McDougall https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com Insurance & Financial Thu, 23 Nov 2017 14:34:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 What is Claims Forgiveness and How Can I Get it? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/10/05/claims-forgiveness/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/10/05/claims-forgiveness/#respond Thu, 05 Oct 2017 20:30:58 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=15367 Great question! In today’s world not enough people really sit down to evaluate what they have or do not have on their insurance policy. If you’re with a broker like McDougall Insurance & Financial you can bet we are going to talk to you about claims forgiveness.   So what is claims forgiveness? First of […]

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Great question! In today’s world not enough people really sit down to evaluate what they have or do not have on their insurance policy. If you’re with a broker like McDougall Insurance & Financial you can bet we are going to talk to you about claims forgiveness.

 

So what is claims forgiveness?

First of all it is not always called claims forgiveness. Some companies call it accident forgiveness, claims protection and maybe even something else. But the important thing to note is that it essentially means and does the same thing for you regardless of the company issuing it. Claims forgiveness is a feature, typically for auto insurance policies only, that protects your driver rating from being impacted when you have an at-fault accident or claim.

 

What does that do for me?

Well you see your driving record impacts how much premium you pay for you insurance premium each year. When you get into an accident your driver rating decreases, and depending on the company it can decrease drastically. With most companies the maximum star rating you can achieve is either a 9 or 10 star rating. If you have this rating it means you have been driving at least 9 years without a conviction or claim. However, if you get into an accident you will lose that star rating and guess what? The lower the star rating the more money out of your pocket for your insurance come your next renewal. So what does the accident forgiveness do for you? It provides you that protection in the event you are at fault for an accident and will maintain your rating come your next renewal. That means no premium increase!

 

What if I get in two accidents with the accident forgiveness coverage?

We don’t often see this happen, but in the rare event that it does you will be facing a difficult renewal. The accident forgiveness only covers you for one at-fault accident. If that number is exceeded then the endorsement no longer applies. This would mean that come your next renewal the company would either drastically increase the premium or you would no longer qualify for their market and would have to go to a high risk market (they are expensive).

 

Does it affect me if I am not at-fault in an accident?

If you are not at-fault for the accident your rating will not change and you will still have the claims forgiveness coverage. It only applies for at-fault claims.

 

How do I get claims forgiveness coverage?

Every company has different rules surrounding the coverage but as a general rule of thumb you need to fall into these eligibility requirements:

  • Been licensed for 6 years or more (some companies require you to be 25 or older)
  • Been accident free for the last 6 years (some companies require 10 years accident free)
  • Vehicle cannot be rebranded, modified or rebuilt

 

How much does claims forgiveness coverage cost?

The cost varies from companies to company and person to person but it is typically quite inexpensive. Between us, most insurance companies use it as a retention tactic. If they offer it to you they are confident you are a good driver and know that you will likely stay with them for a long period of time. But keep that between us! And to get back to your question it typically only costs $25-$60 for the entire year, which is less than $5/month at the high end.

Ask your broker about claims forgiveness today and remember when you are getting a quote on your auto insurance to always do your best to compare apples-to-apples and know what insurance coverage you are receiving.

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How to Prepare Your Cottage for the Winter https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/10/03/prepare-cottage-winter/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/10/03/prepare-cottage-winter/#respond Tue, 03 Oct 2017 14:04:16 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=14962 There is nothing like being at the cottage during the summer. Enjoying those long summer nights, enjoying the outdoors, the water and everything your oasis has to offer. In order to enjoy your cottage year after year it takes a bit of work and preparation to make sure it is safe over the winter and […]

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There is nothing like being at the cottage during the summer. Enjoying those long summer nights, enjoying the outdoors, the water and everything your oasis has to offer. In order to enjoy your cottage year after year it takes a bit of work and preparation to make sure it is safe over the winter and ready to go for next summer. But what exactly should you be looking to do to protect your seasonal dwelling over the winter? Never fear McDougall Insurance has the tips and insights you need to properly prepare your cottage for the winter.

 

Turn Off Your Water

In order to prepare your cottage properly the first thing you will want to do once you have closed the cottage for the season is turn off your water. You will want to also drain your pipes by running the water left in the pipes until they are run dry. This will prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting over the winter. And believe us that is not fun to take care of when you return in the summer. The insurance world sees more claims due to water than any other peril.

