McDougall https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com Insurance & Financial Wed, 19 Sep 2018 19:40:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 How to Prepare Your Home for Heavy Rainfall https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/09/07/how-to-prepare-your-home-for-heavy-rainfall https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/09/07/how-to-prepare-your-home-for-heavy-rainfall#comments Fri, 07 Sep 2018 15:46:22 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=13462 A little rain can be good for us, it helps our gardens flourish, our grass green, and our farmers happy, it is definitely no cause for concern. However, special weather warnings involving heavy rain can be a serious issue and all of a sudden those flowers are flooded, our grass is a pond, and the […]

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A little rain can be good for us, it helps our gardens flourish, our grass green, and our farmers happy, it is definitely no cause for concern. However, special weather warnings involving heavy rain can be a serious issue and all of a sudden those flowers are flooded, our grass is a pond, and the crop is ruined. Luckily for us in Ontario severe rainfall is not a common event we have to contend with, however, that is not to say it doesn’t happen and when it does we want you and your property to be prepared.

 

Preparing the Outside of Your Home

Before the storm arrives it is important to begin your external preparation. This is a quick check of the important sections of your home that will keep the rainfall away.

Check Your Roof

Examining your roof is a good place to start. Ensure your roof is in good condition and there doesn’t appear to be any potential exposures or damage. Look for missing tiles, sagging edges, cracks in the chimney and if you find any of these it is best to call an expert right away to have them examine and fix it or at least temporarily cover it.

Clean Your Eaves-Trough

Next up is cleaning your eaves-trough or gutters. If your gutters are not cleared properly, rainfall will begin to pool in troubled areas and this can cause your home problems. It is also important to make sure your downspouts are pointing away from your foundation. If water pools against the foundation it can seep into basements or cracks and now you have water in your home. Even minimal seepage can lead to mould or deteriorating foundation support which can cause problems down the road. The idea behind the gutters is to direct the water away from your foundation but without properly cleaned gutters that won’t happen. If constant clearing of leaves and dirt from your gutters is an issue it may be a go idea to invest in downspout covers similar to these:

gutter protector to keep leaves out of gutter

Clear Debris From Street Grates

If you live in the city double check street grates to make sure there is no debris blocking them. It is the cities job to inspect the grates but clearing debris away from them can go a long way in protecting your home from water damage and sewer back up issues during a heavy rainfall.

Store or Cover Valuable Items

The last item for preparing the outside of your home before a heavy rainfall is; storing any valuable items that you have outside, in a safe place. Patio furniture, garden tools, and barbeques are all at risk of damage during heavy rainfall. Storing items in a waterproof shed is a good place to start. However, not all of us have access to a shed and so storing items in a space inside your home (preferably not in the basement) seems like the next logical solution. For your BBQ make sure if it is staying outside it is secured properly so it will not blow around or tip over and that it has a properly secured cover on it to prevent the rain from damaging or rusting it.

 

Preparing the Inside of Your Home

Getting the outside of your home protected and ready is just step 1. It is also important to make sure you prepare the inside of your home.

Check Your Sump Pump

The first thing to look at is your sump pump (if you have one of course). Ensure it is working and give it a few quick tests. We also recommend carrying a battery generator in case the power goes out to ensure your sump pump will continue working. Not to mention many of our companies provide a discount on your home insurance if you carry one. It’s a win-win!

Close Your Windows and Doors

An obvious one, but it does sometimes get overlooked is to close any windows or doors that may be open. Also move away any furniture or electronics that are near windows because even when they are closed water can still find its way in and cause damage to nearby items. Remove any valuables and furniture from the basement level as this is the area that is most exposed during a heavy rain storm. And believe me not everyone will be as calm and cool as this guy when their basement floods and their items are damaged.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Make sure cell phones are charged, flashlights have new batteries in them, and there is food and water in an accessible area. With heavy rainfall can often come thunderstorms that can knock your power out. Preparing a bag of dry clothes and an emergency kit is a good idea in case you are without power for an extended period. If there are any essential medications it is a good idea to make sure they are easily accessible for all household members. Creating a plan and preparing supplies is important for your family’s safety to make sure all members are aware of what to do and have the proper supplies to keep them safe in the event flooding occurs.

Be Cognisant of Your Electrical & Gas Lines

The final area to think about inside your home is the electrical and gas lines. These often are overlooked and yet they are some of the most dangerous side effects of rainfall. Making sure you can easily turn off your electrical switch or panel is important to prevent potential electrocution if flooding makes its way into wall outlets or electronics. Gas leaks can also occur if the water rises high enough to extinguish the pilot light on your furnace or water heater. It can be difficult to cut the supply of gas to these lines in a short period of time but it is important to not use any open flames until you are absolutely certain no gas leak has occurred. If you do suspect a gas leak it is best to leave your home entirely until an expert can evaluate the area. Be careful if driving as roadways can also be dangerous and if the roadway looks unsafe do not proceed and turn back to an area with higher ground.

Making Sure You Have the Proper Insurance Coverage

Water damage has become one of the most complex elements of many homeowners’ policies and is now responsible for more home insurance claims than any other exposure. With coverage options such as sewer back up coverage, overland water, ground water, and complete water protection it can be difficult to differentiate and determine which are important for you. Understanding these coverage’s and what they protect is better left to the experts. Let a broker explain to you what they mean and if they are available to you. The help of a McDougall insurance broker is always a quick click or phone call away and we want to make sure you have the proper protection for you home insurance when heavy rainfall occurs.

