Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

March 24, 2011 12:30 ET

Understanding Insurance Basics: A New Resource

FCAC publishes guide to help consumers explore the world of insurance

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 24, 2011) - The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is officially launching its new publication, Understanding Insurance Basics.

This publication provides a definition of insurance, and explains how it works and why we might need it.

"Insurance is an important part of financial planning, but the field may sometimes be daunting," says FCAC Commissioner Ursula Menke. "This new publication is a starting point for your research: it describes the most common types of insurance, what you should know before you buy insurance and how to file a complaint." It also provides a glossary of insurance terminology. "This publication helps Canadian consumers make informed decisions about insurance."

FCAC stresses that before you buy insurance, you should:

  1. Shop around.

  2. Compare the products, not just the prices.

  3. Read the policies and conditions that apply carefully and make sure you understand what is covered and what is not.

  4. Reassess your insurance needs at major milestones in your life—for example, when you buy a new property or become a parent.

"The main purpose is to help Canadian consumers understand that they should identify their insurance needs before buying insurance," explained the Commissioner. "The decision will depend on your personal circumstances and what stage you are at in your life. For example, it would be wise to buy travel medical insurance for frequent travel outside Canada. Auto insurance is mandatory if you own a car. There are many insurance products on the market, which cover different types of risks. It all depends on you, your needs and your circumstances."

Understanding Insurance Basics is posted under Publications at the following address:

About FCAC

With educational materials and interactive tools, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) provides objective information about financial products and services to help Canadians increase their financial knowledge and confidence in managing their personal finances. FCAC informs consumers about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with banks and federally regulated trust, loan and insurance companies. FCAC also makes sure that federally regulated financial institutions, payment card network operators and external complaints bodies comply with legislation and industry commitments intended to protect consumers.

You can reach us through the FCAC Consumer Contact Centre by calling toll-free 1-866-461-3222 (TTY: 613-947-7771 or 1-866-914-6097) or by visiting our website:

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