Immigrants in Canada can get insurance through a variety of private and public companies. Canada also has a number of insurance companies that cater to businesspeople, students, and visitors on a temporary basis. You will need to be familiar with the principles that govern insurance in Canada if you plan to immigrate there. In comparison to many other nations, Canada, like the majority of western economies, is somewhat stringent when it comes to insurance. For instance, if you own a car in Canada, you are required to have vehicle insurance or face a fine.
In addition to some of the mandatory insurance types, it is recommended that you enroll in the basic insurance plans for ease of living. The majority of these insurances are already in place and funded by the taxes you and other Canadians pay. In order to meet certain requirements, you may also need to sign up for private insurance. As a result, many insurance companies in Canada are willing to insure immigrants, including students, as well as their property.
You will gain a better understanding of the various types of insurance available in Canada, what they cover, and the eligibility requirements for each.
Insurance Options Available to Immigrants in Canada
1. Personal Insurance
In Canada, there are six different types of personal insurance, and immigrants or temporary residents (visitors, students, and workers) can choose to cover any or all of them.
Insurance on life: Although life insurance will not in any way bring the deceased back to life, it will ensure that the beneficiary you have designated receives a predetermined insurance payment upon your death. This lump sum payment is tax-free and made all at once.
Insurance for the Unable: If you become ill or injured and are unable to work for any length of time, you can get disability benefits from Canadian insurance. The purpose of the payment is to make up for lost income during times when you are unable to work. In most cases, disability insurance pays out on a monthly basis and will cover things like heart attacks, severe injuries, and the loss of a body part.
Accidental Death Insurance: Critical illness insurance will make you a beneficiary of a certain amount of money that will be paid out at once in the event that you are diagnosed with a serious medical condition like cancer or any other serious illness. You cannot be diagnosed until after you have applied for the policy in order to be covered by this insurance; i.e., it doesn’t work for people who already have a medical condition, except in very rare instances. Also, you won’t get paid until you’ve been cured of your illness for 15 to 30 days after the diagnosis.
Caregiving insurance: You can use the money from this kind of insurance to pay for either public or private long-term care that you will probably need because you are getting older or ill. Enrolling in a mentally ill nursing home or an elderly care facility is an example of long-term care that is covered by insurance.
Insurance for Health: Canada’s public health insurance will be available to you once you become a permanent resident. Canada’s public health insurance is not uniform, and what it covers varies by province. However, once you apply for insurance, you should anticipate receiving free medical consultations, diagnostic tests, and hospitalization.
The Public Health Insurance program in Canada does not cover these kinds of services:
- Prescription drugs
- Dental and eye examinations
- Ambulance services
- Visits to counselors, psychologists, or physiotherapists
- Cosmetic surgeries
You will need to wait up to three months to receive your health insurance card and begin receiving all benefits after applying for insurance. During the waiting period, it is best to purchase private health insurance to cover yourself and your family (especially for newcomers and holders of supervisa). If you care for young children or the elderly, who are more likely to experience health issues, interim private health insurance is even more important. Even if you don’t have private health insurance, your province or territory’s emergency medical services will be able to handle any situation that arises during your waiting period.
You might get some kind of health insurance at work from time to time. Read their plan carefully to find out how much you can get out of it and find out if members of your family will also be benefited.
2. Private Health Insurance
Additional or extended insurance is another name for this. You will be able to receive all services in your province or territory that are not covered by public insurance if you sign up for private health insurance. Private health insurance will also cover all of the care you’ll need in another province if you need it while you’re not in your home province.
It is best to enroll in private health insurance designed specifically for visitors and newcomers to Canada because you will not have access to public health insurance upon arrival in Canada. You can proceed to inform the insurance company you have chosen that you want to provide a plan for people who do not yet have an insurance health card or OHIP.
The majority of private health insurance plans do not cover all of your likely medical expenses. However, you can select the plan that best meets your potential requirements by going through each plan.
3. Car Insurance for immigrants in Canada
Having no car insurance when you own a vehicle is a crime in Canada, regardless of whether you are a Canadian or an immigrant, and failing to do so could result in a fine. Auto insurance covers liabilities and bodily injuries in all provinces and territories. You may need additional private car insurance depending on how comprehensive the insurance in your province or territory is.
- Insurance for Public Cars: Liabilities like these are covered by your province’s auto insurance:
- Health care costs for people who might be hurt in an accident caused by your car.