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Health & Benefits Coverage for Your Dependent Child After Graduation https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/09/07/coverage-dependent-children-after-graduation https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/09/07/coverage-dependent-children-after-graduation#respond Fri, 07 Sep 2018 15:02:46 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=38052 In the blink of an eye, the little ones turn into not-so-little ones. Perhaps they join the workforce after graduating high school, learn a trade, or decide to continue their studies. Each year, many young adults fill a prescription or visit a dentist in September, and some find that they are no longer covered under […]

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In the blink of an eye, the little ones turn into not-so-little ones. Perhaps they join the workforce after graduating high school, learn a trade, or decide to continue their studies. Each year, many young adults fill a prescription or visit a dentist in September, and some find that they are no longer covered under their parental benefits plan. What’s going on? Does your dependent child still have coverage after graduation?

 

Dependent Benefits Eligibility Age

Despite the fact that you still may view your son or daughter as your dependent child, they may not be eligible to receive these benefits based on their age. This eligibility age will vary by insurance company. Some will cover dependants until age 21/22 if they are unmarried. This means after they graduate high school and they will still have coverage and throughout a standard University or College degree. Some companies will cover your child until the age of 25/26 if they are in full-time studies. Some insurers ask for proof of enrolment in full time studies, others do not. The best practice is to be proactive and ask about it before a claim is denied.

 

Dependent Status is Key

If your adult child has benefits coverage through their own full-time work, they are supposed to be removed from the parent’s benefit plan. It’s difficult for an insurance company to know if an adult child has coverage on their own, so this is generally reported by the plan member to their company HR/benefits representative when the time comes.

getting married voids your child's dependant status

If your child gets married, then they will no longer qualify as your dependent. Even if they are below the eligibility age of your insurer. It is also important to note that your child will not qualify as your dependent even if your child and their spouse have no other benefits plans of their own in place. It is typically a good idea to wait or try and arrange an alternative plan to cover your child.

Special Cases

If your adult child is dependent on you due to a disability, you can apply for overage dependent coverage. Contact your plan administrator or insurance company if this is your situation.

My Dependent was Offered Benefits from Their School

Many colleges or universities will offer a health and dental plan for students to join. If the student already has coverage by a parental plan, the decision to pay for another health and dental plan is likely redundant. Sometimes it can be beneficial based on the coverage available but it would need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For students without coverage from a parental plan the benefits offered from the school may be beneficial. However, the type of coverage offered and the student cost for the plan should be considered carefully. There are alternative options that are sometimes more appropriate for the student. If you have questions about this, contact your plan administrator/HR representative at your organization.

 

It is always difficult as a parent to think of your children as no longer being your dependants. Just know that they depend on you all the time and even though your benefits plan will eventually stop applying to your children it is important for them to know you when that time will come, so they can be prepared. If they are like one of the millions not covered by a group life and health benefits program, there are other options. They can carry an individual health benefits insurance plan.

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Do I Need To List A G1 Driver On My Insurance Policy? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/08/22/g1-driver-insurance-policy https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/08/22/g1-driver-insurance-policy#respond Wed, 22 Aug 2018 20:47:30 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=35466 Well, well, well another menace, err I mean young responsible individual, has just passed their G1 and are ready to hit the road. Of course you or a qualifying driver will have to be riding shotgun with them… Good luck with that… But this is an exciting time for them! They are likely eager to […]

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Well, well, well another menace, err I mean young responsible individual, has just passed their G1 and are ready to hit the road. Of course you or a qualifying driver will have to be riding shotgun with them… Good luck with that… But this is an exciting time for them! They are likely eager to start driving right away but before they head out on the road lets clear up some of the questions you might have. The big question most parents have is now that they are driving your vehicle, do you need to list your G1 driver on your car insurance policy? Great question, let’s have a peek shall we?

 

What is a G1 License?

Before we get to deep into the question lets make sure we are on the same page for what a G1 license is. A G1 license is the first step in Ontario’s graduated licensing program. To apply you must be at least 16 years of age. You then must pass an eye test, followed by a written test. This test challenges applicants based on their knowledge and awareness of the rules of the road, traffic signals and case based problems. The G1 test must be completed and passed before a driver can get behind the wheel of a car.

 

Are There Restrictions for a G1 Driver?

Yes, there are some important restrictions that G1 drivers must follow:

  • Must have a 0 blood alcohol level.
  • Must have a G-licensed driver with a minimum of 4 year experience sitting in the passenger seat. By the way that passenger must have a blood alcohol level of below 0.05.
  • Cannot drive on any 400 series highways
  • Cannot drive after midnight and cannot drive before 5:00am

For a more complete list please visit young drivers.

 

Do I Need to List a G1 Driver?

