McDougall https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com Insurance & Financial Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:30:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 What to Pack in Your Carry On https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/02/23/what-to-pack-in-your-carry-on/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/02/23/what-to-pack-in-your-carry-on/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:18:17 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=13107 Getting ready for your trip south this winter? With some of the latest weather, many Canadians are packing it in and opting for a week or two somewhere sunny and warm. Most airlines now charge for checked bags on flights; so smart packing with that carry on is more important than ever. Start with the right bag. […]

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Getting ready for your trip south this winter? With some of the latest weather, many Canadians are packing it in and opting for a week or two somewhere sunny and warm. Most airlines now charge for checked bags on flights; so smart packing with that carry on is more important than ever. Start with the right bag. Choose one that is light-weight and meets the airlines size requirements. Then pack like a boss with these tips and make the flight to your travel destination that much easier on you and your travel mates.

Itineraries

Where are you going? Where will you be staying? It’s a good idea to have these documents including addresses and phone numbers on paper (that flat white stuff in the copier). Yes, you can store it on your phone – but as a back-up have a paper copy. Whether there is a language barrier or cell service interruption – it is nice to hand paper to a taxi driver and then you are off.

Documents

Leaving the country? You won’t get far without your passport. Some countries require a visa or tourist card. Know before you go – Government of Canada Travel Advice. Make sure these documents are in a safe part of your carry on with little chance of falling out or being vulnerable to theft.

Insurance

One of the most important and often forgotten items in your carry–on is your travel insurance. Travel insurance is as different for every individual as your travel plans are, so shop around and get the policy that fits your needs and plans, and carry a copy of your policy with you. Don’t know where to start for a travel insurance quote? Talk to one of our travel insurance experts. In some cases you may already have coverage through a group plan or your even your credit card plan.

travel insurance photo

Photo telegraph.co.uk

Valuables

Your best bet is to leave your valuables at home (special jewelry etc.), but for those items you will need – wallet, money, phone, keys, camera – keep these items packed in your carry on.

Personal items

A change of clothes, a pair of pj’s and your basic toiletries are handy to keep in your carry on. Make sure your toiletries are stored in a clear, reseal-able bag and the containers meet the airlines specific requirements for size. If the airlines ever loses your checked luggage, you sure will appreciate having these items on hand.

Snacks and entertainment

A few small snacks and an empty water bottle will help keep that hunger at bay during the flight. Most flights offer complimentary drinks and will fill a water bottle for you. Also, chewing gum is helpful to have for take-off and landing to keep the ear popping to a minimum. Books, laptops or tablets will keep you entertained – don’t forget your headphones and chargers too!

Medication

Have your meds also stored in a clear plastic bag, clearly labelled.

loading airplane

Whether you are taking a short trip or a long flight somewhere tropical, these basic carry on items will help make the flight that much more comfortable. Your travel needs may require more or less of these items – just ensure you have what you need when you need it at your finger tips!

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Driving Green Vehicles Can Save You Green https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/02/09/driving-green-vehicles/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/02/09/driving-green-vehicles/#respond Thu, 09 Feb 2017 18:56:59 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=13090 Driving green vehicles offers more benefits besides helping the environment; they can also help you save money. And no we don’t mean driving vehicles that are the colour green we mean vehicles that use alternative methods to gas consumption. So how do they help save you money? First, they lower your fuel costs, and secondly, […]

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Driving green vehicles offers more benefits besides helping the environment; they can also help you save money. And no we don’t mean driving vehicles that are the colour green we mean vehicles that use alternative methods to gas consumption. So how do they help save you money? First, they lower your fuel costs, and secondly, they can lower the cost of your car insurance. Not only can you be proud for doing your part for the planet – you can save money too!

 

What is a green vehicle?

