McDougall https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com Insurance & Financial Thu, 15 Feb 2018 21:43:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 Kanye West Settles with Lloyd’s of London over $10 Million Lawsuit https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/02/15/kanye-west-settles-lawsuit https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/02/15/kanye-west-settles-lawsuit#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 20:57:26 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=22707 The year is 2016. Kayne West, one of the most popular rap artists of the time, is on stage in Sacramento for his Saint Pablo Tour. Part way through the show he begins ranting hysterically about Jay-Z, Hillary Clinton, and even Facebook. The performance is cut short. He still has 21 more dates slotted for […]

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The year is 2016. Kayne West, one of the most popular rap artists of the time, is on stage in Sacramento for his Saint Pablo Tour. Part way through the show he begins ranting hysterically about Jay-Z, Hillary Clinton, and even Facebook. The performance is cut short. He still has 21 more dates slotted for his tour but cancels them due to a mental breakdown. He was treated over the course of the next week in a neuropsychiatric centre.

 

The rapper spent thousands and thousands of dollars on his insurance to cover any cancellations should they arise. And in 2017, when he hadn’t been paid out for this claim, his touring company, Very Good Touring filed a $10 million lawsuit against Lloyd’s of London insurance market. If you don’t know what Lloyd’s is read this.

Kanye West and Jay-z

Lloyd’s followed up with a counter lawsuit of their own, against Kanye West and his tour company. This was based on the allegation that the artist used marijuana, which was written in as an exclusion in the policy. Lloyd’s used this initially as their defense to deny his insurance claim.

 

West’s lawsuit suggested that the insurer could not deny the claim on the basis that the use of marijuana caused his mental breakdown.

 

Lloyd’s responded saying West had “substantial irregularities” in his medical history and they were not solely denying the claim based on the use of Marijuana. They also followed it up to say the touring company refused to provide information that was relevant and necessary for underwriters to properly execute their investigation of the claim.

 

Kanye’s lawyer, Howard King, released a statement that, “Lloyd’s did not want to honour a legitimate claim but can’t find a factual basis to deny the claim.”

 

However, after all this back and forth, we can now rest assured knowing that it has been settled.

 

The judge assigned to the case dismissed it on Valentine’s Day after the lawyers came to an agreement from both sides. Love must have been in the air. The matter was described to have been resolved amicably, with Kayne West receiving most of what he was due under the policy terms.

 

We really don’t know why we wrote this article and if you made it this far, well we apologize for wasting your time. You know what is not a waste of time? Getting a quote with McDougall Insurance!

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6 Things You Need to Know About Buying a New Home https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/01/24/things-to-know-buying-new-home https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/01/24/things-to-know-buying-new-home#respond Wed, 24 Jan 2018 20:32:21 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=21232 Being in the market to purchase a new home is always a big and exciting step in someone’s life. But sometimes this process isn’t as exciting as you would like it to be. It’s not that getting your new home isn’t exciting, it is the headache you may experience afterwards if you aren’t careful. It […]

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Being in the market to purchase a new home is always a big and exciting step in someone’s life. But sometimes this process isn’t as exciting as you would like it to be. It’s not that getting your new home isn’t exciting, it is the headache you may experience afterwards if you aren’t careful. It is easy to overlook certain aspects of a property when looking to buy a new home. How is heated, when was the electrical updated, how about the plumbing? This items can go undetected when going through a home and can actually create a big headache and sometimes a lot of money for you down the road. Our list focuses on things to look for when buying a new home as they relate to your home insurance policy.

 

Water Issues

Believe it or not, there are more insurance claims as a result of water damage in Ontario than pretty much all the other perils combined. When looking for a new home it is important to look into things like where is the nearest body of water, how is the house graded, has there been previous water damage or damage to the foundation? You should ask these questions to your real estate agent or contractor to make sure you are at a lower potential risk of water damage. If there has been any previous water claims on the property it will have to be disclosed on the sellers listing and will have to be disclosed on the insurance policy as well. If you do end up buying a home that is in a high risk zone for water damage, just be wary that it may be difficult to get the best water coverage or any at all. Most of the time, if you can get coverage, there will be sub limits on the coverage you receive and with water claims that can mean a lot more money out of your own pocket.

