Canadian Contractor

Too many Ontario contractors, forced into WSIB, have cancelled their own insurance

Even if you are now faced with mandatory WSIB fees for the first time in your career, you should remember that WSIB does not cover you for illnesses and accidents off the jobsite.

November 22, 2013
By Alec Caldwell
Alec Caldwell

Since very expensive, mandatory WSIB premiums in Ontario were extended to whole new classes of self-employed contractors on Jan. 1 of this year, I’m sure that many of you have decided to cancel private insurance you may have held, not being able to afford both.

The contractors forced to cancel their own insurance have thrown out the window their 24-hour, 7-days a week, on and off the jobsite benefits. Many of these private plans covered them throughout Canada – and even including going south on holidays. Some of these policies even paid from the first day of injury.   

Many cancelled policies included sickness benefits that covered everything from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and back problems to cancer, heart attacks and strokes. The very best plans would provide a monthly income and benefits, payable to age 65.

The WSIB is simply an insurance company, but a government operated one.  Which might explain its estimated $15-billion unfunded liability! The move to force the self-employed into the program was, in my opinion, just a money grab to reduce this deficit.It was a shrewd move by the WSIB and the plan earned its top bureaucrat, president and CEO  David Marshall (see his contract) a cool $200,000 bonus on the backs of many readers like you.

Right now, if you’re wondering how to fill the major gaps that the WSIB will not cover (like illness or accidents off the jobsite) consider looking into Critical Illness insurance. It’s available Canada-wide from many insurance companies. It’s designed to pay you a one time lump-sum amount, tax free, upon diagnosis of cancer, heart attack or stroke. Lump sums paid to a you depend on how much you’re willing pay out. The minimum recommended payout is at least three times your monthly income.

How important is Critical Illness insurance? Well, consider that 2 out of every 5 Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetimes and 1 in 4 will die of the disease. Read more.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation says that every 7 minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke. 70,000 Canadians have heart attacks annutally. Read more.

If this was about winning a lottery prize, most would buy a ticket. So buy your ticket now and check out this type of coverage online – or better still, find a licensed life insurance broker in your home town or city for a quote. In Ontario, CARAHS has licensed specialists looking after contractors and their families for this type of coverage. Simply contact CARAHS toll-free 1-866-366-2930 or email

CARAHS is a non profit association for renovators and home services providers. We offer education, information and benefits.

CARAHS offers over 90 Health and Safety e-courses online here.

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