A quick question for all the cottagers out there: what’s the difference between a bear and a skunk?
When it comes to seasonal property insurance, it’s about more than their physical differences — damage done to your cottage by bears is probably covered, while damage done by skunks probably isn’t.
Take note of these five little-known facts about seasonal property insurance coverage and talk to your broker about what is (and what isn’t) covered in your policy:
Want to learn more about your seasonal property insurance policy or update your coverage? Contact your licensed insurance broker.
When your home insurance renewal notice comes in the mail, do you file it away and let your coverage remain the same, year after year? You’re not alone. But it’s unlikely that you’re in the same position today as you were when you first bought your policy — and that renewal notice is a great reminder to think about how your needs may have changed, whether or not your existing coverage is still enough, and new ways you could be saving money on your insurance.
When you receive your next renewal notice, consider these five factors before just filing it away.
These are just a few of the things you may want to consider when renewing your home insurance policy. You could also think about increasing your deductibles, bundling your home and car insurance policies, or seeing if you qualify for discounted insurance through your school, employer, or association to lower your premium. Next time your renewal period rolls around, reach out to your licensed broker to make sure you have the coverage you need to protect what matters most.
Summer is just around the corner, and now is the perfect time to get your car back into shape after months of driving around in snow, slush, and ice.
Check these to-dos off your list to get your car ready for smooth sailing all summer:
While it’s important to get your car ready for summer driving, it’s just as important to make sure you have the coverage you need — from the cottage to the beach, and everywhere in between. Before you hit the road this summer, contact your licensed car insurance broker.
Canadian winters can be harsh and a challenge to drive in, and for drivers who fail to heed the precautions that need to be taken when winter storms in, a ticket could be in the forecast that could put a further chill on the season and heat up your car insurance rates.
Skate through winter safely, and protect your premiums, by avoiding these three tickets this winter.
To meet the challenge of winter driving, you need to be able to see out of your windows. Having a clear view of what’s in front, beside, and behind you while driving is at the very core of safe driving. However, not everyone takes the time needed to ensure that their vehicle is ready for the road ahead.
While the actual offence may vary by province, you can expect a ticket for something along the lines of an “obstructed view” if you have not fully cleaned the snow and ice off your vehicle’s windows and mirrors.
Your windows and mirrors are not the only parts of the car you should be clearing of ice and snow; your roof, hood, lights, and signals need to be cleaned off too. And don’t forget your licence plate, because you can get a ticket for an obstructed licence plate, if it’s not clearly visible. A quick swipe with your snow brush will ensure this is one ticket you won’t get.
Posted speed limits designate the fastest speed at which you can safely travel in optimal road conditions. When the weather is foul, or the roads are messy, you should lower your speed for safety’s sake and to avoid a ticket. And it’s not just speeding tickets you need to consider. There are other tickets you can get as well—even if you’re going the limit.
In Quebec, for example, you can be ticketed for failing to adapt your driving to the weather and road conditions (which includes a minimum $60 fine and two demerit points); while in Alberta, you can be ticketed with speeding at an unreasonable rate which will run you about $200 and four demerit points.
In Ontario, there’s no specific ticket for driving too fast for the weather conditions, but you could be charged with careless driving if it’s believed you’re driving without “due care and attention or without reasonable consideration” for others.
Play it safe and travel at a speed that takes into account the weather outside because “ice and snow means take it slow”.
With flurries in the forecast, it’s time to take the prospect of winter driving seriously. Clear your car of all ice or snow, keep a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front, and remember that your speed should reflect the weather or road conditions. You may also want to consider getting winter tires. Not only do winter tires offer up to 50 per cent more traction than all-seasons, helping to keep you safely on the road, but they can also help you save on your car insurance. Compare quotes today to see how much you could save on your premiums with a winter tire discount.
Every year the Insurance Bureau of Canada releases their list of Canada’s most stolen vehicles and this year eight out of the top 10 are built Ford tough:
“Between 2015 and 2016, motor vehicle theft across Canada was down slightly to just over 78,000 cases,” said Dan Service, Acting National Director, Investigative Services, IBC. “After two years of increased reports of auto theft, 2016 saw a 1% decline. The biggest increases were in Yukon where stolen vehicle numbers are up 22%, Nunavut where they are up 18%, and Saskatchewan where they are up 15%.”
“We see from this list that criminals continue to favour all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, older, high-end vehicles,” Service added.
