McDougall https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com Insurance & Financial Fri, 17 Aug 2018 20:01:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 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 […]

The post What is the Difference Between an Insurance Broker and an Insurance Agent? appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
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!

The post What is the Difference Between an Insurance Broker and an Insurance Agent? appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/08/02/difference-insurance-broker-vs-agent/feed 0
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 […]

The post Do I Need Insurance For My Home Based Business? appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
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!

The post Do I Need Insurance For My Home Based Business? appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/07/18/home-based-business-insurance/feed 0
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 We are thrilled to be kicking off our 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. Live […]

The post McDougall Days of Summer are Back for 2018! appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
We are thrilled to be kicking off our 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.

Live it up and take a selfie with your free giveaway! #FrugalFridays

When and where?

The Days of Summer campaign runs every Friday in July August (July 6th to August 31st) that is 8 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 17th, 2018

The post McDougall Days of Summer are Back for 2018! appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/06/29/mcdougall-days-of-summer-2018/feed 30
3 Changes to the Impaired Driving Laws in Canada https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/06/27/impaired-driving-laws-changing https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/06/27/impaired-driving-laws-changing#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 14:52:00 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=32525 Bill C-46 has just received Royal Assent and there are new laws that apply to both alcohol-impaired driving and drug-impaired driving. The bill also made technical changes that will help the courts deal with impaired driving cases much more quickly. Police officers will also have access to new tools and detection devices to aid them […]

The post 3 Changes to the Impaired Driving Laws in Canada appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
Bill C-46 has just received Royal Assent and there are new laws that apply to both alcohol-impaired driving and drug-impaired driving. The bill also made technical changes that will help the courts deal with impaired driving cases much more quickly. Police officers will also have access to new tools and detection devices to aid them in charging impaired drivers. The reformed Bill focuses on three major changes: THC levels in your blood, roadside breath testing without reasonable suspicion, and roadside saliva testing. Lets take a look at what each of these will mean for drivers.

THC Levels in Your Blood

For quite sometime authorities have been able to lay an impaired driving charge based on your blood alcohol level. Officers will now be able to do the same for THC. This new change has been controversial for two main reasons:

The Science

The science behind THC is much weaker than alcohol when it comes to linking THC levels in your blood leading to impairment versus your blood alcohol level leading to impairment. It has also been documented that THC remains in your system longer than alcohol but the affects are not still present. Regardless, the bill has been reformed and the THC levels in your blood have been set through the new regulations. The proposed levels, based on nanograms per millilitre of blood, are detailed below:

  • A THC level between 2 ng and 5 ng would be considered a lower-level offence with a fine up to $1,000
  • A THC level above 5 ng would come with the same penalties as an alcohol-impaired driving conviction, including mandatory minimum penalties of a $1,000 fine on a first offence, 30 days imprisonment on a second offence, and 120 days imprisonment on a third offence
  • A combintion of a THC level above 2.5 ng and a blood alcohol concentration above 50 mg per 100 mL would have the same penalties as above

Medical Marijuana Patients

Another challenge arises when you look at medical marijuana patients who are placed on a prescription. Based on the proposed levels above, consuming even small amounts of cannabis shortly before driving could put a person over these limits. Defence lawyers will be busy arguing this topic, yet the government has stated that until the science improves it is taking a zero tolerance approach.

Roadside Breath Testing Without Reasonable Suspicion

Police, as of December 2018, will be able to perform a roadside breath test for any driver. In the past an officer would need to have reasonable suspicion to perform the breath test but that has been changed. Drivers who are required to take the Breathalyzer test but refuse will face a criminal charge with similar penalties to an impaired driving conviction.

Of course this has sparked a good deal of controversy. It is argued that this violates the Charter’s protection against unreasonable searches and may also give way to racial profiling or disproportionately affecting minorities.

Roadside Saliva Testing

Unlike the roadside breath testing above, police officers will need reasonable suspicion before demanding a saliva test. This roadside device can be used to test saliva for the presence of THC, cocaine, methamphetamine and more. If traces of any of these are found drug-impaired driving charges will apply, plus additional chargers depending on the substance.