 

Clear Eavestroughs and Downspouts

Uhh man does that mean you have to get on a ladder and go around the house? Well for most of us, the answer is probably yes. But you could also hire someone to do it for you or you can purchase one of those new eaves trough cleaners. Home Depot tells me they are only $31.84. This is important to ensure proper drainage and to avoid ice jams or leaks. You will also want to make sure your downspouts lead away from the foundation to prevent any buildups or seepage.

burning fire

Clean Your Woodstove or Fireplace

You may not have a wood burning unit in your cottage but in the event that you do it is important to clean it regularly especially in the months you aren’t going to be regularly visiting the dwelling. This means clearing coals or soot and making sure the area around your wood burning appliance is also cleaned up. This will reduce the chance of fire and also make your return to the cottage much less messy.

 

Make Arrangements for Snow Removal

If you plan on returning throughout the winter it is a good idea to hire a snow removal company. That way you can actually get to your cottage in the winter and your roof won’t have the strenuous build up of snow potential weakening or damaging it. And even if you do not plan on returning over the winter season it can still be a good idea to hire a snow removal company. If potential thieves see a regularly plowed driveway they may be less inclined to break in.

 

Lock It Up

It is important to lock up your unit properly when you are leaving it for the winter. This means locking the doors, securing the windows, storing any equipment or toys in a locked shed or garage, etc. This will make thefts much more difficult and thus potential thieves will be less likely to steal from you.

handing your friend a key

Provide a Trusted Neighbour or Friend with a Key

This isn’t always a possibility for us because in some cases there are no nearby neighbours and in other cases you don’t trust your neighbours. However, if you do have someone who can regularly check your property that is definitely worthwhile and can save you a big headache if something goes wrong and is undetected until next summer. You will want to ensure that your trusted friend has your updated contact information and knows how to reach you in the case of emergency.

 

If you follow these tips we are confident you will have a much more relaxing winter and a much better start to your summer next season. That sounds like a win-win! But wait, do you even have proper coverage for your cottage or seasonal dwelling? You’re going to want to head to our cottage insurance page and make sure you fill out the form for a free quote. We’ll take care of the rest!

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Our Companies Discounts https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/09/12/our-companies-discounts/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/09/12/our-companies-discounts/#respond Tue, 12 Sep 2017 19:56:41 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=14437 Everybody loves a good discount, especially when it comes to their insurance. Which is why a lot of the companies we deal with offer discounts for their clients based on certain criteria. We have outlined a few of our major companies and some of the discounts they have available. **It is important to note that […]

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Everybody loves a good discount, especially when it comes to their insurance. Which is why a lot of the companies we deal with offer discounts for their clients based on certain criteria. We have outlined a few of our major companies and some of the discounts they have available.

**It is important to note that while these discounts were accurate at the time of writing this piece the discounts are subject to change and may not be accurate. There also may be discounts available that are not included in this piece. Ask your broker for a full list of potential discounts.

Intact Insurance:

  • Save 15% on car insurance and 10% on home insurance when you bundle them
  • You can add other recreational products to your bundle and save as well (rates vary depending on the type of coverage)
  • My Driving Discount: is a discount strictly for auto policies which gives the client a 10% discount for signing up and up to a 25% discount on the next renewal based on their driving habits. It is a smart phone app that monitors your individual driving habits.
  • Save 10% on your vehicles if you have multiple vehicles insured with Intact

Aviva Insurance:

  • Save up to 15% on both auto and home insurance when you bundle them
  • Bundle your recreation insurance and receive a discount as well (rates vary)
  • Save 15% on your vehicles if you have multiple insured with Aviva
  • Save 15% on your car if you have had 0 convictions
  • Save 2% if you install winter tires on your vehicles

Economical Insurance:

  • Save up to 10% on you car insurance and 15% on your home insurance when you bundle
  • If you are under the age of 25 you can qualify for a 10% Good Student discount. All you need to qualify is a copy of your most recent transcript showing you have an 80% average or higher and you qualify.
  • Plus you can add the Extended Good Student Discount which keeps the 10% discount with you until your 25.
  • Save 15% on your auto if you have had 0 convictions
  • Save 15% on your vehicles if you have multiple insured with Economical
  • Save 5% if you install winter tires on your vehicles

Northbridge Insurance:

  • Save 12% on your car and up to 15% on your home when you bundle
  • Save 20% on your vehicles if you have multiple insured with Northbridge
  • Save 20% on your auto if you have had 0 convictions
  • Save 5% if you install winter tires on your vehicles