Ok great, so we have covered what a G1 license is and the restrictions. Now back to that question you were asking, do you need to add them on your car insurance policy? The answer is NO, you do not. It is true that all vehicles on the road do require insurance by law. However, the reason a G1 driver does not need to be listed on a policy is they are typically driving in someone else’s car and that car has its own policy, so the G1 driver would be covered under that policy. And because a G1 driver has to be accompanied by a qualifying third party who has given them consent to operate their vehicle insurance companies do not rate for G1 drivers. It is still a good idea to let your insurance company know there is a G1 driver in the household, but only when a driver is able to operate a vehicle independently will they need to be listed as a driver on a policy.

 

Other Frequently Asked Questions About G1 Drivers

We know it can be a new and exciting time for a G1 driver and there are often so many questions about what they can or cannot do. We tackled the big one when it comes to adding a G1 driver to your insurance but we often get asked some other good questions as well. We tried to tackle a few of the more common ones we receive below. Have any other questions that we didn’t answer? Shoot us a comment and we will do our best to respond.

Do I still need to notify my insurance company about a G1 driver?

You should still notify your insurance company about a G1 driver but typically there will be no change to your policy. What is actually more important is notifying your insurance company when a driver in your household receives their G2 license. Because a G2 licensed driver can operate a vehicle by themselves they must be listed on an auto insurance policy. Even if they are just being added as an occasional driver. At this point in time you will likely see your insurance premiums go up and sometimes it can increase quite significantly. This is why we always recommend completing a certified driver training course as it bumps the G2 driver from a 0 star rating to a 3 star rating assuming there are no claims or convictions during that time. It also helps them transition towards driving on their own and teaches them how to be a safe and responsible vehicle operator.

Can a G1 driver buy a car?

A G1 driver can certainly purchase their own vehicle. However, when it comes to being able to insure the vehicle the situation can be a little confusing. If the ownership is in the G1 drivers name the insurance policy will also be set up in their name. However, they need to list a principal operator on the vehicle who has at least their G2 license. This is where a parent or older family member in the household will typically be listed as the primary driver. As soon as the G1 driver receives their G2 they can be switched to the principal operator. Always ask your insurance broker about what to do in this scenario. Don’t have an insurance broker? You’re going to need to read why you need one: Insurance Broker vs Insurance Agent.

Can a G1 driver get demerit points?

Yes, a G1 driver can still receive demerit points if they are convicted of breaking the law while driving. These convictions will still show up on the G1 drivers record and will be used as a rating factor and affect the drivers premium when they receive their G2. If a driver receives too many demerit points their license can be suspended and they will have to attend a meeting to explain why they should be allowed to keep their license.

Do any claims or convictions you receive while you are a G1 driver affect your insurance?

Yes to both. Convictions or tickets you receive with your G1 will affect your insurance when you get your G2 license. These convcitions will remain on your record for 3 years. Claims or at-fault accidents will also impact your insurance when you get your G2 license and the rates are typically not very good. At-fault accidents last on your record for 6 years with most companies. If too many demerit points or infractions are accumulated you may need to exclude your G1 driver from your policy when they receive their G2.

 

Getting Out on the Road

Becoming a new driver is always an exciting new chapter in anyone’s life, but it can also be dangerous and comes with a lot of responsibility. This is why it is important to always be alert and follow the rules of road to ensure your own safety and the safety of others around you. Don’t worry as time goes on you will become more and more comfortable and before you know it you will be finished the graduating licensing system.

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What is the Difference Between an Insurance Broker and an Insurance Agent? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/08/02/difference-insurance-broker-vs-agent https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/08/02/difference-insurance-broker-vs-agent#respond Thu, 02 Aug 2018 16:04:26 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=34934 The terms insurance broker and insurance agent tend to be thrown around rather loosely. Sometimes a client will confuse their agent for a broker or vice versa. But we want to set the record straight! There are some very big differences between the two. In fact, their only real similarity is that they both administer […]

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The terms insurance broker and insurance agent tend to be thrown around rather loosely. Sometimes a client will confuse their agent for a broker or vice versa. But we want to set the record straight! There are some very big differences between the two. In fact, their only real similarity is that they both administer insurance. So let’s take a look at the difference between an insurance agent and broker, shall we?

What is an Insurance Agent?

An insurance agent is tied to and works for one company only. Some examples of insurance agencies are Statefarm, Belairdirect or Allstate. With an insurance agent their loyalty is with their company where as a broker has loyalty with the client. We should mention that there certainly are good agents out there in the world, I mean take Agent 007 James Bond for instance. he is an agent and pretty darn cool, but he’s not quite the same as an insurance agent.

Benefits of an Insurance Agent

Knowledgeable about their products. One advantage an agent has over a broker is they only need to learn the ins and outs of one market. This means they should be able to advise on their product better than anyone else. However if you ask them about comparisons to other markets or products they may be limited in their knowledge outside of their own company or offerings.

Another benefits is they typically have good rates for their perfect clients or target market. If you fall into the agencies desired clientele you will likely experience some good rates when it comes to your insurance. However, be careful if you are trying to add family members or other products that fall outside of that desired market as often times their premiums are much less competitive or they do not underwrite the insurance at all.

Drawbacks of an Insurance Agent

The biggest drawback of an insurance agent is their claims. But don’t take our word for it, take the word of the Smith Family who were insured with an agent and not a broker. Because an agent is loyal to their company they are not always the easiest to deal with when it comes to claims. The financial damage awarded in a claim is tied directly to the companies earnings. Meaning if they are paying out a lot of claims, or expensive claims it is going to hurt the agencies bottom line. Obviously this can lead to the agency trying to payout less on their claims or not award the full damages as we saw from the Smith Family scenario.