Green vehicles are either hybrids or ‘deep greens’. A hybrid car has an electric engine running alongside the conventional petrol\diesel motor such as the Chevrolet Volt or the Toyota Prius. Deep green vehicles, such as Tesla model cars, are wholly powered by electric motors and use no fuel. More and more vehicles are hitting the market that fall into the green vehicle category. Solar powered cars are also being developed to see if they would make feasible alternative to fuel consuming cars.

Solar Powered Vehicle

How can green vehicles save you money on insurance?

Insurance premiums for driving green vehicles vary, for the most part. If you start on par with the premiums of non-green cars and compare that to a hybrid or deep green vehicle you will find the premium is lower. In many cases, the insurance providers are offering discounts of between 5 and 10 percent to the owner of a hybrid or electric vehicle in Ontario as a way to promote driving vehicles that are better for the environment. On top of that the actual rating factors that most companies use to determine your premium generally score better because they are safer, more reliable vehicles.

Since the purchase price of these green vehicles is higher than the conventional gas-guzzler, how can the insurance be lower? Insurance is based on statistics, and so far the stats suggest little difference in the cost of claims for green vehicles vs regular vehicles. Although the vehicle itself is more expensive, and the repairs are slightly higher in price, overall, the frequency in which they are involved in accidents is lower so in this category the premiums remain on par.

Green vehicles are generally smaller, and also less powerful which helps to keep them safer. The technology is getting more sophisticated and manufacturers are able to build more powerful models; but drivers of these cars know that hybrids achieve better fuel economy at low, constant speeds, and the batteries of both hybrids and deep greens can have a longer lifespan as a result of these low speeds. Overall, the result is a safer ride.

 

Where can green vehicles fuel up?

hybrid fuel stations

Photo by plugshare.com

 

Earlier this year, the Ontario government announced in a press release that it is working with 24 public and private sector partners to build 500 electric vehicle -charging stations at more than 250 locations across the province.

Officials in the press release said that a shift to low and zero-emission vehicles is vital to the fight against climate change, and Ontario has a target to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to 80% below the levels of 1990 by the year 2050.

The province’s $20 million investment will include a network of charging stations that will be fast, reliable and affordable.  In essence, you can plug your car in while you enjoy a cup of java at your local Tim Horton’s. The vast majority of electric car charging happens at home or at work, however, public charging stations allow people to top up while they go about their daily routine and support longer road trips for those venturing out across the province.

The network of charging stations will be added to the Ontario 511 interactive map, and the stations will be posted on the Ontario Open Data Cataloque. In addition, PlugShare is a wiki-based map and App of charging stations across North America – of course, there is an app for that!

It is getting easier and easier to get into a green vehicle. If you already own or are in the market for a green car, you should always shop around for green car insurance quotes, and read the fine print – ensure your policy fits your needs.

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Winter Car Maintenance https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/01/20/winter-car-maintenance/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/01/20/winter-car-maintenance/#comments Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:52:18 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=13034 Winter car maintenance in Canada seems it should be routine. But all to often you see drivers who dismiss this subject. You may think that this information is common knowledge, and admittedly it is a reminder for some; however, there are many new drivers out there, and still more experienced ones that need to be […]

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Winter car maintenance in Canada seems it should be routine. But all to often you see drivers who dismiss this subject. You may think that this information is common knowledge, and admittedly it is a reminder for some; however, there are many new drivers out there, and still more experienced ones that need to be told not to use cruise control in the winter.

Most of you have probably already completed many of following tips, but there may be a few forgotten or new-to-you steps ahead. A quick read through should ensure your car continues to be dependable all winter long.

Winter tires

Check. Most Canadians are already onboard with winter tires. These tires are much more capable of staying flexible during the low temperatures. They provide improved traction when you are trying to stop and turn on the cold roads. The best part, many insurance companies offer a discount on premiums if you are equipped with a complete set of winter tires. If this is not on your winter car maintenance list you are missing out.