Wawanesa Insurance:

  • No discount on the property but if you bundle you will save 15% on auto
  • Receive a 40% discount on your motorcycle if you bundle it with your home and auto
  • Save 15% on your vehicles if you have multiple insured with Wawanesa
  • Save 15% on your auto if you have had 0 convictions
  • Save 3% if you install winter tires on your vehicles

Gore Mutual:

  • Save 10% on auto insurance if you bundle your insurance
  • Save 15% on your vehicles if you have multiple insured with Gore
  • Save 5% if you install winter tires on your vehicles

Commonwell Mutual:

  • Save up to 10% on your vehicles if you have multiple insured with Commonwell
  • Save 5% on your auto if you have 0 convictions
  • Save 2.5% if you install winter tires on your vehicles

Unica Insurance:

  • Save up to 15% on auto and 12.5% on home policies when you bundle
  • Save 15% on your auto if you have 0 convictions
  • Save 15% on your vehicles if you have multiple insured with Unica
  • Save 5% if you install winter tires on your vehicles

Pembridge Insurance:

  • 15% auto coverage savings and 10% on home policies if you have them bundled with Pembridge
  • Save up to 10% on your vehicles if you have multiple insured with Pembridge
  • Save 5% if you install winter tires on your vehicles

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What Does Bundling My Home and Auto Insurance Together Do For Me? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/09/12/bundling-home-auto-insurance-together/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/09/12/bundling-home-auto-insurance-together/#respond Tue, 12 Sep 2017 19:04:35 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=14428 For ages insurance companies have been offering incentives for having as many insurance products as you can under one roof, their roof. And for the most part, that totally makes sense for you the client. Typically these incentives are monetary based but there are far more benefits than just the discounts. As a broker it […]

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For ages insurance companies have been offering incentives for having as many insurance products as you can under one roof, their roof. And for the most part, that totally makes sense for you the client. Typically these incentives are monetary based but there are far more benefits than just the discounts. As a broker it is our job to find what makes the most sense for you. It is not always possible or doesn’t always make sense to bundle your insurance. In some situations it may actually be cheaper to not bundle or the company that you have one risk with will not actually underwrite your other risk. Nevertheless we want to explore some of the areas you may or may not have thought of when it comes to having your home and auto insurance together.

Bundled Insurance Discounts

Let’s start with the most obvious and most talked about benefit of having your home and auto insurance bundled with the same company; the discount. Just about every company on the planet will award what they call a multi-line discount to client who have their home and auto insurance together. The discount differs from company to company but you can typically expect to save around 10-15% on your home and 15-20% on your auto. Do you currently have you auto insurance with us but not your home? You’ll want to click here. Are you the opposite and have your home insurance with us but not your car? You will want to give this little link a click and start saving!

But what about the other things you have insured?

Ahh, we are glad you asked! You see not everyone has a home and a car but rather they will have some other variation of insurance products. For instance they may have a tenants or renters package and a car. You’re in luck! With the markets we deal with you can certainly get the two bundled for a discount. Not to mention most of the time the discount pretty much outweighs the premium (or the amount you pay) for the tenants package based on the savings you receive on your auto insurance so it is basically like receiving a free tenants package. Fantastic!

I drive a motorcycle can I bundle that with my home and auto?  

Absolutely! In fact with some of our companies bundling your motorcycle with your home and auto can mean savings of up to 40% on your motorcycle premium. You aren’t going to beat that anywhere else. The only potential concern here is that not all of our insurance companies underwrite motorcycles or if they do they have to meet certain qualifications but if they do it is well worth the discount to bundle.

What about my boats, ATVs, cottage, etc?

You guessed it all of them can be bundled! In fact most of our companies will require having at least one other piece of business from you in order to insure one of these toys. Bundling your property policies also extends the liability to your other property which brings me to my next point!

Bundling an umbrella insurance policy can be beneficial

Add a Personal Umbrella Policy to the Mix

A personal what now? It is not even raining out, why would I need an umbrella? Ok smarty pants we get it! A personal umbrella gets its name as it is a liability policy that covers all your other policies. If you want to read up on what an umbrella policy is you should do that by clicking here. But we don’t have time to go into detail. All you need to know is this:

Let’s imagine you are involved in an auto insurance accident in which you are at fault. The damages or costs of the other person’s injuries are $2,400,000. That is a lot of money. Your auto policy only has a limit of $2,000,000. With an umbrella policy of say $1,000,000 it would pick up the excess from your auto policy which in this case is the $400,000. The same situation could apply on the home insurance side.