Even though this portion of the new reform applies immediately, it is unlikely that these tests will be seen on Canadian roads as there are still a number of steps that need to completed. Devices are still being tested to ensure accuracy and other components and there is no timeline for the completion of these tests. After the testing is finished the officers will need to be trained on them and they must go through a 30-day public consultation before they can be approved for use. This means it could be closer to the end of 2018 before they become available.

Conclusion

These changes may seem controversial but they are designed to keep our roads safe. It is important to be responsible when using alcohol or drugs and if you are using them do not get behind the wheel or a vehicle. In today’s world there are too many easy alternatives to get where you need to go, such as public transportation, taxis, friends and family, or ride sharing programs such as Uber.

The post 3 Changes to the Impaired Driving Laws in Canada appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/06/27/impaired-driving-laws-changing/feed 0
Is Mortgage Life Insurance Worth It? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/06/21/mortgage-life-insurance-not-worth-it https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/06/21/mortgage-life-insurance-not-worth-it#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 20:29:08 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=31926 Buying a house is one of the biggest decision of your life, and can often be a daunting or overwhelming experience. And one of the biggest decisions that comes with buying a house is picking out a good mortgage. Often you will get your mortgage from a trusted financial institution or a mortgage broker. However, […]

The post Is Mortgage Life Insurance Worth It? appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
Buying a house is one of the biggest decision of your life, and can often be a daunting or overwhelming experience. And one of the biggest decisions that comes with buying a house is picking out a good mortgage. Often you will get your mortgage from a trusted financial institution or a mortgage broker. However, when it comes to finding a mortgage there are so many different aspects you need to look into. After you have made the decision you will still be bombarded with more and more information, and sometimes you will be asked to make a snap decision to carry mortgage life insurance, which will help cover your mortgage should something happen to you. On the surface this seems like it would be a good idea, but lets dig a little deeper into the mortgage life insurance product and why it may not be right for you.

What is Mortgage Life Insurance?

Mortgage life insurance or mortgage protection insurance is not the same insurance you are required to carry when your down payment is less than 20%. It is also not the same as home insurance, which is required by your mortgage provider. Instead, it is a voluntary coverage option and it is typically presented by the lender of your mortgage. The policy is designed to cover your mortgage payments if you were to pass away or become seriously ill. It is a set payment for the term of your mortgage and just gets included with your mortgage payments. Sounds pretty good right? Well, not so fast. This all sounds well and good, and is likely the reason so many people agree to the insurance, but it’s not all it is cracked up to be and here’s why:

Protects the Lender Not the Borrower

The biggest knock against mortgage insurance is that it is designed to protect the lender, not the borrower (that’s you). This means the bank, not your family, will be the one who pockets the payout should you pass away while the mortgage is active. Of course your family won’t have to worry about mortgage payments if you die or become disabled but this isn’t always the best solution. For instance your family could sell the house to get ride of the mortgage and use the money for other purposes.

Shrinking Payout

It is true the coverage protects the amount of your mortgage, but as you continue paying down your mortgage your coverage decreases. Yet, your payments stay the same. When you initially received the coverage and your mortgage was $400,000 it seemed like a great idea but now you are half way through your term and are still yet to have a claim. Your payments stay the same for the entire term despite requiring less coverage. Now suppose something happens, you will only receive coverage for the outstanding debt of $200,000 in this example. With a personal life insurance policy you receive the entire coverage amount regardless of when the claims occurs, it is not diminish over time.

Underwritten Post-Claim

The other portion of a mortgage life insurance policy you need to be wary of is; it is typically underwritten post-claim. What does that mean? Well, it means that your eligibility for a payout is determined only after a claim has been made. So despite the fact you have been paying the premiums all along, you may be denied your payout. Just ask Christopher Massa’s family, who found out after he passed away from lung cancer, that they would be denied because of his health condition. With a personal life insurance policy it is underwritten before the policy is issued so this does not occur.

Lack of Flexibility

There is no flexibility with the money, it will be used solely to pay off the remaining amount of the mortgage. And remember that payout is going directly to the bank. You would still need a separate life insurance policy to consolidate your other insurance needs such as income replacement at death, childcare, benefits plan, disability etc. With a personal insurance policy you can cover whatever makes sense to you. It could be your mortgage, it could be money for your loved ones, the options are available for you to make a decision on. With the mortgage life insurance through the lender that simply isn’t available and you would have to carry different insurance policies to cover the rest of your needs.

