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Avoid These Homeowner Insurance Pitfalls When Purchasing Your Home Insurance Policy

Mackay Insurance in Quinte provides local homeowners with reliable and affordable home insurance policies.

Avoid These Homeowner Insurance Pitfalls When Purchasing Your Home Insurance Policy

As a homeowner, why would you want to buy a home insurance policy? Is it just because the lender requires it? After all, it is not a mandatory purchase here in Canada.

Yet the vast majority of homeowners - even those who own their homes outright - still carry a policy. Why?

Because you want protection, of course. You want to be protected in case your home or its contents are damaged or destroyed. You want protection from third party liability in case a visitor trips and sues you.

Most of all, you want protection from the perils you don't know you need protection from - especially the ones that could cause your insurer to drop you entirely!

So let's find out what those are and explain what you need to do to make sure you are covered.

 

Home Insurance and Wood Stoves

Homeowners love wood stoves. They are efficient, economical and extremely homey to enjoy when it is cold outside.

Insurance companies do not love wood stoves because, well, fire. Wood stoves are among the leading causes of home fires each year. And home fires generate home insurance claims.

So it just makes sense that your insurance company would be less enthused about your wood stove than you are. In fact, we made a whole video about the topic!

Some insurers outright refuse to issue policies when wood stoves are involved. Most of the time, this is because the wood stove does not meet minimum safety standards according to current building codes and certifications. Most insurance companies will accept it when it’s auxiliary heat but if you are burning too many cords of wood, it could be considered primary heat and not insurable by many insurance companies.

But most insurers simply tack on a surcharge. 

How much extra will you pay? 

You can expect to pay at least 10% more on your annual premiums. Alternatively, your homeowners insurance provider may simply assess you an annual flat fee on top of your annual premium.

And if for any reason your home does catch fire and the inspection later indicates the wood stove was to blame, you may find yourself paying out of pocket for damages. 

All this to say - be sure to talk with your Mackay Insurance broker before choosing a wood stove to meet your cooking or heating needs.

 

Home Insurance and Dogs

Everyone loves dogs. Dogs are the number one choice of companion animal here in North America and in many places around the world.

Most homeowners do not initially link homeowners insurance and their canine family members together. How on earth could these two be related?

Insurers do not like dogs for the same reason they do not like wood stoves - because of liability. However, not all dog breeds are treated equally for the purposes of a homeowners insurance policy.

Certain dog breeds have become staples on so-called "dangerous dog lists" here in Canada and across the globe. These dog breeds are the ones that consistently outrank the others in terms of confirmed dog bite cases.

Here in Ontario, there are four breeds or categories of canines that are now banned or heavily restricted. Currently, these breeds include the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier and Pit Bull Terrier.

This can get more confusing still because if you are a dog lover, you know that the "pit bull" is not a dog breed, per se, but rather a category of dogs that have similar physical characteristics and may have some bulldog or terrier in the genetic makeup.

Why is this important to know when you are applying for homeowner's insurance?

Basically, if you do not disclose the presence of a dog that fits the criteria of a dog that is banned or regulated, your insurer can refuse to pay damages arising from a dog-related claim and may also cancel your policy.

 

Home Insurance and Home Based Businesses

The global pandemic has changed a great deal about our daily routines. One of the biggest changes is the number of individuals who are now working remotely or even running new businesses out of a home space.

If this describes you, it is time to check in with your homeowners insurance provider to let them know. If you are currently shopping for a policy and plan to run a business from your new home, you definitely want to mention this up front.

What could happen if you don't? Your homeowners insurance policy provider could refuse to pay any claims that arise from damages to your home based business equipment, supplies or inventory. You may also find yourself with a voided policy.

Home based business owners need a separate home based business insurance policy to cover business operations and liabilities that can sometimes arise.

 

Home Insurance and Vacancy or Renovations

While you may not think to notify your homeowners insurance provider if you are away from home for an extended time period, an extended vacancy can sometimes result in denied claims.

In the same way, failing to alert your provider of upcoming renovations to your home may mean unpaid claims or even a dropped policy.

In both cases, the provider is reacting to an increased safety risk these two events can pose. Leaving your property vacant or opening up the premises to workers can each trigger an increased risk of insurance claims.

What should you do if you plan to be gone any longer than a week or have any upcoming home renovations?

Call your Mackay Insurance broker in Quinte to discuss whether you need to notify your homeowners insurance provider in advance. You may need to make additional advance plans to be sure your policy stays active.

 

Contact Mackay Insurance For Your Napanee and Belleville Home Insurance Needs

Looking for a quick home insurance quote near you? Your friendly, knowledgeable Mackay Insurance brokers can help!

Mackay Insurance works with a number of homeowners insurance providers to make sure you always get the most competitive policy quotes in the industry. We can also work with you to be sure you are fully covered for perils both known and known.

 

Visit us online or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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How to Find Affordable High Risk Auto Insurance in Ontario

Mackay Insurance provides affordable high risk auto insurance in Quinte, Ontario.

How to Find Affordable High Risk Auto Insurance in Ontario

Let’s be honest...purchasing auto insurance is no fun. And purchasing high risk auto insurance can be downright scary.

If you thought regular auto insurance was expensive, wait until you start gathering quotes for high risk auto insurance!

But there are ways to keep high risk insurance premium payments affordable. You may have to do a little more research and have a little more patience. But it can be done!

Read on to learn how to find affordable insurance in Ontario.

 

Common Reasons Drivers Get Classified As High Risk for Auto Insurance

Yes, it is true that unsafe driving can get you recategorized as a high risk driver.

But you can be a safe and careful driver and still end up being classified as high risk for auto insurance purposes.

These are the most common reasons your insurer may reclassify you as a non-standard or high risk driver for insurance purposes.

  • You got too many tickets in too short a time period.
  • You were caught driving under the influence (DUI).
  • You have been cited as being at fault for one or more serious auto accidents.
  • You cancelled your policy multiple times.
  • You let your auto insurance policy lapse.
  • You failed to pay your policy premiums on time.
  • You were cited for careless driving or stunt driving.

Why are the reasons for being considered a high risk driver so varied? The reason boils down to the word "risk."

Auto insurers don't want to lose money. And they lose money in two primary ways.

The first is when drivers don't pay their premiums. The second is when drivers exhibit poor driving habits that could lead to expensive accident-related claim payouts.

Insurers use complex algorithms to rank you on the spectrum from low risk to high risk. But in each of the reasons cited above, it doesn't require an algorithm to figure out if you are a higher risk client to insure.

If you have any of the red flags listed above, or similar others, your insurer may simply refuse to insure you altogether. Or your insurer may only offer you a non-standard or high risk auto insurance policy.

 

How Expensive Is High Risk Auto Insurance in Ontario?

For general purposes, you can take your current (or recent past) auto insurance premium payment and double or triple that. This is the range you will typically pay to get insurance once you have been classified as a high risk driver.

I've Never Been Insured, But I'm Being Told I'm High Risk! Why?

Auto insurers rely greatly on historical data to build that risk-calculating algorithm we mentioned earlier.

But what if you are a new driver? What if you haven't driven for many years and have no insurance history to speak of?

These are two instances where you may also find yourself red-flagged as a high risk driver. This isn't because you are more likely to cause accidents or claims payouts.

It is because there is not enough data to tell how you are likely to drive and how expensive you are likely to be to insure.