An Umbrella policy isn’t right for everyone but if you are a person who qualifies under any of these categories it may be worth looking into:

  • If you own multiple properties or residences
  • If you have a lot of recreational vehicles
  • If you have a lot of personal assets
  • If you own or operate your own business or practice
  • If you are exposed to potential lawsuits more than average

Become a Valued Customer

Aren’t you already a valued customer? Of course you are! But the more policies you have with a certain company the more likely they are to accommodate you. For instance lets say you have your home and auto insurance together with the same company. You go out and buy a brand new Argo. Typically, that company will not insure an Argo as it doesn’t meet their underwriting guidelines. However, they see that you, a valued customer, have your home and auto with them; they may be more willing to look into writing the insurance for the Argo. Whereas, if you only had your car insurance with them they would likely decline you right away. Having that relationship and being viewed as important to the insurance company can go a long way. Now as a broker you don’t have to worry you are always important to us!

Simplify Your Life

To be honest this may be the best and most underrated aspect of bundling your insurance. Coming from an insurance broker we understand the frustration that can arise from dealing with multiple companies. You receive different paperwork, if you make a change on one thing you have to make a change on the other with a different company, your payments come out on different days and there are different rules, and the list goes on… The point being there is a lot to be said about making insurance as easy as possible for yourself, after all does anyone really like insurance? Bundling your insurance together can mean the convenience of paying one bill for all your policies, having one renewal date (only one time in the year you have to worry about insurance rather than several), and ultimately lowering your stress and living a better life. Ok that last one might be a bit aggressive but you get the point!

At the end of the day we want what is best for our clients. And if that means having your insurance with multiple companies so be it, we are happy to do so! But whenever we can bundle and it makes sense we are more than happy to do so. Ok we know all you care about is the discount so if you want to see a list of the companies we deal with who give a bundling discount you better check out or other page called: Our Company Discounts. You can thank us later!

Did you know?

Some of the companies we deal with will even give you a discount for bundling your home and auto insurance with your commercial insurance. That is even extra awesomeness!

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5 Ways to Help Prevent a Cyber Attack https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/08/23/prevent-a-cyber-insurance-attack/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/08/23/prevent-a-cyber-insurance-attack/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 19:10:34 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=14313 The reliance on computers and data technology systems has never been more paramount for businesses and their success. These systems are responsible for making our day-to-day operations more efficient and productive, as well as housing client information, marketing data and so much more. So how are you protecting it from a cyber attack? Most organizations, […]

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The reliance on computers and data technology systems has never been more paramount for businesses and their success. These systems are responsible for making our day-to-day operations more efficient and productive, as well as housing client information, marketing data and so much more. So how are you protecting it from a cyber attack?

Most organizations, especially as they become larger, will have their own security measures in place such as firewalls, limitations or password access only, but this does not mean your data is invincible. In fact businesses are seeing more and more incidents of data breaches and cyber attacks than ever before. Let’s look into some ways to protect your business from these threats.

Tip #1: Encrypt Your Data

Many people will read this tip and think, ‘encrypt our data ya we need to that! Oh wait, how do I do that? What does encrypting data even mean?’ and become overwhelmed with anything to do with the word encryption. But sit tight. Encrypted messages data back long before you and I were on the planet. The key to encryption is only the sender and the receiver can decipher the message based on the code. But you aren’t hear for a history lesson you’re here to know how to do this (although if you do want the history visit HowtoGeek). When we talk about encryption on the web today the most popular implementation is known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). You have seen this security protocol in your own adventures; you just may not have known it! If you visit a website, such as the one you are on right now you will notice where the website address is (or the URL) it has https:// rather than http://. That ‘s’ indicates the secure transfer of information on that website with any other devices it may interact with. To obtain an SSL certificate you need to purchase one, typically you will purchase it from your website hosting company or domain name provider. This process can be complicated so it is usually best to use a developer or your web hosting agency to add the security certificate for you.

Note: Adding an SSL certificate to your website may not be necessary if you do not handle or acquire users information.

Tip #2: Outsource Online Payments

On most e-commerce websites you visit you will actually notice their payments are managed by a third party. The reason for this is these vendors focus their efforts solely on the payment side so they have dedicated security measures to ensure their system works. Bottom line this is their business and they can do it better.