Check your battery

A quick volt test on your battery will let you know if you need of a new one or if you are simply good to go. The cold winter air makes it more difficult for the battery to operate, and if it is already weak, it could leave you stranded.

Check your lights

The winter brings with it shorter days meaning less daylight and in particular, in the evening for your commute home. Couple that with blowing snow and your visibility is limited. Make sure all your lights are in good working order and keep them clear of ice and snow.

car covered in snow

Clean off your car…completely

This may be the most important winter car maintenance tip! Play it safe, even if you are running late – believe me, the 30 seconds it takes to clean your back window is well worth it! It never fails, on those stormy Monday mornings, you see that driver who did not take the time to clear the snow and ice from the rear window. Clearing your car of snow, ice and built up road dirt and salt protects you as you are driving and protects your car from exterior corrosion. Safety first – and it’s the law!

Regular fluid top ups

This includes gas, washer fluid, engine coolant and more. Cold temperatures can cause condensation in your gas tank which can lead to freezing gas lines. Consider adding a gas line antifreeze with your next fill up. If you need an oil change, just ask and they will gladly ensure that all your other vehicle fluids are topped up.

Avoid the excessive warm up

Idling for more then a few minutes is unnecessary and wastes gas, not to mention the environmental concerns. The best way to warm your vehicle is to start out slow, driving gently at the beginning of your trip.

No cruise control

Never use your cruise control during the winter months. Much the same as in rainy conditions, if you hit any icy roads (including that hard-to-see black ice), your tires will spin as your car accelerates to maintain its speed – the result could be loss of control. It is simply too risky to use the cruise on wet, snowy or icy roads.

Pack a survival kit

This may not be so necessary for the urban dwellers heading to and from work each day; but, rural drivers should consider one for your vehicle. Or, if you are a city driver and taking a road trip – a small survival kit never hurts. Should you ever find yourself stuck on a rural road, you never know when another car may come along.

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(Insurance) Award Season https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/01/11/insurance-award-season/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/01/11/insurance-award-season/#respond Wed, 11 Jan 2017 18:36:47 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=12987 And the winner is… Is something you will hear a lot in the upcoming weeks. It’s award season, and that means people across the world will tune in to catch the Hollywood buzz and see who the big players were last year. The Golden Globes, hosted by Jimmy Fallon just happened; unfortunately I was off […]

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And the winner is…

Is something you will hear a lot in the upcoming weeks.

It’s award season, and that means people across the world will tune in to catch the Hollywood buzz and see who the big players were last year. The Golden Globes, hosted by Jimmy Fallon just happened; unfortunately I was off in La La Land so I missed the big winner. If you also missed it never fear, Car Pool Karaoke creator James Corden will be hosting The Grammy Awards in the near future. The Oscars are also right around the corner with comedian Jimmy Kimmel manning the ship. Perhaps the most coveted award season just wrapped up: The Insurance Award Season. And in case you somehow missed it, here’s the recap:

Boy oh boy, what a year it was! Big names appearing left, right and centre. And yet, as so often happens in award season, one name stood above the rest. The year of 2016 saw the name McDougall Insurance & Financial take home almost as much hardware as the 1997 film, Titanic. And perhaps the word titanic, which www.dictionary.com defines as: “of exceptional strength, size, or power” is the appropriate title for the year McDougall Insurance & Financial just experienced. Exceptional strength with the knowledge and capability of our employees. Exceptional size with our 29 different branch locations. Exceptional power with more insurance markets than anyone else in Ontario. And so, without further ado let’s check out the awards!

The first award is a prestigious award in the Quinte Area, which is awarded to the Best Insurance Broker as named by The Intelligencer. Unlike the US election, this award actually considers the popular vote when determining a winner. McDougall Insurance was voted by the people as the best Insurance Broker in the Quinte Area. Consider this award comparable to taking home Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globes. To boot, McDougall Insurance & Financial was also awarded Best Financial Services in the Quinte Area, which to us is like winning Best Foreign Language Film! No one really understands it but we’ll take it!