Once you have built up a solid driver history, which can take up to 36 months, your rates will typically adjust downwards as long as you don't have any claims on your record.

 

Tips to Find Affordable Insurance For High Risk Drivers

Finding high risk auto insurance that is also affordable is a matter of adjusting your expectations in a realistic direction.

For those first two to three years, there is no getting around it - you will have to budget more for auto insurance premiums.

But here are some high-value negotiating tips that can help you to control the costs of staying insured as a high-risk driver.

1. Bundle your auto insurance together with your other insurance policies.

Even high risk drivers can get some valuable discounts of up to 10 percent by bundling multiple insurance policies together with a single insurer.

2. Pay your policy in full annually.

If you can't pay your policy in full up front, then at least pay early each month. This knocks one potential risk concern (non-payment) off your insurer's list.

3. Keep your driver record spotless.

Even a single ticket could add up to three years to the time period you are considered to be high risk for insurance purposes.

4. Enrol in driver training and defensive driving.

Most auto insurers will offer up to a 10 percent discount on annual premiums for drivers who take defensive driving for non-ticket reasons.

Re-taking a certified driver training course may also generate the option for a premium discount.

5. Choose your vehicle with safety in mind.

Avoid driving a sports car or luxury vehicle which could cause your claims payouts to be even higher.

6. Ask for a higher deductible.

Deductibles and premiums tend to have an inverse relationship. By increasing your insurance deductible, you may be able to lower your high risk auto insurance premiums.

7. Ask about low-mileage auto insurance.

If you only drive during certain hours, you may be able to pay lower rates.

8. Reach out to an insurance broker for help.

Your Mackay insurance broker in Belleville, Ontario, has access to a wide range of auto insurers and can negotiate on your behalf to get you the most favourable high risk auto insurance rate.

Your Mackay broker can also help you identify other opportunities to earn premium policy discounts that insurers may not tell you about.

 

Mackay Is Your Napanee and Belleville Auto Insurance Expert!

Regardless of the reasons you have been classified as a high risk driver, Mackay Insurance can help you find the best car insurance to protect you and your vehicle.

Looking for a quick auto insurance quote? Reach out to your friendly and knowledgeable Mackay Insurance brokers to request a FREE QUOTE on affordable high risk auto insurance in Ontario, Canada.

Visit us online or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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Renter Insurance vs Tenant Insurance: Which Type Do You Need?

Mackay Insurance in Belleville, Ontario, provides Tenant Insurance coverages.

Renter Insurance vs Tenant Insurance: Which Type Do You Need?

“Renter insurance” and “tenant insurance”...These two terms sound very much alike, but are they the same thing? 

This is a great question!

Actually, here in Canada, renter insurance is not the same thing as tenant insurance. And you really do need to know the difference in order to be sure you are purchasing the correct policy type for your specific needs.

In this post, we break down the definitions of each insurance product, what renter insurance covers vs. what tenant insurance covers, and how to know when to purchase each!

 

Tenant Insurance vs. Renter Insurance: Definition of Terms

Tenant insurance is insurance that protects you while you are renting a home, condo, apartment or other type of living quarters.

You would want to purchase tenant insurance in order to protect your belongings from loss, theft, damage or destruction while you are living in a rented space.

Renter insurance is a term used to make your existing insurance carrier aware if you are renting out part of, or all of your home.

You would want to purchase renter insurance if you have, or are planning to have, a renter, lodger, AIRBNB or long-term boarder living on your primary or secondary property.

 

What Does Renter Insurance Cover?

Renter insurance is a special type of insurance product that is designed to provide property, liability and possible contents coverage for a number of perils.

Your renter would be responsible for their own tenants coverage, which provides protection for their own contents as well as liability coverage.

 

What Does Tenant Insurance Cover?

Tenant insurance is designed to provide coverage for personal property and possessions (items inside your rented space) only as well as liability protection.

Here, the property owner or landlord typically carries a separate insurance policy to protect the property and structure itself.

As the tenant (renter), your tenant insurance policy covers what the landlord's policy does not cover.

Examples of the types of items a typical tenant insurance policy will cover include:

  • Furniture 
  • Jewelry
  • Artwork
  • Musical Instruments
  • Sports Equipment
  • Electronics
  • Apparel

 

Who Needs to Carry Renter Insurance?

Renter insurance is an insurance product designed with property owners in mind.

For example, let's say you have a home that includes a garage apartment or furnished basement that you rent out to tenants. Alternately, perhaps you rent out a room or suite in your home to a lodger or boarder.

You would want to carry a renter insurance policy as an add-on to your homeowner's insurance policy that protects you from liability related to your tenant's presence or personal possessions on your property.

Many people insure their homes as a principal homeowners policy and the company is not made aware that any portion is being rented. This could put the entire policy in jeopardy!

 

Who Needs to Carry Tenant Insurance?

Tenant insurance is an insurance product designed with renters, lodgers and boarders in mind.

For example, let's say you are paying rent to live in a traditional apartment, garage apartment, condo, basement, room or suite. Your landlord has homeowner's insurance to cover damage or destruction for the premises and structures.

But that policy doesn't protect you or your property!

You would still need to carry your own tenant insurance in order to protect anything you store inside your rented space, so if something happens you have coverage to replace damaged, lost or stolen items.

In addition, you may need coverage if you cause damage to the property or premises - even if you had no intention to cause harm.

One of the most common examples of unintentional harm is fire damage that results from an unattended burning candle or cigarette. Another common example is pipe damage caused by flushing impassible solid matter down a commode.

Finally, you may need to carry tenant insurance to cover costs for a temporary relocation if your unit or living space is damaged or destroyed.

 

How to Know How Much Tenant Insurance You Need?

When you are selecting your level of tenant insurance coverage, consider your needs in these key areas:

Contents (personal property)

Figuring out how much coverage you need for contents is as simple as calculating the value of your personal property.

For example, how much would it cost to replace your computer, phone, clothing and furniture? Be sure to consider what it would cost you to replace the item versus how much that item is currently worth after adjusting for deflation.

Third Party Liability

In most cases, third party liability coverage starts at $1,000,000. However, for only around $25 a year more, increasing this to a $2 million policy offers far more protection.

Additional Living Expenses (temporary relocation)

To calculate how much coverage you need for additional living expenses, consider what you would have to pay in rent and bills to temporarily relocate if your current space became uninhabitable.

What is the going rate for rent in your area? This should be your baseline for coverage.

 

Mackay Is Your Belleville Tenant Insurance Expert!

Reach out to your friendly and knowledgeable Mackay Insurance brokers to request a FREE QUOTE on affordable renter’s insurance and tenant insurance!

Visit us online or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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Protecting Your Construction and Mechanical Tools With Contractor Tool Insurance

 

 

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If you’re a contractor, we don’t have to tell you how chaotic a construction site can be. With so many hands on deck (both literally and figuratively), it can be next to impossible to track down your tools from one minute to the next!

A job site is full of other contractors too - including plumbers, builders, electricians, painters, HVAC technicians, excavators etc. The list goes on! Besides the other contractors, there’s snoopy neighbors and passersby to think about too.

It’s not something contractors normally think about until after it’s too late, but contractor insurance and contractor tool insurance are becoming more and more necessary. Especially now that the housing demand is so high and the home-building sector is so backed up. At Mackay Insurance in Quinte, Ontario, we’ve seen this first hand! The Quinte housing market has gone through some rapid changes since the pandemic hit and cost of housing in the Bay of Quinte area is still above average.