Another drawback is their narrow scope or product offering. For instance, lets say you have your home and auto insurance with an insurance agency, but now you want to add your motorcycle or your boat. Often times those insurance products are not offered by the insurance agency and you will have to look elsewhere. Not very convenient to have your insurance spread out through multiple different channels.

What is an Insurance Broker?

Awesome. In fact an insurance broker is anyone like us at McDougall Insurance! An insurance broker has access to multiple insurance companies and products and can search all of those companies to find the best combination of premium, coverage and service. An insurance broker is loyal to the client where as an insurance agent is loyal to their company.

Benefits of an Insurance Broker

The biggest benefit to an insurance broker is they work for the client. This means no matter what the client needs the broker is their for them. Just had a claim and don’t know where to turn or haven’t heard back from an adjuster. Insurance broker is there. The broker sold you the policy, the broker has the relationship with you, the broker makes sure the insurance company treats you fairly. Need to add a driver to a policy. Insurance broker is there. Looking to shop rates at your renewal. Don’t worry an insurance broker is already doing that for you!

Another benefit that an insurance broker has is they can write all of your insurance needs under one roof. You have your home and auto insurance bundled together but now you need your business insured. Voila, broker can do it! Or maybe you just bought a new boat and need to find some insurance. No sweat, the broker can do it! You have a family and you want to make sure they are protected in the event something happens to you. Sounds like you need some life insurance, and yes, you guessed it, the broker has you covered! Brokers can even do specialized policies for those unique items, like your jewellery collection, your music studio or pretty much anything.

Drawbacks of an Insurance Broker

Hmm, you really made us have to think about this… The answer most clients tend to believe is it costs more because you need to make money. However, this isn’t exactly true. It is true the broker makes a commission on the policy but that commission is taken out of what the company would typically make on the policy, not placed on in addition. The reason being is the company really didn’t do anything to acquire the client, the broker did all the work to get the policy set up and form the relationship with the client. All the company is doing is providing the insurance. With an agency that money goes into acquiring and finding their clients and so when it comes to finding competitive pricing a broker should be just as competitive or maybe even more competitive than an agent.

Brokers typically have a lot of markets they can access and although this is typically viewed as a major benefit, it can be difficult to know the ins and outs of all those companies. What does that mean for you, the client? It means a broker may need a bit more time to find you the correct answer, but you can rest assured we will have an answer.

Brokers & Agents

Insurance is important for each and every one of us and whether you choose a broker or an agent is entirely up to you. The important thing is to feel confident in your coverage and provider and have the peace of mind that insurance is designed to bring. Ok scratch all of that, go with a broker, we’re better and we’ll prove it to you! Give us a chance by calling 1-800-361-0941 or filling out a quote form on our website. Talk then!

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Do I Need Insurance For My Home Based Business? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/07/18/home-based-business-insurance https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/07/18/home-based-business-insurance#respond Wed, 18 Jul 2018 15:53:23 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=34118 One of the biggest reasons owners do not carry adequate business insurance for their home based business is because they do not know they need it! Majority of people who own a home carry a homeowner’s insurance policy. However, very few home based business owners have coverage for their business. Most home based business owners […]

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One of the biggest reasons owners do not carry adequate business insurance for their home based business is because they do not know they need it!

Majority of people who own a home carry a homeowner’s insurance policy. However, very few home based business owners have coverage for their business. Most home based business owners assume they are covered from their homeowners policy, but this simply is not true.

 

What Is Home Based Business Insurance?

Let’s start here. A home based business is any business where the primary office is located out of the same premise that the business owner lives. That seems pretty straight forward, so what is the insurance part? We are glad you asked! A home insurance policy offers a small amount of coverage for things like books, tools, insturments, etc that may be necessary for a business, or occupation. However, this limits are often not enough. The insurance portion of home based business coverage is designed to cover the business beyond what a homeowner’s or tenants policy would.

 

Can I Claim For My Business Under My Homeowners Policy?

This happens all the time where individuals try to file a claim under their homeowners or tenants policy even though they have not disclosed or do not have a proper home base business policy. The insurance company is able to refuse the claim or void the coverage if this information is not disclosed or the proper coverage is not in place. For instance, if you teach guitar lessons out of your home and one of the students breaks one of the guitars, you may be denied coverage for not disclosing that you ran an operation out of your home or only receive the coverage limit from your homeowners policy, which likely won’t be enough. This is the case with a lot of these examples as your homeowner’s or tenants policy is not responsible to cover business related damages or losses and often won’t respond or will not cover the full amount.

 

How Do I Get Home Based Business Insurance?

There are several options when it comes to insuring your home based business. In order to make sure you have the proper coverage it is always best to discuss with your broker, who can advise based on your operation which of the following makes the most sense for you.