Having a successful motion picture is impressive, but it can’t happen without a good cast and crew. Our organization is no different. Our very own Christian Hutchison was recognized as the Top Broker Under 40, a situation that very much resembles that of Leonardo Dicaprio and his journey as an actor. Both Leo and Christian are prominent figures in their respective fields and in 2016 they received the recognition they deserved. The only difference is Christian did not have to sleep in a dead horse and get mauled by a bear to win his award.Christian Hutchison Top Broker

McDougall Insurance also received the CSIO Technology Leader of 2016 award. When you think of this award, picture something similar to the Best Visual Effects award at the Oscars. The general public doesn’t really care, some nerdy guys go up to accept it and give a very nervous looking speech. However, without it the motion picture just wouldn’t be the same. Oh and it means a lot to those nerdy guys!insurance technology

Our Cobourg branch was nominated as one of the Top Customer Service Brokerages in all of Canada by Insurance Business Canada. Best Actor in a supporting role? We think so! Without the support and localized service of our branch locations and the tremendous support of our clients we would not be the successful organization we are today.

You’ve made it to the finale of the show and now it’s time to reveal the grand winner; The Academy Award for Best Picture. With so many other great nominees out there McDougall Insurance was honored to be awarded one of the Top Brokerages in Canada by Insurance Business Canada. We would like to thank our mom and dad, the random people you don’t know, our fellow nominees, our insurance partners, but most importantly you, our clients. Without you, the year of 2016 wouldn’t have been a success. As our promise to you, we won’t stop here; we will continue improving in the years to come! Thank you for your support!McDougall Insurance Top Brokerage Award

 

PS. If there was an insurance award for best mascot, we would win it hands down.

#FrugalMcDougall

 

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What Does My Insurance Cover When It Comes To Water Loss? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/01/05/water-loss-insurance-coverages/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/01/05/water-loss-insurance-coverages/#respond Thu, 05 Jan 2017 20:30:36 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=12921 Are you covered for water loss or damage to your property? This is a very complex question. Once upon a time all the rage was fire protection, however, the insurance world has realized water claims are now more common than any other claim on a homeowners policy. So are you covered for water damage to your […]

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Are you covered for water loss or damage to your property? This is a very complex question. Once upon a time all the rage was fire protection, however, the insurance world has realized water claims are now more common than any other claim on a homeowners policy. So are you covered for water damage to your property? You better talk to your insurance broker, they can answer!

Water loss or damage comes in various forms; burst pipes, overflow of a household appliance, sewer back, sump pump failure and overland water to name a few. The first couple are fairly common and easily understood. However sewer back up, sump pump failure and overland water are less clear.

Sewer Back Up

Sewer back up/sump pump failure is “The sudden and accidental backing up or escape of water or sewage within your dwelling or detached private structure through a: sewer on your premise; septic system on your premise; or sump pump located within your dwelling or detached private structures”, according to one insurer.

Overland Water

Overland water is “Direct loss or damage by “surface water” entering the insured location as a result of the sudden accumulation of rain, spring run-off, or overflow form freshwater lakes and/or rivers”, according to one insurer.

“According to one insurer” is a key point. All insurance companies offer different wordings and coverage for these types of losses, which is why understanding what you have coverage for can be so complicated.

Most companies have what is called an anti-concurrent clause. This means if you have a water loss that is both sewer back/sump failure and overland water at the same time (which can very easily happen) you aren’t covered for either unless you have both! Clear as can be right? Some companies will limit the amount of coverage you have for sewer backup/sump pump failure and/or overland water! This will show on the coverage sheet of your paperwork from the insurance company.

Lets take a look at how certain insurance companies differ from others when it comes to water loss:

Aviva will allow you to purchase one coverage without the other.

Travelers have combined the coverages together.

Gore has only 2 zones (out of a possible 6) that can qualify for overland water coverage. If your property falls outside of that zone you cannot purchase overland water through Gore.

