McDougall https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com Insurance & Financial Fri, 25 May 2018 15:27:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 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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Does My Credit Score Affect My Insurance Premium? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/10/credit-score-affect-insurance-premium https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/10/credit-score-affect-insurance-premium#respond Thu, 10 May 2018 20:18:41 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=27313 Your credit score has a big impact on your life. It can affect things like buying a car, receiving a loan, applying for credit lines, or getting your mortgage. But what you may not be aware of is it can also affect your insurance premiums.   How does my credit score affect my ratings? It […]

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Your credit score has a big impact on your life. It can affect things like buying a car, receiving a loan, applying for credit lines, or getting your mortgage. But what you may not be aware of is it can also affect your insurance premiums.

 

How does my credit score affect my ratings?

It is fairly simply to understand. Individuals with a bad credit score see an increase in premiums as they are determined to be more likely to file a claim. Individuals with a good credit score, which is the majority of Canadians, actually benefit from the credit scoring and receive lower premiums or discounts. These individuals are perceived to be less likely to submit a claim. Without credit scoring the majority of Canadians with good credit would be subsidizing the costs of those with lower credit scores, meaning the majority would be paying more for their insurance. As you can imagine, not everyone appreciates that model or is comfortable with their insurance company pulling their credit score. It is important to note that you do have the option to decline that report and that not all companies use credit scoring. However, if you do not consent to a company using your credit score your rates can be far worse than what they would be if you allowed the credit scoring.

 

Car Insurance and Credit Scores

In Ontario, auto insurers are banned from ever using this information. This is because it is mandated by law that you must carry automobile insurance, which is different than any other insurance products. If you have your home and auto insurance with the same company they may run your credit score for your property but cannot use that information on your auto insurance policy.

 

Home Insurance and Credit Scores

Unlike auto insurance, your credit score can be used to help determine your home insurance premium. Insurance companies are all about looking at historical data. For years they have found that there is a very strong correlation between credit scores and an individual’s likelihood to file a claim. On the flip side they found individuals with good credit scores have been found to be much less likely to file a claim, especially if it is a fraudulent claim. As a result their premiums can be much less. Again you are able to decline a credit score or ask your insurer not to pull it but this typically results in much higher premiums.

 

Claims and Credit Scores

When it comes to claims it is important to know that the insurance company is not able to run your credit score. In fact an insurance company violated that term after a client got in a car insurance accident and Canadian regulators came down hard on them. Credit scoring is simply used as another indicator to provide a more individualized rate for the consumer.

 

How to maintain a good credit score

  1. Pay your bills in full and on time. This is the most important and easiest step to ensure your credit score remains good. Most credit card companies provide an online or mobile reminder to notify you when a payment is due. Turn it on so you don’t miss it.
  2. Do not open and close credit cards regularly. The length of time you hold a credit card for also plays a role in determining your credit score. If you cycle through them regularly that will negatively impact your rating.
  3. Don’t go over your limit. Going over your credit limit can cause your credit score to decrease.
  4. Seek assistance from a credit counsellor if you are struggling to keep up with your payments or know you are not going to be able to make ends meet.

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McDougall Insurance is One of Canada’s Top Employers https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/04/24/canadas-top-employers https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/04/24/canadas-top-employers#respond Tue, 24 Apr 2018 18:49:06 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=26509 The post McDougall Insurance is One of Canada’s Top Employers appeared first on McDougall.

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Take a deep breathe. Now close your eyes and envision yourself, working at your dream job. Oh no wait, open your eyes you won’t be able to read this if they are closed. But imagine working at your dream job. A place where the culture promotes you to grow and explore and adapt, your teammates are more than just coworkers they are friends, the space you work is welcoming and the atmosphere is encouraging. Ok, now picture working at an insurance brokerage. Your probably envisioning two very different environments. Well, we’ve got some exciting news. McDougall Insurance was just recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Small & Medium Employers. I know what you are thinking, how can an insurance brokerage be recognized as a one of Canada’s top employers? I mean insurance is pretty much the most boring industry ever right?