According to the IBC, cars are stolen for a number of reasons: they may be shipped overseas where they’re then sold to unsuspecting consumers who are unaware it’s a stolen vehicle; they’re scrapped for parts; or, they might be used to commit another crime. Whatever the reason, it takes less than a minute for a thief to steal your ride. As a result, the IBC advises drivers to take precautions to deter auto theft and:
This last bit of advice is new in recent years. Thieves can take more than your vehicle and the valuables inside when they steal your car. They could potentially attempt to steal your identity too. Identify fraud cases in Canada are up 16 per cent and identity theft is up 21 per cent, according to Statistics Canada.
If your car has been stolen, notify the police and your insurance company immediately.
This article is updated annually to reflect the the most current information released by the IBC.
Fuel prices are not a fan favourite in Canada; it’s right up there with car insurance premiums. In fact, the last few weeks have been particularly vexing for drivers at the pumps as gas prices have increased, Canada-wide, significantly.
You know you can save on car insurance by comparing car insurance quotes, but what about saving money at the pumps too, especially given the high price of fuel? After all, you probably spend as much on gas each year as you do on car insurance, if not more.
10 fuel efficient driving tips
The following driving tips will help increase your fuel efficiency and decrease how often you have to visit the gas station and fill ‘er up.
It all adds up
Free up your cash and drive with fuel efficiency in mind, and if you’re looking to save even more money, compare car insurance rates too. Speak with an insurance broker.
While there are plenty of perks to buying a used vehicle (starting with a more budget-friendly price tag), the process is a little different from buying a brand new vehicle — and there are some important steps you’ll want to take to avoid trouble down the road. Take these tips for a spin before you hand over your hard-earned money.
Once you’ve found a vehicle that seems right for you, do your homework and learn about the vehicle’s history before you consider taking it for a test drive.
A five-minute test drive isn’t nearly long enough to properly assess whether you’ll be happy with a vehicle for years to come. Plan on a longer trip so you’ll have time to hit the highway and some pothole-lined streets to get a sense of how the vehicle responds to different conditions. Check these steps off your list before and during your test drive.
When in doubt, don’t be afraid to take the vehicle for a second (or third) test drive before you commit to buying it.
Once you’ve put the vehicle through its paces with a good test drive (or two) and determined it’s the right vehicle for you, drive it over to your trusted mechanic and ask for a thorough inspection. A qualified professional will know what to look for and can warn you about any red flags. Yes, you’ll likely have to pay for this service, but it could save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars down the road.
So, you’ve done your homework, taken your dream ride for a test drive, and had it inspected by a pro. Before you sign on the dotted line, ask these important questions:
Before you take the plunge, find out how buying a used car can affect your coverage and the cost of your insurance — you might be surprised to learn, for example, that insurance won’t necessarily be cheaper for a used vehicle.
Once you’ve narrowed down your top picks, contact a licensed car insurance broker to go over your options and get the best coverage to suit your needs.
Written by Stephanie Fereiro
Shopping for used cars can be extremely tricky. In today’s day and age where you can shop for cars up and down the country thanks to the internet, it can be overwhelming and hard to know where to begin. In addition to this, there are many fraudulent sellers and scams that it is important to be aware of too. So, with all of this in mind – how do you get the most when shopping for used cars?
The first way to get the most out of your shopping experience is to carry out research. The internet is a fantastic tool for researching used cars as there is so much information out there. You can read what type of car you should buy, how much you can expect to pay, what scams to look out for, how to inspect a used car and much more. Not only will this help you to find what you are looking for, but it will also give you the confidence to get a good deal.
Shopping at a reputable dealership is vital in getting a good deal on a great car. Private sellers usually have lower asking prices, but this can be risky and you do not get the same level of consumer protection. Instead, visit a trustworthy used car supermarket where each car for sale has undergone a series of checks carried out by a fully qualified engineer. This includes places like Imperial Cars where you can also benefit from finance options.
Although the car may already have undergone a series of checks, you may also want to carry out your own. This could include getting a mechanic to provide their assessment and carrying out a vehicle history check. The latter is very important as it can be very easy to conceal an automobile’s hidden past. You should also take the car for a test drive to ensure that everything works as it should.
Negotiating is a key stage in getting the most out of your shopping experience. You should have an ideal and maximum figure in mind and never go over your maximum. It is important to be firm yet friendly and always show that you have done your research. With a little patience, you should be able to get a great deal and drive away happy.
