McDougall https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com Insurance & Financial Fri, 26 May 2017 20:25:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Golf Course Insurance: Complete Coverage from Tee to Green https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/05/24/golf-course-insurance-coverage/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/05/24/golf-course-insurance-coverage/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 21:05:32 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=13476 With all the cold, wet weather in the surrounding area as of late, more people are thinking about buying a space heater and umbrella rather than a tee time. But with some warm weather approaching people will be flocking to the local courses to embrace the wonderful game. Whether you are a course owner, manager, […]

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With all the cold, wet weather in the surrounding area as of late, more people are thinking about buying a space heater and umbrella rather than a tee time. But with some warm weather approaching people will be flocking to the local courses to embrace the wonderful game. Whether you are a course owner, manager, or just curious about what goes on behind the scenes, here are a few unique risks that golf courses are exposed to.

Property Damage and Loss

Suitable property coverage is the most important aspect to have covered under insurance. Property insurance covers a range of potential issues including protection from fires, theft, and vandalism. Losing the clubhouse to a fire would be very pricey. Not only do you lose the building but you also would fall victim to business interruption. Business interruption occurs when a business losses income due to a disaster. Ensuring you have business interruption coverage on your golf insurance coverage is highly important. If a disaster strikes you want the income loss to be covered due to the loss of golfers being unable to play without a clubhouse. Having property insurance to cover the loss or damage to property allows protection of the short and long term revenues.

Storm Damage and Flooding

Flood coverage is especially prevalent this year as, unlike last summer, we have surpassed the average expected rainfall for the month of May. The heavy rainfall has supersaturated many greens and fairways causing flooding to occur at low lying parts of golf courses. This flooding has caused golf course owners to shut down operations to avoid further damage from golfers playing on the soggy ground. This loss of revenue is painful enough for business owners, let alone paying to fix the damages the flooding has caused. That is where flood coverage comes into play. Since flood insurance coverage is independent of property insurance, business owners would be left alone with a closed course and unforeseen damage due to flooding. Having adequate storm and flood coverage anticipating harsh rainfall is crucial for golf course owners to recover the course to the way it should be.

Employee and Injury Claims

All businesses face the risk of claims put forth by an employee. Just like any business, golf courses are vulnerable to being sued by an employee or someone who becomes injured while on the course. But the risk of injury on a golf course is unlike many other businesses because of the various ways injury could occur. Rouge golf balls can always be a threat to injury people or damage property. Golfers driving golf carts have a high risk of injury if the carts are not handled with care. Having proper liability insurance provides protection from potential claims from an employee or third party.

Equipment and Asset Protection

In order to operate effectively, golf courses need to have a large number of operating vehicles including golf carts, lawnmowers, green groomers, and many other machines. The risk exposure of damage to the equipment is very high at a golf course due to accidents caused by golfers on the course as well as the hazard of fire and vandalism. Replacement cost coverage is a necessity on both golf carts and maintenance equipment to decrease the financial impact if a problem occurs.

row of golf carts

Hole In One Protection

You may not be the owner or manager of a golf course, but if you are looking to sponsor a Par 3 hole at an upcoming golf tournament with a cash prize for a hole-in-one you may want to insure the hole. Hole-in-one insurance offers companies and individuals the chance to sponsor a hole, without having to pay the entire cash prize should a hole-in-one actually occur. Although hole-in-ones happen very rarely, safeguarding against not having to pay the $1,000,000 cash prize is never a bad idea.

When it comes to insurance, keep the holes on the course, not in your coverage. Because unfortunately, mulligans can be played on the course, but not in insurance claims. Visit our golf course insurance page to learn more or contact a McDougall Insurance broker to make sure you have the suitable coverage for your course or event.

 

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The 5 Most Common Boat Insurance Claims https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/05/17/the-5-most-common-boat-insurance-claims/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/05/17/the-5-most-common-boat-insurance-claims/#respond Wed, 17 May 2017 17:47:15 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=13761 Boat insurance claims occur quite frequently especially given how little we use them in respects to other vehicles. But as we unveil the list of the top 5 most common boat insurance claims you will understand why. And it may come as a surprise that most of them happen while no one is occupying the […]

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Boat insurance claims occur quite frequently especially given how little we use them in respects to other vehicles. But as we unveil the list of the top 5 most common boat insurance claims you will understand why. And it may come as a surprise that most of them happen while no one is occupying the watercraft.