Not with McDougall Insurance & Financial.

 

The Top Employer Award

Before we get into what makes McDougall so great lets take a look at the award. Each year the SME in partnership with The Globe and Mail recognizes companies across Canada with fewer than 500 employees. The panel of judges evaluates firms all across the nation in 8 key categories; physical workplace, atmosphere, benefits, vacation and time off, employee communications, performance management, training and skills development, and community involvement. The organizations are compared with others in their field to determine which offers the best workplace. Let’s take a look at those categories in a little bit more detail to see what really sets us apart.

 

Atmosphere

If there is one category McDougall Insurance really stands out on it is atmosphere and culture. We are a close knit team despite having over 300 employees. Right when you walk through the doors you feel a positive vibe, people are happy and that stems from the top down. We host monthly and annual events, we celebrate whacky days such as National Grilled Cheese Day (one of my personal favourites) and it is this atmosphere that sets us a part from the stereotypical insurance environment.

Celebrating Grilled Cheese Day!

 

Employee Communications

This coincides a little bit with the last category in that we have built our space to be open and promote communication. We consider ourselves one big McDougall Family and our employees have really taken that to heart. We participate in monthly social gathering outside of our regular office hours to promote team building and comradery. Our sales staff and customer service staff work very closely to service our clients and that communication is important for us to do our work effectively.

 

Benefits

Eggs benefits are one of my favourite things to start my morning with. Not but seriously, I love Eggs Benedict, I mean the Hollandaise sauce, the yolk, the melted butter on the English Muffin. Ok, sorry where were we? Oh right the benefits! Ya they are good too. I mean we have an employee benefits and group benefits department to provide plans for other company’s and their employees for Peter’s sake. We are the professionals so you know we make sure benefits are good for our employees too!

 

Vacation and Time Off

You hear it all the time, people complaining about their job. They will utter statements like, “I need a vacation to get away from my job” or “my work is killing me, I need some time off”. Our philosophy here is; it is not work when you love what you’re doing. But nobody loves insurance so we have a great program for vacations and time off. Everyone deserves a little break from time to time. Every year we offer our service and administration team some variation of their choice of a relaxing spa getaway or an exciting trip to Toronto for shopping, a show and a delicious dinner. We also do an annual sales trip to an exotic destination for our top performing staff. Sign me up.

 

Physical Workplace

OK, admittedly we have over 30 offices all over Ontario so this category is a little challenging. What we try to accomplish with our physical workplace is an area where everything is open. Ideas, questions, problems are all tackled together. An open and modern concept is what we strive for with our employee space. For our clients we have separate rooms or offices where they can go to discuss their insurance in private. We are still waiting on the nap stations and water slides but I imagine they are coming.

Performance Management

A fun work environment is important but you know what is also fun? Performing well. At McDougall Insurance there are a lot of performance tied incentives as we spoke about above (big sales trip). Not to mention it is a commission based business so your income is directly related to your performance. As a result we go a step further in creating individual performance goals for each and every employee. This provides a personalized benchmark to work towards based on what stage an individual is at in their career. More importantly it enables our managers to help our staff perform better and be successful. We also hold semi annual meetings to review our results and compare them historically.

 

Training and Skills Development

When you first venture aboard the McDougall Insurance ship you are bombarded with training and courses. For many others in the industry I am sure this can be an overwhelming experience. However, McDougall Insurance not only equips you with the tools you need to become a licensed insurance broker, they also encourage you and support you financially to pursue your own designations. And it doesn’t stop there. The insurance world is constantly changing and evolving so what you learned 5 – 10 years ago may no longer be relevant. Luckily, at McDougall Insurance we are committed to continued education for our employees. After all, it is our job to help educate and advise our clients and without the proper training and skills development we would have a hard time doing that effectively.