Note: if using a third party make sure they are a reputable source before partnering.

Tip #3: Secure Your Router

It is not uncommon these days for businesses to provide free WiFi in their locations. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) can monitor all unencrypted traffic. The good news is, for customers, is that most ISP use their own security and do not pay attention to this information, but that doesn’t mean someone else can’t or won’t. You should only provide a public access router with a Wireless Public Access 2 (WPA2) password for your users. This way there is at least a password to get onto the WiFi. Unfortunately for you, the business owner you have no control over the security measures that each potential user would have in place.

You may also use WiFi within your office or business to connect to the Internet. It is more secure to use a router because in order to be on the network you have to be physically plugged in, but we realize that is not always an option. If your staff uses WiFi ensure that it is WPA2 password protected.

Tip #4: Educate Your Employees

Employees can be a gateway for hackers or cyber attacks if they are not informed of the potential dangers. Communicating to employees about what information is confidential and what their responsibilities are to protect data available to them is crucial. Restricting access to certain websites, or internet categories may also be a useful way to prohibit employees from opening potential cyber threats. Almost everyone uses email these days and most scams are now performed through the use of email. Educate your team on signs to detect a potential email attack and what to do in the event they receive one.

Note: hovering your mouse over a link in an email will show the url the link is going to. Make sure this link is legitimate before clicking through.

Tip #5: Remain Informed

The digital world is constantly changing and as systems become more sophisticated so do hackers and their ability to obtain your data. Think like a hacker is the term that experts use help protect you. However it is not much help if you do not have the knowledge of how networks work and for most of us that is that case. Hiring a true IT expert is an important step for large companies but for the smaller businesses you need to do your best to stay informed. Use the resources around you, ask people in your own network of their experiences, and talk to us about finding a cyber insurance policy.

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Would You Recognize Employee Benefits Fraud? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/08/18/insurance-fraud-group-benefits/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/08/18/insurance-fraud-group-benefits/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:02:08 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=14294 Group benefits are widely enjoyed by many employees because they get discounted goods and services that otherwise they may not be able to afford. But, when are the employees crossing the line? We outlined a few scenarios that describe when an employee is committing employee benefits insurance fraud by misusing their group benefits. Would you recognize […]

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Group benefits are widely enjoyed by many employees because they get discounted goods and services that otherwise they may not be able to afford. But, when are the employees crossing the line? We outlined a few scenarios that describe when an employee is committing employee benefits insurance fraud by misusing their group benefits.

Would you recognize insurance fraud if you saw it?

Too often, when people think of Insurance Fraud, they think of high-stakes phone calls, secret lunch meetings and offshore bank accounts. The truth is that everyday examples of fraud are surprisingly common. Would you recognize insurance fraud if you saw it?

Scenario 1: Getting a Massage

You are enjoying a relaxation massage at your local spa. Your esthetician says you should come back soon. You would like that but can’t afford it too often. She asks if you have benefits at work. Since you do, she offers to write on the receipts that the RMT did the massage so you can have it fully covered or mostly covered by your employer’s insurance. Is this fraud?

Answer: Everyone loves a good relaxation massage when life is stressing us out. RMT’s normally get involved to assist people with rehabilitation from injuries, like a car accident or chronic back pain. Many times, insurers ask for a Doctor’s referral for the RMT to treat a specific issue. If you are audited, the absence of the RMT recommendation from a medical professional can disqualify your massage from the covered benefits. Similarly, some people have been caught describing off-the-shelf orthotics as “custom orthotics” to seek a reimbursement. Any receipts submitted for services not rendered are fraud, even if the expenses would have otherwise been eligible if they were provided legitimately. You will have to repay the insurance company for any reimbursements received and may face a criminal charge.

Scenario 2: Seeing a Chiropractor

injured teddy bear

You are seeing a chiropractor for an old sports injury. When you reach your yearly maximum, your chiropractor suggests billing future treatments under your spouse’s name. He says the insurance company was willing to spend the yearly maximum on each of you, so nothing has changed. Your spouse doesn’t mind, as they don’t need chiropractic care.

Answer: This is employee benefits fraud because the coverage is per person, and you have already used your share.

Scenario 3: Going to the Dentist

dentist chair

You have a dental plan that has 80% coverage. Your dentist says that if you provide some referrals to her dental practice, she will waive your 20% co-pay on an upcoming dental treatment. Is this okay?