Optimum has 18 zones and you can purchase the coverage in every zone except zone 18.

Intact requires you to buy coverage for ground water (ground water is water that enters the basement from water found underground in the soil) in addition to their overland water and sewer back up coverage.

Economical includes ground water in their overland water coverage.

Cost can vary between insurers and will depend on how they categorize your location. For example, cost for overland water coverage could be a little as $40 and as much as several hundreds of dollars.

Don’t let water damage find YOU at a loss. You need an insurance broker to break it down!

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Automatic Emergency Braking and Your Insurance https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2016/12/30/automatic-emergency-braking-insurance/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2016/12/30/automatic-emergency-braking-insurance/#respond Fri, 30 Dec 2016 15:31:07 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=12878 Travelling along the 401, you notice an awful accident on the opposite side of the highway, you just cannot help but look; it is human nature, and it is quite dangerous. Suddenly your car slams on the brakes! What just happened? Your car sensed an imminent chance for a collision with the car in front […]

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Travelling along the 401, you notice an awful accident on the opposite side of the highway, you just cannot help but look; it is human nature, and it is quite dangerous. Suddenly your car slams on the brakes! What just happened? Your car sensed an imminent chance for a collision with the car in front of you and took matters into its own hands (or brakes).

Yet another step towards autonomous driving in the name of safety, automatic emergency braking (AEB) is coming to a car near you. This technology has the potential to prevent a crash or reduce the impact speed of a crash.

Automatic Emergency Braking is a road safety system that uses sensors to detect possible front-end collisions. AEB is always scanning, using radar, cameras and lasers to determine if you are about to hit the car ahead of you, a pedestrian or other large object, like say a moose.

Moose on the road

Photo by alberta.ca

This system will come into action if it detects a potential emergency situation. The system first alerts the driver by way of a warning – usually a sound alert – then the system will apply the brakes harder and faster than the driver could.

Automatic Emergency Braking could save you money on your car insurance

In a precedent setting move, Aviva has announced that it is offering a 15% discount on car insurance for owners of a vehicle equipped with automatic emergency braking systems, a discount that went into effect in December 2016 in Ontario. Using the tagline “Prevention Pays Off”, Aviva is offering the discount, which will be applied to the policy after you purchase a vehicle equipped with AEB. Don’t worry, unlike the Winter Tire Discount you do not need to notify us if you have a vehicle using automatic emergency braking as it is built directly into the VIN# of the vehicle and is automatically rated with the discount!

It is important to note that this technology cannot be retrofitted to your vehicle – it is a feature that is factory installed only.

Common Causes for Rear-End Collisions

  • Follow-too close – section 158 of the Highway Traffic Act – there is a reason this is against the traffic laws; it is a leading cause of rear-end collisions. AEB will detect if you are too close to the vehicle ahead of you and warn you to back off.
  • Distracted driving – this includes more than texting (although that occurs far too often!), eating, rubbernecking and distractions by passengers all take the drivers eyes off the road.
  • Poor weather – snow, sleet, ice covered roadways, even standing water can prevent a driver from stopping in time (reminder not to use cruise in poor weather).
  • Speed – of course, slow down.
  • Impaired – the use of drugs or alcohol significantly decreases reaction times for the driver.

The technology we see in vehicles is advancing more and more each and every day to try and make our world of transportation more efficient and safer. The AEB system is impressive but as with all technology it is not perfect. It is important to remember that even with the AEB system, you, the driver, always have complete responsibility for the vehicle at all times.