On top of this, homeowners have been working on home improvement projects since the start of the pandemic when everyone was forced indoors. Whether the purpose for renovations was to renovate for resale or renovate to improve living space, a large number of homeowners took the stay-at-home orders as an excuse to start those projects (we just won’t talk about those skyrocketing lumber prices in the process!).

Whether you’re building a backyard deck, a fence for your new pandemic puppy, or a house, our team of contractor insurance experts recommend that you protect your contracting tools with the right coverage.

Keep reading for more information on options for Contractor Tool Insurance in Belleville, Ontario. And how Mackay Insurance can help you find the best coverage for your insurance needs.

What Is Contractor Tool Insurance And Why Do You Need It?

As a contractor, you are required by Ontario Law to obtain a minimum contractor’s general liability insurance. You are also to hold a valid contractor’s insurance policy in order to legally continue with your trade.

This general liability, however, does not include a thorough coverage for your contracting tools - meaning your livelihood is still at risk!

Here from Bruce Mackay, owner and president of Mackay Insurance in Belleville, as he explains the importance of Contractor Tool Insurance:

 

 

At Mackay Insurance in Quinte, contractor tool insurance means more than just protecting your toolset, it means protecting your business, your livelihood, your family and your passion.

What Does Contractor Tool Insurance Cover?

  • Replacement Costs
  • Rental Expenses 
  • Installation Floater and more!

Contractor Tool Insurance and Equipment Insurance protects your business tools in the case of loss, damage, necessary repairs or theft.

What Types Of Contractor Tools and Equipment Should Be Insured?

  • Power Tools 
  • Hand Tools 
  • Sawhorses 
  • Air Compressors
  • Generators 
  • Excavators 
  • Backhoes 
  • Scaffolding etc. 

The difference between Contractor Tools and Contractor Equipment:

Contractor Tools:

Contractor Tools are items costing $1,000 or less. Examples would be power tools or sawhorses.

Contractor Equipment:

Contractor Equipment are items costing more than $1,000. Examples would be backhoes or generators.

Who Needs Contractor Insurance?

If you own a contracting business that relies on you having the proper tools to do the job, then you should be investing in the proper protection in order to keep your business running smoothly. Your contractor tool insurance can help keep your doors open during unforeseen circumstances - ie. maintenance, financial loss, damaged equipment or theft.

Although extra contractor tool insurance (on top of general liability insurance) isn’t required by law, it is highly recommended by the trade. Why? Because accidents happen. Theft is not uncommon. And your livelihood matters.

If you work for or run one of the following contracting-based businesses, consider protecting your investment and your assets in order to safeguard your business’s reputation, operation and success in the industry!

  • Landscapers 
  • HVAC Technicians 
  • General COntractors Roofers 
  • Drywallers 
  • Painters 
  • Flooring COntractors 
  • Bricklayers 
  • Masons 
  • Carpenters 
  • Plumbers etc. 

Contractor’s Tool Insurance Package With Mackay Insurance

When your livelihood depends on your business not only staying afloat, but maintaining stability and security, obtaining the right commercial insurance coverage is the necessary next step! We work with local businesses, both large and small, providing them with the protection and security they need to protect their livelihood.

Mackay Insurance offers a standalone product called Contractor Tool Insurance Package. This product provides the coverage you need to protect your equipment and operate your business well, regardless of potential and unpredictable circumstances.

Are you looking for Contractor Tool Insurance in Belleville, Ontario? Contact our Mackay Insurance Brokers today and we’ll find you the best coverage possible for your specific needs and budget.

Get a FREE Quote On Contractor Tool Insurance HERE

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Understanding The Importance Of Home Based Business Insurance in 2021



Click Here For A Free Home Based Business Insurance Quote

 

And so began a new era in the workforce - the era of home based businesses!

With the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, the number of home-based businesses drastically increased - practically overnight! Since its onset, both small and large business organizations were forced to comply with government stay-at-home orders and safety precautions in order to help protect our Ontario communities from the risk of catching SARS-CoV-2.

As we are now in the year 2021, many businesses have actually decided to discontinue the lease of their brick and mortar office building and opt for digital upgrades and technology advancements instead. Reason being, they don’t plan on returning to the traditional office lifestyle.

And so, suitcases were stored in closets, suits were hung up to collect dust and heels were forgotten.

But now that so many Canadians are working from home, there are a series of important factors that must be considered - including that of Home Based Business Insurance.

At Mackay Insurance, our brokers provide Home Based Business Insurance for small and large-scale businesses in the Quinte area. We help our clients find affordable insurance that they can rely on to protect their business assets, their investments, their employees and their employees’ homes.

Keep reading to learn how your business can benefit from Home Based Business Insurance.

 

Do You Need Home Based Business Insurance If You Work Remotely?

Yes. Although not a governed law, obtaining Home Based Business Insurance is incredibly useful. Whether you work for a company remotely or run your own home based business, obtaining insurance will allow you to safeguard both your own property and the property owned by your business.

Home Based Business Insurance Protects:

  • Business equipment that is damaged or stolen 
  • Business inventory that is damaged or stolen 
  • Property damages caused by customer
  • Customer lawsuits 
  • Liability for product(s) and/or operations 
  • And more!

According to a recent survey, run by the BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada), many Canadian employees and employers agree that there are incredible benefits to working from home! Even saying that the ability to work from home is a serious determining factor when applying for a new job in today’s day.

Working From Home Allows Employees To Have:

  • More flexible working hours
  • Increased efficiency 
  • Decreased absence

All leading business owners and entrepreneurs to contemplate whether a Home Based Business Model might actually be the best option!

 

Who Can Obtain Home Based Business Insurance?

Over our 165+ years, Mackay Insurance in Belleville, Ontario, has ensured a large variety of home-based businesses. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, this has only increased. We’ve now seen an even greater number of businesses opt for the safeguarding of their assets with a Home Based Business Insurance solution in order to provide the protection they need to run their business securely.

Types Of Insurable Home Based Businesses:

  • Music Classes
  • Hairdresser Studio 
  • Catering Services 
  • Flower Shop 
  • Home Daycare Business 
  • Creative Studio etc. 

If you own a business and are looking for a means of protecting both it and your home, you are eligible to apply for Home Based Business Insurance.

Like many businesses in the Quinte area, our staff at Mackay Insurance have spent quite a bit of time working from home over the past year. We understand the taxing days, the distractions and frustrations of your everyday life crowding into your work life, and the challenges of finding that balance.

We also understand the vital need of securing and protecting your business assets. Protecting your equipment, data and investments is such an important step in pivoting from an office to a remote working environment, however it is so commonly overlooked.

In some cases, business owners assume that their home insurance coverage includes home based business insurance coverage. This, however, is not true.

While your standard Homeowner’s Insurance Policy protects your property, your Home Based Business Insurance policy covers:

  • General Liability 
  • Inventory 
  • Legal Expenses 
  • Business Assets (ie. laptop)
  • Business Interruption 
  • And Business Operations Liability 

 

4 Home Based Business Insurance Factors to Consider

As you begin the discussion of Home Based Business Insurance, it is so important that you first consider the following factors:

1.    Business Equipment 

Do you have proper coverage and protection for your business equipment? Whether you’re working from home for your own company, or working for another company, make sure that your equipment (ie. your work computer) is covered while working at your home.