Plain and simple mortgage life insurance provided from the lender is simply not worth it.

What is a better solution?

We do agree that buying insurance that can be used to pay off your mortgage is important, but it needs to be purchased from an insurance company, not a lender. With a life insurance policy there are several benefits over a mortgage life insurance policy from a lender. To find out more about what the benefits are of having a personal life insurance policy that can be used against your mortgage, contact our life and financial services team.

 

The post Is Mortgage Life Insurance Worth It? appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/06/21/mortgage-life-insurance-not-worth-it/feed 0
Meet the 2018 McDougall Family Fund Finalists https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/24/2018-family-fund-finalists https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/24/2018-family-fund-finalists#respond Thu, 24 May 2018 20:34:53 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=29574 Combermere and Area Recreational Rink Project The small town of Combermere, which is just outside of Barry’s Bay, was hit by a Tornado in 2006. The storm caused severe damage to many parts of the community including their outdoor rink. Citizens of the community rallied together and worked alongside one another to clean up and […]

The post Meet the 2018 McDougall Family Fund Finalists appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
Combermere and Area Recreational Rink Project

The small town of Combermere, which is just outside of Barry’s Bay, was hit by a Tornado in 2006. The storm caused severe damage to many parts of the community including their outdoor rink. Citizens of the community rallied together and worked alongside one another to clean up and repair the damage. The outdoor rink is a an important part of the community where residents of all ages gather to enjoy a leisurely skate in the winter or play a game of road hockey or broomball in the summer.

Community Kids Space

Our children are the future and the Community Kids Space in Bancroft is looking to help create an environment where children (and their families) can come and participate in different activities throughout the year. In their new space they are looking to create a play space and kids fitness classes. Healthy, active children are vital to our future and being active can have some many positive benefits on our daily life.

A Million Possibilities

Community Living Ontario is a family based organization assisting people who have an intellectual disability. They encourage families to lead the way in advancing their family members inclusion in their own lives and in their communities. The A Million Possibilities project showcased the Solo Ocean Row where a father of a physical and intellectually disabled child completed a solo ocean row across the Atlantic Ocean, which took 83 days to complete. The a Million Possibilities project is a part of the family engagement series which provides a platform for families of children and youth who have an intellectual disability to see what’s possible and aids in making that vision a reality.

Cornerstone FVPC

The Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre is a non-profit in the Northumberland County area that has been working to break the cycle of family violence by providing immediate shelter, counselling and prevention services over the past 33 years. Making families whole again is their goal. The team is looking to create an area where families feel comfortable and have access to the tools and help they need.

Home Again Animal Rescue

The Home Again Animal Rescue located in Bancroft, is a volunteer organization that rescues surrendered, abandoned or homeless pets. They treat the pets and foster them until they are ready to be adopted. They also subsidize the surgeries to spay or neuter these pets to make sure they are taken care of when the find their forever home. Their new initiative is to offer mirco-chipping clinics for the animals.

Michelangelo’s Café

The Gleaners Foodbank in Belleville is trying to create a kitchen space in their Café. Currently, they do not have a kitchen that allows them to make meals in house. Everything has to be delivered or shipped, packaged separately and then shipped back. They also cannot provide cutlery, dishes, or glasses to the families they feed as they do not have a kitchen that passes the health and safety board. With a new kitchen they will be able to provide a lot of these services in-house which will ultimately cut their costs and allow them to severe more in-need families.

Southview Public School Playground Plan

The Southview Public School in Napanee is in need of a new playground. Right now the school yard only has one tree, some rough terrain, and soccer fields without grass. With the support of the McDougall Family Fund the Southview Public School would be able to revamp their playground and provide a space for the students to be active and socialize.

The Connections Program

The Connections Program serves youth in the Counties of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville. The program is designed to help youth who are showing evidence of disengaging from the education system or with mental health issues. Each student who attends the program receives a tailored curriculum specific to their needs. Supporting their health and well-being is the top priority and providing them the opportunity to develop life and social skills as well as academic aid is also an important component of the program. Every youth deserves to feel valued, to be heard and have the chance to succeed and that is what the Connections Program aims to accomplish.