 

Community Involvement

What a great category to end on. We are a part of small communities all over Ontario, and we know how important these communities are, which is why we place a major focus year after year on giving back and contributing to these communities. We donate to various charities throughout the year, we volunteer our time, and we truly do our best to make an impact in these communities. Just take a look at some of the events or donations we have made:

Yes, we would say it is pretty great here, even for an insurance company! If you’re interested in finding out more about available positions or opportunities head to our careers page. If you would like to see the full article by the SME you can check that out here or if you want to see the rest of the top employers you can check them out on the Globe & Mail article here. Alright Dougallers, until next time!

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Meet the Dougallers: Dave Fox https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/04/19/meet-dougallers-dave-fox https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/04/19/meet-dougallers-dave-fox#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 18:13:28 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=25419 Meet the Dougallers features Dave Fox. He is our new highly trained insurance broker and has joined the McDougall DLK Insurance in our Brockville office. Dave is passionate about working in the community and creating ongoing relationships with his customers which makes Dave a great fit for the McDougall team. But that sounds like just […]

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Meet the Dougallers features Dave Fox. He is our new highly trained insurance broker and has joined the McDougall DLK Insurance in our Brockville office. Dave is passionate about working in the community and creating ongoing relationships with his customers which makes Dave a great fit for the McDougall team. But that sounds like just about everyone in McDougall, we wanted to dive a little deeper to get to know Dave a little more and here’s what we found out:

Place of birth?

I was born in Brockville, Ontario and it is where myself and my family continue to call home.

Favourite hobbies?

My hobbies include visiting Flea Markets, Antique Shops and Thrift Stores. I used to be an avid vintage sports memorabilia collector. In more recent years I have used my collection to help local charities raise funds through auctioning off my signed memorabilia items.

Dave Fox with Pete Rose

Dave as a child standing with Pete Rose, professional baseball player

Favourite meal?

Steak and Potatoes – you just can’t beat it.

Favourite saying?

“All good”

Favourite movie and why?

Slapshot – Way too funny

How did you get involved in insurance?

After 18 years I was no longer enjoying my previous occupation selling newspaper ads. I received a phone call (out of the blue) from another broker who thought I might want to take a look at insurance as a career. He said “one thing about insurance….everyone needs it”. I was sold.

What do you bring to the table to help your clients?

Honesty and providing them with the best information to make an educated decision regarding all the different coverage options with their insurance.

What do you think is important in a relationship with a client?

Being honest and communication. In order for me to do my job well I need to know what my clients needs are. It is also important to be reviewing their needs on a regular basis to ensure they get the best coverage for the best price throughout our relationship.

Favorite sports team and why?

Toronto Blue Jays. I love a lot of sports but baseball is one of my favourites. When it comes to a team I saw the Blue Jays play a lot of games in Spring Training when I was younger and of course they are “Canada’s Team”.

Who is your celebrity role-model and why?

Jean Beliveau (Montreal Canadiens) – He was just a class act in every aspect. He always took time to have photos taken with him, sign autographs and talk with people regardless of status. That is something I very much admire.

Final thoughts?

When it comes to insurance I am connected and mobile, so it’s easy to get a quote. I will also be working on both the personal and commercial side of insurance. I have grown up in the community and continue to be a part of it. I love to volunteer as a youth baseball coach and when I have the time I enjoy participating on my own local sports teams.

The McDougall DLK Insurance is proud to have Dave as part of our branch and we look forward to his success with our company. To reconnect or meet Dave for the first time, stop by our local branch located at 35 King St. W or give him a call today at (613)342-8663.

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McDougall Family Fund 2018! https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/04/16/mcdougall-family-fund-contest-2018 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/04/16/mcdougall-family-fund-contest-2018#respond Mon, 16 Apr 2018 18:43:15 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=26349 Go to our Facebook Page for full details! Hey, Frugal McDougallers! The McDougall Family Fund 2018 Contest is back. We are now in our fifth year. I’m sure you all know what that means right? McDougall Insurance is awarding one local charity, non-profit organization or community project a prize of $5,000 towards their initiative. Here’s […]

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Go to our Facebook Page for full details!

