McDougall https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com Insurance & Financial Mon, 12 Nov 2018 17:19:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Meet the Dougallers: Andrew White https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/11/07/meet-dougallers-andrew-white https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/11/07/meet-dougallers-andrew-white#respond Wed, 07 Nov 2018 21:48:32 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=42370 Meet the Dougallers features Andrew White. Andrew is a new employee to McDougall Insurance but he is far from new to the insurance world. Andrew started his career in the insurance industry and has been involved ever since. From the family business, to working for several other insurance companies, to opening his own insurance brokerage, […]

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Meet the Dougallers features Andrew White.

Andrew is a new employee to McDougall Insurance but he is far from new to the insurance world. Andrew started his career in the insurance industry and has been involved ever since. From the family business, to working for several other insurance companies, to opening his own insurance brokerage, Andrew knows a thing or two about the industry. He now joins our Kingston office and with all that experience and passion for insurance we knew he would make a great fit. But in this article we don’t want to solely focus on insurance, we want to get to know Andrew and what he is all about outside of insurance. So, we sat him down and asked him the following:

Place of birth?

I was born in Sudbury, Ontario.

Where did you go to College/University?

I attended Queen’s University in Kingston where I received my BA.

Favourite hobbies?

My hobbies include service work, reading books, poker and hitting the links. I’d say that is a pretty good spread.

Andrew White Hole in 1

Andrew with a Hole in One on #12 at Loyalist Golf & Country Club

Favourite meal?

Dim Sum! There is an endless variety and they all taste great.

Favourite saying?

“Work hard when others aren’t looking”

Favourite movie and why?

To Kill a Mocking Bird – Gregory Peck absolutely nailed the quiet strength and unwavering morals of Atticus Finch.

How did you get involved in insurance?

Family business. It is an industry that has always fit well with my personality.

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

I deal in relationships and insurance just happens to be the currency.

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

Honesty and integrity. With insurance, you are dealing with the most important assets your clients own. It is important to be honest about what you can and cannot provide them with. You can’t please everyone but if you act with honesty and integrity they will treat you as their professional.

Favorite sports team and why?

Toronto Blue Jays for baseball. Montreal Canadiens for hockey. Seattle Seahawks for football. I love sports. Steve Buscemi in 1996

Who is your celebrity role-model and why?

Steve Buscemi – steals every scene he is in.

Final thoughts?

I will always strive to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.

McDougall Insurance is happy to add Andrew to the team and we look forward to his success with our company and for his clients. Interested in connecting with Andrew? Add him on LinkedIn or shoot him an email at awhite@mcdougallinsurance.com.

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Cyber Insurance Has Never Been More Important https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/10/25/cyber-insurance-policy-pipeda https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/10/25/cyber-insurance-policy-pipeda#respond Thu, 25 Oct 2018 19:50:52 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=42259 Once upon a time, Cyber Crime was the stuff of Hollywood and Science fiction. But recently it has affected our everyday lives. Did Russia really influence the U.S. election?  Did 1 Billion people’s information get hacked on Facebook? According to the Canadian government, over 70% of Canadian businesses have been victims of Cyber attacks or breaches […]

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Once upon a time, Cyber Crime was the stuff of Hollywood and Science fiction. But recently it has affected our everyday lives. Did Russia really influence the U.S. election?  Did 1 Billion people’s information get hacked on Facebook? According to the Canadian government, over 70% of Canadian businesses have been victims of Cyber attacks or breaches and the average cost of those attacks was $15,000.

We recently realized from our own client’s experience and claims that anyone who uses a computer for their business needs to think seriously about cyber insurance. The landscape is changing daily with both the cyber attacks and risks that can affect your business and the legislation around what you, as a business owner, need to do when it comes to cyber attacks.

What is Changing Nov. 1st with the New Legislation?

As of November 1st, 2018 the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, otherwise known as PIPEDA, is changing. PIPEDA is the federal privacy law for private-sector organizations and it lays out the ground rules for how businesses must handle personal information. Starting Nov. 1st organizations will be required to do three things in the event of a cyber breach of personal information:

  1. Report privacy breaches to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
  2. Notify individuals about privacy breaches.
  3. Keep and maintain records of all privacy breaches.

Meaning, if you are a business operating in Canada, you will have to pay extra attention to safeguarding your data. Should a cyber attack impact your business, cyber insurance is designed to help respond and protect you from future threats.