2.    Business Tools 

If you have business tools, make sure that you do not leave them in your vehicle while it is unlocked. Always make sure they're locked away and stored somewhere safe.

3.    Business Liability

If you don't have the extension of liability from your home policy you could be in a lot of trouble. Make sure to talk with your Mackay insurance broker about your liability extension.

4.    Communicate With Your Insurance Company 

Make sure your home insurance company is aware that you are working from home. A lot of people working from home are not aware that their home policies are in non-compliance, which could affect their coverage moving forward.

 

Contact Mackay Insurance in Belleville For Your Home Based Business Insurance Needs

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is to be versatile. At Mackay Insurance, our staff have been spending a lot of time working from home, and many of our clients are doing the same. As we adjust to this new workplace environment and consider the possibilities it has in store for the future, we want to remind each of our clients that obtaining Home Based Business Insurance for your home-run business is not only important, but necessary.

Contact your Mackay Insurance broker today to find affordable insurance options for your home-run business! We’ll work with you to secure and protect your business assets, liability, property and investments.

Contact Our Belleville and Napanee Insurance Brokers

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Choosing Affordable Life Insurance for Your Family's Future

Mackay Insurance provides affordable life insurance options for families in Quinte, Ontario.

Choosing Affordable Life Insurance for Your Family's Future

Life insurance is not likely to ever make your list of favourite topics to talk about. But it is a topic that can keep you up at night worrying over your family's future.

One of the reasons life insurance feels so complicated is because different people choose life insurance for different reasons.

For example, to some people, a life insurance policy is a smart investment strategy and part of their greater financial and retirement planning portfolio.

To other people, life insurance is simply insurance to protect their family's finances in case anything ever happens to the primary breadwinner.

What does life insurance mean to you? What type do you need? How can you choose an affordable policy that meets your current known and future unknown needs? Read on to find out!

 

Meet the Two Types of Canadian Life Insurance

As you have probably guessed by now, there are two basic types of life insurance here in Canada.

The first type is called "term" life insurance and the second is called "permanent" life insurance.

If you are already feeling confused again, you are not alone! These names do not necessarily make intuitive sense. So, let's define them before we go any further.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance gets its name from its function - you select this type of insurance for a specific period of time, or “term”.

If anything happens to you during that term, your family's finances are protected under the benefits of your life insurance policy.

After the term ends, the policy expires.

This simple and straightforward type of life insurance is also the most affordable option - something to keep in mind for big families!

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance is more confusing, especially because it is sometimes called whole life insurance or universal life insurance.

But you can find the clue you need to understand this policy type in the word "permanent." This type of policy does not expire. It follows you throughout your life and functions as both a protective and investment policy.

For this reason, permanent life insurance tends to be pricier and also more complex to manage. But permanent life insurance also has lots of perks and benefits that can really make sense for some families.

If you are interested in a whole life insurance quote, contact your Mackay Insurance broker today for more information! 

 

Term Life Insurance Versus Permanent Life Insurance

So what is the best way to determine what type of life insurance you need and how much life insurance you need?

Here at Mackay Insurance, we always recommend starting your life insurance journey by identifying your main purpose for carrying life insurance.

There are two main reasons people choose to carry life insurance:

1. Family Protection

Family protection is nearly always what initially drives a person to start researching life insurance policies.

Whether your primary concern is paying off debt, affording funeral and memorial expenses, saving for a child's college education or maintaining a certain standard of living, life insurance is first and foremost designed to protect your family.

Both types of life insurance - term and permanent - can achieve this goal.

2. Retirement Investment

For some people, life insurance can also make a smart addition to their greater investment and retirement portfolio.

Only permanent life insurance can meet this particular need.

Depending on how the individual policy is structured, permanent life insurance can come with several attractive perks.

Permanent life insurance policies are generally interest-accruing. In some cases, the value of the policy itself may exceed the value of the death benefit payout.

Permanent life insurance often offers the option to borrow against the value of the policy for short-term emergencies or use the policy as collateral for another loan.

 

How to Choose Between Term Life Insurance and Permanent Life Insurance

In the greater life insurance marketplace, these two life insurance products generally appeal to people in different stages of life.

Read the following descriptions and see which one most closely matches your current situation.

Term Life Insurance Policy Holders

Term life insurance tends to be more attractive to single adults, couples and young families who are carrying some amount of debt and are just starting to build their savings.

Term life insurance premiums are typically very affordable and remain constant for the duration of the term. However, re-upping for a new term may come with cost increases.

Most importantly, when the policy expires, there is no residual value and no return on investment. You are simply purchasing peace of mind in the event a "what if" scenario becomes a reality.

Permanent Life Insurance Policy Holders.

Permanent life insurance, on the other hand, tends to be more attractive to individuals, couples or families who have sufficient means to max out contributions to other retirement investment vehicles.

With premium costs being less of an issue, permanent life insurance holders view the policy as an investment in and of itself with multiple perks depending on how the policy is structured.

There are three levels of permanent life insurance and each confers different benefits to the policyholder and beneficiaries.

Most importantly, there is a guaranteed payout with permanent life insurance regardless of the policy subtype you select. For some policyholders, there is no peace of mind like permanent peace of mind!

 

Why You Shouldn't Wait to Choose Your Life Insurance Policy

Life insurance premiums will be cheaper if you choose term life insurance.

But all life insurance premiums - term and permanent - will be cheaper when you buy now versus later.

This is because, statistically speaking, the insurer's risk of a potential payout is lower when you are younger and healthier.

The best way to get the most life insurance for the most affordable price is to buy it now rather than later.

 

Mackay Is Your Belleville Life Insurance Expert

Get in touch with your friendly, knowledgeable brokers at Mackay Insurance to get all your affordable life insurance questions answered and even get a free quote!

Visit us online or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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How To Obtain Camper Trailer Insurance For Your Summer Camping Plans This Year!

Mackay Insurance in Belleville, Ontario, provides the best Camper Trailer Insurance coverage options.

How To Obtain Camper Trailer Insurance For Your Summer Camping Plans This Year!

The great outdoors has always been great. But in the wake of the global pandemic, being outdoors has become positively spectacular.

This year, getting outdoors is the safest way to have fun, de-stress and see other actual human beings again.

And one of the best ways to get outdoors is to go camping with your COVID bubble or social pod!

As the warm season approaches in earnest, it will soon be time to pile your tents and all your gear into your camper trailer and head for one of the lush and lovely scenic sites Canada is known for.

But before you hit the road, there is one thing you absolutely don't want to forget to do. Be sure to insure your camper trailer! Learn everything you need to know to get the best deal on camper trailer insurance in this post.

 

What Is a Camper Trailer?

There are four basic types of trailers.

1. Classic Pop-Top Camper Trailer

This is often dubbed the "pop up trailer" because when the tent portion is stowed away out of sight, it looks like a small rectangle on wheels.

But pop the lid and voila! You've got a really neat, multifunctional cross between an RV and a tent.

2. Hard Top Trailer

Hard top trailers are also called teardrop trailers, standup trailers, compact hard wall trailers and variations of the same.

These are extremely small, lightweight hitch trailers with a small footprint. Many can take you into the backcountry!

3. Fifth Wheel Trailer

If you imagine the exact opposite of a compact, lightweight camper trailer, what you have is the fifth wheel trailer.

Fifth wheel trailers are basically like little homes on wheels. Some are spacious enough for families to live full-time, but others are used more seasonally. They attach to a suitable vehicle for hauling by means of a special mounted coupling.