Family Fund Facebook

Hey, Frugal McDougallers! The McDougall Family Fund 2018 Contest is back. We are now in our fifth year. I’m sure you all know what that means right? McDougall Insurance is awarding one local charity, non-profit organization or community project a prize of $5,000 towards their initiative. Here’s how the contest works:

  • Create a short video about your organization, explaining who you are, what projects you offer to the community, and what you would do with the prize money.
  • Video submissions will be accepted from April 30th – May 14th. *Remember that videos don’t need to be professional! We just want to see what you guys are all about.*
  • The top ten will be selected from our panel of judges on May 19th.
  • The fun begins May 21st, once we have selected our ten finalists the public voting begins! Voting is from May 21st – May 31st.
  • The winner of the $5000 will be announced June 1st!

McDougall Family Fund Rules 2018

What is the McDougall Family Fund Contest 2018?

We have always been passionate about the communities we are a part of. Each year we try to contribute money that will directly impact their community. We believe the McDougall Family Fund Contest is a great way for local initiatives to gain exposure and ultimately win some money that could substantially help their project and their community. The contest really aims to unite the communities to vote for their charity of choice from our top 10. This awareness alone is often times enough to jump start some of these deserving charities towards reaching their goals.

 

Past McDougall Family Fund Winners

Last year’s we partnered with our insurance partner Northbridge Insurance to award 3 different winners!

HART won 3rd place and $2,000. The money contributed was used to help spay and neuter stray animals in the Bancroft area.

HART snip McDougall Family Fund

Kids R Kool won 2nd place and $3,000. The money was used to sponsor local children in sports and provide more Christmas presents to children in need.

Kids R Kool McDougall Family Fund

Spay and Neuter Kingston won 1st place and $5,000. The money was used to help spay and neuter stray animals in the Kingston area.

This contest is not something that you want to miss! Visit our Facebook Contest page to submit, vote and learn more information about the McDougall Family Fund 2018.

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Umbrella Insurance: The New Status Symbol https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/04/03/umbrella-insurance-new-status-symbol https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/04/03/umbrella-insurance-new-status-symbol#respond Tue, 03 Apr 2018 19:08:58 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=24660 What is umbrella insurance? An umbrella insurance policy is simply an insurance policy that gives you extra liability coverage. It acts like an umbrella in that it can cover your home, your cars, your boat etc. and sits over top of all of these policies to protect you, like an umbrella. The protection is designed […]

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What is umbrella insurance?

An umbrella insurance policy is simply an insurance policy that gives you extra liability coverage. It acts like an umbrella in that it can cover your home, your cars, your boat etc. and sits over top of all of these policies to protect you, like an umbrella. The protection is designed to provide additional liability coverage in the event your other policy has been exhausted.

 

Who needs an umbrella?

Anyone who owns a house or who has built up assets should have an umbrella policy. I know what you’re thinking, “doesn’t my home and car insurance policies already have their own liability coverage portion?” You bet they do, however the liability coverage isn’t always enough.

 

Imagine this: you are driving your car and skid on black ice and hit another car badly injuring the passengers in that car. They will sue you to ensure they can get around the clock care, loss of income, pain and suffering etc. If the injuries amount to more than your liability coverage of $1,000,000 or $2,000,000 for example, you could lose your house, car, all of your assets. The courts can also garnish your future income. It’s possible you could never own a home again.

 

Why wouldn’t I have an umbrella?

Good question. To get an umbrella policy with an extra $3,000,000 in coverage is approximately $250 per year or $20.83 per month. If you have something to protect, it is a small price to pay. I know it can be hard to imagine a lawsuit over $1,000,000 happening to you, but believe us when we say they do! And to be honest they are happening more and more frequently. If you are sued an umbrella policy will be the best investment you ever made.