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Tips for Safe Travel this Winter https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2016/12/14/tips-for-safe-travel-this-winter/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2016/12/14/tips-for-safe-travel-this-winter/#respond Wed, 14 Dec 2016 20:25:27 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=12630 Every winter approximately 500,000 Canadians travel to warmer temperatures to avoid the worst of what winter here in Canada has to offer. Following the path of many migrating birds, these travellers have come to be known as our snowbirds, and they are normally gone from three to six months of the year. Although quite a few […]

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Every winter approximately 500,000 Canadians travel to warmer temperatures to avoid the worst of what winter here in Canada has to offer. Following the path of many migrating birds, these travellers have come to be known as our snowbirds, and they are normally gone from three to six months of the year.

Although quite a few snowbirds have already flown the coop, there are still many lingering here in the north ready to head out after the upcoming festive Christmas dinner. Whether you are a seasoned winter traveller, or if you are venturing south for the first time, there are a few things to add to your checklist before you go.

 

  1. Heath Care

For very good reasons, this is the number one item on the checklist. Be sure you are very familiar with your coverage and in particular, how long you can remain south without losing your health care benefits. If you are unsure of your health care benefits or are in need of a travel insurance plan talk to one of our experts by clicking here.

For more information about Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long Term Care http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/ohip/ohipfaq_mn.aspx

  • It is also a good idea to have a quick check up with your doctor, dentist and eye doctor too before you go.
  • Carry a copy of eye glass prescriptions if you have one – in case you break or lose your glasses while you are away.
  • If you take any regular prescriptions, ensure you have ordered enough to cover you for the entire length of your trip.
  • Always pack your prescriptions in their original bottles – never combine them into one bottle.

 

  1. Your home.

For your own peace of mind, it is wise to have your biggest investment taken care of while you are away.

  • Have someone stop by to look in your home frequently, keeping it looking lived-in and occupied. Not only will this help prevent theft or vandalism, it will also help in the event there is damage to your home to have someone notified as soon as possible.
  • Have your mail forwarded.
  • Advise your home insurance provider of your travel plans. They may have some good advice to pass on to you. In the winter months if you are gone for an extended period of time it may be a good idea to maintain your water lines.
  • Turn your heat down – but not off! You certainly do not need to come home to damaged pipes due to freezing.

 

  1. Travel Documents.

Forgot to pack your bathing suit? No worries, you can always buy a new one. But, do not leave home without current and up-to-date travel documents.

  • Check your identification to ensure it does not expire while you are away. This includes your drivers licence, passport and health card too. The last thing you want is to be stranded at some airport or border crossing because your identification has expired – and it happens all too often!
  • Get the travel insurance coverage you need before you go. In case off illness or accident, you want to ensure you are covered while you are away. It is important to have this coverage and even more so to understand the terms of your specific policy.
  • Do you need a travel visa? Depending on where you are headed, a visa may be necessary.

airplane waiting to depart

  1. Stay in touch.

It takes just a few minutes a week – or every other week to give your loved ones peace of mind. Stay connected.

  • Let your family and close friends know of your travels plans, including departure and return dates.
  • Ensure they can reach you in case of an emergency.
  • You can easily check in with them frequently using text, email, Skype, or FaceTime but make sure you have a phone plan or are using WiFi before doing so! The bills can be pretty hefty otherwise.

With everything at home safe and secure, and with your travel documents and insurance in hand, you are sure to relax and enjoy your well deserved extended vacation in the sun! Have fun!

 

 

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Christian Hutchison Top 10 Under 40 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2016/09/28/christian-hutchison-top-10/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2016/09/28/christian-hutchison-top-10/#respond Wed, 28 Sep 2016 12:29:32 +0000 http://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=9105 Insurance has always been apart of Christian Hutchison’s life; he was born into the insurance world. As a young adult Christian worked for the family brokerage out of their North Bay office, under the guidance of his father. Make no mistake this was no small operation. Christian’s father was the founder and CEO of Equisure […]

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Insurance has always been apart of Christian Hutchison’s life; he was born into the insurance world. As a young adult Christian worked for the family brokerage out of their North Bay office, under the guidance of his father. Make no mistake this was no small operation. Christian’s father was the founder and CEO of Equisure Financial Network which at the time had over 70 brokerages and was the largest publicly traded insurance network in Canada. Getting hired on by his father was not as easy as you might think. Christian’s father refused to hire him until he had completed his first year of business school at Nipissing University. Christian finished his first year and earned the position. He would continue to work at the family brokerage right through his undergrad and for several years afterwards.