Add An Endorsement To Your Homeowner’s Policy

Adding an endorsement or a rider to your current property policy that will provide additional coverage for your home based business is definitely the least expensive option. However, the additional coverage you receive is very minimal. This extension of insurance coverage is best suited for a one-person business with a home office, who does not have a lot of valuable equipment and does not have clients come to their home office. If a fire or other disaster occurs it would not be a major loss for the business. This type of coverage may be appropriate for home based businesses like accountants, or sales people who do not store an inventory at home and simply use a home office. So why is this important to have? Suppose the delivery man has a package for your business and is coming to the door and he slips and hurts himself. Under your homeowners policy alone there is no coverage for those damages, you need to add the home based business endorsement to your policy in order to protect yourself against instances like this.

Home Based Small Business Insurance Policy

Another option is to take out an entirely separate policy for your home-based business. This option covers far more than the endorsement above and as such it yields a higher premium. This policy will cover your inventory and equipment, as well as liability for injury and even employees should it be required. A home based business policy is geared towards businesses who may have clients coming to their home, or who have a large amount of inventory stored in their home. A good example would be a retailer who sells clothes out of their home. If something happens and all the inventory, say $10,000 in clothes is damaged they would have a loss of income of $20,000 – $30,000. You would need a business policy to cover that loss of income.

Business Owner Insurance Policy

The final option is to take out a business owner insurance policy or a commercial insurance policy, the same as what any other business owner would need. Of course this is the most expensive option but it also provides the best coverage. The difference between this option and the option above is this will cover the entire property and operations not located on the property. The limits available on this policy are much higher with more flexibility. This type of policy would be appropriate for a business like a contractor or landscaping company who has a home office but also has a lot of equipment, additional employees and is travelling to different jobs. It is important to note that with some businesses you may require additional coverage for commercial vehicles, errors and omissions insurance, etc.

 

Why Is A Home Based Business Insurance Policy Important?

Covered by standard homeowners insurance policy Covered by home based business insurance policy
General Liability

Yes

Yes

Inventory

No

Yes

Liability from business operations

No

Yes

Business interruption / loss of income

No

Yes

Legal expense

No

Yes

Work computer or laptop

No

Yes

 

Looking to find out more?

Contact one of our license insurance brokers today at 1-800-361-0941, and they will be happy to discuss home based business insurance with you!

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McDougall Days of Summer are Back for 2018! https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/06/29/mcdougall-days-of-summer-2018 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/06/29/mcdougall-days-of-summer-2018#comments Fri, 29 Jun 2018 20:53:02 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=32523 It is our last week of the McDougall Days of Summer 2018 campaign! This campaign is open to everyone that is a McDougall Insurance customer, including our non-McDougallized branches. That list includes MGJ Insurance in Peterborough, Mink Insurance in Midland, and Worden Insurance in Oshawa. Limit one item per location, per policy holder. Secret Giveaway […]

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It is our last week of the McDougall Days of Summer 2018 campaign!

This campaign is open to everyone that is a McDougall Insurance customer, including our non-McDougallized branches. That list includes MGJ Insurance in Peterborough, Mink Insurance in Midland, and Worden Insurance in Oshawa. Limit one item per location, per policy holder.

Secret Giveaway

This year we are doing things a little different. Of course you can still claim your free item every week but this year if you live it up and take a selfie with your free giveaway and tag us in it you will be entered into our secret prize draw! The draw will be posed on our social media and website but we cannot tell you much more than that, its a secret remember. Oh and don’t forget to use the hashtag #FrugalFridays

When and where?

The Days of Summer campaign runs every Friday in July August (July 6th to August 31st) that is 9 Fridays in total! Every week the giveaways are going to be coming from different participating businesses surrounding our branch locations. You will need to check out our blog (that is this page right here) or our social media channels at the start of each week to see if there are any participating businesses near you that Friday. And if there are not any near you, then you might have to plan a road trip so you don’t miss out!

How can you participate?

We wanted to make it as easy as possible for all of our customers to participate so there are only 2 easy steps to follow:

  1. You have to show up to a participating business on the Friday that they are providing free giveaways. We will be updating our social media channels and doing radio ads to communicate the locations that are participating that week so you can stay updated.
  2. All you need to bring is a proof of insurance from McDougall Insurance (usually in the form of the pink slip liability card but any proof is sufficient) and you can claim your free giveaway.

Summer is sweet, but is made even more sweet with Frugal Fridays. Come back to this blog post weekly to check out the updated locations and find a local giveaway near you! We hope to see all of our customers out and about taking advantage of these awesome giveaways.

 

Check out this weeks offers:

McDougall Days of Summer August 31st, 2018

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3 Changes to the Impaired Driving Laws in Canada https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/06/27/impaired-driving-laws-changing https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/06/27/impaired-driving-laws-changing#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 14:52:00 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=32525 Bill C-46 has just received Royal Assent and there are new laws that apply to both alcohol-impaired driving and drug-impaired driving. The bill also made technical changes that will help the courts deal with impaired driving cases much more quickly. Police officers will also have access to new tools and detection devices to aid them […]

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Bill C-46 has just received Royal Assent and there are new laws that apply to both alcohol-impaired driving and drug-impaired driving. The bill also made technical changes that will help the courts deal with impaired driving cases much more quickly. Police officers will also have access to new tools and detection devices to aid them in charging impaired drivers. The reformed Bill focuses on three major changes: THC levels in your blood, roadside breath testing without reasonable suspicion, and roadside saliva testing. Lets take a look at what each of these will mean for drivers.

