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Is Your RV Sufficiently Insured? Here is How to Know!

rv insurance

According to RV Business, every year more than 1 million (yes, million!) RVs traverse Canadian roads.

An estimated 14 percent of all Canadians own RVs for living, camping, leisure, and fun. To this end, Canadians spend more than $4 billion annually on new RVs, RV maintenance, upgrades for owned RVs, RV storage and accessories, and more.

But how protected is your treasured RV from weather, accidents, theft, vandalism, and the sheer unknowns of life? This is an especially critical question to ask if you have just acquired your first RV and are unsure how to proceed to protect it.

In this article, learn more about the best way to insure your RV and ensure you have the right, sufficient coverage to protect your investment.

What Class Is Your RV?

In general, a recreational vehicle, or RV, is any type of portable accommodation. Some RVs are all-inclusive in that they serve as both transportation and living space. Some RVs, however, are more specialized.

Knowing what class your RV falls into is the first step towards obtaining the right type of insurance to protect it.

Here are the basic classes of RVs according to the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association (CRVA):

  • Class A Motorhome. This is the "King" of RVs in terms of size, space, and luxury. It is fully motorized.

  • Class B Motorhome. Sometimes called a "camper van," this RV is built on a basic van structure with a raised roof.

  • Class C Motorhome. Often termed a "mini motorhome," this RV is based on a vehicle chassis with sleeping quarters above the driver and front passenger areas.

  • Travel Trailer. Sometimes called a "conventional travel trailer," this RV needs to be hauled via an attached hitch. (These tend to be the most popular choice, especially for those new to RVs.)

  • Fifth Wheel. As its name suggests, the fifth wheel RV is equipped with a fifth-wheel coupler hitch for towing by a pickup truck.

  • Folding Camper. The popular "pop-up" trailer is also called a folding camper or a fold-down camper. Designed to be lightweight and easy to tow, the sides are collapsible for easy transport and storage.

  • Toy Hauler. A toy hauler is more commonly called a "specialty hauler" and is often acquired for dual-purpose use to transport off-road ATVs and motorcycles during the day and accommodations at night.

  • Truck Camper. This small, detachable RV can be attached to a pickup truck bed for use and removed for storage.

  • Hybrid Trailers. Frequently termed the "expandable travel trailer," this RV has a sturdy main structure with ends that fold out into sleeping quarters.

  • Park Model. A park model could be considered a semi-permanent RV. It is wheel-mounted and can be moved, but is designed to stay stationary for periods of time, such as for summer camping.

The Basics of Saving Money on RV Insurance

Depending on the type of RV you own, you will need a basic RV insurance policy. This basic level of coverage can often be bundled in with other existing policies, such as auto and homeowners, to save money.

Specialty RV Insurance Issues

Of course, the type of RV you have selected and the way you plan to use it can make it a smart choice to acquire additional insurance as well.

Here are some common issues to talk through with your insurer:

International travel

Are you planning to travel outside of Canada? If so, make sure you have insurance that covers you when you are out of the country. As an example, vehicle insurance purchased in Ontario does not cover you if you cross into Mexico.

Emergency roadside assistance

If you experience a flat tire or engine trouble while out on the open road, you can purchase insurance that covers repairs and emergency assistance.

Personal property

Do you plan to transport off-road (ATV) vehicles, motorcycles, personal valuables, or other high-value items in your RV? Talk to your insurance broker and be sure these items are correctly insured.

Customizations and modifications

If you have taken the time (and expense) to equip your RV with special luxury accessories such as awnings, satellite and Internet antennas or dishes, high-value electronics, and other upgrades, be sure your insurance policy will cover theft, vandalism, and damage to or destruction of these items.

Disaster insurance

Fire, flooding, snow and ice, hail, trees falling, and airborne or roadway debris are all priority concerns, especially when your RV doubles as your residence part-time or full-time. Make sure you have sufficient coverage for these types of incidents that cannot be predicted in advance.

Additional Living Expense

If you live in your RV part-time or full-time, it is functioning as a place of residence. What will you do if it is stolen or becomes uninhabitable? Here, you will want to look at a more comprehensive rider that more closely resembles homeowners insurance in case you need to arrange for alternative accommodations while your RV is being repaired or replaced.