Answer: According to the Ontario Dental Association, it is against the law for you or your dentist to conspire to avoid paying the co-payment. It is also contrary to the regulations of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) that regulates the dental profession. This practice is considered professional misconduct and a dentist can lose their license for it, as well as incurring hefty fines, often exceeding $10,000.

If your dentist wants to offer a discounted rate for any reason, it is okay to do so, so long as you still pay your co-payment on the reduced amount that you have been charged.

For example, if a $100 service was paid as normal, you would be responsible for paying $20.

If your Dentist gave you a 30% discount because you brought her several referrals, she would be charging $70 for that service, and you would be responsible for paying $14.

 

Most people are honest and use the benefits they are entitled to, when and if they need them. When other people commit employee benefits fraud, it’s not stealing from the insurance company; it is stealing from the employer and employees. In most cases, the price for your employee benefits is partially paid by you via payroll deduction, and partially by your employer. Honest reporting of benefits usage helps keep group benefits affordable. Your employer can continue to offer them, and any co-pay or payroll deduction that comes out of your pocket can be as low as possible.

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Welcome Monkman Gracie & Johnston to the McDougall Insurance Team! https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/08/02/welcome-monkman-gracie-johnston-mcdougall-insurance-team/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/08/02/welcome-monkman-gracie-johnston-mcdougall-insurance-team/#respond Wed, 02 Aug 2017 17:50:12 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=14251 On behalf of McDougall Insurance we are pleased to announce that we have merged with Monkman Gracie & Johnston Insurance which became effective August 1, 2017. We have been working towards a deal with this great organization for the last few months and are incredibly happy to welcome the employees at Monkman Gracie & Johnston […]

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On behalf of McDougall Insurance we are pleased to announce that we have merged with Monkman Gracie & Johnston Insurance which became effective August 1, 2017. We have been working towards a deal with this great organization for the last few months and are incredibly happy to welcome the employees at Monkman Gracie & Johnston Insurance to our organization.

Monkman Gracie & Johnston Insurance is a large and very well respected brokerage with a history going back 60 years. Originally founded by Cy Monkman in 1958, the organization has a great reputation and is in good hands with his son Eric Monkman acting as the company President when his father retired. Their office is located in the heart of downtown Peterborough, where they have been serving the occupants in the region for all of their car, home, business and life insurance needs. The organization has 22 hard working employees with knowledge and expertise in different facets of the insurance industry. Monkman Gracie & Johnston also carry an insurance premium volume of $15 million and write both commercial and personal insurance.

The Monkman insurance team

All employees will remain with the organization at their current office location. The company phone number and name will not be changed. The Monkman Gracie & Johnston Insurance Brokers website will also remain for users to visit.

We are fortunate to have merged with such a well respected brokerage on the edge of our trading area in Eastern Ontario, and they are an excellent fit for our organization for numerous reasons. The merger will greatly enhance our reach in Eastern Ontario as it adds another branch in a location where we had not previously been active. We now have 29 branch locations all over Eastern Ontario with 330 employees.

We’re very excited about this announcement and would like to give our new colleagues and clients a warm welcome to McDougall Insurance and Financial!

monkman gracie and johnston insurance logo

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Pet Insurance: The Purrrfect Coverage https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/07/19/pet-insurance-purrrfect-coverage/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/07/19/pet-insurance-purrrfect-coverage/#respond Wed, 19 Jul 2017 17:46:44 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=14211 Forget diamonds, there’s no denying a dog is a girl’s best friend! They never complain, don’t talk back, and will never hog the covers. But what if Lucky or Boots gets sick? Would you put your best friend down if they were sick? I’d hope not! For all pet owners out there, we know there […]

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Forget diamonds, there’s no denying a dog is a girl’s best friend! They never complain, don’t talk back, and will never hog the covers. But what if Lucky or Boots gets sick? Would you put your best friend down if they were sick? I’d hope not!

dog lying on the couch with young girl

For all pet owners out there, we know there is nothing worse than having your furry family member diagnosed with an illness that costs an incredible amount to treat. The solution to this is: Pet Secure health insurance. With this pet insurance coverage, you are able to live worry free that if your pet is diagnosed with an illness, your insurance will cover the expenses for treatment.

How much coverage does my pet have on my standard policy?

In a standard policy, RIBO states “Up to $500 in all on animals, birds, or fish but only if the loss or damage is caused by a Specified Peril or other than impact by aircraft or land vehicle.”  In other words, if your dog is hit by a car, or requires more than $500 worth of healthcare treatment, a standard insurance policy will not cover this.