THC Levels in Your Blood

For quite sometime authorities have been able to lay an impaired driving charge based on your blood alcohol level. Officers will now be able to do the same for THC. This new change has been controversial for two main reasons:

The Science

The science behind THC is much weaker than alcohol when it comes to linking THC levels in your blood leading to impairment versus your blood alcohol level leading to impairment. It has also been documented that THC remains in your system longer than alcohol but the affects are not still present. Regardless, the bill has been reformed and the THC levels in your blood have been set through the new regulations. The proposed levels, based on nanograms per millilitre of blood, are detailed below:

  • A THC level between 2 ng and 5 ng would be considered a lower-level offence with a fine up to $1,000
  • A THC level above 5 ng would come with the same penalties as an alcohol-impaired driving conviction, including mandatory minimum penalties of a $1,000 fine on a first offence, 30 days imprisonment on a second offence, and 120 days imprisonment on a third offence
  • A combintion of a THC level above 2.5 ng and a blood alcohol concentration above 50 mg per 100 mL would have the same penalties as above

Medical Marijuana Patients

Another challenge arises when you look at medical marijuana patients who are placed on a prescription. Based on the proposed levels above, consuming even small amounts of cannabis shortly before driving could put a person over these limits. Defence lawyers will be busy arguing this topic, yet the government has stated that until the science improves it is taking a zero tolerance approach.

Roadside Breath Testing Without Reasonable Suspicion

Police, as of December 2018, will be able to perform a roadside breath test for any driver. In the past an officer would need to have reasonable suspicion to perform the breath test but that has been changed. Drivers who are required to take the Breathalyzer test but refuse will face a criminal charge with similar penalties to an impaired driving conviction.

Of course this has sparked a good deal of controversy. It is argued that this violates the Charter’s protection against unreasonable searches and may also give way to racial profiling or disproportionately affecting minorities.

Roadside Saliva Testing

Unlike the roadside breath testing above, police officers will need reasonable suspicion before demanding a saliva test. This roadside device can be used to test saliva for the presence of THC, cocaine, methamphetamine and more. If traces of any of these are found drug-impaired driving charges will apply, plus additional chargers depending on the substance.

Even though this portion of the new reform applies immediately, it is unlikely that these tests will be seen on Canadian roads as there are still a number of steps that need to completed. Devices are still being tested to ensure accuracy and other components and there is no timeline for the completion of these tests. After the testing is finished the officers will need to be trained on them and they must go through a 30-day public consultation before they can be approved for use. This means it could be closer to the end of 2018 before they become available.

Conclusion

These changes may seem controversial but they are designed to keep our roads safe. It is important to be responsible when using alcohol or drugs and if you are using them do not get behind the wheel or a vehicle. In today’s world there are too many easy alternatives to get where you need to go, such as public transportation, taxis, friends and family, or ride sharing programs such as Uber.

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Is Mortgage Life Insurance Worth It? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/06/21/mortgage-life-insurance-not-worth-it https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/06/21/mortgage-life-insurance-not-worth-it#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 20:29:08 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=31926 Buying a house is one of the biggest decision of your life, and can often be a daunting or overwhelming experience. And one of the biggest decisions that comes with buying a house is picking out a good mortgage. Often you will get your mortgage from a trusted financial institution or a mortgage broker. However, […]

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Buying a house is one of the biggest decision of your life, and can often be a daunting or overwhelming experience. And one of the biggest decisions that comes with buying a house is picking out a good mortgage. Often you will get your mortgage from a trusted financial institution or a mortgage broker. However, when it comes to finding a mortgage there are so many different aspects you need to look into. After you have made the decision you will still be bombarded with more and more information, and sometimes you will be asked to make a snap decision to carry mortgage life insurance, which will help cover your mortgage should something happen to you. On the surface this seems like it would be a good idea, but lets dig a little deeper into the mortgage life insurance product and why it may not be right for you.

What is Mortgage Life Insurance?

Mortgage life insurance or mortgage protection insurance is not the same insurance you are required to carry when your down payment is less than 20%. It is also not the same as home insurance, which is required by your mortgage provider. Instead, it is a voluntary coverage option and it is typically presented by the lender of your mortgage. The policy is designed to cover your mortgage payments if you were to pass away or become seriously ill. It is a set payment for the term of your mortgage and just gets included with your mortgage payments. Sounds pretty good right? Well, not so fast. This all sounds well and good, and is likely the reason so many people agree to the insurance, but it’s not all it is cracked up to be and here’s why:

Protects the Lender Not the Borrower

The biggest knock against mortgage insurance is that it is designed to protect the lender, not the borrower (that’s you). This means the bank, not your family, will be the one who pockets the payout should you pass away while the mortgage is active. Of course your family won’t have to worry about mortgage payments if you die or become disabled but this isn’t always the best solution. For instance your family could sell the house to get ride of the mortgage and use the money for other purposes.

Shrinking Payout

It is true the coverage protects the amount of your mortgage, but as you continue paying down your mortgage your coverage decreases. Yet, your payments stay the same. When you initially received the coverage and your mortgage was $400,000 it seemed like a great idea but now you are half way through your term and are still yet to have a claim. Your payments stay the same for the entire term despite requiring less coverage. Now suppose something happens, you will only receive coverage for the outstanding debt of $200,000 in this example. With a personal life insurance policy you receive the entire coverage amount regardless of when the claims occurs, it is not diminish over time.