- Damage to property
The insurance also covers your medical bills in the event of an injury and compensates you for any temporary or permanent loss of income while you were being treated.
Your vehicle’s damages in an accident are not covered by the public car insurance in Canada.
Private auto insurance or additional coverage: You can join other insurance plans like collision and comprehensive insurance. If you hit something while driving, including another vehicle, collision insurance covers the cost of having your vehicle fixed or replaced. If your car is damaged by fire, vandalism, or theft, comprehensive insurance will cover you. Theft of your vehicle-related possessions or damage to them as a result of an accident are not covered by comprehensive insurance.
Factors That Can Increase Your Car Insurance Premium In Canada
There is no set price for car insurance. Instead, insurance companies look at a number of different things to figure out how much you will pay. They consist of:
Driving Documents: if you have a criminal record or have been in an accident before. Your premium might be higher.
Type of vehicle: You will be charged according to the kind of vehicle you have because different vehicles have different costs for maintenance and repairs.
Driving Habits: If your workplace is closer to your home, you might pay less than if you have to drive miles to get there. The number of times per week you use your vehicle will also impact your premium. This is because the more time you spend driving, the more likely you are to get into accidents, and your car needs more maintenance.
4. Employment Insurance (EI)
The Canadian Employment Insurance offers a covering of financial assistance to Canadian residents and citizens who have lost their jobs because of any of the following:
- Layoffs and retrenchments
- Labor shortage
- Seasonal employment
You can apply for EI immediately after you gain employment in Canada. This can be done online or by visiting the closest Service Canada Center to you. If you don’t have an EI before you lose your job, you may still apply within 4 weeks of unemployment or you lose all the benefits of the insurance. To be a beneficiary of any compensation from the Employment Insurance, you must have:
- Held a position is a valid Canadian job
- Lost your job and be without pay for a 7-day stretch
- Lost your job with no fault on your part
- Been looking out for a new job while you applied for the EI claim
- Prepared to resume work as soon as you get a new employment
You do not qualify for EI if you:
- Were fired from your former job
- Left of your own will
- Partook in labor disputes such as strikes
- Are in jail
If you qualify for Canadian Employment Insurance, you will be paid 55% of your weekly earnings (before you lost your job) per week. You can receive up to a maximum of C$543 per week and a maximum total of C$51,300 per year. You may continue to receive Employment Insurance payments for up to 45 weeks depending on the rate of unemployment in your locality which will determine how long you’ll wait before getting another job. All amounts you receive from the EI are taxable and this will automatically be deducted from what you are paid weekly.
5. Travel Insurance
When you get travel insurance, it will be able to cover any emergency that occurs while you are traveling (especially out of Canada). Such emergency includes:
- Medical emergencies during your journey or while you are at your travel destination. Your travel insurance can cover expenses involved for up to $10,000,000.
- Flight accidents. This can be covered for up to $25,000
- Canceled or interrupted trips. For every trip insured, you get a covering of up to $6,000
- Baggage loss or damage. This can be covered for up to $3,000
- Baggage delays. This can be covered for up to $1,500
- Inconveniences caused by terrorism in your travel destination can be covered for up to $35,000,000.
Your province or territory can help you get travel insurance in Canada. When you get your government-issued health insurance card, you will be eligible to apply. Your travel or work and study visa will make you eligible for a variety of affordable travel insurance policies if you are only a visitor to Canada or a student. These types of travel insurance are adaptable and enable you to select from a variety of travel-related emergencies that will be covered while you are still in the nation.
Social Insurance Number for Immigrants
Every person who has been acknowledged as a resident or citizen of Canada is required to have a unique 9-digit Social Insurance Number (SIN). In order to obtain insurance, use government facilities, pay taxes, and find employment, you will need the SIN. The application for the Social Insurance Number is completely free. You can do this online or by sending a letter to Service Canada. Within 20 days of submitting your application, you will receive a response.
If you forget your unique SIN, you can easily find it on any of the following documents:
- Any of your tax slips (T4s)
- Your income tax return
- Your record of employment
You can request your SIN from your employer, who also has handy access to it. You will be able to apply for any kind of public or private insurance with your Social Security Number.
Simply entering a few relevant keywords into your search engine is all it takes to locate a Canadian insurance provider. You might want to use insurance brokers or work directly with an insurance company. Make sure you read the terms and conditions of the insurance plan you choose carefully, regardless of which option you choose. Before signing up for their insurance package, make sure you get enough clarification from the company if you have any questions about any of the conditions.
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