Hitting an Underwater Object

The number one boat insurance claim is hitting an object underwater. Unfamiliar waters, submerged objects, rocks or rock beds, these are all an issue when it comes to avoiding this type of claim. In many areas the water channels are clearly marked. But this isn’t always the case and even if they are marked correctly it doesn’t always stop operators from venturing over. Lack of education is one issue with boating in Ontario as, unlike receiving a driver’s license or motorcycle license, you do not have to do an actual driving test. Many individuals simply perform the written test, which can be easily administered online, and voila they have their pleasure craft operator’s card. The issue is, for many of these individuals they have never actually operated a watercraft. The combined lack of experience and knowledge of water ways and signals is a significant factor in causing damage from underwater objects to be the most common boat insurance claim.

Storm Damage

In Ontario we do not experience the devastating tropical storms that impact other areas. But that is not to say we do not have our own severe weather events. Wind storms out rank any other when it comes to damaging a boat. To prevent or limit the damage caused to a boat during a wind storm it is always important to properly secure the boat when it is not in use. Failure to do so properly can lead to damage to the boat by repeatedly crashing into docks, wharfs, or even the shore. Bumpers on the side of a boat are a good option, but having a proper boat lift or suspension system can make all the difference. Keeping your boat out of the water where it is most vulnerable to the severe weather events.

Theft

You don’t often hear of boats getting stolen in Ontario although it does happen. It may not be the most common boat insurance claim, but it is guaranteed to be number one for average payout per claim. Boat theft occurs more often when the watercraft is on a trailer, because it is easy for the thief to quickly get it as far away as possible. To prevent your boat from being stolen while on a trailer, take some security precautions that would frustrate a thief and deter them from stealing your boat. Such precautions could include locking the trailer hitch or tongue so the thief cannot attach their vehicle to the trailer. You can even go as far as taking the wheels off the trailer and placing it on blocks in the driveway.

Vandalism

You never want to believe that people would disrespect your property and vandalize your home, car, boat, or anything that you own, but it happens all the time. Boats are especially susceptible to vandalism because unlike home and auto vandalism, boats are not always in our possession. We dock them at a marina in the summer, and store them at a warehouse in the winter. Both places are out of our supervision and not always monitored closely. To safeguard against vandalism while leaving your boat at a marina, you need to make sure that you have a cover for your boat. This does not allow people to freely enter your boat, which will discourage people from doing any harm. When you put your boat into storage in the winter, make sure that the warehouse that it is being stored in is reputable and monitored by someone regularly.

Collision

Going back to the lack of experience one needs to operate a watercraft leads into the discussion of collisions. Inexperience leads to close encounters with docks and other stationary objects that could cause damage to your boat. However, it is collisions with other boats that cause a lot of damage to your boat and are very dangerous. Collisions with other boats are typically stemmed from too much speed and not paying attention. Reducing speed and always being alert of the other boats that are around you allows you to change course quickly to avoid an accident about to happen. It is important to understand the “rules of the road” so that boaters can enjoy the beautiful way of travel without worrying about this claim. Take notes from this little guy and you will be good to go!

With the warm weather finally here and the long weekend approaching, boat traffic is going to be high and we are here to help. If you are ever in doubt about your boat insurance leave it up the experts at McDougall Insurance to determine the best coverage for you.

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How to Prepare Your Home for Heavy Rainfall https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/05/03/how-to-prepare-your-home-for-heavy-rainfall/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/05/03/how-to-prepare-your-home-for-heavy-rainfall/#comments Wed, 03 May 2017 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. 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.

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. 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

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.

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

After you have taken the necessary steps to protect the outside of your home it is time to prepare the inside. 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!

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.

Make sure cell phones are charged, flashlights have new batteries in them, and there is food and water in an accessible area. Preparing a bag of dry clothes and an emergency kit are also good ideas. If there are any essential medications it is a good idea to make sure they are easily accessible for all household memebers. 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.

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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6 Safety Tips for Driving in the Fog https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/04/25/6-safety-tips-driving-fog/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/04/25/6-safety-tips-driving-fog/#respond Tue, 25 Apr 2017 22:28:45 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=13418 Spring fog is nothing less than dangerous driving conditions for commuters. These cool evenings that turn into warm mornings bring fog advisory warnings from Environment Canada – warnings that are no small matter. No, it isn’t heavy snow, or heavy rains either, but heavy fog reduces visibility to near zero which makes driving difficult even […]

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Spring fog is nothing less than dangerous driving conditions for commuters. These cool evenings that turn into warm mornings bring fog advisory warnings from Environment Canada – warnings that are no small matter. No, it isn’t heavy snow, or heavy rains either, but heavy fog reduces visibility to near zero which makes driving difficult even for the most experienced of drivers.