Contact Mackay Insurance Brokers for Help

Here at Mackay Insurance Brokers, we bring our combined 165 years of insurance expertise to bear on your behalf. We want you to feel confident that your insurance needs are well understood and provided for with an affordable policy that fully meets your needs.

To learn more and receive a FREE insurance quote for any of our products, you are warmly invited to contact us at 613-966-5740 (1-888-853-5552 for long distance) or online.  

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8 Ways to Keep Student Auto Insurance Premiums Low

student auto insurance

As a student, you certainly are no stranger to financial pressures. And if you are like many Canadian college and university students today, you can expect to graduate with a rather sizeable student loan bill to repay.

The key to navigating the “starving student years” and emerging with the means to repay your student loans and keep monthly bills reasonable is research.

Specifically, you can use the same skills that helped you get into university and earn good marks to get the best rates on auto insurance and other legally required expenses.

In this post, learn 8 key ways to keep your student auto insurance premiums as low as possible.

1. Buy only as much car as you can afford to insure

Just as a diamond will cost more to insure than a cubic zirconia, certain cars just cost more to insure than others.

This variance involves everything from the age and mileage of the vehicle to the engine power and number of special or after-market features added.

Too many Canadian drivers today have purchased their "dream car" only to discover after the fact that the insurance for that car puts them over budget.

In general, a four-door compact sedan with good gas mileage and a 4-cylinder or hybrid engine will likely be the most economical type of car to insure.

2. Earn high marks in school

While you are still a student, many insurers will offer you insurance discounts for keeping good grades in school. The main reason for this is that insurers see a correlation between being a good student and being a good driver.

So in this case, getting high marks will not only give you the best array of options in life, but it will also save you money on car insurance premiums.

3. Stay out of trouble on the road

If there is one thing you can count on, it is that getting into an accident or being cited for a moving violation will trigger an increase in your auto insurance premiums.

Since drivers ages 24 and under are considered to be the highest-risk drivers to insure, being involved in any type of traffic or driving violation will also cause your insurance payments to be higher than they would be for getting into the same types of trouble later on in life.

4. Get a policy as soon as possible

As soon as you start driving either part-time or full-time, your driver safety record starts building. This record will follow you from year to year, so you want to keep it as clean as possible.

You also want to begin building a safety record as soon as possible, because it will benefit you with lower rates as you age. Better to have a five-year clean record, say, from age 16 to 21, and be granted a lower insurance rate then, than to be 21 with no driver record history yet.

5. Get a rider on your parent's’ policy instead of your own policy

If you can begin your driving days by being listed as an occasional driver under your parents' auto insurance policy, you will pay less for auto insurance than if you took out an independent insurance policy as a young driver.

There are two main reasons for this:

  • Your parents will likely get a multi-policy discount, which will impact both your insurance rates and theirs.

  • You will be insured only as an occasional or secondary driver, which comes with a lower risk, since it implies less road time.

6. Be sure to ask about all possible discounts

Insurance companies today are highly regulated from province to province regarding the basic minimum insurance each driver is legally required to carry.

But where one insurer can differentiate themselves from the competition is with the discounts and perks they offer. Don’t assume they’ll tell you what those are: be sure to ask about all the discounts you are eligible for before you pick a policy.

Reasons for discounted insurance aside from the ones already mentioned in this post include the following:

  • Vehicle safety features (car alarm, VIN tracking, air bags, etc.).

  • Garaging (if your car is kept in a locked garage rather than parked on the street)

  • Membership affiliations (if you belong to an association that has a discount arrangement with that insurer)

  • New car

  • Low car mileage

  • Hybrid fuel

  • Usage (requires installing a mileage tracking device on your vehicle)

  • Winterizing (if you use winter tires)

7. Complete an accredited driver safety course

Most insurers reward drivers who complete an accredited driver safety course with a discount on the amount of their annual auto insurance premiums. Of course, this is because you learn safe driving tips by taking such a course.

You will need to provide your course completion certificate to quality.

8. Stay with the same insurer during your student years

In the ultra-competitive world of auto insurance today, insurers are keen to retain their customers in any way they can.

One newer discount that has emerged as a result of this is the insurer loyalty discount. Different insurers may have a different minimum as far as what constitutes loyalty (for example, three or five years with the same insurer).

But once you qualify, staying with the same insurer can net you this discount.