 

Electrical Update

In new homes you typically won’t have to worry about electrical updates, however, in older homes it can often lead to a major headache and additional costs that you didn’t think about when buying the home. Insurance companies prefer to have a home use a breaker panel with copper wiring. If that is the case with the home you are looking at you are good to go! In the event you buy an older home, that may not be the case so make sure you ask about when the last electrical update was done and what was done during that update. While going through the potential new homes check to see if it uses breakers or fuses. If it is fuses try and get it built into the agreement that the seller has to replace it to a breaker panel. If not you may be on the hook for a few extra bucks to do it yourself. Also you will want to ensure there is no aluminium or knob and tube wiring. If there is, the insurance company will require an ESA certificate from a certified electrician to confirm everything is still up to code. If not you may be in for a big renovation.

 

Roof Update

Another area that people do not always think about or look at when buying a new home is the roof. They see a roof on the house, but don’t bother finding out about when it was last updated or any warranty information on the roof. Again, asking your real estate agent to disclose this information is always a good idea as the last thing you want is to buy a house and then be told from your insurance company that the roof hasn’t been updated in 20 years and you need to replace it. Some roofs even have 40 year warranties on the shingles but this doesn’t always stop the insurance companies from demanding an update.

worn out shingles on an old roof

Plumbing Update

Insurance companies will straight up deny writing a policy if there is galvanized plumbing. This type of plumbing was typically used in older homes and has been known to deteriorate and cause severe damage. Oh by the way, if your piping does deteriorate and you have damage to your home you can bet that your insurance company will not be supporting the claim as they do not insure the wear and tear of a home, only sudden and accidental losses. It is a tedious job to replace the plumbing, as that often requires digging stuff up and tearing into the house and it may be a make or break decision in buying the home.

 

Heating Update

When buying a new home it is important to look at the heating type. I mean, in Canada you want to make sure your home is going to be warm in those winter months, and you want to avoid unnecessary costs where you can. There are many ways to heat a home but some are far more energy efficient than others and can mean lower insurance costs. If you use oil heat your premium can be more money and you will need to provide information on the age of the tank, the type of tank (single/double walled), thickness of the gauge (2.0, 2.3, 2.5). All of this info is located on a plaque on the side of the tank. If you use any wood heat sources you will likely need to confirm a WETT inspection has been completed. Forced air through a central gas furnace seems to be common, you’ll just want to make sure the furnace has been updated within the last 20 years.

 

Hot Water Tank Information

Your real estate agent will inform you if the hot water tank is rented or owned but you will also want to confirm the age of the tank. It is also a good idea to look into if there is a main valve shutoff for your water and what type (manual, monitored, automatic) it is as you may receive a discount with your insurance company. Some insurance company’s also will also give you a discount if you have a tankless water heater, which seems to be the new thing!

 

All in all when you are buying a new home you want to pick one that you love. We just want to make sure you don’t pick one that you think you love and then realize there are a ton of costly updates that need to be done to it and make you all of a sudden not love it anymore. Happy living!

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Do Males Pay More Than Females On Car Insurance? https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/01/16/males-pay-more-on-car-insurance https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/01/16/males-pay-more-on-car-insurance#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 21:44:12 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=20458 A hot topic in the insurance world is do males pay more than females on their car insurance? To put it bluntly, yes. Of course there are different circumstances and different companies treat the topic differently, but as a whole yes, males pay more then females. However, to truly understand this topic there are a […]

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A hot topic in the insurance world is do males pay more than females on their car insurance? To put it bluntly, yes. Of course there are different circumstances and different companies treat the topic differently, but as a whole yes, males pay more then females. However, to truly understand this topic there are a few things you have to understand about insurance companies and their rating systems.

 

Why Does Insurance Use Gender as a Rating Factor?