Inclement weather can cause an increase risk in car accidents and many believe that an accident as a result of poor weather means no one is at fault. This is not necessarily the case. You are expected to drive according to the current weather conditions – so what does this mean for fog?

Of course, the best advice is to avoid driving during a fog advisory; however, this is not always possible. Fog can be very unpredictable and you may have already started your commute when you are hit with a wall of fog. Here are some safety tips for you should you ever find yourself driving in the fog.

6 Tips for driving in the fog

  1. Slow down. Keep an eye on your speedometer. Pretty simple, a slower speed gives you more time to react to the traffic and road conditions. Stay back. Increasing your following distance will give you even more time to brake suddenly should you need to.
  2. Use your defroster and wipers to keep your windshield clear.
  3. Use your low beams. High beams reflect off of the moisture in the fog making it even more difficult to see. Use fog lights if you have them, in addition to your low beams.
  4. Use the right edge of the road as a guide rather than the centre line.
  5. Be very alert. Turn the radio down (or off) and look and listen for any possible hazards.
  6. Be patient. Now is not the time for passing cars or giving in to any distractions!

If you are still having a lot of difficulty seeing with the low beams on, it is likely that the fog is just too dense to drive through, you should consider pulling over. Never stop on the road! Ensure that you can pull over slow and safe, pull the car into a safe parking area, turn off your lights and turn on your emergency flashers (you should familiarize yourself with where these flashers are well in advance of ever needing them).

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The Legalization of Marijuana & What It Means for Insurance https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/04/19/legalization-marijuana-for-insurance/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/04/19/legalization-marijuana-for-insurance/#respond Wed, 19 Apr 2017 21:04:48 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=13288 As the Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau announces that Marijuana will be legalized by 2018, there are still a lot of unknown factors that are going to need more clarification from the party leader himself. These factors will also heavily affect the insurance business with topics such as medical pot under employee benefits and the […]

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As the Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau announces that Marijuana will be legalized by 2018, there are still a lot of unknown factors that are going to need more clarification from the party leader himself. These factors will also heavily affect the insurance business with topics such as medical pot under employee benefits and the heightened risks of driving while under the influence of marijuana.

Medical Pot for Employee Benefits

Shortly after Trudeau announced that the drug should be legalized by, a few Canadian business moguls have since spoken out. According to the Toronto Star, Loblaw Companies Limited and Shoppers Drug Mart announced that they hope to become the largest pharmacy chain in Canada to sell medical marijuana.

In light of this announcement they also said in an internal memo that effective immediately they will be covering up to $1,500 per year of medical pot under their employee benefits plan. This announcement is huge because both Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws are huge brands in our country and medical pot benefits for employees, is a topic that has been raised frequently over the past few years.

If Shoppers Drug Mart were to be approved they would be the largest private sector company to offer medical pot coverage to employees. Shoppers Drug Mart applied last October to have the license to produce medical marijuana in terms of retailing the drug. This won’t be approved until the Liberals figure out specific laws for this business among with other issues.

Impairment Regulations

Another way that the legalization of marijuana affects insurance is impaired driving. A huge concern from individuals who are either unsure of the legalization of pot or against it, is the rise in impaired drivers. Many are concerned that there will be a huge increase in high drivers come 2018, how will the government and law enforcement handle this concern? Currently in Ontario, the result of failing a roadside sobriety test is a suspended license. But it is more difficult to detect a driver who is high than it is to detect someone who is under the influence of alcohol…

Once the drug is legal there will most certainly be a spike in use so now law enforcement needs to find a reliable way to determine how impaired a driver actually is. Some companies are trying to develop road side tests to measure the level of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) somewhat like a breathalyzer, except there is no consensus to say how much THC would classify an individual as impaired. Part of the problem is there doesn’t seem to be a magic number like we see with alcohol, certain marijuana effects certain people differently. The driving under the influence law has been well established for alcohol but since Canada is one of the few countries in the world to decriminalize marijuana for recreational purposes, the level for impairment is unsure.

For now, Canadian law enforcement will have to mimic how they asses impaired drivers in Colorado, where marijuana has been legal since 2014. According to an article written by CBC, instead of relying on tests, the officers are trained to spot signs of high driving and use their best judgement. These signs include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Light body tremors
  • Different sized pupils
  • Impaired motor skills
  • The smell of marijuana

This law will most definitely change not only the insurance industry but our country. As the legalization date approaches, the Liberal party will have to answer not only these but many other unknown factors. As an insurance broker we want to make sure we are prepared to handle the questions and concerns that will arise from the new legislation but we want to make sure our clients are safe and protected.

