Frequently asked questions

Email us your insurance questions at info@firstrateinsurance.com and we will do our best to provide you with an answer within 2 business days. Please note that your questions may be posted on our FAQ but we guarantee we will not disclose your personal information. All questions remain anonymous.

I have pre-existing conditions so isn’t it safer to purchase a policy with no medical questionnaire?
  • No, because claim denial is associated with all three types of policy structures: medical questionnaire, non-medical-questionnaire and change of health clause. With non-medical questionnaire, insurers insert potentially deleterious eligibility and exclusionary clauses. If you misinterpret or overlook them, the insurer can retroactively void your contract. You agree to terms contained in the policy wording when you pay your premium. With pre-existing conditions, it is best to seek the assistance of an experienced broker who will advise you as to what is covered and what is not. You may be eligible for a rider to cover unstable conditions.
What happens if I am diagnosed with a terminal condition after buying my policy
  • No coverage would be available under your plan if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness post purchase even if your physician confirms you can travel. With some insurers, if you have not travelled yet, you can cancel the plan for a full refund.
What happens if I forget to call to report a change of health before departure?
  • Typically, the majority of travel insurance plans may void your whole contract and decline all claims even if unrelated to the unreported health change.  We make a point avoiding plans with the "Change of Health" clause. With our recommended plans, if you forget to report a change of health, the specific condition is excluded but your plan remains in force to cover all other claims.
I have pre-existing conditions but my doctor says I’m stable. Can I get coverage?
  • Unfortunately, your doctor's definition of "stable" is not the same as an insurer's.  For example, if you stop or decrease a medication, that specific condition is now considered "unstable" by the insurer.  An experienced broker can assist you in meticulously reviewing your stability to determine if your pre-existing condition(s) will be covered or not.  If you don't meet the insurer's stability definition, you may be eligible to add a rider to cover "unstable" conditions.
Do I have to complete a questionnaire for Trip Cancellation/Interruption
  • Some insurers do require a medical questionnaire but we prefer the policies without it.  In addition a stability period prior to purchase applies to you and people around you who may cause you to cancel.  So be sure to ask how many days you all have to be stable prior to buying your coverage.  Unstable conditions will not be covered.
Can I buy travel insurance while outside my home province
  • No. This will VOID the contract even if you bought it direct on an insurer's website. You may be granted an exception, but it is not guaranteed.
Do I have to pay to use your services?
  • No. There are absolutely NO hidden COSTS, fees or service charge when shopping through our services. We are paid a commission by the insurance company you select.
Would it cost me less if I dealt directly with the insurance company?
  • No. This is a myth. Insurance companies would charge you the same price they advertise through us. Why restrict yourself to one company when we can quickly provide you with a survey of all insurance rates on the various life insurance products available in the marketplace?
Which insurance company do you recommend?
  • We shop the 60+ insurance companies and recommend the most competitive one for your age, health, etc.
I am concerned about the stability of insurers. what information do you provide in this regard?
  • On request, we provide an independent rating agency evaluation and background information of the recommended insurer.
Would my life insurance policy be honoured if the company went bankrupt?
  • If your insurance company is a member of COMPCORP, insureds are protected for an amount of up to $200,000 per insurance company.
What’s the true cost of paying monthly premiums instead of annually?
  • The effective interest rate for monthly financing is typically about 15%+. Although monthly premiums may be more convenient to budget, recognize that you are paying a lot more for this service. Want to know how much more? CLICK HERE to convert premiums from an annual to monthly mode.
Why is my wife’s Term Insurance cheaper than mine. We both purchased the same amount and we are the same age?
  • Life insurance is usually less expensive for women because they have 4 to 5 years longer life expectancy than men.
What is Critical Illness? Is it the same as Living Benefits? Are all policies the same?
  • Yes, Critical Illness is another term for Living Benefits. A Critical Illness policy pays a tax-free lump-sum of money 30 days after diagnosis of a covered illness. Terms, conditions and costs vary considerably among insurance companies. Having an insurance specialist's assistance to make accurate comparisons is highly advisable.
How do I know if I am eligible for Critical Illness?
  • Life insurance companies will want information about your personal AND family health history to determine eligibility. Some companies are stricter than others. The easiest is to contact one of our experts who will be able to advise you after completing an Insurability Checklist.
Why should I shop my mortgage insurance through your brokerage firm when I can easily buy it from my bank?
  • Why buy a Mortgage Insurance from a company who names itself as beneficiary of your policy? There are many additional disadvantages in buying your mortgage insurance through your bank. Please see our detailed information by clicking on our "Mortgage Insurance" link.
How does Bank Insurance Mortgage compare to an individual policy?
  • By shopping through our services, you will be able to buy a personally controlled individual policy with much better terms and conditions and at substantially lower cost than with a bank.
Will I need to submit medical evidence when I apply for Mortgage Insurance?
  • Yes, although your appointment can be easily scheduled at your own convenience in your home or office.
My agent tells me I cannot cancel the term insurance policy I just purchased or I will never be eligible for insurance again. Is this true?
  • First of all, a policyholder can cancel his policy at any time even after several years into the contract. However, if your health has deteriorated and you need insurance, it might not be advisable to cancel your policy unless you make sure you have preferable replacement coverage in place. If your health has declined drastically, you might indeed not be able to qualify again or the cost of insurance might be prohibitive.
Will you see the results of my medical tests?
  • No. The medical company who conducts the tests sends the information directly to the insurance company you selected. The insurance company will only come back to us with a rate without disclosing your medical conditions to us. For example, Preferred rate (which is the least expensive) is you are in excellent health with no adverse family history to rated or declined (if your medical results revealed a medical condition either personal or in your family). Even in the case of a rating or a decline, we do not see any of your test results. Only you can inform us about the details of your health.
What if I disagree with the insurance company’s rating?
  • We make it a practice to clarify and research any unsatisfactory results. To this end, we have our clients forward a Direction to the insurance company to release the lab results to their family doctor to obtain a second opinion. If the client's doctor contest the findings, we go back to bat to fight the insurance company's decision or we re-shop the plan with a different company.
Why should I buy a 15 Year Term if I only need insurance for 11 years?
  • Because of renewal cost! If you already know you need coverage for 11 years, a 10 Year Term would not cover your need. If you still wish to go for a 10 Year Term, beware of the renewal cost after the initial 10 year period comes to an end. It could be prohibitive depending on your age. Based on our experience, people tend to extend the period and even upgrade the face amounts to higher ones rather than the other way. This is why we often recommend a 20 Year Term. You can walk away from the policy if you really no longer need the insurance but at least you have pinned down the rate for 20 years, which means the company cannot walk away. It is better than facing a 300% renewal increase after 10 years. If your health has changed it can be costly!