 

Is it really a status symbol to have an umbrella policy?

Yes. The next time you go to a fancy cocktail party, walk up to the first person you meet and say: “Reginald and I balked at the idea of course, but really, who doesn’t have an umbrella policy these days?” And then throw your head back, laugh and walk away.

If it wasn’t a status symbol do you really think Rihanna would have recorded a song about it?

How do I get an umbrella policy?

Call your favourite broker at McDougall Insurance at 1-800-361-0941 or fill out the form below.

 

Let’s Get You That Umbrella Insurance Policy Shall We?

Fields marked with * are required

[contact-form-7]

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Insurance Fraud Driving Rates to Increase https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/03/21/insurance-fraud-driving-rates-increase https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/03/21/insurance-fraud-driving-rates-increase#respond Wed, 21 Mar 2018 14:38:29 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=24075 “My insurance company raised my rates again this year!” “My premium just continues going up year after year.” “I haven’t had a claim so why is my insurance going up?”   The frustration around insurance premiums, especially as it relates to auto insurance, has been felt throughout Ontario. And typically that frustration is perceived as […]

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“My insurance company raised my rates again this year!”

“My premium just continues going up year after year.”

“I haven’t had a claim so why is my insurance going up?”

 

The frustration around insurance premiums, especially as it relates to auto insurance, has been felt throughout Ontario. And typically that frustration is perceived as the insurance companies being greedy and wanting to make more money. However, there is a lot more at play than meets the eye. In fact, in 2017 some of the major insurance companies actually did not operate at a profit and actually paid out more money than they received. So why would that be?

 

Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud at its core is any act committed by an individual with the intent to obtain a fraudulent outcome from an insurance process. Now before we get to far, we are not saying insurance fraud is the only thing driving insurance costs up. It is inevitable that there are other factors, such as severe weather or the cost of living that also come into play when determining rate increases for insurance. However, insurance companies are finding insurance fraud is costing them more and more.

 

Most people perceive insurance fraud as something an individual would do, and there is no question this happens. For instance someone breaks into your home and steals items from you. Now it is easy to tell the truth and only include what was actually stolen from you, but often time’s people will add items. This is a big problem for insurance companies and they do their best to combat this but it can be difficult. However, there is another side to the insurance fraud story and it involves the repair and maintenance companies. Insurance companies are paying more and more on repair costs and part of the reason is fraud.

 

Repair Companies & Auto Body Shops

Repair companies have always been viewed as the professionals and their tactics or measures have never really been questioned. However, thanks to a recent study performed by Aviva Insurance it was discovered that these repair companies are also taking advantage of the system. Aviva went undercover to discover that auto body shops were damaging cars even further when they received them, installing used parts but billing for new ones, or invoicing for work or repairs that were never actually conducted. In their study, which only sampled 10 vehicles, they found that the expert adjusters assigned to the study had estimated the damage for the repairs to be no more than $30,000. When Aviva received the invoices they were billed for more than $60,000. That is double the amount. This means you, the client, are paying more money for your premiums to help cover the cost of this fraudulent activity.

 

Towing Companies

Another fraudulent area that arose from the study was the towing companies, who billed for additional towing and storage that actually never occurred. The drivers were also asked to sign blank work orders, which is a document used to indicate a task or job had been scheduled or completed. The tow truck company’s would then fill this in even if they hadn’t done the work.

 

Contractors

On the home insurance side insurance companies see similar cases where contractors over bill the insurance companies for the repairs. They will bill hours that were never actually worked or the contractor will use lower quality parts when repairing a home and invoice for more expensive materials. Most insurance companies do a good job at quality checking the work done to ensure it meets the standards but there still are instances where they see fraudulent invoices.