Underwritten Post-Claim

The other portion of a mortgage life insurance policy you need to be wary of is; it is typically underwritten post-claim. What does that mean? Well, it means that your eligibility for a payout is determined only after a claim has been made. So despite the fact you have been paying the premiums all along, you may be denied your payout. Just ask Christopher Massa’s family, who found out after he passed away from lung cancer, that they would be denied because of his health condition. With a personal life insurance policy it is underwritten before the policy is issued so this does not occur.

Lack of Flexibility

There is no flexibility with the money, it will be used solely to pay off the remaining amount of the mortgage. And remember that payout is going directly to the bank. You would still need a separate life insurance policy to consolidate your other insurance needs such as income replacement at death, childcare, benefits plan, disability etc. With a personal insurance policy you can cover whatever makes sense to you. It could be your mortgage, it could be money for your loved ones, the options are available for you to make a decision on. With the mortgage life insurance through the lender that simply isn’t available and you would have to carry different insurance policies to cover the rest of your needs.

Plain and simple mortgage life insurance provided from the lender is simply not worth it.

What is a better solution?

We do agree that buying insurance that can be used to pay off your mortgage is important, but it needs to be purchased from an insurance company, not a lender. With a life insurance policy there are several benefits over a mortgage life insurance policy from a lender. To find out more about what the benefits are of having a personal life insurance policy that can be used against your mortgage, contact our life and financial services team.

 

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Meet the 2018 McDougall Family Fund Finalists https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/24/2018-family-fund-finalists https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/24/2018-family-fund-finalists#respond Thu, 24 May 2018 20:34:53 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=29574 Combermere and Area Recreational Rink Project The small town of Combermere, which is just outside of Barry’s Bay, was hit by a Tornado in 2006. The storm caused severe damage to many parts of the community including their outdoor rink. Citizens of the community rallied together and worked alongside one another to clean up and […]

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Combermere and Area Recreational Rink Project

The small town of Combermere, which is just outside of Barry’s Bay, was hit by a Tornado in 2006. The storm caused severe damage to many parts of the community including their outdoor rink. Citizens of the community rallied together and worked alongside one another to clean up and repair the damage. The outdoor rink is a an important part of the community where residents of all ages gather to enjoy a leisurely skate in the winter or play a game of road hockey or broomball in the summer.

Community Kids Space

Our children are the future and the Community Kids Space in Bancroft is looking to help create an environment where children (and their families) can come and participate in different activities throughout the year. In their new space they are looking to create a play space and kids fitness classes. Healthy, active children are vital to our future and being active can have some many positive benefits on our daily life.

A Million Possibilities

Community Living Ontario is a family based organization assisting people who have an intellectual disability. They encourage families to lead the way in advancing their family members inclusion in their own lives and in their communities. The A Million Possibilities project showcased the Solo Ocean Row where a father of a physical and intellectually disabled child completed a solo ocean row across the Atlantic Ocean, which took 83 days to complete. The a Million Possibilities project is a part of the family engagement series which provides a platform for families of children and youth who have an intellectual disability to see what’s possible and aids in making that vision a reality.

Cornerstone FVPC

The Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre is a non-profit in the Northumberland County area that has been working to break the cycle of family violence by providing immediate shelter, counselling and prevention services over the past 33 years. Making families whole again is their goal. The team is looking to create an area where families feel comfortable and have access to the tools and help they need.

Home Again Animal Rescue

The Home Again Animal Rescue located in Bancroft, is a volunteer organization that rescues surrendered, abandoned or homeless pets. They treat the pets and foster them until they are ready to be adopted. They also subsidize the surgeries to spay or neuter these pets to make sure they are taken care of when the find their forever home. Their new initiative is to offer mirco-chipping clinics for the animals.

Michelangelo’s Café

The Gleaners Foodbank in Belleville is trying to create a kitchen space in their Café. Currently, they do not have a kitchen that allows them to make meals in house. Everything has to be delivered or shipped, packaged separately and then shipped back. They also cannot provide cutlery, dishes, or glasses to the families they feed as they do not have a kitchen that passes the health and safety board. With a new kitchen they will be able to provide a lot of these services in-house which will ultimately cut their costs and allow them to severe more in-need families.

Southview Public School Playground Plan

The Southview Public School in Napanee is in need of a new playground. Right now the school yard only has one tree, some rough terrain, and soccer fields without grass. With the support of the McDougall Family Fund the Southview Public School would be able to revamp their playground and provide a space for the students to be active and socialize.

The Connections Program

The Connections Program serves youth in the Counties of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville. The program is designed to help youth who are showing evidence of disengaging from the education system or with mental health issues. Each student who attends the program receives a tailored curriculum specific to their needs. Supporting their health and well-being is the top priority and providing them the opportunity to develop life and social skills as well as academic aid is also an important component of the program. Every youth deserves to feel valued, to be heard and have the chance to succeed and that is what the Connections Program aims to accomplish.

Walk for Claire

For the past several years the small community of Tamworth has united in memory of a young girl by the name of Claire who lost her battle with cancer in 2011. The Walk for Claire is an initiative designed to raise funds and show support for Paediatric cancer. All the money is used to support the families with children currently battling cancer. The Walk for Claire also works with the social work department to provide assistance to these families.

