Bridging the Gaps in New Canadians’ Insurance Literacy

March 25, 2024

Sarah Montalba—Marketing & Administration Coordinator, IBAO

In a dynamic and culturally diverse province like Ontario, there’s a need to address the challenges newcomers face in understanding the intricacies of Personal Lines insurance. New Canadians can find themselves struggling to navigate the unfamiliar terrain of obtaining insurance—language barriers, a lack of accessible information and processes that differ from their home countries can create significant barriers.

Through IBAO’s DEI Committee, we’re assessing the hurdles and stipulations. We’ve identified the importance of empowering newcomers with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions about mandatory coverage like auto insurance.

A Growing Need 

Ontario is poised to welcome an increased number of newcomers—the federal government projects over 500,000 people arriving annually by 2025. The economic contribution of skilled workers, often dependent on car mobility in Ontario, highlights the essential need for access to auto insurance.

Inspired by successful initiatives from Canadian banks aimed at newcomers, our DEI Committee seeks to replicate and adapt these efforts within the insurance industry. Aligning with FSRA’s emphasis on consumer education can contribute to a reduction in insurance fraud while protecting consumers who might be vulnerable to making illegitimate purchases.

Project Focus and Goals  

Our primary objective is improving Personal Lines insurance for New Canadians, ensuring individuals and families can confidently navigate the insurance landscape in Ontario by:

  1. Developing clearly communicated, accessible content explaining the process of obtaining personal insurance in Ontario.
  2. Translating content into various languages to cater to diverse demographics.
  3. Distributing educational materials online and in print across IBAO-managed and partnering brokerage platforms.
  4. Hosting information sessions in the Greater Toronto Area featuring multilingual brokers to connect directly with the community.

Ensuring Impact 

This new initiative is set to unfold over the course of two years, beginning this Spring. From committee selection and content definition to the distribution of educational assets and brokerage-hosted information sessions, each phase is strategically mapped out to maximize impact and reach.

By enhancing the financial literary of New Canadians in Personal Lines insurance, we’re empowering underrepresented populations and moving closer to our goal of creating an inclusive and informed insurance industry in Ontario.

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