 

Slow Process

Not to mention the time frames that these companies have to repair the damage. Some of these repairs should be able to be completed in a week or a few days, but the repair companies are taking several weeks or even months. Guess what? That delay in time also has a cost associated with it. Insurance companies pay out more money as they need to provide rental cars or additional living expenses for longer periods of time. As a client sometimes you have a certain limit on your policy and once that coverage runs out you are now the one on the hook to figure out the rest. Meanwhile, the repair work could have already been completed and it wouldn’t be an issue. If only insurance companies had their own pit crews.

racecar pit crew changing tires

 

This is a problem for insurance companies as they cannot afford to maintain low premiums if they are paying out on fraudulent claims and undetected fraudulent repairs. The problem for the consumer is, they are the ones who ultimately get penalized. This is why it is important for companies and the government to try and regulate and control this fraud. The industry estimates that as a result of undetected fraudulent claims the insurers pay premiums that can be anywhere from an additional 5 to 15%. As a policy holder it is important to do your best to make sure your vehicle is taken to a trusted source to ensure your claim is handled in a timely manner and the costs to repair are reasonable and not fraudulent. Action needs to be taken and regulations put in place to try and mitigate fraud and help combat the increasing insurance rates in Ontario.

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Water Insurance Coverage https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/03/20/water-insurance-coverage https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/03/20/water-insurance-coverage#comments Tue, 20 Mar 2018 21:02:10 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=24556 Water is one of life’s greatest gifts, but for as much beauty as it can give us, it can transition into a silent destructor in the blink of an eye.  Mother Nature can be a cruel old woman sometimes, and when she storms, it’s generally not pretty.  Our beloved water turns into an unstoppable force […]

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Water is one of life’s greatest gifts, but for as much beauty as it can give us, it can transition into a silent destructor in the blink of an eye.  Mother Nature can be a cruel old woman sometimes, and when she storms, it’s generally not pretty.  Our beloved water turns into an unstoppable force that invades homes, destroys personal property and forcefully evicts any unlucky people in its path. Water can quickly wash away the value of your home, and with flood season rapidly approaching it’s important to understand how you can protect your biggest asset.

Most home policy owners make the assumption that they are covered from water damage, yet the unfortunate reality is that insurers provide little to no upfront water coverage. Now this doesn’t mean it’s time to give up and buy a canoe, you do have some further options you can pursue for more protection. Insurers will offer you additional endorsements you can purchase to further enhance the protection of your home from the threat of water. These coverages include; Sewer Backup and the new Overland Water insurance. Both of these coverages are designed to protect your home from water damages and — unless you’re looking for an indoor swimming pool — are certainly worth looking into.

Photo: www.oceansideplumbing.com

Photo: www.oceansideplumbing.com

Sewer Backup Coverage

Sewer Backup (known as SBU for us insurance geeks) is an extension to your regular home, condominium or tenants policy to protect you against the damaging potential of water. The coverage was designed to insure your home against any damage resulting from the escape of water from your sewer system, septic tank, sump pump or eaves-trough. These systems tend to overflow during periods of abnormally heavy rainfall, unleashing a torrent of water that damages your property, leaving a not-so-nice mess behind. Letting your insurer clean up this expensive (and probably smelly) mess seems like a no-brainer and is why McDougall Insurance always recommends SBU to clients.

Overland Water Coverage

While Sewer Backup remains one of the most popular home endorsements (and for good reason), it still has many gaps in coverage where you are fully susceptible to loss, which brings us to the new Overland Water coverage. The Overland Water endorsement serves to fill these gaps by providing coverage against the risk of…. you guessed it…water that enters your home from over the land.

Unfortunately it is not that simple. Most companies are on the same page when it comes to their definition of overland water. However, there are some companies who use a different definition or exclude or have limits on certain components. This is what makes the water coverage so complicated.