 

In 2001, his father sold the brokerage. This opened up a new opportunity for Christian. As someone who had always been involved in the brokerage side of insurance, Christian looked at this as an opportunity to branch out and experience more.

 

He took his talents to Toronto and began working for Optimum Frontier as a commercial underwriting manager. He spent the next few years of his life working on the underwriting side of insurance while also earning his Executive MBA. Christian’s next step was a move that took him South to work for Pembridge and PAFCO Insurance and as the Director of Ontario. It was during this time that he met Ross McDougall, current owner of McDougall Insurance. It was clear that Christian always had a keen inkling to get back to the brokerage side and this seemed to be the relationship to spark the fire.

 

In 2009, Christian bought into McDougall Insurance & Financial, as a partner. His role didn’t stop there, he also was the Regional Director of McDougall Insurance’s Western region – including Oshawa, Cobourg, and Courtice, along with handling his own commercial lines book of business. A tall task for most but one that Christian handles quite exceptionally. Not to mention he holds out-of-province insurance licenses for Alberta and British Colombia.

 

The busy lifestyle Christian experiences is something he credits towards his success thus far in the insurance industry. Being involved in the sales side gives him credibility and knowledge about what’s happening in the industry and makes managing his team much easier. Insurance is a demanding business and Christian feels that to really know how it works you have to be in the trenches with everybody.

 

Insurance is a big part of Christian’s life and it has been for sometime. He has spent 20 years in the business and has experienced just about everything the industry has to offer. Yet Christian finds the time to balance his work life with his personal life. He is married with 3 kids; Carson his oldest and Lukas and Abby who are twins. He is an avid sports fan cheering for the Blue Jays in the summer and the Senators in the Winter (he rarely has to cheer in the spring as the Sens have a tough time making it to the post season). Christian also loves to travel and proclaims the coolest trip he has ever been on was his trip to Egypt where he spent 2 weeks touring the pyramids and exploring the area.

By Yasser Nazmi - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35075700

Christian is very accomplished and we are happy to have him on our side. He is very deserving of the recognition from Canadian Insurance Top 10 Brokers Under 40

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Fall Tips To Avoid Claims https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2016/09/09/fall-tips-avoid-claims/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2016/09/09/fall-tips-avoid-claims/#respond Fri, 09 Sep 2016 14:06:58 +0000 http://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=8644 As the temperature drops and the leaves begin to change colour, fall becomes the perfect time of year to get outside and complete all the outdoor chores we have been avoiding all summer. It also marks the perfect time of year to prepare for the wintery storms and potential insurance claims we have coming our […]

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As the temperature drops and the leaves begin to change colour, fall becomes the perfect time of year to get outside and complete all the outdoor chores we have been avoiding all summer. It also marks the perfect time of year to prepare for the wintery storms and potential insurance claims we have coming our way.

 

We have all experienced a few of the headaches the changing weather brings along, whether it’s the nasty ice accumulated on our front door step, your water pipes freezing, or leaves falling from trees. All of these at the initial perception may not seem to worrisome. However, that icy front door step could lead to someone falling and hurting themselves, those frozen pipes could burst and cause severe water damage in your home, and even those leaves falling from the tree could clog your downspout and cause water to seep into your home. These misfortunes happen to us all but as a broker, we would like to help you avoid all the possible nuisances, and leave you with peace of mind.

Properly Store Outside Furniture & Appliances

Unfortunately patio season has come to an end. Properly store away all your patio furniture and your beloved barbeques, as these items can be damaged if left outside in a storm. If possible, store propane tanks in a detached garage or outdoor shed, or as far away from your dwelling as reasonably practical.