4. Cottager Trailer

A cottager trailer is essentially either a fifth wheel trailer or a traditional trailer that has been mounted semi-permanently or permanently on some type of foundation.

 

What Is Camper Trailer Insurance?

Fundamentally, camper trailer insurance is a type of insurance product that protects a towed, non-motorized, recreational vehicle.

And now that you have a better picture of all the different types of recreational vehicles that this definition applies towards, it will make more sense when we tell you that camper trailer insurance is not just one product.

Rather, it is a suite of products offering different types and levels of insurance coverage for different needs.

In most cases, camper trailer insurance policies and riders can be customized to reflect add-ons and modifications (such as a sunroom or deck) that may be unique to your specific camper trailer.

 

How to Choose the Right Camper Trailer Insurance

How do you know what type of camper trailer insurance policy you need to protect your investment?

This is what we recommend.

1. First, verify your camper trailer's value.

The best place to start is to verify your camper trailer's current market value. You want to know how much your investment is worth.

Some of our clients have been surprised to discover that, far from depreciating over time, their camper trailers have actually appreciated in value as a result of the pandemic.

2. Next, identify your usage patterns.

Are you living in your camper trailer seasonally or full-time? Do you envision using it for occasional weekend getaways throughout the summer? Perhaps you plan to take it on an extended trip cross-country or internationally.

Where will you park it? How will you secure it? What possessions or valuables will you bring with you? Will you have any pets on board?

The answers to each of these questions give you a better idea of your financial exposure if your camper trailer and its contents is not adequately insured.

3. Match your camper trailer with the right method of insurance coverage.

Let's say you have a cottager (stationary) camper trailer and you live in it seasonally or full time.

In this case, rather than purchasing a standalone camper trailer insurance policy, you would want to modify your homeowners insurance policy to reflect the new addition.

If you have a lightweight pop up or hard top camper trailer that you haul with your commuter vehicle, you may have partial liability coverage through your auto insurance policy. But typically this only applies when the camper trailer is physically attached to the hauling vehicle.

In this case, you would want to look at whether adding a rider on to your existing auto insurance or homeowner's insurance policy would provide enough coverage. Alternately, you may find that purchasing standalone camper trailer insurance ends up being both more comprehensive and more affordable.

Finally, if you have a fifth wheel camper trailer, you will most likely need to purchase a complete standalone camper trailer insurance policy to obtain the level of coverage required to fully protect your investment and your family.

 

Camper Trailer Insurance Coverage Options

Camper trailer insurance coverage is flexible enough to reflect different usage patterns, garaging options and special risks related to a camper trailer's shape and size.

The major categories to consider include the following:

  • Comprehensive and collision coverage
  • Liability coverage
  • Accessories (attachments) coverage
  • Emergency coverage

 

Call Your Mackay Broker For Belleville Camper Trailer Insurance

We predict this will be the summer of the camper trailer - and you don't want yours to be uninsured! A camper trailer is a high value investment that needs to be protected from loss, theft and damage.

Get in touch with your friendly, knowledgeable brokers at Mackay Insurance by phone or email today. We will help you get the best deal on affordable camper trailer insurance so you can get back to planning your summer camping adventure!

Visit us online or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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Auto Insurance Companies Are Leading the Pack in Providing Premium Relief

Mackay Insurance Offers Premium Auto Insurance Relief to qualified applicants during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

COVID-19 Premium Relief for Auto Insurance Customers in Ontario

COVID-19 threw the whole planet a wildly unanticipated curve ball. Every industry has been impacted - some for the positive, but the majority for the negative.

For the most part however, it is individuals and families who have been hardest-hit by the pandemic.

From job pauses to outright losses, skyrocketing expenses with plummeting income streams, illness to the ever-looming threat of COVID-related fatalities, our stress levels and our bottom lines often feel inversely related.

Starting this quarter, some insurance companies are taking action to offer their loyal customers some relief.

At Mackay Insurance, we want to keep you informed about your options if you have fallen (or anticipate falling) upon financial hardship due to COVID-19. 

This post has the latest auto insurance information!

 

Auto Insurance Companies Are Leading the Pack in Providing Premium Relief

We wish all insurance providers were as proactive and dedicated as the auto insurance industry in taking action to provide premium relief options.

Auto insurance Companies are stepping up to the plate and it is a welcome development.

As of this month, Intact Insurance is offering their customers one month of outright premium relief, due to COVID-19 related financial hardship.

It is also quite easy to qualify! Here is what you need to do:

  1. Download the Mackay Insurance free app (if you haven't done so already) and log in.
  2. You may also log in to your online account using any web browser.
  3. Select your auto insurance policy with Intact Insurance.
  4. Log in to your Intact Client Centre portal.
  5. Answer a single question to qualify for one month of auto insurance premium relief.

 

Additional Auto Insurance Companies Offering Relief Due to COVID-19 Financial Hardship

Exactly one year ago this month, we devoted an entire blog post to various COVID-19 related options you can pursue to reduce your auto insurance premiums.Many of these options are still on the table for the majority of our auto insurance customers. 

Contact your Mackay Insurance broker to review your current Belleville car insurance coverage and explore options to reduce your premium payments.

As of this month, in addition to Intact Insurance, several other insurers have announced measures that may alleviate the financial burden of auto insurance coverage due to COVID-19.

Here are a few leading examples of how auto insurers are continuing to provide financial relief to customers in 2021.

Gore Mutual: the company continues to offer rate decreases and discounts.  They offered a 1 time rebate of 20% reduction of 3 months premium as well as an overall 5% reduction

Economical: the company announced premium savings and a rate relief for eligible customers during the spring of 2020

CAA: the company announced a COVID-19 package that will provide more than $130 million in relief to customers impacted by the pandemic.

Western Assurance: that RSA will be implementing a rate decrease for Ontario personal auto customers on a temporary basis effective October 1, 2020 to June, 30, 2021 for 4%

To find out if your insurer is offering payment deferrals, skip-a-pay programs, additional discounts or incentives due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis, just contact your Mackay Insurance broker using any of the contact options you find on our home page.

 

Has Your Life Changed Due to COVID-19? Your Insurance Should Too!

Many of our Mackay Insurance customers have experienced minor or major upheavals to "life as usual" due to the ongoing global pandemic.

These are some of the most commonly reported life changes that may trigger a reduction in insurance policy rates and premiums as well as changing insurance needs:

  • Became unemployed.
  • Changed jobs or careers.
  • Added a part-time job (in addition to an existing job).
  • Started working from home.
  • Started a small business (outside or inside the home).
  • Changed driving habits.
  • Kept seasonal cottage or property closed all year.
  • Rented out your home and relocated to a new space and/or place.
  • Sold a home and/or bought a home.
  • Downsized living quarters.
  • Divested assets such as rare, antique or collectible possessions.
  • Welcomed a new family member (whether infant or elder).
  • Added a new driver (whether partner or teen).
  • Sold or acquired recreational property or vehicles (boat, RV, off-road vehicle, etc).
  • Sold or acquired a vehicle.
  • Became a homeowner or renter.
  • Moved back home to live with extended family.

If you have recently experienced any of these or other types of life changes, it is definitely the right time to contact your Mackay Insurance broker to review your current insurance coverages.

In many cases, we are able to help our customers lower premium payments, take advantage of additional or emerging discounts, save with multi-policy discounts or family discounts and other money-saving strategies.

