An adviser can show you how to cover the losses you worry about most with insurance. Most people buy from one of these sources:
An insurance agent or broker:
What they sell: Most types of insurance, except property insurance. The good ones don’t just try to sell you something, they also put your interests first. They will help you work your insurance choices into your larger financial plan.
How they get paid: They often make money every time they sell a policy. In most cases, a life insurance agent works for just one company, while a broker can quote prices and tell you about products from a number of insurers. Prices are often similar.
Tip: Investment firms may also have a licensed broker on staff who can help you with life, health, and disability insurance.
A fee-based financial planner (with an insurance licence):
What they sell: Most types of insurance, except property insurance. They may also offer in-depth financial planning.
How they get paid: They most likely don’t make their money by selling you anything, but you do pay them a fee for their advice.
A workplace insurer offering a group plan:
What they sell: Some basic insurance and sometimes the option to buy more.
How they get paid: Your workplace pays for your basic insurance. If this is not enough, some group plans let you buy extra insurance for a low cost. Or, you may be able to upgrade your insurance coverage by trading off lower health or dental coverage.
Tip: To find out more, talk to the person in your company who manages your benefits. Just remember, this person is not an insurance expert. They will likely put you in touch with the insurance company that handles the group plan for your workplace.
A bank insurance specialist:
What they sell: Any type of insurance the bank offers, including simple life insurance and disability insurance, as well as travel and property insurance. Most people you will speak to at a bank are not licensed insurance agents, so the advice they offer may be limited.
How they get paid: They get a salary, so the overall cost of their insurance may be lower.
A property insurer:
What they sell: Mainly car and home insurance, although some now sell other products as well, such as life insurance.
How they get paid: They often make money every time they sell a policy.
Remember: Many different types of advisers sell insurance .
Match where you shop to the type of insurance you need.
To check if your broker is licensed to sell insurance in Ontario, use the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario’s Find a Broker tool.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.