Reporting Privacy Breaches to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner

If an organization determines that a breach of security has occurred and poses a risk, the organization will be required to report it to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. In the event of a privacy breach organizations will be required to report the breach in writing and it must contain:

  • A description of the circumstances of the breach and, if known, the cause
  • The day on which, or the period during which, the breach occurred, or if neither is known, the approximate period
  • A description of the personal information that is breached to the extent that the information is known
  • The number of individuals affected by the breach, or if unknown, the approximate number
  • A description of the steps that the organization has taken to reduce the risk of harm to each affected individual resulting from the breach or to mitigate the harm
  • A description of the steps that the organization has taken or intends to take to notify each affected individual of the breach in accordance with subsection 10.1(3) or the Act and
  • The name and contact information of a person who can answer, on behalf of the organization, the commissioner’s questions about the breach.

Notify Individuals About Privacy Breaches

One of the most important aspects of the new legislation is to ensure the individuals affected understand the significance and potential impact of the breach. When notifying an individual you must contain:

  • A description of the circumstances of the breach
  • The day on which, or period during which, the breach occurred, or if neither is known, the approximate period
  • A description of the personal information that is breached to the extent that information is known
  • A description of the steps that the organization has taken to reduce the risk of harm that could result from the breach
  • A description of the steps that the affected individual could take to reduce the risk of harm form the breach or to mitigate that harm
  • Contact information that the affected individual can use to obtain further information about the breach.

Keep and Maintain Records of All Privacy Breaches

Organizations that are aware of a breach of security or cyber attack must keep and maintain a record of the breach. This includes any breach regardless of whether it poses a real risk or not. The records need to be maintained for 2 years after the organization becomes aware the breach or attack has occurred.

Penalties for Failure to Comply

Any organization that knowingly fails to report or maintain records of a breach or cyber attack as outlined by the new legislation will be subject to fines of up to $100,000.

How Will Cyber Insurance Help My Company?

There are several ways to protect your business from a cyber attack or breach. However, it can be difficult to stay ahead of the game and prevent potential attacks from occurring. Assessing your organization and understanding where potential threats may occur and what kind of information you are storing for your clients is important. For more information on how to help prevent a cyber attack checkout these 5 helpful tips. An assessment is a good place to start but adding a cyber insurance policy is the best way to protect what you cannot prevent. Here are a few of the areas a cyber insurance policy will cover:

  • Costs to recover your organizatons data, and get you back up and running
  • Pay ransomware or advise on how to proceed
  • 3rd party costs to assist your clients who may have had their information exposed or stolen
  • Investigating the legitimacy of the event
  • Business interruption

 

Are you in need of a cyber insurance policy or want more information? You can call us directly at 1-800-361-0941 or fill out a quote and have one of our cyber insurance experts make sure you have the proper protection in place.

 

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What Does The Legalization of Recreational Cannabis Mean For You? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/10/11/legalization-of-recreational-cannabis https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/10/11/legalization-of-recreational-cannabis#respond Thu, 11 Oct 2018 15:59:00 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=41256 That is right, effective October 17th, 2018 the  Government of Canada is legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, otherwise known as marijuana. The topic has been discussed in the media for quite some time now but has finally come to fruition. But what does all of this mean for you? There are certainly going to […]

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That is right, effective October 17th, 2018 the  Government of Canada is legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, otherwise known as marijuana. The topic has been discussed in the media for quite some time now but has finally come to fruition. But what does all of this mean for you? There are certainly going to be impacts as a result of this legislation that may affect your home insurance policy and your auto insurance policy. Lets have a look shall we!

 

How Does the Legalization of Cannabis Affect My Auto Insurance Policy?

With so many different insurance companies and options available it is almost certain that they will have different rules and concerns when it comes to marijuana and your auto policy. However, there are a few areas that will impact your auto insurance no matter what company you are with.

Drug-Impaired Driving

The Criminal Code of Canada has been revised to include roadside testing for drugs in addition to alcohol. The legalization of marijuana in other jurisdictions, has resulted in an increase of motor vehicle accidents from drug-impaired driving. Obviously for insurance companies and the safety of our communities this is a concern. The limits of drug concentration are outlined by the Government Canada and you can read more about the changes to impaired driving laws here.

Underwriting and Coverage

Similarly to a DUI, drug impaired driving will also impact your insurance rates and your coverage options. A conviction for drug impaired driving is treated the same as a conviction for alcohol impaired driving. Both of these are considered criminal code offences and the underwriting rules for standard insurance markets allow them to decline coverage. The majority of the high risk markets will have exclusions or reductions in the coverage they offer to you and you will also be subject to a premium surcharge.

 

How Does the Legalization of Cannabis Affect My Home Insurance Policy?