You won't know how you may save unless you ask!

 

Spring Means Cottage Season and Recreational Vehicle Use

It is true that our weather doesn't exactly feel like spring yet. But many of us are already starting to think about opening up our seasonal cottages and taking our seasonal recreational vehicles out of storage.

According to recent media reports, demand for seasonal cottage rentals is at an all-time high this year.

If you have plans to rent out your cottage and/or your recreational vehicles, or you plan to allow cottage tenants to use on-site recreational vehicles (including watercraft), you need to contact your Mackay Insurance broker right away.

In some cases, you may void your cottage insurance entirely if you are not carrying the proper coverages for longer-term or more frequent cottage rentals.

Your Mackay Insurance broker can review your coverages to better protect your cottage and vehicle investments.

 

Mackay Is Your Trusted Belleville Car Insurance Broker

Spring is a great time to review your current Belleville car insurance coverages and other insurance coverages, in order to make sure that you are taking full advantage of all available policy discounts - including COVID-19 related relief.

Get in touch with our Mackay Auto Insurance brokers by phone, or email us to schedule a virtual appointment. Ask us about our safe contactless insurance estimates, invoicing and payment options.

Visit us online or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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Condo Insurance: What You Don't Know Could Cause Your Rates to Increase

Learn more about Condo Insurance with Mackay Insurance brokers in Belleville, Ontario.

Condo Insurance: What You Don't Know Could Cause Your Rates to Increase

Do you understand your condo insurance? Many condo owners remain in the dark about important policy information impacting their rates.

For example, did you know that your condo is actually covered by two different insurance policies?

The majority of condo owners do not realize this.

Do you understand why your insurance premiums keep going up, and up, and up?

Most owners don't understand this either.

Mackay Insurance can help! This article explains both mysteries so you will be better informed and better protected.

 

Condo Insurance Is Two Policies, Not One Policy

When you decide to purchase a condo, you are responsible for taking out a condo insurance policy.

That is one of two policies that covers your condo in case of loss or damage.

Your condo corporation (sometimes called syndicate) also takes out a condo insurance policy.

This is the second policy that covers your condo in case of loss or damage.

 

Condo Corporations Are Facing Premium Increases on Condo Insurance Too

Understanding what the condo corporation policy covers and excludes is critical to selecting the right type and amount of condo insurance for you.

Various factors can influence pricing for annual insurance premiums on syndicate and individual condo insurance policies.

As syndicate insurance premium prices increase, your syndicate may elect to drop or reduce certain coverages.

Alternatively, your syndicate may decide to offer incentives to condo owners who implement individual unit risk reduction strategies against constant cash drains such as water damage claims.

This becomes especially pertinent as condo structures continue to age at the same time severe weather increases province-wide.

Not only can aging alone cause syndicate condo-wide insurance premiums to increase, but as structures age and claims increase, premiums may increase yet again as a result.

And when you add in the increase in new condo construction and increasing demand for condo insurance as a result, you can see even another increase in insurance premiums.

As if that wasn't already enough, investors into the condo insurance may choose to divert funds towards less costly, lower risk investments, causing a scramble within the condo insurance marketplace for new sources of funding.

Syndicates, like individuals, have options to try to control annual premium costs, including raising their deductible, dropping certain coverage riders and limiting coverage for certain categories of claims.

It is important to take time each year to review what your condo corporation's insurance policy covers and to then review your own individual condo insurance policy in light of that.

If you need help comparing what each type of policy covers for your condo, your friendly Mackay Insurance broker is happy to help.

 

What to Look For When You Review Your Condo Insurance Coverage

The generic individual condo insurance policy typically consists of seven parts:

  1. Interior condo upgrades.
  2. Contents inside the condo.
  3. Liability (third party).
  4. Theft (condo).
  5. Locker (theft).
  6. Assessments rider.
  7. Additional living expenses.

Whether you opt to purchase all seven of these coverages, and how much coverage you elect for each, can and should be adjusted based on what the condo corporation's own policy covers.

In other words, why pay money every month for coverage that is also included in the condo corporation's coverage benefits?

You will also want to take some time to read the fine print explaining how the condo corporation handles deductible payments.

For instance, it is vital to find out if you may be responsible for reimbursing the condo corporation for your portion of the corporate deductible for certain categories of claims and losses.

Specific Features & Benefits of Condo Insurance Solutions:

  • All risk coverage and replacement costs on contents are covered 
  • Debris removal for an additional 10% of the contents limit is covered
  • Credit card coverage (up to $10,000 per occurrence)
  • Coverage for electric vehicles 
  • Satellite dishes are included automatically, at no additional cost 
  • Food freezer installation ($3,000, no deductible applies)
  • Premium discounts
  • Lock replacement ($1,000 with no deductible)

 

Be Aware of These Big Changes In Corporate Condo Insurance Policies

Recent industry reports highlight a worrisome trend among condo corporations to downsize their own liability, shifting that responsibility over to individual condo owners.

Well-publicized recent changes include shifting responsibility for maintaining insurance coverage for damage to floors and countertops to individual condo owners.

Water damage claims are another hot button area where condo corporations are increasingly attempting to shift responsibility over to individual condo owners.

Structural claims such as water damage can become particularly problematic to resolve when the damage affects more than one condo in the building.

For example, if a wall pipe bursts and causes damage to both your condo unit and a neighbour's unit, the claims filing and payout process can quickly get complicated.

Condo insurance as a product is designed to minimize such headaches. But it can only do its job well to serve your interests when the coverages you select effectively plug up any coverage holes in your condo corporation's own policy.

 

Three Condo Insurance Riders You May Regret Not Having

These three condo insurance riders are all too commonly overlooked, either because the owner does not think they are needed or because the owner mistakenly believes the condo corporation is providing coverage.

Water damage

According to a recent insurance industry survey, a full one-third of condo owners do not carry any insurance coverage for water damage.

Water damage is the number one condo insurance claim.

Valuables

If you are keeping high-value possessions such as instruments, collectibles or jewelry in your unit or locker, be aware that your standard condo insurance may not cover these items.

Tenants

If you have roommates or tenants (whether long-term or short-term renters), you need to make sure they carry their own separate tenant insurance policy.

This is especially the case if you plan to participate in home-sharing (i.e. Airbnb), which could void your coverage entirely if not disclosed.

Give your friendly Mackay insurance broker a call to review your current condo insurance coverage against coverage provided through your condo corporation and make sure your policy fully protects you.

Optional Condo Coverage Add-Ons:

  • Claim Free Discount Protector (protects the claim fee discount following the first claim)
  • Personal Umbrella Coverage (as high as $9,000,000)
  • Enhanced Special Limits (doubles the special limits noted in the policy)

 

Mackay Is Your Napanee and Belleville, Ontario, Condo Insurance Broker

Worried about your skyrocketing condo insurance rates? We may be able to help! Reach out to schedule a virtual appointment by phone, email, Zoom, Skype or chat.

Here are some Points For Protection to help keep your condo investment safe:

  • Place all valuable jewelry and other expensive items in a safe location (ie. not in the master bedroom)
  • Review and practice your basic fire safety plan (with all family members)
  • Always keep an up-to-date inventory on all large purchases (ie. televisions, furniture)
  • Always always always turn off the water before you leave for vacation!

For more tips, stay tuned to our Mackay Insurance Blog! You can also visit us online or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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Do You Have Insurance for Emergencies and Natural Disasters in Canada

Mackay Insurance provides the best rates and coverages for emergency and natural disaster insurance in Belleville, Ontario.