What is pet insurance?family with dog

As many pet owners know, vet bills can be expensive. New innovations in veterinary technology mean Canadian pets have access to state-of-the-art care, but the cost of that care continues to increase. Pet insurance takes the worry out of taking your dog or cat to the vet by removing financial concerns in crucial times. With Petsecure, you’ ll have peace of mind that your dog or cat can receive the top-notch care they deserve, without putting your family’s finances in jeopardy. Pet secure offers a wide range of coverage from Accidents, Illness to Dental.

What health coverage is included in pet insurance?Pug wrapped in a blanket

The pet-secure pet insurance covers diagnostics, x-rays, hospitalization, surgery, medication, boarding and kennel fees, lost pet advertising, holiday cancellation, cremation/burial costs, behavioral therapy, acupuncture and massage. There is also a Wellness Plus package that covers Annual exam vaccinations, Heartworm testing, fecal exam and deworming, annual routine Wellness Urinalysis and Routine blood checkups. It has it all!

Does my dog need pet insurance?

If your pet has a history of disease, is prone to injury, or is getting old, this pet secure coverage may be a smart investment for you. Since only up to $500 on animals is covered, many of your treatment bills will likely exceed this budget and will cost you more than you think.

Fun fact: What is patellar Luxation? Could my dog have it?

A “luxated patella” occurs when a kneecap dislocates i.e. slips out of place. It is a common problem among small breeds of dog, such as Pomeranians, poodles, and Yorkshire terriers. In fact, one study showed that dogs that weigh less than 9 kg are twelve times more likely to be affected than larger dogs. Both hind legs may be affected in many dogs. In mild cases, medical or surgical treatment is usually not required. However, more severe cases may require surgical correction of the deformities. There are several techniques currently available and the prognosis for recovery is good if the joints are not too badly damaged.

If you have more questions about pet insurance or want to FETCH a quote, visit our website or call us at 1 (800) 361-0941.

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Ontario’s Minimum Wage Increase: Good or Bad? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/07/12/ontarios-minimum-wage-increase-good-bad/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/07/12/ontarios-minimum-wage-increase-good-bad/#respond Wed, 12 Jul 2017 20:45:37 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=14126 The proposal of the minimum wage increase in Ontario is one of the more hot topic items in 2017. Ontario’s legislative committee is travelling the province throughout the summer to have public hearings to listen to the supporting and neglecting reasons behind this proposal. Not astoundingly, the majority of outcry has been that of the terror […]

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The proposal of the minimum wage increase in Ontario is one of the more hot topic items in 2017. Ontario’s legislative committee is travelling the province throughout the summer to have public hearings to listen to the supporting and neglecting reasons behind this proposal. Not astoundingly, the majority of outcry has been that of the terror that this legislation would cause to small businesses and the negative effect it would have on the economy.

Here is the breakdown of the minimum wage increase from now until 2019:

Minimum Wage Categories Current to Sept. 30, 2017 Oct. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017 Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018 Jan 1 2019 to Sept. 30, 2019
General Minimum Wage $11.40 per hour $11.60 $14.00 $15.00
Students under 18 (who work less than 28 hours/week while in school $10.70 per hour $10.90 $13.15 $14.10
Liquor Servers $9.90 per hour $10.10 $12.20 $13.05
Hunting and Fishing Guides $56.95: Rate for working less than 5 consecutive hours in a day $58.00 $70.00 $75.00
$113.95: Rate for working 5 or more hours in a day whether or not the hours are consecutive $116.00 $140.00 $150.00
Homeworkers (employees doing paid work in their own home for an employer) $12.55 per hour $12.80 $15.40 $16.50

The general minimum wage is currently $11.40/hour and is set to increase to $15.00/hour by 2019, which is a 31.5% increase in minimum wage. Wages typically increase at approximately the rate of inflation, which is expected because the purchasing value of money decreases and people need more to purchase the same goods. However, never has their been a minimum wage increase over a 2 year period of 31.5%. Since the increase is so drastic and arbitrary compared to historical wage increases it remains unseen the effects it will have if passed.

Although Canada has never seen an increase in minimum wage of this nature, Seattle, Washington had a similar increase from $11/hour to $13/hour in 2016. Many small businesses responded to the increase by cutting low-wage workers hours and letting go of employees. The legislation had the opposite effect of what was intended because the reduced hours resulted in workers yearly earnings going down and not up.