Insurance companies are also treating home insurance policies very differently. Some companies are excluding the growth of cannabis for recreational or medical use while others are allowing it as long as it meets their specifications. It is difficult to categorize how each and every company will treat the use of cannabis when it comes to your property insurance but it is always important to disclose this information to your insurer.

Risks That Will Not Be Written

Most insurance companies have followed the same guideline when it comes to declining risks who are growing their own marijuana.

  • If any person in the household has been convicted or has pending charges for drug trafficking, threats of violence, theft or fraud.
  • If the risk has been identified in the past as being a part of, or conducting criminal drug production operations. This includes illegal grow-ops or the manufacturing of illegal drugs.

Risks That May Be Written

Similarly, there have been a good deal of insurance companies who have come forth to support risks who intend on growing their own cannabis. The Government has set out specific limits in Ontario for growing cannabis. You will be able to grow up to four plants per residence, not per person, as long as you are over the age of 19. Should you choose to grow your own marijuana under these requirements there will not be an impact with most insurance companies. However, you do need to disclose that you intend on, or are growing marijuana to your insurer. If you exceed the limits or perform illegal drug operation your policy may be declined or become null and void. You can find out more about how much you are able to grow and the requirements here.

 

Can I Get A Commercial Insurance Policy For My Medical Marijuana Business?

This is a great question! There certainly are companies who will insure your medical marijuana dispensary or grow-op. For more information head to our commercial insurance page for Marijuana Insurance.

There are a lot of new changes in the insurance world because of this legislation and it can be difficult to understand the ins and outs of the new law as it pertains to your insurance. If you have any questions or are unclear about what is available or how this may impact you, speak with an experienced insurance broker. They will inform you about the risks and provide you with information about the legalization of marijuana.

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Smart Homes May Not Be As Smart As You Think https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/09/28/smart-homes-privacy-concerns https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/09/28/smart-homes-privacy-concerns#respond Fri, 28 Sep 2018 18:33:33 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=40259 There has been a lot of buzz in the media surrounding smart homes and all the new technology we now have access to. As a smart home owner I am the first to acknowledge all the cool things I can do from the power of my smart phone or through voice control with these devices. […]

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There has been a lot of buzz in the media surrounding smart homes and all the new technology we now have access to. As a smart home owner I am the first to acknowledge all the cool things I can do from the power of my smart phone or through voice control with these devices. “Hey Alexa, lock the front door”. “Hey Google adjust the thermostat to 21 degrees Celsius”. Pretty cool huh? Not so fast. Although the capabilities of these technologies are quite sophisticated the security and privacy may not be. We are starting to see more and more cyber attacks on smart home technology and personal computers.

How Does Smart Home Technology Work?

A good place to start is The Internet of Things, which refers to the products or things that are interconnected through the internet, allowing them to send and receive data. The smart products in your home are the “things” in this case that we would like to track or monitor. These products or things use a communication method known as Internet Protocol, or IP for short, to communicate over a wireless network or the internet. This allows us to exchange data and monitor those devices or systems from a web browser or data enabled device like your smart phone, from anywhere in the world. But that is the scary part.

Smart Homes Makes Your Home More Secure

It is true that a lot of the smart home technology is actually designed to give you better control over your home and make it more secure and private. No longer do you keep your front door key under the welcome mat at your front step. Instead, you may have security cameras or smart locks on your doors that you can monitor and control from anywhere using your smartphone. However, in a recent investigation by Marketplace their study shows that the convenience of a smart home may come at a cost to your privacy.

Smart Home Hacking

Marketplace used a team of 3 hackers to try and infiltrate a smart home. Within 2 hours the hackers had access to the passwords required to access the system and unlocked the front door. Thanks to the smart homes security cameras they were also able to view what was happening inside the home. They also used the homes Amazon Alexa to order items off of the Amazons store using the stored credit card information on the system. The time and took and the relative ease of completing all of these tasks is certainly concerning for homeowners.

Can You Prevent These Cyber Hacks?

There are methods to make it much more difficult to hack into a system. However, most of us, including myself like the convenience and ease of using the same password for everything. It is always recommended to use different passwords for different systems but this can be difficult. There are solutions out there that you can purchase called password managers. With these solutions you only need one password to login to all of your systems. Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound more secure? Password managers use two-factor authentication to login, which is a more secure way to login into a system. What two-factor authentication does is if someone tries to login to your account from a new device, a code is automatically sent to the trusted device to authenticate that you are trying to login on that new device. Without the code you can’t access the account, even if they have your password.

Why Don’t The Smart Devices Include Two-Factor Authentication?