Do You Have Insurance for Emergencies and Natural Disasters in Canada

No matter where you look in the world today, it seems emergencies of all types are on the rise.

Changing weather and climate conditions, overloaded power grids in densely populated urban areas and an aging population are not a recipe for peace and ease, especially when the unexpected happens.

Add in a side order of COVID-19 and suddenly you may be wondering if you need additional insurance to protect your family or business from all the unknowns!

If this has been on your mind of late, your friendly Mackay Insurance brokers in Belleville crafted this post especially for you!

 

Insurance for Natural Disasters in Canada

Snow and ice. Wind and rain. Heat and humidity. Wildfires.

Canada may be best known for our winter sports and ski slopes, but the truth is, we get all kinds of weather events here in the far north.

And each type of natural disaster has its own perils, which is what the Canadian insurance industry calls an event that may be covered under an insurance policy or optional rider.

So, let's take a closer look at how natural disaster insurance works.

 

The Four Key Elements of Natural Disaster Insurance in Canada

There are four key elements that influence whether, how and how much insurance coverage may be available for different types of natural disasters, including weather events.

These are the four major factors you can discuss with your Mackay Insurance broker in Belleville.

1. The specific category of natural disaster.

While there is no single universal insurance policy that will simply cover you for everything, everywhere, all the time (wouldn't that be wonderful!), there actually is quite a for more coverage options than most people realize.

Let's take a look at the major weather events that are typically covered if you have the right type of insurance policy or rider:

  • Fire (insurance coverages for home fires or wildfires).
  • Ice and snow (including insurance coverage for frozen/burst pipes).
  • Hail (damage coverages to vehicle roof damage).
  • High winds (insurance coverage for damages caused by high winds)
  • Rain (including insurance coverage for water damage caused by structural and roof leaks).
  • Weather events (including insurance coverages for hurricanes, tornadoes etc.).

There are some types of weather related natural disasters that are typically excluded from insurance coverage protection, including these categories:

  • Flooding (from natural overland flood events).
  • Landslides
  • Earthquakes

More on this in the very next section here.

2. The area where you live and/or work.

It probably won't surprise you to learn that different geographic areas may have different insurance coverage options for natural disasters.

For example, if you live in a flood plain, your options for flood insurance will typically decrease because this is a known peril associated with choosing to live in that specific area or region.

This is not to say you have zero insurance coverage options, although sometimes this is the case. The best way to find out is to contact your Mackay Insurance broker in Belleville to talk through your concerns and coverage options.

3. The coverage options based on your property type and personal circumstances.

In a similar way, the type of structure you own and the property it sits on can influence what insurance coverage may be available for certain categories of weather events and natural disasters.

Also, the age of your building or home and its value (based on the estimate) will have an impact on coverage options and their costs.

4. The insurance provider you select.

Last and certainly not least, different insurance providers may offer a different menu of coverage options for your specific concerns, or perils.

While many aspects of the entire insurance industry here in Canada will be regulated at the provincial level, insurance providers do have some flexibility to bundle or package their coverage products differently.

Some insurance providers may opt not to offer certain types of coverage while others may choose to specialize in certain categories of insurance coverage.

This is where it really pays to talk with your Mackay broker and shop around until you find the insurance provider with the right suite of insurance policies and riders that meets your specific needs!

Don't settle for the first or even the second natural disaster insurance quote you receive.

It is very smart to ask your Mackay Insurance broker to gather several quotes and estimates. This way, you get a good sense for what the current insurance marketplace is offering and which provider gives you the best coverage for the right price.

 

Don't Forget About Disaster Coverage For Your Home Insurance, Car Insurance and Life Insurance

There are three other places you don't want to forget about when searching out the most comprehensive coverage for emergencies and disasters.

These are your home insurance, car insurance and life insurance policies.

All three types of policies typically offer a certain level of coverage, plus optional riders to address the unexpected.

For home insurance, an example might be a sudden and accidental burst pipe that causes water damage.

For vehicle insurance, an example might be coverage for an unexpected hail storm that cracks your windshield.

For life insurance, an example might be accidental injury from being caught out in severe weather.

NOTE: This does not usually include work-related incidents, for which you will need to look at specific business insurance riders that are relevant to your industry and type of business.

 

2 Steps to Get the Right Type of Canada Emergency and Natural Disaster Insurance

Here is the best way to find the right insurance coverage.

1. Make a list of your specific concerns and needs.

2. Make an appointment to review this list with your Mackay broker.

 

Get in Touch With Your Belleville Ontario Mackay Insurance Broker

Get in touch with us by phone or email us to schedule a virtual appointment. Ask us about our safe contactless insurance estimates, invoicing and payment options.

Visit us online for our full menu of contact options or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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Protect Your Company from Cyber Crime With the Right Business Insurance

Mackay Insurance in Belleville provides home-based cyber insurance for remote offices. m

Protect Your Company from Cyber Crime With the Right Business Insurance

The worldwide pandemic has followed us straight into 2021.

While the disruption to our personal lives has been significant, COVID-19 has also caused equal upheaval in business sectors.

Here is one example: many people have now transitioned to working from home indefinitely or even permanently.

Whether you are running your own company from home or working to launch a new business while we shelter in place, it is important to know that the risk landscape for business owners has also changed due to COVID.

While cyber crime was already a top concern for businesses of all sizes prior to 2020, in 2021 it ranks in the top two risks for businesses today.

In this article, our Mackay Insurance brokers walk you through what you need to know and do to protect your startup, solopreneurship, small business or corporation with appropriate cyber liability insurance coverage.

 

Cyber Crime Is On the Rise In Our New Remote Workforce

The Insurance Bureau of Canada recently reported on how the sharp increase in Canada's remote workforce has delivered a correspondingly sharp increase in cyber crime.

Cyber criminals are targeting businesses of all shapes and sizes with attacks designed to snag sensitive data and exploit it.

Why now, you may be wondering?

The reason is simple.

Most companies have been forced to make rapid pivots to accommodate emergency lockdown measures. As such, employers and employees alike have been making use of personal devices to access secure servers from remote locations.

While this represents a risk management headache for your company, it represents an exciting new opportunity for cyber criminals.

The more devices used to access secure servers to upload, edit, download and share sensitive documents and information, the more vulnerable entry points get created all along the data pipeline.

Skilled cyber criminals can make use of these new vulnerabilities to hack into your networks and leak, steal, compromise or destroy confidential data.

There are two main methods you can use to cope with this unavoidable business risk:

  1. Improve your online security protocols.

  2. Add a cyber liability insurance policy to your business insurance coverages.

For new business owners in particular, it may be helpful to know that the first step to improving your online security is assessing the risks.

The risks you identify will drive the types of security protocols you choose to implement.

As an Insurance company, assessing risks is what our Mackay Insurance brokers do every day! Read on to learn about cyber liability insurance, what it is, what it offers and how to choose a policy.

 

What Is Cyber Liability Insurance?

While the name makes its purpose seem obvious, it is important to first talk about what cyber liability insurance (sometimes called cyber crime insurance) is and also what it is not.

Cyber liability insurance is an insurance product designed to protect your business from the financial impact of a data breach.

Here are just a few examples of how your company can be negatively impacted financially as a result of a data breach:

  • Loss of income.
  • Loss of customers.
  • Loss of time.
  • Loss of reputation.
  • Loss of licensing and credentialing necessary to do business in your industry.