 

Hayley’s Camp Story

Easter Seals Ontario is dedicated to helping children and youth with physical disabilities. The non-profit organization assists the families with the cost of equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, lifts, and ramps as well as communication devices. Hayley’s Camp Story is another aspect of the organization where they send these children to enjoy a full accessible summer camp. With the donations they are able to send more kids to camp and purchase more equipment to assist the families in need.

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Wedding Insurance Is It Right For You? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/18/wedding-insurance-right-for-you https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/18/wedding-insurance-right-for-you#respond Fri, 18 May 2018 16:14:12 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=29093 When we think of insurance we often think about protecting the things we value most; our home, car, business or life. One thing that often doesn’t get thought of when it comes to insurance is your wedding. For most of us this only happens once (or twice) in a lifetime so maybe that is why […]

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When we think of insurance we often think about protecting the things we value most; our home, car, business or life. One thing that often doesn’t get thought of when it comes to insurance is your wedding. For most of us this only happens once (or twice) in a lifetime so maybe that is why insurance for a wedding is not always top of mind. But think about it. A wedding is typically a big financial undertaking, not to mention it can have a high liability exposure. I mean you invest a great deal of time and money planning your big day, so don’t let unexpected things ruin your wedding.

 

Why buy wedding insurance?

The average cost of a wedding, according to a study done by Weddingbells Magazine, is $31,685. That is a huge cost. If you had a $30,000 car or boat you would most definitely insure it so why doesn’t the average person buy wedding insurance? The answer is simple. Education and awareness. Most people are unaware that such insurance exists or they are uneducated about what it covers.

 

What is wedding insurance?

Wedding insurance coverage can differ from carrier to carrier but they all provide similar protection. Let’s take a look at what is covered with most packages:

  • Liability Insurance
  • Wedding Cancellation
  • Photos and Videos
  • Damaged Gown
  • Honeymoon Cancellation
  • Wedding Gifts
  • Wedding Rings
  • Rented Property

 

What are some examples of what it covers?

rain at a wedding

Picture this. You have dedicated hours upon hours planning your wedding and have the venue all set up. It is down by the water at this breathtaking location. The night before the wedding a massive rainfall comes down and the venue is flooded. With the proper wedding insurance policy you can postpone or find a new venue and be reimbursed for everything you lost. This includes invitations, cake, caterers, attire rentals, and much more. All you have to pay is your deductible.

 

Let us pose another scenario. Imagine, you’ve just found the perfect dress; you fall in love. It was expensive and someone’s wallet just became a lot smaller but it is perfect. The day of the wedding rolls around and there you are, looking stunning in your perfect dress. You began to walk down the aisle which has gently lit candles to illuminate the way. Your dress is so long and flowy that it catches a candle and ignites. Luckily everyone is able to act fast and get the fire out and the dress off of you. However, in the process your dress is burnt and ripped and totally ruined. With the right policy you will be reimbursed for a replacement veil and gown. Maybe you can use it for your next wedding?

 

Last one. You have planned an amazing wedding. Everything is going off without a hitch. You splurged and wanted to make sure everyone had a good time so you decided on providing an open bar (you rock and I am sad I missed it). Guess what, uncle Larry is taking full advantage and not acting his usual self. He decides to take one of the golf carts at the venue and drives into someone injuring them badly. With wedding insurance you have a general liability policy that will cover any legal action or damage against you.

 

What does wedding insurance not cover?

There are some exclusions in a wedding insurance policy. For instance the wedding rings are typically only covered 7 days prior to the date of the wedding. If they go missing before that or afterwards you are not covered, at least under this policy. You may decide to place a rider on your home insurance policy to protect your rings. Additional jewellery or watches or necklaces may not be covered as well. And the big one, which is definitely not covered, is cold feet. If before you say I do there is a change of heart from either party there is no coverage, so let’s hope that doesn’t happen!

wedding insurance does not cover cold feet

Not exactly the cold feet we were referring to but you get the idea

 

How much does wedding insurance cost?

Every provider has different coverage and packages available that can affect the premium. However, as a general rule of thumb the basic packages are typically $300 and can range up to $1,000. The difference in the premium comes from the limits on certain coverage. The royal wedding for instance, likely costs somewhere in the neighbourhood of 25,000 pounds just for the insurance (this it a totally made up figure but it is probably expensive)!

 

Do you really need wedding insurance coverage?

We recommend it for most couples. However, depending on the venue, booking company, or caterer they may have their own insurance that would cover the event or at least portions of it. In this case you do not want to pay for redundant or overlapping coverage. Otherwise, we recommend at least investigating in the coverage.

A little something to think about. Harry and Meghan purchased a very expensive wedding insurance policy for the royal wedding to make sure they are protected should anything not go as planned. And this is one of the most meticulously planned events ever. But you never know things can happen. Sarah Ferguson may try and make a flashy entrance after being snubbed from Prince WIlliam’s wedding and come flying in on a helicopter and crash into the venue. Ok we are done here. If you want to find out more give us ring, not a wedding ring, but like a telephone ring. We will walk you down the aisle of education and make your big day special!

Royal wedding for the girls in Oshawa

 

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