Most of the smart home systems have their own two-factor authentication built in but it is not the default option and users have to proactively select the feature and activate it for it to work. The manufactures want setup of their device to be convenient and easy for users but it should not be at the expense of your privacy. Having the know-how to properly setup this additional security and secure your smart home devices is important.

Cyber Protection For Your Home Insurance

Personal cyber attacks are becoming more and more common. Simply having a smartphone puts you at risk. As the world continues adding more smart devices and things like smart homes continue becoming more and more popular that risk becomes even greater. Luckily, the insurance world has started to recognize this and you may now be eligible for personal cyber protection on your home insurance policy. The cyber protection varies from company to company but is in place to cover the following threats:

Cyber Attack

Coverage to pay for the recovery of data or restore systems that have been damaged or lost due to an attack involving a computer or connected home device.

Example: You open an email that appears to be from your bank. You open the document and now your computer has a bad virus. Because of the virus you need to restore your computer and reinstall the software and all your applications. This caused you to lose all your old files.

Cyber Extortion

Designed to provide professional assistance and reimbursement in response to cyber extortion demands such as ransomware or other extortion’s.

Example: A ransom note pops up on your computer saying your files are locked. The only way to get them back is to pay $1,000. If payment is not received all the files will be leaked or destroyed. You pay the $1,000 and a technology firm to investigate the attack and ensure that no viruses were left and that you have proper security in place to protect from attacks like this in the future.

Online Fraud

Coverage for a direct financial loss as a result of online information being exchanged or hacked.

Example: You receive an email from your grandson who you know is travelling abroad. The email says your grandson’s passport has expired and he will need $2,000 to get a new one or he will be held captive. Fearing for your grandson, you transfer the money, only to find out this was sent from a hacker.

Data Breach

Coverage that notifies and pays for services to affected individuals in the event that third party private personal data entrusted to a household resident is breached.

Example: You coach your child’s hockey team and gather all the player’s information including their address and date of birth and store it on a spreadsheet on your tablet. On a road trip you forget your tablet at the arena and it is never recovered. Fearing that the families of the team might become victims of identity theft you call your lawyer who advises you you to notify the families and provide them with fraud alert services.

 

Insurance is designed to give you peace of mind. If you are concerned about your privacy or potential cyber attacks contact your insurance broker. Smart homes are designed to make your life easier and we want to make sure they do!

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

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

 

Preparing the Outside of Your Home

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

Check Your Roof

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

Clean Your Eaves-Trough

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

gutter protector to keep leaves out of gutter

Clear Debris From Street Grates

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

Store or Cover Valuable Items

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

 

Preparing the Inside of Your Home

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

Check Your Sump Pump

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

Close Your Windows and Doors

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

Prepare an Emergency Kit

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

Be Cognisant of Your Electrical & Gas Lines

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

Making Sure You Have the Proper Insurance Coverage

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

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

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

 

Dependent Benefits Eligibility Age

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

 

Dependent Status is Key

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

getting married voids your child's dependant status

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

Special Cases

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

My Dependent was Offered Benefits from Their School

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

 

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

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

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

 

What is a G1 License?

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

 

Are There Restrictions for a G1 Driver?

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

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

For a more complete list please visit young drivers.

 

Do I Need to List a G1 Driver?

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

 

Other Frequently Asked Questions About G1 Drivers

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

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

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

Can a G1 driver buy a car?

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

Can a G1 driver get demerit points?

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

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

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

 

Getting Out on the Road

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

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

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

What is an Insurance Agent?

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

Benefits of an Insurance Agent

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

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

Drawbacks of an Insurance Agent

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

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

What is an Insurance Broker?

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

Benefits of an Insurance Broker

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

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

Drawbacks of an Insurance Broker

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

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

Brokers & Agents

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

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

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

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

 

What Is Home Based Business Insurance?

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

 

Can I Claim For My Business Under My Homeowners Policy?

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

 

How Do I Get Home Based Business Insurance?

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

Add An Endorsement To Your Homeowner’s Policy

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

Home Based Small Business Insurance Policy

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

Business Owner Insurance Policy

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

 

Why Is A Home Based Business Insurance Policy Important?

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

Yes

Yes

Inventory

No

Yes

Liability from business operations

No

Yes

Business interruption / loss of income

No

Yes

Legal expense

No

Yes

Work computer or laptop

No

Yes

 

Looking to find out more?

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

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

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

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

Secret Giveaway

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

When and where?

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

How can you participate?

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

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

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

 

Check out this weeks offers:

McDougall Days of Summer August 31st, 2018

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