To begin lets first look at why gender is even used in Ontario to help determine car insurance premiums. Insurance actuaries and underwriters (the people who come up with the rates) use historical data and outcomes to try and forecast the probability of automobile claims for different segments of people or risks. There are mounds and mounds of data available to these companies and as such they are able to use this vast amount of information to develop rates. One of the pieces of information they have access to and look at when determining auto insurance rates is gender. Statistically speaking, male drivers under the age of 25 are more likely to be involved in an at-fault accident or claim than their female counterparts. As such, young males are typically rated as a higher risk to the insurance company and therefore end up paying more for their insurance.

 

The Ontario Provincial Police from 2005 – 2014 found twice as many males (2,358) as females (1,146) died in car accidents in Ontario.

 

The problem with this model is it doesn’t look at why male drivers are involved in more accidents and when you do it becomes a bit more muddled. There are factors that could play a role here such as: frequency of driving – maybe young males drive more frequently than females and thus spend more time behind the wheel, or the vehicle types being driven – maybe young males are driving less reliable or less safe vehicles than females on average. But when it comes to insurance and coming up with these rates the companies don’t care about the reasons, it is the results they are focused on.

 

Do Males Ever Get Rates as Good as Females?

The good news is as males become older their rates tend to align with females. Again, turning to the mountains of data insurance companies have, they found that on average when males are 25 or older they become more responsible on the roads and are involved in a similar number of claims to females. What does this mean? It means that most of the time there is no difference in rating between males and females after they have turned 25 or been driving for 9 years. Of course there are still exceptions to this but on average the rates do round out for males and gender becomes less of a factor.

male and female shaking hands

Is There Ways to Offset the High Rates for Young Males?

We are glad you asked! We know it sucks having to pay more for insurance just because of your gender but luckily there are discounts available that can help offset some of these costs. Let’s take a look at what some of them are:

Start building a driving record right away

A big mistake that happens in a lot of families is the parents never add their children to their policies as an occasional driver. Sure it may increase the parent’s policy initially, however the savings down the road will be worth it for the young driver. Simply letting them drive your vehicles is not enough, they need to actually be named on the policy or they will not be building any insurance history. Without insurance history you are a bigger exposure to insurance companies and thus when the younger driver tries to get their own policy they will be at a disadvantage.

Complete a certified young drivers training course

These programs are a win-win. First of all, these courses teach you how to drive safely and provide tips and techniques for inexperienced drivers to make them safer on the road. Insurance companies recognize this as well, and so, they offer a better rating to drivers who have completed a driver training course. Most drivers who start driving and are listed on an insurance policy begin with a 0 star driver rating. Drivers who have completed a young driver training course will automatically start with a 3 star driver rating which means significant upfront savings on their insurance.

Get good grades in school

Wait what does school have to do with driving? Remember all that big data insurance companies have access to? Well believe it or not they have actually found correlations with students who have good grades (above an 80% average), are actually less likely to get into an accident or have a claim. For most of the companies who offer this discount it can save you 10% a year on your car insurance and even if you graduate and are finished school the discount can remain with you until you turn 25. Study, study, study!

Use the telematics program

Some insurance companies offer the opportunity for drivers to use a program that monitors their driving habits. It tries to mitigate the impact that gender has on their rating and focus on the driver themselves. Enrolling in this program can give you a discount on your policy right off the top and can even save you up to 25% at your next renewal, if it determines you are a good driver. It is important to be cognoscente that the device is with you while you are driving. We like to say it is best to imagine you are driving with a delicate glass sculpture in your back seat and cannot break it or you’ll be in trouble.

 

At the end of the day it may not be fair that insurance companies use gender as a rating factor; however that is the way it is for now. Who knows it may change one day but in the meantime, guys take these tips and do your best to drive safely and not be another statistic. And girls, keep on keeping on!

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How to Make S.M.A.R.T. Goals for 2018 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/01/10/smart-goals-2018 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2018/01/10/smart-goals-2018#respond Wed, 10 Jan 2018 16:56:50 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=20370 The New Year brings with it a renewed sense of what “could be” and often we find ourselves making goals to try and achieve this. Whether your goals are related to healthier living, financial success, quitting bad habits or making changes in your personal life, it often requires substantial commitment. In fact, research has shown […]

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The New Year brings with it a renewed sense of what “could be” and often we find ourselves making goals to try and achieve this. Whether your goals are related to healthier living, financial success, quitting bad habits or making changes in your personal life, it often requires substantial commitment. In fact, research has shown that most New Year’s Resolutions are broken by February, and often don’t get through January. Why is this?  In short, change is hard. Change is harder without a detailed plan. If you are trying to make some changes, creating S.M.A.R.T. goals is the way to go.