 

What Does Cyber Liability Insurance Cover?

As we mentioned here earlier, cyber liability insurance is designed to cover a standard menu of protections.

But if you need different or extra protections, most insurers provide additional insurance coverages on a per-protection basis.

It is important to know that, like most insurance products, cyber liability insurance often comes with a deductible - an amount your business must pay out of pocket before your benefits kick in.

These are the two types of coverages a basic or standard cyber liability insurance policy will typically offer you. Our Mackay Insurance brokers in Belleville have labeled these below for our business owners: 

 

First Party Coverage

First party coverage reimburses your company for internal operating expenses you incur related to dealing with the data breach.

Here are some examples of how first party coverage can protect you after a data breach:

  • Cost reimbursement to restore your electronic systems or compromised data.
  • Reimbursement for loss of income while you deal with the breach.
  • Cost of extortion payments and expenses related to that.
  • Reimburse you for the expense of notifying affected parties.
  • Reimburse you for reputation management following the breach.

 

Third Party Coverage

Third party coverage reimburses your company for expenses arising from claims made against you by those injured through the data breach.

Here are some examples of how third party coverage can protect you after a data breach:

  • Claims made by customers whose private sensitive data was exposed or stolen due to the data breach.
  • Claims made by regulatory agencies in the form of fines or penalties your company must pay due to the data breach.
  • Claims made by customers, vendors, partners or other companies whose private data was made public due to the data breach.

Here, it is vitally important to review the "covered perils" in any cyber liability insurance policy you consider purchasing.

This is because if your company incurs any claims or expenses from cyber crime that falls outside of the covered perils, the policy will not cover those costs.

 

Do You Need Help Choosing Cyber Liability Insurance in 2021?

Do you work from home, own a home-based business or allow your employees to work remotely? Our experienced Mackay Insurance brokers can help you identify the right level of cyber liability coverage for your company and industry.

Customized cyber liability insurance can help your company pivot safely and securely in the new virtual workplace.

 

NEW! Get Valuable Multi-Policy Discount Savings with Mackay and CAA

Now you can qualify for multi-discount savings when you sign up for a CAA membership through Mackay Insurance.

Claim your discounts HERE!

 

Get in Touch With Your Belleville Ontario Mackay Insurance Broker

Get in touch with us by phone or email us to schedule a virtual appointment. Due to the current stay at home order, our offices remain closed to walk-in visits until further notice.

Visit us online for our full menu of contact options or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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Starting a New Business During COVID? Protect Your Startup With The Right Insurance

Mackay Insurance Belleville provides small business coverage for local business owners.

Starting a New Business During COVID? Protect Your Startup With The Right Insurance

It might seem counterintuitive to launch a new business venture during an unprecedented global pandemic.

For the millions who have been downsized during this past year, as well as for workers who can't get enough hours to make ends meet, launching up a startup is starting to look smarter and smarter.

The truth is, Canadians have a history of thriving during challenging times. Crisis can be the stuff of world-changing creativity and innovation.

And while insurance isn't the most exciting part of this type of venture, this is definitely not the year to start a new business without it.

If you are considering the launch of a new business or are already deep in the startup stage of a new business, this is definitely the article you want to read. Mackay Insurance in Belleville provides small businesses with the right insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario.m Let’s make sure that your new business is fully insured and your investment is protected in 2021!

 

New Business Startup Insurance: Cover Your Bases With Mackay Insurance

Starting a new business will always require business insurance. This is one thing that COVID-19 has not changed.

However, as we mentioned in the introduction here, what has changed due to COVID-19 is the number of workers who are launching businesses for the very first time.

So this section gives you a quick overview of business insurance basics you need to address to protect your hard work and investment.

These are the three basic categories of business insurance coverage that every small business (whether home-based or not) should consider:

1. General (commercial) Business Liability 

Commercial liability insurance for businesses covers injuries that occur on the worksite. It sometimes also covers legal fees as a result of such injuries.

2. Business Property Coverage

Business property coverage typically protects against damage to the premises or the contents, which may range from equipment to inventory.

3. Business Interruption Coverage

As the name implies, business interruption coverage provides relief if the business is unable to operate for certain covered reasons as outlined in the policy.

Depending on the type of business and how/where you operate, here are some additional new business insurance coverage types you may want to consider.

Business (commercial) Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance protects you or workers using a vehicle for non-commuting business purposes.

Professional Liability (errors and omissions) Insurance

Professional liability insurance protects you or officers and directors from errors or omissions that result in legal fees.

Cyber Security Insurance

Data breaches are more and more common and this insurance can help offset the costs of suffering a data breach or cyber attack.

Accounts Receivable Insurance

If a major customer goes bankrupt, this insurance protects you from sudden loss of revenue.

 

Home Based Business Insurance Coverage

The start of winter saw another spike in COVID-19 cases here in Ontario. While this was not entirely unexpected, it has definitely put a damper on reopening plans for many brick-and-mortar business locations.

This has re-focused attention on the viability of home-based businesses, whether you are planning to launch or expand a virtual element to your existing business or proceed with starting a new virtual business.

Our brokerage team at Mackay Insurance recommends reading our blog post and reviewing the ins and outs of home based business insurance basics. If you have any questions regarding business insurance coverage or how to obtain it locally in Quinte, contact Mackay Insurance brokers today!

NOTE: The most important part of starting up a new home-based business is also the most-often overlooked part. Be sure the community where you live is zoned to permit home based business operations!

 

Small Business Insurance for Remote Workers

Running a business has never felt less secure or stable than it has this year. Many small businesses have made the leap to a remote workforce wherever possible. In some cases, the shift may become permanent.

One important aspect we take special care to mention each time we talk with one of our small business clients in Mackay Insurance is remote workforce insurance.

If your company had been operating out of a single location prior to 2020, it is definitely time to revisit your existing business liability coverage from every angle, including remote access to sensitive data and BYOD (bring your own device) policy coverage.

For businesses who are shifting to a remote model for the first time, be aware that you may need to change your coverage or add a relevant rider to protect remote work locations and/or work-related auto use that is not straight commuting (such as a new business delivery service).

We covered these topics in more detail in a blog post devoted to how businesses in transition may need to update business insurance coverage due to COVID-19.

 

COVID-19 Relief Business Insurance

Not surprisingly, Mackay Insurance has been receiving a large number of calls from our existing business clients asking about options for business relief insurance due to COVID-19.

The main challenge here is that the Canadian insurance industry has also been hard-hit by the global pandemic. Interest rates have plunged and claims have skyrocketed, with the predictable impact that premium prices are rising.

Earlier this year, many auto insurers initiated relief efforts to consumers struggling to pay their premiums. More recently in Ontario, a new relief effort began to support hospitality industry businesses who have been unable to obtain business insurance coverage.

Our brokerage team at Mackay Insurance is happy to talk with you about available options to obtain business insurance or apply for insurance relief.

We also highly recommend that you read our blog post about COVID-19 insurance relief.

 

Get in Touch With Mackay Insurance in Belleville Ontario

Here in Belleville, Ontario, Mackay Insurance is open to serve you! Let us know how you prefer to connect with us!

We are here to support home based businesses and small business owners with affordable insurance options to protect your present and your future.

Please reach out to our Mackay Insurance team by phone at 888-853-5552 or online for more information on small business insurance. 

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