Having insurance coverage reduces the potential of financial loss from unanticipated events such as property damage, theft, illness or loss of life. An insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. These policies work by having you pay a fee called a premium. In exchange, the insurance company agrees to pay you an amount as determined by the policy if the unanticipated event occurs during the term of your policy.

There are many different types of insurance available including:

  • Automobile Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • House Insurance
  • Tenant Insurance
  • Mortgage Insurance
  • Travel Insurance
  • Credit Balance Insurance
  • Additional Health Insurance

The decision to take out an insurance policy depends on your individual circumstances and needs. Some insurance policies are mandatory. For example, each province and territory requires vehicle owners to have at least some basic vehicle insurance, but the majority of other types of insurance are optional. Take some time to review your personal circumstances and think about potential situations when you could face financial loss or damages. If you cannot afford the loss or damage, then you may want to do research and consider taking out an insurance policy.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) offers reliable and useful insurance information in Understanding Insurance Basics, an online publication that provides descriptions of some of the most common types of insurance, what is involved in taking out a policy, and what to do if you need to make a complaint. Topics covered include:

Home and property insurance: This type of insurance pays for damage to or loss of your home or property. It can also protect against damage, theft or loss of your personal possessions and may cover damage or injury to others who visit your home or property, pay for accidental damage you cause to others’ property or cover personal property stolen from your vehicle. This type of insurance is usually required as a condition of getting a mortgage. Check out the tips and information provided by the FCAC.

Mortgage insurance: This type of insurance is available to cover you if you are unable to pay your mortgage payments for reasons such as illness, accident or death. Check out the tips and information provided by the FCAC.

Life insurance: This type of insurance policy pays a cash benefit to your beneficiaries when you die. The amount of money for which you are insured and the type of insurance you buy depends on your needs. Check out the tips and information provided by the FCAC.

Home rental (tenant) insurance: This type of insurance protects you against damage to, or loss of, your possessions if you rent or lease your apartment or home from someone else. It may protect you against damage caused to other tenants for which you are responsible (e.g. water damage from a broken water heater). It may also cover personal property stolen from your vehicle. Check out the tips and information provided by the FCAC.

Vehicle insurance: Auto insurance is mandatory if you own a vehicle. All Canadian provinces and territories require drivers to have at least liability and accident benefits/bodily injury coverage. Check out the tips and information provided by the FCAC.

Health insurance: Canada ensures all Canadians have access to medical services in any part of the country, but it doesn’t cover everything. There is a variety of health insurance products available that could help you pay for services that your regular health care plan does not cover; supplement your income if you suffer a major illness or severe injury; and pay for your medical expenses if you become ill while on vacation, for example. Check out the tips and information provided by the FCAC.

Travel insurance: If you have health insurance, property insurance or vehicle insurance, you may be covered while you are travelling. Your credit card may offer baggage, medical and other types of insurance. By reviewing what coverage you already have, you can determine what additional insurance you may want to get before leaving home. The “Travel” section of this Handbook provides helpful information on travel insurance.

Credit protection insurance:  This type of insurance makes the minimum monthly payments on a credit card, loan, line of credit or other debt for a specified time if you cannot work due to severe injury or illness. You will still be responsible for paying the balance when you recover or after the coverage period ends. Check out the tips and information provided by the FCAC.

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

6th Floor
427 Laurier Avenue West

Ottawa, Ontario  K1R 1B9

Telephone: 613-996-5454
Toll Free: 1-866-461-FCAC (3222)
Phone (TTY): 1-866-914-6097
Fax: 613-941-1436


Provincial and Territorial Consumer Affairs Offices


Service Alberta, Consumer Contact Centre
3rd Floor Commerce Place
10155-102 Street

Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4L4

Telephone: 780-427-4088
Toll Free: 1-877-427-4088


British Columbia

Consumer Protection BC
#307-3450 Uptown Blvd
PO Box 9244

Victoria, British Columbia  V8W 9J2

Telephone: 604-320-1667
Toll Free: 1-888-564-9963
Fax: 250-920-7181



Consumer Protection Office, Manitoba Justice
302-258 Portage Avenue

Winnipeg, Manitoba  R3C 0B6

Telephone: 204-945-3800
Toll Free: 1-800-782-0067
Fax: 204-945-0728


New Brunswick

Financial and Consumer Services Commission
225 King Street, Suite 200

Fredericton, New Brunswick  E3B 1E1

Toll Free: 1-866-933-2222
Fax: 506-444-4494


Newfoundland and Labrador

Service NL
PO Box 8700

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador  A1B 4J6

Telephone: 709-729-2600
Toll Free: 1-877-968-2600
Fax: 709-729-6998


Northwest Territories

Consumer Affairs, Department of Municipal and Community Affairs
5201-50th Avenue, Suite 600
PO Box 1320

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories  X1A 2L9

Telephone: 867-767-9161 ext 21022
Fax: 867-873-0309


Nova Scotia

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, Public Enquiries
Mail Room, 8 South
Maritime Centre
1505 Barrington Street

Halifax, Nova Scotia  B3J 3K5

Telephone: 902-424-5200
Toll Free: 1-800-670-4357
Fax: 902-424-0720



Consumer Affairs, Department of Community and Government Services
3090 – 9th Street
P.O. Box 440

Baker Lake, Nunavut  X0C 0A0

Telephone: 867-793-3303
Toll Free: 1-866-223-8139
Fax: 867-793-3321



Consumer Protection Ontario, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Box 450
1201 Wilson Ave, Station A

Toronto, Ontario  M3M 1J8

Telephone: 416-326-8800
Toll Free: 1-800-889-9768
Phone (TTY): 416-229-6086
Phone (TTY) 2: 1-877-666-6545
Fax: 416-326-8665


Prince Edward Island

Consumer Services, Department of Justice and Public Safety
Shaw Building, 4th Floor
95 Rochford Street
PO Box 2000

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island  C1A 7N8

Telephone: 902-368-4580
Telephone: 902-368-4550
Toll Free: 1-800-658-1799
Fax: 902-368-5283



Office de la protection du consommateur
400 Jean-Lesage Boulevard, Suite 450

Québec, Quebec  G1K 8W4

Telephone: 418-643-1484
Toll Free: 1-888-672-2556
Fax: 418-528-0976



Consumer Services, Department of Community Services
307 Black Street

Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 2N1

Telephone: 867-667-5111
Toll Free: 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5111
Fax: 867-667-3609