A few financial / insurance sources on the web that I found useful:

One of the best starting points is an American site where you can find various tools, calculators, articles, and glossaries both on life and health insurance issues.
InsWeb - Life Insurance Online
InsWeb - Life Insurance Online
A few useful additional glossaries:
Insurance Glossary
Speaking Cool Insurance Terms
Glossary Index
Glossary of Insurance and Financial Planning Terms

How about financial terms? Are they always clear to you? You can find some answers to your basic financial questions here:
Glossary of Frequently Used Terms

It is important to understand terminology; one step further it is if you read some sources on the basic relationships among the terms you can get only the definition of in glossaries. A few good sources to start follow:
Insurance Basics
Life Basics
Family Needs Planner
Life insurance lowdown

Many people are not really aware of basic facts that relate to the realistic assessment of our chances for longevity and freedom from major health crisis. It is very important to be familiar with some basic statistics.

Statistics Canada: Canadian Dimensions: The People: Health

Statistics Canada: Canadian Dimensions: The People

There are increasingly more Internet sites that entice you with hassle-free supply of the insurance policy of your choice / your need. Some promise that if you give your data to them on-line, then they will contact you and give competitive offers. However, you will not get any quotes instantly, on-line, and in some cases these agents/companies do not even introduce themselves. One company in North York offers on-line interactive needs analysis and insurance quote. The needs analysis is very detailed, however, it totally leaves out from the picture the number and age of dependents, and the time the protection is needed. In other words, while technically sophisticated, it misses the most important points. Similarly, their quote page asks for your gender, age, and smoking status, and from this input it gives a premium for a ten year and a T100 policy. No range of premiums, or information about renewability, guarantees, or convertibility is given, and you cannot even know, whether the premium shown is the lowest one available on the market, or just the premium of a not specified particular company. Since I consider these sites as more misleading than helpful, I do not present their net-address. The reason I make these comments here, and not in some other page of this site, is that I want to draw your attention: do not fell prey to sites the professional value of which is not necessarily in harmony with their possible brevity, sophistication, or glimmer.

Fortunately, you can find really unbiased comparison for, at least, term life insurance premiums, at the site of Compulife, a third party comparison software. Even if you are not interested in term life insurance itself, and don't want to see the range of policies that might be available for you, I suggest you to run an illustration there. The reason is that with the illustration you will get a list of factors to consider, and that list - from someone who is an expert, but not interested in selling to you anything - will help you in making decisions regarding other types of insurance as well. You will see how important it is to shop around when buying insurance. Also, you will see how many other factors one has to consider, apart from premiums, even with the relatively simple term life insurance. This site will not give you the false assurance that you can or should take over the job of specialists, but it will help you to learn and become a more conscious customer.
Compulife, term life insurance comparison software on-line

Definitely behind insurance companies in the US, and even behind banks in Canada, but more and more Canadian insurance companies appear on the Web. You can see a list of company links, beside many other informative documents, at the site of the
Independent Life Insurance Brokers of Canada

On the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada site you can find links to other government institutions, a FAQ on various financial issues of interest, or various Acts and Regulations:
OSFI Main Menu

If you want to reach the first Insurance Ombudsman in Ontario, find your way to company ombudsmen in case you have some conflict regarding an insurance policy, or just read about how some conflicts in the industry have been dealt with, or about various issues of regulation in the industry, go to this site:
Financial Services Commission of Ontario

Perhaps the most comprehensive site for Canadians is what its name suggests. You can easily find almost anything related to your insurance questions if you start your browsing here:
Insurance Canada Home Page / Page d'accueil d'Insurance Canada

I you want to learn about the insurance industry in general, or are concerned about how financial strength of insurance companies are / can be monitored, visit these sites:
Summary Financial Data - Life Insurance Companies

You can read here even about the Confederation Life fiasco that shattered the confidence
of many customers in 1994:

  • If you want to delve into the details of how insurance companies calculate their premiums, this is a site where you can start your journey:
    The Canadian Institute of Actuaries Home Page
  • Though not a Canadian site, Canadians can learn a lot about various aspects of insurance, and its relationship with estate planning, retirement planning, and other financial planning issues here:


    Also not a Canadian site, but still informative for Canadians as well, about long term care insurance:

    Long term care insurance Decision Assistance Center

    At another educational site you can learn about health and disability insurance, the history of the industry, most frequent mistakes made regarding estate planning, suggestions on how to select an agent and how to buy, and much more:
    Welcome to Lifeline!

    You can find interesting studies and links at the site of KPMG, a leading provider of accounting, auditing and management consulting services in Canada and worldwide:
    KPMG Canada: Insurance Practice


    Top page (on personal financial planning)

    Key areas:

    Life and health insurance (including disability, critical illness, and long-term care protection)

    If you are / have ...

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