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Ray Dassylva Does The Dip https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/04/17/ray-dassylva-dip/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/04/17/ray-dassylva-dip/#respond Mon, 17 Apr 2017 21:04:27 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=13379 Where to begin. Ray Dassylva has done a lot during his time on this Earth. Asides from being an insurance broker Ray contributes and volunteers to community initiatives and groups. I mean just check out the list: He has been the president of the Chamber of Commerce in Belleville. He has been a chair member […]

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Where to begin. Ray Dassylva has done a lot during his time on this Earth. Asides from being an insurance broker Ray contributes and volunteers to community initiatives and groups. I mean just check out the list:

  • He has been the president of the Chamber of Commerce in Belleville.
  • He has been a chair member of the Children’s Foundation.
  • A committee member of the United Way board.
  • Vice President of the Counselling Service of Belleville.
  • And now he has done the dip!

Ray volunteered to strip down into some questionable swimwear (as you can see from the picture) and brave the cold waters of the Bay of Quinte in order to raise money and awareness for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. There were several other participants involved, contributing to the great cause which sees that children of all ages can receive the necessary funding to go to summer camps, after school programs and participate in sporting events. The event raised over $6,000 for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign thanks to the collaborative efforts of all the participants and those who donated. Ray was honoured for raising the most money for any individual volunteer at over $1,000.

Ray Dassylva receiving YMCA Strong Kids award for top fundraiser

Ray has a passion for the community he is a part of and always tries to do his part to contribute. The YMCA Strong Kids is an initiative Ray felt passionate about being apart of because of the tremendous work the program accomplishes with kids. He believes in giving kids the life experiences they deserve and may otherwise not be exposed to without this support. Ray had a goal to raise $1,000 and he reached it. The McDougall Family is proud of you Ray for your many accomplishments and the continued contributions you make to the community!

If you would like to find out more about the YMCA strong kids campaign check it out here.

And to see more pictures of the event visit Quinte News:

Freezin’ for a reason!

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Hitting a Homerun with McDougall https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/04/11/hitting-homerun-mcdougall/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/04/11/hitting-homerun-mcdougall/#respond Tue, 11 Apr 2017 14:15:48 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=13355 Insurance isn’t always fun and we get that. But at McDougall Insurance & Financial we work hard to make our clients happy and try and have some fun along the way! In the last two seasons the Toronto Blue Jays have brought new life into the baseball world for Canadians. Coming off a huge win […]

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Insurance isn’t always fun and we get that. But at McDougall Insurance & Financial we work hard to make our clients happy and try and have some fun along the way! In the last two seasons the Toronto Blue Jays have brought new life into the baseball world for Canadians. Coming off a huge win over Baltimore in the wild card game was amazing and is definitely an experience of a lifetime. We want our clients to have the opportunity to partake in the Blue Jays success. That is why we have held several Blue Jays contests. Our most recent contest towards the end of last season was a simple referral contest where our existing clients could refer a friend for their chance to be entered into the draw to win a pair of Blue Jays tickets.

Now imagine you’re an existing client of McDougall and you refer a friend of yours. Easy right? Your name is entered into a draw and what do you know you’re picked to take yourself and a friend, hopefully the one you referred, to the Blue Jays game! Well that is exactly what happened to our client Will Guthrie, who referred his girlfriend.

Will took his girlfriend to the game and was able to sit right down the first base line and take in the amazing atmosphere Toronto baseball provides.

Will’s girlfriend not only got to take in an amazing baseball game but when one of our brokers reached out to her she was open to getting a quote for her car insurance. As a current client of a direct writer she was certain we would not be able to beat them on price and would have to rely on tremendous service to win her over. Well, it turns out we conquered both. Will’s girlfriend had received her full G license a year or two ago but because her current provider is strictly there to provide insurance and maintains very little communication with their clients they were unaware of this. As an insurance brokerage it is our job to work on our clients behalf to find them the best coverage and price possible for their situation. Simply adding her G license date and even upgrading her coverage from $1 million liability to $2 million liability we were able to save her $200 for the year. Not to mention we set the effective date for her policy at the renewal of her current policy so there was no cancellation fee.