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6 Tips to Get the Most Mobile Home Insurance for the Money

mobile home insurance

The estimated 33 percent of all Canadians who live in Ontario are lucky. In addition to permanent housing communities, Ontario features a wide assortment of seasonal RV and mobile home parks, many located in some of Canada's most beautiful natural spaces.

Whether you want to live year-round in a mobile home or you just want to take seasonal trips with your home in tow, one thing is for sure: you will want to bring mobile home insurance coverage along for the ride.

In this article, learn 6 key ways to get the most mobile home coverage for the least cash.

Tip 1: Know what you really need in a mobile home insurance policy

Mobile (alternately, manufactured) homes present different benefits and challenges than traditional foundation homes. So the policy you purchase for your mobile home should be tailored to address the risks you are most likely to encounter, as follows:

Trip Collision

Essentially, a mobile home is a home that can be moved. You may move your home frequently or rarely, but this makes the risk of collision more likely than if you had a home that was built to stay put.

What to look for in your policy: The option to purchase trip collision coverage.

Weather damage

Of particular concern here is wind, whether on its own or from hurricanes, tornadoes, or strong thunderstorms. Using tie-down straps can reduce but not eliminate the risk, especially if the weather is an earthquake!

What to look for in your policy: Options to increase the minimum coverage levels for your dwelling (structure).

Fire

The risk of damage from fire is increased when you live in a mobile or manufactured home. The major risks come from electrical distribution and cooking activities.

What to look for in your policy: Options to increase the minimum coverage levels for your dwelling and personal property.

Tip 2: Consider adding extra coverage for special circumstances

Perhaps you plan to live in your mobile home full-time. Or maybe your major use will be seasonal, for family trips. Or perhaps your mobile home will serve as a home office or workshop instead.

In each of these cases, the type of mobile home coverage you want may look slightly different. What is important here is to know whether your insurer offers riders to cover your specific use plans.

What to look for in your policy: Ask about secondary residence coverage, and if your mobile home will be a part of conducting your business, ask about adding on a rider for business liability insurance.

Tip 3: Know what your plan is if your mobile home gets destroyed

This is not ever something anyone likes to think about. But the truth is, Mother Nature happens when and where she pleases, and sometimes we just get inadvertently caught in the crossfire.

Because of this, think about what your situation might be like if your mobile home is rendered unlivable due to an insured accident or natural disaster. Where will you live? How will you pay your bills (especially important if your mobile home serves as a home office)?

What to look for in your policy: A replacement cost coverage rider and a rider for additional living expenses while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

Tip 4: Consider protection if you plan to welcome house guests or visitors

Unless you plan to take your mobile home out into the wilderness and live there alone, it is quite likely you will want to welcome guests and visitors from time to time. As well, you may have other persons who venture onto your property, whether it is at your invitation or not.

If one of these persons falls and is injured or becomes ill while on your grounds or inside your mobile home, they may decide to pursue you for damages. It is definitely in your best interest to consider protecting yourself from these types of future unknowns!

What to look for in your policy: Ask about personal liability coverage.

Tip 5: Talk to your current insurers first to get a policy quote

If you already have an auto, commercial, life, or homeowners policy with an insurer, it is always a good idea to approach that insurer first and ask if they offer discounts for policy bundling.

Purchasing more than one type of insurance coverage with an insurer means there is the option to bundle them together as a package. Some insurers provide financial incentives to do this. It also works in your favor because to update your personal and billing information, renew your policy, ask questions, or make changes, there is only one call or online stop you have to make.

What to look for in your policy: Ask what incentives exist if you bundle mobile home coverage together with an existing policy.

Tip 6: Ask about what other discounts you may be eligible to receive

Provinces are permitted to set their own insurance minimums, which means it isn't always possible to get a lower price by lowering the minimum. But insurers can help you keep costs low by offering proprietary discounts, such as for paying in one lump sum, signing up for auto-renewal, having an excellent driving record, and more.

What to look for in your policy: Ask about any available discounts before you purchase a policy.

Contact Us for a Free Quote

Mackay Insurance Brokers Inc. has been successfully operating for nearly 40 years, and our clients in Belleville and Napanee now number 5,000+. With a jaw-dropping 165 years of combined insurance expertise between our staff, we are eager to help you get the most coverage at the most competitive price.

Contact Mackay Insurance today.