Let’s take a “money saving” example.

S- Specific: The goal has to be specific. “Save Money” is too vague. Are you looking to start an emergency fund? Do you need fancy clothes for your best buddy’s wedding? Identify what your goal is about.

M- Measurable: How will you know when you have achieved your goal?  You need to know what defines the finish line to develop a goal. “Save $500” is a very good start for an emergency fund.

A- Attainable:  Carve out a path that outlines what you will need to do to achieve the goal. For example: “I will have to set up a new savings account. I will save $50 from every pay and transfer it at the end of the month.”

R- Realistic: A realistic goal should take into account the reality of your time commitments, salary, and personal circumstances. Is your expected timeline for the goal too aggressive? Modify it accordingly.

T- Time-based: Set a time for completion of your goal. In some cases, this is easy (saving money for a Birthday trip). Other times, the goal doesn’t have a firm deadline. If you want to save money for an emergency fund, you will have to identify a completion date in order to keep your motivation in high gear. “If I can save $50 each pay, this will only take 10 pay periods.”

Traditional Goals

Save money in the new year

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

I am going to save $500 for an emergency fund. Based on my salary, I can only afford $50 per pay to go toward this. I will need 10 pay periods to meet this goal. Having cash in a jar at home is too tempting, so I will put it in a free savings account. If I do this for 10 pay periods, I can achieve this goal by the end of May.

Have a wonderful 2018 and if you do set goals for yourself this year make them S.M.A.R.T. Goals! And if one of your goals is to save money look no further than McDougall Insurance to save you money on your insurance. Good luck!

 

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7 Things You Need to Know About Your Car Insurance While Travelling Over the Border https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/12/20/car-insurance-travelling-over-border https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/12/20/car-insurance-travelling-over-border#respond Wed, 20 Dec 2017 21:26:17 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=19195 People from Canada each and ever year load up their vehicle and travel across the border to visit our neighbour to the south. However, not everyone knows what coverage they have on there vehicle or how it may impact their insurance. Don’t worry we have you covered! Family Protection Endorsement Without a doubt this is […]

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People from Canada each and ever year load up their vehicle and travel across the border to visit our neighbour to the south. However, not everyone knows what coverage they have on there vehicle or how it may impact their insurance. Don’t worry we have you covered!

Family Protection Endorsement

Without a doubt this is the most important portion of your policy when travelling over the border. In most cases, especially if you are insured with McDougall Insurance, you will have this added to your policy no matter what. The family protection endorsement also referred to as the 44 endorsement is an optional add-on to a car insurance policy that protects you and your family if you’re in a collision and the at-fault driver doesn’t have adequate insurance or has no insurance at all. The reason this is especially important when travelling over the border is the mandatory liability limits in the United States are far lower than they are in Canada. This means American drivers aren’t required to have as much coverage for liability claims but with this endorsement it won’t impact you.

Have an Adequate Liability Limit

With regards to the point above the only way the family protection endorsement works is if you yourself have adequate liability insurance. Claims today are resulting in much higher costs and settlements than they ever have before. At McDougall Insurance we quote at least $2,000,000 for liability coverage for all of our clients where applicable. Most companies will only quote $1,000,000, which sounds like a lot of money but believe us when we say it is often not enough. Not to mention to double the amount typically only costs about $25 a year. At that cost it really is a no-brainer. When travelling over the border you can expect the payouts to be even higher which is why we recommended to some of our clients to carry an umbrella policy.

Tickets in the US can Impact Your Record

Transferring information from country to country used to be a difficult task and in the past you used to be able to get a ticket in the United States that would not impact your driving record in Canada. However, thanks to technology and all that fancy stuff you can very well expect a traffic offense to stick with you from most States. Reciprocal agreements have been made by most provinces and states to exchange this information to one another. If your home province and the state you were driving in have an agreement any tickets in that state that you receive will show up on your driving record and can impact your insurance rates. It is important to drive safely and know the rules of the road and the speed limits while driving in the United States.