Walk for Claire

For the past several years the small community of Tamworth has united in memory of a young girl by the name of Claire who lost her battle with cancer in 2011. The Walk for Claire is an initiative designed to raise funds and show support for Paediatric cancer. All the money is used to support the families with children currently battling cancer. The Walk for Claire also works with the social work department to provide assistance to these families.

 

Hayley’s Camp Story

Easter Seals Ontario is dedicated to helping children and youth with physical disabilities. The non-profit organization assists the families with the cost of equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, lifts, and ramps as well as communication devices. Hayley’s Camp Story is another aspect of the organization where they send these children to enjoy a full accessible summer camp. With the donations they are able to send more kids to camp and purchase more equipment to assist the families in need.

The post Meet the 2018 McDougall Family Fund Finalists appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/24/2018-family-fund-finalists/feed 0
Wedding Insurance Is It Right For You? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/18/wedding-insurance-right-for-you https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/18/wedding-insurance-right-for-you#respond Fri, 18 May 2018 16:14:12 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=29093 When we think of insurance we often think about protecting the things we value most; our home, car, business or life. One thing that often doesn’t get thought of when it comes to insurance is your wedding. For most of us this only happens once (or twice) in a lifetime so maybe that is why […]

The post Wedding Insurance Is It Right For You? appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
When we think of insurance we often think about protecting the things we value most; our home, car, business or life. One thing that often doesn’t get thought of when it comes to insurance is your wedding. For most of us this only happens once (or twice) in a lifetime so maybe that is why insurance for a wedding is not always top of mind. But think about it. A wedding is typically a big financial undertaking, not to mention it can have a high liability exposure. I mean you invest a great deal of time and money planning your big day, so don’t let unexpected things ruin your wedding.

 

Why buy wedding insurance?

The average cost of a wedding, according to a study done by Weddingbells Magazine, is $31,685. That is a huge cost. If you had a $30,000 car or boat you would most definitely insure it so why doesn’t the average person buy wedding insurance? The answer is simple. Education and awareness. Most people are unaware that such insurance exists or they are uneducated about what it covers.

 

What is wedding insurance?

Wedding insurance coverage can differ from carrier to carrier but they all provide similar protection. Let’s take a look at what is covered with most packages:

  • Liability Insurance
  • Wedding Cancellation
  • Photos and Videos
  • Damaged Gown
  • Honeymoon Cancellation
  • Wedding Gifts
  • Wedding Rings
  • Rented Property

 

What are some examples of what it covers?

rain at a wedding

Picture this. You have dedicated hours upon hours planning your wedding and have the venue all set up. It is down by the water at this breathtaking location. The night before the wedding a massive rainfall comes down and the venue is flooded. With the proper wedding insurance policy you can postpone or find a new venue and be reimbursed for everything you lost. This includes invitations, cake, caterers, attire rentals, and much more. All you have to pay is your deductible.

 

Let us pose another scenario. Imagine, you’ve just found the perfect dress; you fall in love. It was expensive and someone’s wallet just became a lot smaller but it is perfect. The day of the wedding rolls around and there you are, looking stunning in your perfect dress. You began to walk down the aisle which has gently lit candles to illuminate the way. Your dress is so long and flowy that it catches a candle and ignites. Luckily everyone is able to act fast and get the fire out and the dress off of you. However, in the process your dress is burnt and ripped and totally ruined. With the right policy you will be reimbursed for a replacement veil and gown. Maybe you can use it for your next wedding?

 

Last one. You have planned an amazing wedding. Everything is going off without a hitch. You splurged and wanted to make sure everyone had a good time so you decided on providing an open bar (you rock and I am sad I missed it). Guess what, uncle Larry is taking full advantage and not acting his usual self. He decides to take one of the golf carts at the venue and drives into someone injuring them badly. With wedding insurance you have a general liability policy that will cover any legal action or damage against you.

 

What does wedding insurance not cover?

