserved vacation.
  • Some permanent insurance policies have tax advantages that can result in increased benefits to loved ones or a charity of your choice.
  • Providing collateral for a consumer loan. Some lending agencies will use a percentage of the cash surrender value of the policy as loan collateral.
  • Level payment, that is, the starting premium is normally what is paid over the life of the policy. Other policies such as term life have variable premiums, which sometimes change when the policy is renewed.
  • Payment terms are flexible so premiums can be paid monthly, annually or in lump sum.
  • Some policies can include a rider so that the coverage can be increased without the need for another medical examination.

As can be expected, it is not all roses when it comes to permanent insurance. There are a few disadvantages to this type of policy, with the main ones being:

  • The premium necessary to buy enough permanent insurance may be a bit steep, especially if the buyer is over a certain age. It is generally more expensive than other types of insurance policies.
  • If the policy is cashed in or terminated prematurely, there could be a penalty, plus it could have been cheaper to buy a term life policy.
  • The cash value earnings tend to be less than if you invested for yourself. Insurance companies tend to choose low risk options when investing funds.

The amount of coverage purchased should be dependent on your age, income and of course the size of the family and ages of dependents. This is important since the benefits are meant primarily to provide funds to your dependents if you die. Older dependents generally have fewer financial needs after college and the need for permanent insurance from an insured point of view is less. It is important to bear in mind that premium payments are also influenced by the amount of coverage you purchase, your age and overall health.

Almost everyone will need to get some form of insurance, especially if they have a family. Before buying permanent insurance, it is important to speak to an insurance advisor to get help deciding on which type of policy you will need. An advisor will offer guidance on the ideal amount of coverage based on your situation and income level.