Accident in the United States

Forget about the liability side, that was covered above. If you’re vehicle is involved in an accident in the US there are a few things you need to be conscious of. First of all, whether you are at-fault for the accident or not you are likely going to have to pay your deductible because the direct compensation portion of your policy does not apply outside of Ontario. Your insurance company will then reimburse you your deductible if you were not at-fault but that will not happen until you are back in Canada. If you don’t have physical damage on your vehicle and are not at-fault for the accident it can be a headache as your insurance company will have to settle with the at-fault parties insurance company before they can reimburse you. If you are at-fault in the accident you can expect it to show up on your driving record and this will impact your rate unless you carry the accident waiver protection.

Rental Car Coverage

If you decide to rent a car in the United Stated you’ll be covered under your Canadian car insurance policy. Although, it is important to note that you may not have all the same coverage you do on your regular policy. Your liability limit will still be applied. However, there is a very poorly titled endorsement you can add to your auto policy called the Liability to Non-Owned Automobiles or the 27 endorsement. What this endorsement does is it transfers the physical damage portion of your policy to the rental car. So if you are in an accident in the rental car you will still have coverage for any damage done to the vehicle. If you are unsure if you have this coverage ask your broker before signing up for the rental car companies optional coverage, we can let you know if you are already covered!

Insurance Premiums May Increase

If you travel to the United States for a significant period of time each year you may be subject to higher insurance premiums. If you’re permanent residence is actually in the United States but you travel to Canada for a significant period of time you will need to have your vehicle registered and insured in the United States.

Make Alternate Arrangements if Travelling To Mexico

Your car insurance policy will not cover you if you drive your vehicle to Mexico. Not to mention that would make for one long road trip! There are certain exceptions but for the most part car insurance in Canada only covers you for driving in Canada and the United States. If you are planning to drive to Mexico you will likely want to investigate using a rental car company that will allow driving in Mexico but it can be costly to do so.

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Welcome Mink Insurance to the McDougall Insurance Team! https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/12/04/welcome-mink-insurance-mcdougall-insurance-team https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/12/04/welcome-mink-insurance-mcdougall-insurance-team#respond Mon, 04 Dec 2017 15:47:30 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=18314 On behalf of McDougall Insurance we are pleased to announce that we have merged with Mink Insurance Services Ltd. as of December 1st, 2017. We are very excited to welcome the employees at Mink Insurance to our organization. Mink Insurance Services is a large and very well respected brokerage with a history going back 54 […]

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On behalf of McDougall Insurance we are pleased to announce that we have merged with Mink Insurance Services Ltd. as of December 1st, 2017. We are very excited to welcome the employees at Mink Insurance to our organization.

Mink Insurance Services is a large and very well respected brokerage with a history going back 54 years. Their office is located out of Midland, Ontario where they have been servicing the occupants in the area for all of their commercial, home, and car insurance needs. The 15 employees of the Mink Team have tremendous knowledge of the area and the industry and bring that expertise to the McDougall Insurance Team. Mink fits the McDougall culture with their small town roots and strong support for many local community organizations and charities. They have a premium volume of $11 million with a good split of commercial and personal insurance.

All 15 employees will remain with the organization as well as their contact information, phone number and name. You can also visit the Mink Insurance Services Ltd. website for more information about their services.

This merger helps enhance our reach in Eastern Ontario providing us with a location in an area we had not previously serviced. The clients of Mink will now have access to more insurance markets which means potentially better coverage options and premiums.

We are fortunate to have merged with such a well respected brokerage on the edge of our trading area in Central Ontario and they are an excellent fit for our organization in every way. We now have over 30 branch locations all over Ontario and have over 350 employees.

Again we are very excited about this announcement and would like to give our new colleagues and clients a warm welcome to the McDougall Insurance and Financial Team.

Think Mink (and McDougall) when it comes to your insurance needs!

