Frequently Asked Insurance Questions

Find frequently asked questions specific to insurance, the insurance process and First Foundation Insurance.

What is the purpose of an insurance broker?

Insurance brokers work as a liaison and transaction facilitator between the client and the insurer. They are not employed by the insurer. A insurance broker does the hard part of obtaining insurance for you: they search for the insurance product that will best suit your needs, and obtain the best insurance rate for you based on your specific situation.

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Who does First Foundation Insurance work for?

First Foundation Insurance works for you, the insured! None of our associates are employed by any insurer or third party. What’s even better is that the insurer who provides your insurance will pay us, so our services mean no fees for you!

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What does First Foundation Insurance charge?

Nothing. First Foundation is paid a finder’s fee by the insurer that we place your insurance policy with - not you the insured. Our compensation is affected mostly by the amount of the insurance premium. 99% of time time we do not charge our clients a fee. Occasionally, however, we may need to charge a fee, but only with full disclosure in advance.

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Who are our insurance clients?

First Foundation’s personal home and auto insurance clients are generally people who have a strong income (whether they are self-employed or conventionally employed) and strong credit. They carry a low-risk profile and own good homes and vehicles. They tend to be individuals that understand value and are interested in saving money and receiving incredible service.

Our commercial insurance clients are typically small to medium sized, Alberta-based businesses. Whether they are start up businesses seeking comprehensive business coverage and value the expertise of insurance professionals or established companies looking to enhance and optimize their current commercial insurance policies, First Foundation Insurance is happy to help.

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What do all these insurance-y words mean?

If you would like to gain a better understanding of any of the insurance terms used on our website or by the associates i our office, please visit our insurance glossary or simply ask us - we’re happy to explain them to you!

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How much life insurance do I need?

There is no basic formula to determine how much life insurance one needs. The strategy most life insurance advisors use is to determine how much money will be required by your loved ones to maintain their current lifestyle in the event of your death. Taking a look at your family’s current budget and future expenses is important - mortgage payments, child care, monthly living expenses, insurance, education planning are just a few factors to consider. Talk with a life insurance advisor now.>>

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How long does it take to complete a home insurance transaction?

It depends on how quickly you provide us with the information and documentation regarding the property we request. After the quote process, we will start an application that will need to be reviewed and signed, with forms attached. All can be done over the phone, email and fax to be more efficient. Start to finish, the process can take as little as 30 minutes to a full business day to complete - depending on the number of property locations, items to be insured, and, again, how quickly you provide us with the necessary information and documentation.

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How long does it take to complete a car insurance transaction?

It depends on how quickly you provide us with the information and documentation regarding the vehicles we request. Once the quote is completed, the application process will require a signed application and payment information. All can be done over the phone, email and fax to be more efficient. Start to finish, the process will take approximately 30 minutes to a full business day to complete - depending on the number of drivers, vehicles, and again how quickly you provide us with the necessary information.

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What should I do if I am in a car accident?

Breathe and stay calm - and DO NOT admit fault! In the event of any injuries or if there is combined damage to the vehicle estimated to be over $2000.. Collect the other parties information, including their name, address, phone number, license plate, insurance policy information, and vehicle details. If possible, take pictures of any damage. Complete a police report if necessary. Your next step is to call your insurance broker to set up a claim with your insurance company and to arrange for a replacement vehicle, if your coverage allows.

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How often should I have my insurance policies reviewed?

Every year! Taking advantage of First Foundation Insurance’s annual renewal review ensure that your insurance policies stay up to date with the latest coverages and limits - as well as keeping up to date with the most competitive rates on the market.

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Do I need to have photos or receipts for all major items in my home?

Yes, this is best. In the event of a loss, you will be asked to make a list of your possessions and provide an estimation for their value. Obviously, if you have original sales receipts for large or high value items this provides the best proof. In order to speed up the time it takes to settle a claim, having photos of your personal possessions can also be helpful. Creating a list or inventory of your personal belongs is a great thing to do, as often things can be missed or forgotten. Be sure to keep this inventory list in a location that will be easily accessible in the event of a loss.

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Why do I need disability insurance? I'm healthy.

That is great, that’s exactly why you need it. You can really only get coverage if you are reasonably healthy. Health conditions diagnosed later on may prevent you from getting approved for coverage. According to the Canadian Life & Health Insurance Association, 1 in 3 Canadians will suffer a disability that will make them unable to work for 90 days or more prior to age 65.