Navigating the used car market can be daunting and especially if it is your first time. The above advice should help you to get the most out of shopping for second-hand cars and find what you are looking for.
**A guest post as written by Rachel Elders.
We never think that we are going to encounter any kind of issues behind the wheel of a car, but often you hear horror stories of motorists breaking down and becoming stranded. Whilst you can usually get roadside assistance to come out and find you, sometimes you can be left alone on the side of the road for lengthy periods. Needless to say, this can be very dangerous and scary – this is especially true at night and/or if you are in the middle of nowhere.
To ensure that you do not have your own horror story, it is worth purchasing a few pieces of equipment for these scenarios. These pieces of equipment could allow you to get back behind the wheel in no time at all, or at least to make it comfortably until you are rescued. Here are a few things that you should always have in the car with you:
A flashlight is essential as this allows you to see even when the sun goes down. Not only is this very important for safety at night, but it can also be helpful if you are working on the car and need to see clearly. You can also use a torch to flag down another car at night.
If you get into an accident you may require first-aid. Instead of waiting for somebody to come to you, have a fully stocked first-aid kit in the boot so that you can patch yourself up until help arrives.
Food, Water & Blanket
An obvious one, food and water ensures that you will not go thirsty or hungry if you are abandoned for lengthy periods. A blanket will help you to keep warm once the sun goes down.
A portable battery will allow you to charge your phone and call for help. This could be a life saver if you were to run out of charge.
You can use a hydraulic cylinder to jack a car and this could come in very handy if you need to work on the vehicle or change a tire. These are available from places like SGS.
Batteries dying is one of the major reasons that people are stranded on the side of the road. Be prepared by carrying jumper cables around with you and know how to use them.
These are the main things that every motorist should keep in their car. Being stranded on the side of the road can be incredibly dangerous and scary, but with the above, it could help you to get back on the road or stay safe and content until somebody saves you.
**A guest post as written by Rachel Elders.
With summertime here, you may be wishing you had a backyard swimming pool. There’s nothing like enjoying a dip in a cool pool on a hot summer’s day. Imagine drinking umbrella drinks on a lounge chair at the side of the pool and cooling off with a graceful cannonball. Why travel to paradise when you can enjoy it in your backyard?
A pool can be something for the entire family to enjoy, but it’s not without its costs. And not just the obvious ones; installing a pool will also impact your monthly home insurance premiums.
Does installing a pool add value do your home?
Depending on where you live, owning a pool may actually boost the resale value of your home, but in many cases it won’t. Simply put, most people either love or loathe pools – there’s very little middle ground. When it comes time to put your home on the market, homes with swimming pools tend to spend more time on the market than those without. Some prospective are scared off by the added work and cost of maintaining a pool. There’s also the liability issue, which we’ll discuss later. For now, let’s discuss the more traditional costs of a swimming pool.
First, there’s the cost of installing it. Installing an in-ground pool doesn’t come cheap. You can expect to spend at least $25,000 to install a swimming pool. Then there’s the cost of using your swimming pool. If it has a heater, that could cost you a pretty penny in utilities. You’ll also need to buy chemicals, such as chlorine, to ensure the pool is safe to use. It’s a good idea to budget at least $1,000 towards operating your pool on an annual basis. You’ll also need to budget for maintenance and repairs. The pump can die or the lining can tear so it’s a good idea to budget ahead of time.
Before installing a pool, ask yourself if it's worth it. If it’s to help boost the resale value of your home, there are better, more affordable ways. If you’re hoping to enjoy it with your family, that’s when it can make sense, as long as you’re willing to do the extra work that comes along with it.
A pool isn’t without its risks. If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, it’s important to ensure you have the proper home insurance coverage. If someone were to be injured using your swimming pool, you could be sued and held personally liable.
Whether you’re buying a home with a pool or you’re installing one yourself, you’ll want to tell your insurance provider right away. You’ll need a home insurance policy that specifically includes coverage for pools.
By installing a pool, you’re likely to see your home insurance rates increase. That’s because your insurance provider is taking on added risk. You’ll also want make sure your liability coverage is sufficient. This is important in case a guest gets hurt.
You can take preventative measures to minimize the risk of claims. For example, you can install a “no diving” sign and ensure that there’s a fence that’s locked at all times around the pool. It’s also best to ensure children at supervised at all times when in the pool.