Inspect Heating Systems

Take precautions before firing up your heating system. If you have a furnace or boiler ensure their systems have been professionally inspected and if applicable, have your chimney cleaned prior to wood burning. Trim any tree branches that are overhanging your home or power lines. This reduces the risks of a branch falling and causing damage to your home or losing power during a storm.

Maintain Roof & Downspouts

Have a professional inspect your roof and make necessary fixes. And hey while they are up there get them to have a look at your eavestrough and downspouts. If they need to be cleaned or cleared make sure so the rain and the melting snow that are coming soon, can drain properly, and most importantly, away from your home.

Adjust Car For Winter

Now, it is safe to assume we all strongly dislike winter driving. Walking outside to your car in the morning, still partially asleep, to discover it is covered in a thick layer of ice and snow is not how we want to start our day. Ensure your car has all the appropriate tools to keep you safe this winter. This includes an ice scraper, an extra pair of gloves or mittens, and that the heating and ventilation in the car is working properly. In anticipation for the first snow fall, make sure you have your certified winter tires installed and are in good condition. Oh and make sure you mention to us that you install them because we now offer a winter tire discount on every auto insurance policy.

 

Even when we complete every preventative measure possible, there is still a chance the changing weather will bring with it the “headaches”. If they ever happen to you, please first and foremost ensure you, your family and your friends are safe. Call your broker to report any damages that may have occurred and we will help you every step of the way.

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Last Long Weekend of the Summer! https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2016/08/31/last-long-weekend-summer/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2016/08/31/last-long-weekend-summer/#respond Wed, 31 Aug 2016 12:58:32 +0000 http://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=8564 Everyone loves to celebrate this long weekend. The last brouhaha, the last camping trip, the last summer weekend at the cottage! Three whole days back to back of leisure. Plans are made, tickets are bought and cars are loaded; this weekend is one of the busiest road trip weekends of the year. There are a […]

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Everyone loves to celebrate this long weekend. The last brouhaha, the last camping trip, the last summer weekend at the cottage! Three whole days back to back of leisure. Plans are made, tickets are bought and cars are loaded; this weekend is one of the busiest road trip weekends of the year.

There are a few things you can count on this long weekend, other than having a great time – heavy traffic and a strong police presence on the roads. Labour day weekend is notoriously busy for police services across the country where they are watching out for speeding, impaired drivers, distracted driving, seatbelts and so much more.

All the more reason for you to be prepared for your long weekend trip. Be smart, plan ahead, and give yourself lots of time to arrive safely at your destination. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Leave earlier (or later) than the majority of travelers, and expect heavy traffic. It will take longer to get there.
  • Plan a less travelled route and check for roads conditions. Most travel the main highways; smaller highways offer less traffic and better scenery.
  • Make sure do a pre-trip check on your vehicle, and ensure you are well rested, buckled up, and put that cell phone away!
  • If you come upon a collision, give emergency personnel the space they need. Slow down and move over for police, ambulance, fire truck, or tow trucks with their lights flashing – it is the law!
  • Be patient as there will be heavy traffic. Aggressive driving (speeding and tailgating) increase your chances of being in a collision. Leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you.
  • Always signal before changing lanes, and save any drinking for when you get to your final destination.
Photo by huffingtonpost.ca

Photo by huffingtonpost.ca

Have you left your long-weekend planning to the last minute? No worries, sometimes they are the best of times. But, all the more reason to be cautious. Check local listings in your areas for fairs, music festivals, art shows, marathons, bike rides, and so much more. Looking for a quieter side? Check out the beach, rent a cottage or head out to see friends and plan to stay over.

Above all, take the extra time and care needed for any plans you have this long weekend – although you are eager to get there, more importantly is that you got there safe. That is good for you, your loved ones, and your car insurance rates too!

Happy long weekend everyone!

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