This is the type of care and value a broker places on their clients. Without our client relationships we do not serve much of a purpose. And remember that ‘fun’ thing we talked about? Well it is no secret brokers have more fun! Just ask our Picton branch who is ready to go for the home opener this afternoon as the Jays take on the Brewers!

McDougall Insurance Picton branch wearing their blue jays gear

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McDougall Family Fund Contest is Back! https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/04/03/mcdougall-family-fund-contest-back/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/04/03/mcdougall-family-fund-contest-back/#respond Mon, 03 Apr 2017 17:09:35 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=13263 Listen up Frugal McDougallers! The McDougall Family Fund Contest is back for it’s fourth year. I’m sure you all know what that means right? Well, 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 two-minute long video about […]

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Listen up Frugal McDougallers! The McDougall Family Fund Contest is back for it’s fourth year. I’m sure you all know what that means right? Well, 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 two-minute long 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 May 1st – May 15th. *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 from May 16th – May 19th.
  • The fun begins May 22nd, once we have selected our ten finalists the public voting begins! Voting is from May 22nd – May 31st.
  • The winner will be announced June 1st!

What is the McDougall Family Fund Contest?

McDougall Insurance has always been passionate about their communities and giving back to these organizations. We believe that the prize money could substantially change a project that a charity or organization is currently struggling to find the funds for, so we are here to help! The McDougall Family Fund Contest really unites the communities to vote for their charity of choice from our top 10. The contest is designed to bring awareness to these deserving charities and the contest winner will use the prize money to enhance their community project and cause.

Challenger Baseball the winner of the 2016 McDougall Family Fund awarded their cheque for $5,000

Past McDougall Family Fund Winners

Last year’s winner, Challenger Baseball, used the money towards a future project of building a wheelchair accessible rubberized Baseball Diamond for children with physical disabilities. The winners in previous years were Queen Elizabeth Public school located in Picton and the Wilno Community Centre located in Wilno. Queen Elizabeth Public school used the prize money towards a project of building a garden space for their students. The Wilno Community Centre used the prize money to build a new furnace in the community centre.

Cheque presentation for McDougall Family Fund 2015 Cheque presentation for McDougall Family Fund 2014

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.

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Distracted Driving, How Much Could It Actually Cost You? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/03/29/distracted-driving-cost/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/03/29/distracted-driving-cost/#respond Wed, 29 Mar 2017 19:37:20 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=13244 Whether you’re answering your cell phone, changing the playlist or sipping the coffee you made before work, it’s distracted driving. Recently, insurance companies have changed their definition of a distracted driving offence from a minor conviction to a major conviction. Which means that if you are convicted of distracted driving, you can bet that you […]

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Whether you’re answering your cell phone, changing the playlist or sipping the coffee you made before work, it’s distracted driving. Recently, insurance companies have changed their definition of a distracted driving offence from a minor conviction to a major conviction. Which means that if you are convicted of distracted driving, you can bet that you will have a major conviction on your record. Depending on the insurance companies decline rules they will now be more likely to not renew drivers who are convicted. Even if you have never had any other driving infractions in your life, one distracted driving ticket is enough to take you from a regular market to a high risk market. This change is important to know about because this charge could cost you a lot of money but also your own life or someone else’s.

What is Distracted Driving?

The common misconception behind distracted driving is that it only applies to cell phones. And although the rate of drivers using their phone while behind the wheel has increased drastically that doesn’t encompass the entire definition. Distracted driving is everything from entering an address into your GPS to touching up lipstick, whether you’re at a red light or moving, distracted driving will cost you. Reading, eating, texting, talking on the phone, reaching for an object and checking your maps are all examples of distracted driving as you are not paying attention to the road which is a huge danger to not only yourself but all other drivers on the road. Don’t be like the lady below. You’re beautiful just the way you are you don’t need to apply makeup while your driving.

 

Distracted Driving Statistics

According to the Government of Ontario and CAA:

  • deaths from collisions caused by distracted driving have doubled since 2000
  • one person is injured in a distracted-driving collision every half hour
  • a driver using a phone is four times more likely to crash than a driver focusing on the road
  • a driver texting and driving is 23 times more likely to crash than a driver focusing on the road
  • a driver reaching for a moving object is 9 times more likely to crash than a driver focusing on the road

Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

Need a little help to stop distracted driving? Here are a few tips:

  •  Enter in GPS location and review all maps/directions before you start driving
  • Make sure all loose objects are secure to avoid moving objects in transit
  • Do not text, use apps or read e-mails while driving
  • Put phone on silent mode or turn off while driving
  • Put phone in a safe storage area while driving so it is out of sight
  • If you frequently handle calls while on the road make sure your car has a hands free blue tooth system and it is set up properly
  • Ask a passenger to take a call or respond to a text for you
  • Silence notifications that will tempt you to check your phone (Facebook, Instagram, E-Mail etc.)

