TD Insurance report unveils insurance urban legends

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TORONTO, Aug. 9, 2011 – Are teenage boys in fast red cars more expensive to insure than soccer moms in minivans? Is it true that you only need travel insurance if you’re vacationing outside of Canada? A new report by TD Insurance has found that many Canadians are putting themselves, their families and their assets at risk by making misinformed decisions about their insurance based on hearsay and insurance urban legends.

When it comes to making significant decisions regarding insurance products and services, 63% of Canadians don’t go to an insurance provider, but instead ask their friends, family or colleagues for advice (25%), rely on searching the Internet (33%), or simply go with their gut (4%).

“Doing your own research online and asking friends for advice about insurance is certainly a good starting point, but if you rely solely on these sources, then you may encounter some issues down the track,” says Henry Blumenthal, Vice President & Chief Underwriter, TD Insurance. “A reliable source can clarify any mistruths and ensure you understand your coverage to avoid any costly headaches in the event that something unexpected happens.”

Part two of the TD Insurance 2011 State of Insurance Report delves into Canadians’ knowledge of popular insurance products. Blumenthal and TD Insurance Vice President Dave Minor provide their commentary on the report’s key findings, unveiling the insurance urban legends and providing advice on how Canadians can better protect the things that matter to them:

Myth: Red cars are more expensive to insure

Many Canadians think auto insurance premiums are more expensive for red (29%) and two-door (54%) cars. And almost half (48%) think that if you’re in an auto accident your insurance rates won’t go up if you don’t file a claim. None of these statements are true.

“Most people may not know it, but the insurance industry is colour-blind. It doesn’t matter if your car is blue, red, striped or chequered, your insurance rate for that make, model, and age of the vehicle will be the same,” says Blumenthal. “There are so many factors that make up the formula for auto insurance premiums. For example, a mom who lives in the city centre and drives to work each day may actually be more expensive to insure than a 28-year-old man who lives in a suburb and catches the bus to work.”

Myth: If you file a claim through home insurance for stolen or damaged items due to fire or water damage, you will be reimbursed for replacing the items in your home at today’s prices

Sixty-three percent of Canadians wrongly believe they will be reimbursed at today’s prices if they file a home insurance claim for stolen or damaged items.

“A standard home policy only covers you for the value of your contents, less depreciation. For example, if you purchased a television five years ago for $500, you might only get $100 for it if it were destroyed in a fire even if it costs $600 to replace that same TV today,” says Blumenthal. “If you want a higher form of protection you should choose to add the Replacement Value option to your contents coverage, which will ensure the contents of your home are insured for the amount it costs to replace them today.”

Myth: You only need travel insurance if you’re vacationing outside of Canada

One quarter of Canadian adults (28%) think that you only need travel insurance if you travel outside of Canada, and almost half (48%) have travelled outside of their home province without it.

“Getting sick or injured while on vacation isn’t only bad timing, it’s very expensive. Provincial medical coverage won’t provide comprehensive coverage if you’re outside of your home province, so it’s important that you ensure you’re covered even when you’re travelling domestically,” says Minor. “And when it comes to international travel, many Canadians don’t realize that the average out-of-country in-hospital bill can cost up to $10,000 per day, and the average emergency room visit is $1,000.”

Top features Canadian travellers shouldn’t budge on in their travel insurance policies include 24/7 assistance, more than $1 million of emergency medical coverage, and expense coverage if you need to be flown home for medical care.

To test your knowledge on insurance coverage, complete the TD Insurance Urban Legends Quiz:


True or False?

  • Getting a parking ticket means your insurance rates will go up.

    False: If that was the case, we’d all be singing the blues. Parking tickets do not count against your driving record or your insurance.

  • Installing a home security system can reduce your home insurance premiums.

    True: Believe it or not some upgrades to your home, like taking extra security measures, can actually decrease your premiums.

  • Life insurance is only useful for people who have children.

    False: Life insurance should be an integral part of everyone’s financial planning, and at minimum should cover funeral costs. One of the advantages of thinking about it sooner is that it can be more affordable since premiums are based on life expectancy which naturally decreases over time.

  • If you’re in a car accident but don’t file a claim, your insurance premiums won’t go up.

    False: If your insurance company finds out you were in an accident, they can raise your rates whether you made a claim or not. You may not have told your insurance provider about the accident, but the other person in the collision may be filing a claim.

  • You may be liable if a contractor is injured while working on your property.

    True: It is your responsibility to ensure that workers on your property are covered. If they aren’t, you may be held liable and have to deal with a very costly settlement.

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About the TD Insurance 2011 State of Insurance Report

TD Insurance commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct a custom online survey of 1,000 Canadian adults. Results were collected between March 5 – 13th, 2011.

About TD Insurance

TD Bank Group’s insurance companies and operations carry on business under the TD Insurance brand. TD Insurance offers a wide range of products to help protect clients from the ‘accidents of life’ including credit protection, life, health, travel, home and auto insurance. With more than three million clients, TD Insurance authorized products and services are available through a network of more than 1,000 TD Canada Trust branches, the Internet and telephone. The TD Insurance brands include TD Insurance Credit Protection and TD Insurance Life and Health, which are the number one provider of critical illness insurance and direct life and health premium origination in Canada. And through its TD Insurance Meloche Monnex and TD Insurance Home and Auto brands, TD Insurance is the largest direct-response insurance group in the country. For more information, visit