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Isn't my disability coverage with work good enough?

If you are lucky enough to have any coverage through work, that is certainly a great start. We recommend you review your employee benefits carefully, however, so that you can fully understand the coverage that is provided to you. Many policies have a maximum amount that is often not enough to cover your needs in the event of a disability. Many policies also only provide disability benefits for a specific period of time, some timeframes can be as short as 2 years under "own occupation" coverage. This means that you could be forced to find a new job after 2 years if you cannot return to your old job and the insurance company deems you to be able to resume working.

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I have Workers Compensation Coverage, why do I need anything else?

WCB benefits are only available to you if you are injured at work, performing your occupational duties. Therefore it only really covers you for a quarter of the time, and not at all for illness or sickness.

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Can't I just apply for Employment Insurance?

EI may be possible to claim, but after a 2 week waiting period, it pays for a maximum of 15 weeks. The maximum weekly payment amount is also quite low, as of 2015 it is $524/week before tax. (Yes, you still have to pay income tax on this benefit.)

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How much does disability insurance cost?

The cost for a disability plan will depend on a number of factors. One of our licensed agent will be able to get some quotes for you based on your age, occupation, income, gender, and smoking status. Get in touch with a First Foundation Insurance broker to discuss your ideal disability plan.

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What is Life Insurance?

Life insurance is a type of insurance that pays a Tax-Free Benefit to a chosen beneficiary upon the death of an insured individual.

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What are the different types of life insurance?

Although there are many variations of life insurance available today, there are really two types of life insurance. The first type is term (Temporary), and the second is permanent (Lifetime).

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What is term insurance?

Term insurance is designed to provide life insurance protection for a specific length of time, usually 5, 10, or 20 years.

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What is permanent insurance?

Permanent insurance is designed to provide life protection for as long as you live. Permanent life insurance comes in many forms, Universal Life, Term to 100 and Whole Life are the most common options. This insurance provides insurance protection for your entire life at a level cost. Some permanent insurance polices can offer accelerated payment options so as to avoid paying premiums forever, while still providing lifetime insurance protection.

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Which type of life insurance is the best?

It really depends on your individual needs. The biggest factors are the amount of coverage you require and for how long you will need it. The best way to determine this is through a consultation with your life insurance specialist.

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I have Mortgage Insurance from the bank. Isn’t that good enough?

While the mortgage insurance from the bank is a start, it certainly is not a very solid insurance option. This type of insurance only pays off the mortgage balance upon death, and decreases in value every month, just like your mortgage balance. It is important to

understand that this insurance can be substituted with your own individual term policy with a fixed price and fixed payout for the entire term of the mortgage. This is a much better option. Talk to First Foundation today, for a complete explanation.

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Does my benefits package at work cover me for life insurance?

While most employee benefits packages include life insurance, the coverage is usually very low (usually 1 or 2 times your annual earnings). This may not provide adequate coverage and your plan may be changed at any time. The insurance protection ends if you change employers with no insurance protection, and no other options.

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Do I need to qualify for life insurance?

Yes, all life insurance companies require full medical disclosure at the time of application. Some will require urine, saliva or blood samples to test, while others will only require a paper application. It really depends on the amount of insurance protection needed.

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I have a medical condition, does this mean I will be declined?

Not necessarily, most insurance companies have the flexibility to accept clients without perfect health, although they sometimes require additional premiums to accept that risk. We have been able to insure clients with multiple sclerosis, diabetes (even insulin dependent), high blood pressure, and many other health conditions.

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What happens if the life insurance company goes bankrupt?

All of the insurance companies we deal with are protected against insolvency by Compcorp. Compcorp is an agency that guarantees at least a portion of each and every life insurance contract issued in Canada.

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Can I cancel my life insurance policy at a later date?

Yes, you can always cancel your insurance policy if you decide you no longer need the protection.

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I heard about some one using their life insurance to supplement their retirement, can this be done?

Yes, it is actually quite common. Many of our life insurance products have the cash values that can be accessed to supplement your retirement. Some people like this option since whatever is left in the policy is distributed tax-free upon death, unlike any other retirement funding options. This option is not for everybody, but for the right person it definitely has some advantages.

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Last updated Sep 7, 2017