Note: if there is an emergency and you need to call 911, pull over to a safe area on the side of the road.

What Happens if You Are Convicted?

Drivers with A to G licences

If you have an A, B, C, D, E, F and/or G licence, you’ll face bigger penalties when convicted of distracted driving:

  • a fine of $490, if settled out of court (includes a victim surcharge and the court fee)
  • a fine of up to $1,000 if a summons is received or if you fight the ticket in court and lose
  • three demerit points

Novice drivers

If you hold a G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence, and are convicted of distracted driving, you’ll face the same fines as drivers with A to G licences. But you won’t receive any demerit points.

Instead of demerit points you’ll face:

  • a 30-day licence suspension for a first conviction
  • a 90-day licence suspension for a second conviction
  • cancellation of your licence and removal from the Graduated Licensing System (GLS) for a third conviction
  • to get your licence back you’d have to redo the GLS program

Although not every insurance company treats distracted driving as a major conviction, we are seeing companies trending in that direction and soon this will be the standard. Even if you were a perfect driver before the fine, you will now no longer qualify for the regular insurance markets and you will be forced into a high risk insurance market. And that means paying a lot more for your insurance. When you’re driving keep your eyes and mind on the road, besides only a few more years until we have self-driving cars.

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5 Helpful Spring Home Cleaning Tips https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/03/21/5-helpful-spring-home-cleaning-tips/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/03/21/5-helpful-spring-home-cleaning-tips/#respond Tue, 21 Mar 2017 20:20:00 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=13225 Old man winter may be keeping a tight hold on this March, and has been throwing some nasty snow and winds at the outside of your home, but there is good news ahead – springtime is here. We have had hints of the warmer weather here and there, so take advantage of those warmer days […]

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Old man winter may be keeping a tight hold on this March, and has been throwing some nasty snow and winds at the outside of your home, but there is good news ahead – springtime is here. We have had hints of the warmer weather here and there, so take advantage of those warmer days by getting your home cleaning done and your house ready for the beautiful weather.

However, before you begin planning your gardens and pulling out the patio furniture, you might want to get a check list ready for your home and yard. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1.     Examine your roof

Those high winds may have left a few shingles in the yard over the winter. Replace any missing shingles, and any that are cracked, buckled or loose. Also, check flashing around plumbing vents and chimneys. If you are looking at an older roof, start budgeting now for your replacement.

roof top of a house

2.     Gutters and downspouts

Not just a job for the fall – spring is an important time to check your gutters for any clogs and for loose or leaky areas. Improper drainage here can lead water down into your basement, so you want to ensure that any melting snow or rainwater is draining well away from your home. You should also look into overland water protection on your home owner’s policy. Water damage is now responsible for more property insurance claims than any other, ask your broker about upgrading your policy.

downspout coming from the house to help rain flow away from foundation

3.     Cracks in concrete

Inspect all concrete areas in your foundation, walkways and patios. All exterior slabs should drain the water away from your home, so if you see cracks fill them as soon as possible with concrete crack filler or silicone caulking.

cracked walkway

4.     Move firewood and debris

If you stored firewood near your home over the winter, now is the time to move it away. It should be at least two feet from any structure and at least 18 inches off of the ground. This is a good time to do a clean sweep of any garbage or debris around your home that may be damp.

split firewood stacked up against a wall

5.     Outdoor faucets, lighting, and air conditioning units

Turn on your outdoor faucets and check for any leaking or damage that may have occurred over the winter. Check that all of your outdoor lighting is in good working order and have your air conditioning unit inspected before you turn it on. Servicing this unit on an annual basis will ensure it is operating at peak and will help prolong the life of the unit.

a water hose faucet that is frozen

A good start to any season is to prepare your home and these tips can help you target the main areas that need maintenance now.

Canada has experienced some rather extreme weather in recent years, and this is a trend that is expected to continue. Blame global warming, Mother Nature or whatever it may be, but this weather has had an effect on home insurance rates due to an unexpected increase in claims. One of the best ways to mitigate the chance of a claim is through proper home cleaning and maintenance. And although you cannot control the weather, you do have control over your home cleaning and the home insurance coverage options available to you. Talk to a broker today!

 

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