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Tips for Safe Winter Driving https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/11/28/tips-for-safe-winter-driving https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/2017/11/28/tips-for-safe-winter-driving#respond Tue, 28 Nov 2017 22:12:00 +0000 https://www.mcdougallinsurance.com/?p=18029 We are fast approaching some of the most hazardous driving times of the year – the holiday season. This happy season of joy, celebration and giving also sees a spike in distracted, impaired and unsafe driving charges. Driving during this season can be stressful for many; people are in a rush, there is more traffic […]

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We are fast approaching some of the most hazardous driving times of the year – the holiday season. This happy season of joy, celebration and giving also sees a spike in distracted, impaired and unsafe driving charges. Driving during this season can be stressful for many; people are in a rush, there is more traffic on the roads, and poor weather conditions all combine to make the roads a little more complicated to navigate. However, with these great tips you will be prepared for safe winter driving during this holiday season.

1. Take your vehicle for a check-up.

Have your mechanic do a winter maintenance check including the brakes, HVAC system, fuel system and the exhaust too. An overall check and top up of all fluids is a good start to the winter driving season. Plus don’t forget to throw your ice scraper or snow brush in your car.

2. Install winter tires.

Now is the time. Not only do winter tires perform better on the roads in the winter, they also qualify you for an insurance discount. There is no better win-win. But make sure you have certified winter tires, all-season tires do not qualify for the discount and are not as safe in winter conditions.

a man shovelling his driveway

3. Keep your driveway clear of snow and ice.

It may surprise people how many accidents happen during the winter months right in the driveway. Whether it is your own driveway, or you are pulling into someone else’s, make sure it is cleared before doing so. Failure to do so can cause ice and snow build up that can become worse overtime.

4. Plan ahead. Slow down.

Check the forecast before you leave; expect delays and heavier traffic. Giving yourself extra time for your commute will allow you to slow down, giving you more time to turn, change lanes, and allows you to brake slowly – be prepared.

5. Share the road and watch for snowplows.

Keep a safe distance from other vehicles on the road. Crowding on the winter roads increases the chances for a collision.

Pay special attention to snow plows. They are there to help make the roads safer – be patient and let them do their job. Never pass a snow plow – it is dangerous!

6. Pack emergency supplies.

Your supplies should include a blanket, non-perishable food, water, a flashlight, jumper cables, a shovel and a traction mat or sand. There is nothing worse than being stranded – especially in the middle of the cold winter. Having supplies can certainly help to get you through until help arrives. You can leave a kit in a safe area in your vehicle.

Don’t forget a brush, a scraper and windshield washer fluid effective to -40 degrees Celsius.

7. Clean your car before you drive.

Wake up a little bit earlier in the morning and clean your car off, do not start your drive with poor visibility. It always better to be late for work than it is to be in accident, you can tell your boss we said so. Don’t forget to remove the snow and ice from the roof of your car. This snow or ice can blow off your vehicle and can cause poor visibility or damage to other drivers on route. By the way failure to do so can result in a careless driving charge.

8. Never drive impaired.

The holiday cheer is full of family, fun and festivities, which brings with it food, friends and maybe a drink or two. Never get behind the wheel if you are impaired by any means. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or even while you are just too tired to drive puts your life and the lives of many others at risk. It just isn’t worth it! There are a ton of solutions for a safe drive home, including operation red nose.

operation red nose logo

This truly is one of the most wonderful times of the year – use these tips to help keep you and your loved ones and everyone else on the roads safer this holiday season.

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

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

 

So what is claims forgiveness?

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

 

What does that do for me?

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

How do I get claims forgiveness coverage?

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

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

 

How much does claims forgiveness coverage cost?

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

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

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

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

 

Turn Off Your Water

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

 

Clear Eavestroughs and Downspouts

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

burning fire

Clean Your Woodstove or Fireplace

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

 

Make Arrangements for Snow Removal

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

 

Lock It Up

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

handing your friend a key

Provide a Trusted Neighbour or Friend with a Key

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

 

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

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

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

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

Intact Insurance:

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

Aviva Insurance:

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

Economical Insurance:

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

Northbridge Insurance:

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

Wawanesa Insurance:

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

Gore Mutual:

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

Commonwell Mutual:

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

Unica Insurance:

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

Pembridge Insurance:

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

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