Canadians economical…with the truth

By Vikram Barhat | April 27, 2011 | Last updated on April 27, 2011
2 min read

Canadians are fibbing, fudging and fabricating facts when filling out insurance application, according to a report released by TD Insurance today.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents were found to be the biggest offenders, the report said. They may be among the most insured in the country, but are also the least likely to think honesty is the best policy when it comes to applying for insurance coverage.

“Our poll uncovered some really eye-opening information,” said Henry Blumenthal, vice-president and chief underwriter, TD Insurance. “Whether intentional or not, failing to disclose important information to your insurance provider can put your insurance coverage at risk.”

He stressed it’s very important for investors to be honest so as to help their advisor recommend the best policy for their specific needs and personal circumstances.

“Insurance should give you peace of mind,” he said. “If you feel uncertain or have questions, it’s always best to check with your insurer.”

The survey noted that residents of Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the most likely (17% versus 13% nationally) to admit they have purposely lied or omitted important facts.

B.C. residents (16%) were found to be second most likely in the country to put their family and finances at risk by purposely lying or omitting important facts when filling out an insurance application.

Fourteen percent of Ontarians admitted they didn’t reveal some important facts while Albertans and Atlantic Canadians (13% each) were found to be the least likely in the country to have acted with insurance related mendacity.

The survey also found there was considerable lack of knowledge among Canadians of what their insurance policy covers.

Atlantic Canadians (35%) were found to be the most ignorant about the scope of their insurance coverage, followed by those from Manitoba and Saskatchewan (34%), Alberta (30%) and Ontario (25%). B.C. residents were found to be the most likely in the country to read their insurance policy very closely, but 23% admitted they are not sure what they are covered for in their policy.

“While it’s unrealistic to know your policy line by line, the basics of your coverage shouldn’t be a mystery,” said Blumenthal. “It’s important to understand what’s covered by your insurance; it can save you from costly headaches in the event that something unexpected happens.”

Blumenthal strongly recommends clients take a few minutes to review their policy and ensure they understand it.

These findings are one of the two parts of the TD Insurance 2011 State of Insurance Report series which aims to identify Canadians’ understanding of, and attitudes towards insurance. The second part of the series, which deals with Canadians’ habits and knowledge of specific insurance products, will be released in the third quarter of 2011.

Vikram Barhat