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5 Ways to Save the Most on Auto Insurance

auto insurance

In the world we live in today, insurance is a fact of life. We need insurance for our homes, our possessions, our vehicles, and even our lives.

Shopping for insurance of any type also comes with a learning curve. For example, the first time you buy an auto insurance policy, you may overpay. But as you learn the ropes, you pick up tips for how to get the most insurance for a lower rate.

In this post, shorten your learning curve by finding out what questions to ask and what perks to look for to save the most on the auto insurance you need!

Tip 1: First, check rates with the insurer you’re with

Let's say you already have a homeowners insurance policy with a particular insurer. But now you need auto insurance as well. Before you start calling around to gather quotes, check with the insurer you already do business with.

Often, a current insurer can help you save money through a multi-policy discount. This means that you get a discount for adding another insurance product to your account. This is called "bundling" or "consolidating," and it may save you as much as 10 percent on the combined cost of your insurance policies.

Not all insurance companies offer perks for bundling, but by choosing an insurer that does, you stand to save more than just cash. It is often simply easier to juggle insurance renewals, premiums payments (especially if you use direct deposit or e-pay), information updates, and other chores when you only have to work with one insurer.

After all, your time has a dollar value too, and if you can spend less of it managing your insurance products, even better!

Tip 2: Choose the right level of coverage for your vehicle and driving habits

Regardless of where you live in Canada, you will be subject to certain minimum auto insurance requirements. These minimums vary by province. You can use this helpful resource to find out what the minimums are in your province.

Beyond these minimums, you still have a menu of options to pick from based on your garaging situation, driving habits and vehicle type. These options should reflect what insurers call your "risk tolerance." For example, if you have an older vehicle that is paid off, you may want to retain only the province minimum insurance levels. But if you own a vintage or high-value vehicle, or you still owe a lot of money on the vehicle, you may want to add extra insurance in case you are involved in an accident.

Choosing the right level of coverage is not always about finding the cheapest possible price—it should be about covering your risk without putting you out of pocket, and having a deductible you can afford should anything happen.

Tip 3: Ask your insurer about family auto insurance plans

If you have young drivers and/or occasional drivers in your family, you may be able to save money by purchasing a family auto insurance plan instead of buying individual plans.

For young beginning drivers in particular, taking an accredited driving course often qualifies them for lower insurance rates on their first auto insurance policy. As well, according to the Globe and Mail, when your young driver works hard to keep excellent grades, drives only during certain hours or days, has no driving incidents (of course), and is listed as a secondary occasional driver on your household's primary vehicle, these can all help in getting you the most affordable family auto insurance policy.

By asking the right questions of your insurance provider and educating your young driver about how they contribute to rate changes on the family auto insurance policy, you can make sure you get the best rate of insurance for the most expensive kind of driver—a young driver.

Tip 4: Check auto insurance rates first before buying a new vehicle

If there is one thing that feels really awful, it is finding out you just purchased more car than you can financially afford to insure. The Toronto Star calls this "The Porsche Factor," citing statistics on the frequency of theft as one way to gauge your level of risk when purchasing a new car.

Some vehicles are simply more expensive to insure. This can be due to poor crash safety test ratings, a more powerful engine, special after-market modifications that may be more costly to repair or replace, a vintage status, or other factors.

Price out the cost of insuring a new vehicle before you sign the purchase agreement. This way, you ensure you haven't just bought too much car for your budget!

Tip 5: Consider adding extra safety features on your vehicle

While this may require an initial upfront investment on your part, it benefits both you and your insurer to make your vehicle as theft-resistant as possible.

Insurers are often willing to provide policy discounts in exchange for insuring a more theft-resistant vehicle, because their risk of having to pay out on policy claims decreases correspondingly with each additional theft deterrent option your car carries.

Contact Mackay Insurance Brokers Today

If you have questions about auto insurance and other insurance products, Mackay Insurance Brokers is here to help! We are a family-owned and -operated business with 35 wonderful years under our belt, serving customers throughout the Belleville and Quinte, ON, areas.

We offer a variety of individual and bundled insurance products, including auto, motorcycle, home, mobile/RV, commercial, and life insurance policies. You can generate a free quote right from our website! If you prefer, we can talk you through policy options and discounts over the phone or in person. Contact us at 888-853-5552 or online.

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