AuthorDenis Boivin
Insurance is ever ywhere in Canadian society: health, employment, t rans-
portation, commerce, industry, and communications are all sectors of
activity affected by in surance. Whether public or private, compulsory
or voluntary, insurance touches everyone on a daily basi s. It touches
adults, children, governments, associations, part nerships, and corpor-
ations. We enjoy activities that could not occur without insurance; we
take chances that could not be accepted without insurance; we make
purchases th at but for insurance could not be rationalized; and we
pursue professions, businesse s, ventures, and relationships th at would
become too costly in the absence of insurance. Where there are risks,
there is a need for insurance — and one cannot live in the twenty-f‌irst
century without encountering r isk day in and day out.
The ubiquity of insurance comes at a cost. This price is paid by all
Canadian s and not only by those who hold insurance policies. Every
year, Canadian policyholders pay bill ions of dollars in premiums to
private insurance companie s. The f‌igure is high, but it does not include
the taxes, levie s, and fees that are collected on a regular basis to fund
public insurance schemes such as he alth care, workers’ compensa-
tion, and employment insurance. Nor does the sum tot al of premiums
include the costs of publicly funded automobile insurance in Briti sh
Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Québec. Moreover, there are
indirect costs associated with insurance. Consumers respond to pricing
in a number of ways, a truism that applies equally to the insurance
marketplace. Some abstain from purchasing insura nce and modify

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