There are some exclusions in a wedding insurance policy. For instance the wedding rings are typically only covered 7 days prior to the date of the wedding. If they go missing before that or afterwards you are not covered, at least under this policy. You may decide to place a rider on your home insurance policy to protect your rings. Additional jewellery or watches or necklaces may not be covered as well. And the big one, which is definitely not covered, is cold feet. If before you say I do there is a change of heart from either party there is no coverage, so let’s hope that doesn’t happen!

wedding insurance does not cover cold feet

Not exactly the cold feet we were referring to but you get the idea

 

How much does wedding insurance cost?

Every provider has different coverage and packages available that can affect the premium. However, as a general rule of thumb the basic packages are typically $300 and can range up to $1,000. The difference in the premium comes from the limits on certain coverage. The royal wedding for instance, likely costs somewhere in the neighbourhood of 25,000 pounds just for the insurance (this it a totally made up figure but it is probably expensive)!

 

Do you really need wedding insurance coverage?

We recommend it for most couples. However, depending on the venue, booking company, or caterer they may have their own insurance that would cover the event or at least portions of it. In this case you do not want to pay for redundant or overlapping coverage. Otherwise, we recommend at least investigating in the coverage.

A little something to think about. Harry and Meghan purchased a very expensive wedding insurance policy for the royal wedding to make sure they are protected should anything not go as planned. And this is one of the most meticulously planned events ever. But you never know things can happen. Sarah Ferguson may try and make a flashy entrance after being snubbed from Prince WIlliam’s wedding and come flying in on a helicopter and crash into the venue. Ok we are done here. If you want to find out more give us ring, not a wedding ring, but like a telephone ring. We will walk you down the aisle of education and make your big day special!

Royal wedding for the girls in Oshawa

 

The post Wedding Insurance Is It Right For You? appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/18/wedding-insurance-right-for-you/feed 0
Does My Credit Score Affect My Insurance Premium? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/10/credit-score-affect-insurance-premium https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/10/credit-score-affect-insurance-premium#respond Thu, 10 May 2018 20:18:41 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=27313 Your credit score has a big impact on your life. It can affect things like buying a car, receiving a loan, applying for credit lines, or getting your mortgage. But what you may not be aware of is it can also affect your insurance premiums.   How does my credit score affect my ratings? It […]

The post Does My Credit Score Affect My Insurance Premium? appeared first on McDougall.

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

 

How does my credit score affect my ratings?

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

 

Car Insurance and Credit Scores

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

 

Home Insurance and Credit Scores

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

 

Claims and Credit Scores

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

 

How to maintain a good credit score

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

The post Does My Credit Score Affect My Insurance Premium? appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/05/10/credit-score-affect-insurance-premium/feed 0
McDougall Insurance is One of Canada’s Top Employers https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/04/24/canadas-top-employers https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/04/24/canadas-top-employers#respond Tue, 24 Apr 2018 18:49:06 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=26509 The post McDougall Insurance is One of Canada’s Top Employers appeared first on McDougall.

]]>

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

Not with McDougall Insurance & Financial.

 

The Top Employer Award

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

 

Atmosphere

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

Celebrating Grilled Cheese Day!

 

Employee Communications

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

 

Benefits

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

 

Vacation and Time Off

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

 

Physical Workplace

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

Performance Management

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

 

Training and Skills Development

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

 

Community Involvement

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

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

The post McDougall Insurance is One of Canada’s Top Employers appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/04/24/canadas-top-employers/feed 0
Meet the Dougallers: Dave Fox https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/04/19/meet-dougallers-dave-fox https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/04/19/meet-dougallers-dave-fox#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 18:13:28 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=25419 Meet the Dougallers features Dave Fox. He is our new highly trained insurance broker and has joined the McDougall DLK Insurance in our Brockville office. Dave is passionate about working in the community and creating ongoing relationships with his customers which makes Dave a great fit for the McDougall team. But that sounds like just […]

The post Meet the Dougallers: Dave Fox appeared first on McDougall.

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

Place of birth?

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

Favourite hobbies?

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

Dave Fox with Pete Rose

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

Favourite meal?

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

Favourite saying?

“All good”

Favourite movie and why?

Slapshot – Way too funny

How did you get involved in insurance?

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite sports team and why?

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

Who is your celebrity role-model and why?

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

Final thoughts?

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

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

The post Meet the Dougallers: Dave Fox appeared first on McDougall.

]]>
https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/04/19/meet-dougallers-dave-fox/feed 0