Photo: www.meteo.psu.edu

Photo: www.meteo.psu.edu

The Good News

While SBU protects your home against water from overflowing drains and sewer systems, overland water will protect you from water entering from the land. The coverage serves to protect you from the rapid accumulation of water on the ground surface including; torrential rainfall, flooding freshwater rivers/lakes and overflowing water dams. So, for example, if your local river were to overflow during an intense rainstorm and flood waters entered your home damaging your basement, most of our insurer’s would reimburse you for the full damages! With the changing weather patterns facing Canada, and the catastrophic damage potential of water (as we saw with the 2013 Calgary floods) it’s obvious why obtaining this coverage should be considered when thinking about how to protect your home.

The Bad News

The unfortunate drawback to this endorsement is not everything is covered, and not everyone can get it. The coverage still excludes any damage resulting from Tsunamis or flooding bodies of salt water, admittedly not a major concern for us here in Ontario. But the endorsement also excludes anyone with a home built in a designated flood plain — which unfortunately does represent many Ontarians— as the risk of flooding is too high to provide coverage. So while this coverage may be a saving grace for some, for others you may want to think about some do it yourself flood protection strategies to ensure you’re ready for the worst.

Concluding Thoughts

Your home is likely the largest investment you’ll make in your lifetime, so protecting it should be one of your first priorities. When Mother Nature comes storming, a few sandbags probably won’t do the trick in protecting your best asset. The SBU and Overland Water endorsements can go a long way in protecting you and your property. So talk to a professional brokerage like McDougall Insurance to ensure you have the right coverage for you and your home, giving you the peace of mind you deserve.

Give us a call at 1-800-361-0941.

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The 4 Easy Steps to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/03/19/registered-education-savings-plan https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/03/19/registered-education-savings-plan#respond Mon, 19 Mar 2018 20:27:22 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=24486 As a Family Business since 1946, we know that building families is an important and rewarding journey. As parents and grandparents, we invest time, effort, patience, and money into giving our children and grandchildren the best life we can. You may have heard that there are government programs that will help you save for the […]

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As a Family Business since 1946, we know that building families is an important and rewarding journey. As parents and grandparents, we invest time, effort, patience, and money into giving our children and grandchildren the best life we can. You may have heard that there are government programs that will help you save for the costs of post-secondary education. Here’s a quick briefing on how a registered education savings plan works:

1) Apply for a Social Insurance Number

When Baby is born, you can apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) at the same time as their Birth Certificate. In order to take advantage of government grants and start saving, a Social Insurance Number is necessary to set up the registered education savings plan.

2) Choose a Financial Institution

Select a financial institution of your choice to help build an Education Savings Plan. This can be done by a variety of providers, including here at McDougall Insurance and Financial. We will apply on your behalf for government grants that are available to you. You can choose to invest based on your personal preferences, and we are able to offer mutual funds as well.

The Federal Government will match 20% of your contributions to your child’s account, up to certain limits. For example, if you can save $50 per month, the government will kick in an additional $10 every month. Who doesn’t love free money? This benefit is available to Canadians of any income level! In addition, there are specialized grants that we can apply for if you are a low-income family.

3) Set Up Pre-authorized Withdrawals

You can set it up contribute as little as $25 per month, and that can continually be adjusted to your budget and goals on an ongoing basis. If you receive a unexpected large sum of money and you would like to contribute it, do it! Just keep in mind that the Government will only match your contributions up to a certain limit. If you have reached that limit that sum of money may be better invested elsewhere.

4) Keep Your Savings Goals on Track

Even if paying for all of your child’s education is not possible, any contributions will help to reduce the debt burden on your new graduate. Work with us to help ensure you keep your savings goals on track.

What if my child or grandchild is not a baby anymore? Is it too late?

Absolutely not! In fact, you can even “catch-up” government contributions, up to certain limits. McDougall Insurance and Financial is here to help you. If you would like to find out more or begin helping your child or grandchild give us a call or fill out the form below.

 

Start a registered education savings plan

[contact-form-7]

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