Who will this affect?

It is uncertain who this will directly affect as the change has not happened yet. However, many economists have provided insights into the possible repercussions. This wage increase will definitely affect small business owners such as restaurant owners that have many minimum wage and student workers. For most small employers the calculated increase in payroll is the difference between profit and loss. This is going to have a negative effect in either of two ways; either the price for product at the business will need to go up to counteract the large payroll, or the low-wage employees will need hour reductions or possibly be let go. More than likely the move to $15 will result in higher prices everywhere so is anyone really further ahead? I don’t think so.

Regardless of whether the changes are going to be good or bad for the economy, it seems that Ontario’s legislative committee is going to pass the proposed legislation. Ontario’s legislative committee is currently touring Ontario stopping in Thunder Bay, North Bay, Ottawa, Kingston, Windsor, London, Kitchener, Niagara Falls, Hamilton and Toronto. If you want your voice to be hear go to the community hearings and let the committee know how you feel about the proposed increase. Because we know how many of our small business clients feel and it is not good to see.

Employment Insurance

The other question that arises is how will employment insurance respond to the proposed change. The increasing of minimum wage has some suggesting that the amount contributed to employment insurance will have to increase. Otherwise, for the reasons mentioned above, less people will be able to retain their positions and this could result in more frequent payouts.

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What Happens When A Tree Falls On My Yard? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/06/29/tree-fall-on-yard/ https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/06/29/tree-fall-on-yard/#respond Thu, 29 Jun 2017 20:58:35 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=14157 Trees. They provide the oxygen we require to survive. They can provide a picturesque setting. They can even provide a place to hang a swing set. But sometimes they can be a real headache, especially when they come crashing down from your neighbours yard onto your property. When a tree falls on your yard it […]

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Trees. They provide the oxygen we require to survive. They can provide a picturesque setting. They can even provide a place to hang a swing set. But sometimes they can be a real headache, especially when they come crashing down from your neighbours yard onto your property. When a tree falls on your yard it can be a real drag, and depending on the scenario it might be even worse than you thought.

Here are some questions we would like to address for anyone who is wondering what do I do with this tree on my yard:

What happens when a tree falls from my neighbor’s yard damaging my property?

This may come as a surprise to some, however we would like to make it clear that if your neighbour’s tree falls onto your property and causes damage to your home, your homeowner’s policy will provide coverage for any damages up to your policy limits, after you pay your deductible. In other words, your neighbours home policy and your neighbour will not be effected. Aside from having a new grumpy neighbour that now have to live beside.

If a tree falls from my neighbours yard but does not damage anything, who pays to remove it?

Again, we hate to say it but you will have to clean this one up yourself or pay for a tree removal company to come and clean up the mess. Even if it is just the branches that come from your neighbour’s tree, you are responsible for the clean up. Unless, of course you can negotiate a deal with your neighbour and let them do the work. You think this would be a common courtesy but that is not always the case.

Can I cut down or trim my neighbour’s tree if I think it is dangerous?

If you think the branches of your neighbour’s tree are too close to your home, you can cut them back to the property line, as long as you do not injure the tree. You cannot cut down the tree or enter your neighbour’s land to trim branches without permission.

If my neighbour cuts down a tree on his yard and it damages my property he pays right?

You would think so. But in Ontario what happens is this. Your neighbour the one cutting down the tree would be considered negligent and responsible for the damage. Therefore he would be responsible to pay the actual cash value of the liability claim. However, in Ontario in order to claim the guaranteed replacement cost you need to claim under your own insurance policy for damages to your property. Your insurance company will go against your neighbours insurance company to make up the difference so you get the full replacement cost. However, as soon as this happens it is filed as a liability claim under your own home insurance policy. Did you have a nice claims free discount? Kiss that goodbye thanks to your clumsy neighbour.

What happens if a tree falls on my car?

If a tree falls on your car, the comprehensive coverage of the vehicle owner’s auto policy will apply. Therefore, generally the owner of the tree is not responsible. If your tree falls on your neighbor’s car, your neighbor’s car insurance should pay the claim if your neighbor carries comprehensive coverage. If your neighbor’s tree falls on your car, your comprehensive coverage applies.

Trees. We love them but sometimes they can be a real headache. It is important to know the different scenarios when it comes to how a tree falls and how your insurance coverage can protect you. If you are ever in doubt calling an insurance broker is a good start!

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