Mackay Insurance Blog
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
- Air Compressors
- Scaffolding etc.
The difference between Contractor Tools and Contractor Equipment:
Contractor Tools are items costing $1,000 or less. Examples would be power tools or sawhorses.
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!
- HVAC Technicians
- General COntractors Roofers
- Flooring COntractors
- 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.
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
- 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.
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!
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!
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:
- Download the Mackay Insurance free app (if you haven't done so already) and log in.
- You may also log in to your online account using any web browser.
- Select your auto insurance policy with Intact Insurance.
- Log in to your Intact Client Centre portal.
- 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.
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:
- Interior condo upgrades.
- Contents inside the condo.
- Liability (third party).
- Theft (condo).
- Locker (theft).
- Assessments rider.
- 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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
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.
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
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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:
Improve your online security protocols.
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.
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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.
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.
November is a time for remembering. As we have just held our memorial services and practiced our two minutes of reverent silence on November 11th, we are reminded of our troops and the sacrifices they make for our freedom. As we near December and prepare to close 2020, we are also reminded of the many changes this year has brought each of us - the good times and the bad times. We remember cycles, the ebb and flow of changing seasons, as winter begins to roll in - mighty and brave as ever. By recalling the cycles of our lives, we are reminded of this key point - bad times are always followed by the good times. As 2020 comes to its close, let’s remember to look forward to the good times of 2021.
Something else we want to remember as we are heading into this new season are a few important tasks related to preparing our homes for the upcoming winter months. November is hitting us in full force this year with the occasional flurry of snow, frosty windshields and heating bills appearing in our mailboxes. At Mackay Insurance in Belleville, Ontario, we recognize these little hints far too well as the beginnings of a cold winter approaching. Is your home ready for it?
With the COVID-19 pandemic sticking around for the remainder of 2020, there are many individuals who continue to spend the majority of their time quarantining indoors. Whether you have a home office or run homeschooling from your kitchen table, the comfort of your home during these upcoming winter months is imperative.
At Mackay Insurance, the comfort and safety of your home is extremely important to us! We hear questions about winter home insurance and readying homes for those upcoming cold months all the time . This is why we have come up with a simple list of November To Do’s that you can follow in order to get your home ready for winter!
How To Ensure Your Home Is Prepared For Winter
There are a few key steps in preparing your home for winter - steps that should never be missed! We’ve outlined these winter prepping steps below:
- Remember to clear your gutters and downspouts and extend your downspouts away from the house.
- Check foundations for exterior cracks and ensure that those are properly repaired as soon as possible.
- Check that there is 20cm. between the bottom of your window(s) and ground/bed(s).
- Check your batteries on your smoke detector and back up sewer systems.
- Check your basement and storage areas. Consider not storing things of value down in the basement and consider buying totes for anything stored in crawl spaces.
Mackay Insurance understands the value of your household and we strive to protect that value for you. By following the above steps, you are aiding in loss prevention - meaning that you are ensuring that your home is protected from any potential losses.
During the winter months in eastern Ontario, there are many potential household losses and damages that can occur:
- Flooding caused by melted snow)
- Damages caused by heavy or fallen snow
- Burst or frozen pipes
- Fallen gutters
- And more!
Is Your Home Insured For Potential Winter Damages?
Does your home insurance cover potential loss and damages caused by seasonal effects? Contact your home insurance brokers at Mackay Insurance today to discuss your home insurance coverages this winter!
Located in Belleville, Ontario, and serving the Quinte region and beyond, our goal is to provide our community with a safe and comfortable winter. Let us handle the stress and worry of keeping your house protected so that you can enjoy the season!
From all of us at Mackay Insurance, we hope you stay safe and have a great day!
Traveling Within Canada for the Holidays? First Step Is Travel Insurance
This has been some year, hasn't it! Just when we think the worst is finally in our rearview mirror, we have another spike in COVID-19 cases here in Ontario.
Looking back now, it becomes clear that nearly every aspect of daily life has been altered in some way this year - from how we shop for groceries, to how we work, to how we keep in touch with family and friends.
And now the holidays are nearly here!
If your typical holiday plans include travelling out of the province, it is time to start considering whether you may need to purchase supplemental travel insurance in advance of your trip. At Mackay Insurance in Belleville, Ontario, we work with a great company in providing travel insurance. Click Here for more information on Travel Insurance through Mackay Insurance providers.
In this post, we walk you through how to evaluate your travel insurance options and make the safest choice for your finances and family.
First, Make Sure You Understand Your Current Coverage
This is the right time to download, print out and review all that boring fine print that came with your health insurance policy
In particular, you are looking for any exclusions that apply starting when you travel out of the province.
Let's say you have a provincial health insurance plan and you are planning to travel with your family from Ontario to Quebec to visit relatives.
Here, what you are looking for in the fine print of your policy is coverage exclusions related to out-of-province medical or dental needs.
If you get sick - from COVID-19 or something else - and need special medical attention, will your provincial health insurance policy cover that?
In particular, look for health insurance coverages details about the following:
- Emergency medical transportation for any reason (including pregnancy).
- Diagnostic tests such as X-rays.
- Extra services such as wheelchairs, casts or splints.
- Services specific to COVID-19, such as a ventilator or a stay in the ICU.
- Prescription medications.
- Emergency oral health care.
- Treatment for recurrence of a pre-existing condition.
- Expenses related to having relatives travel to get you if you are hospitalized.
- Expenses related to your family's needs if someone gets sick while you are traveling.
- Coverage benefits for health needs if there is a re-enactment of out-of-province travel bans while you are out of province.
- Costs of enforced quarantine if you contract COVID-19 while out of province or if another lockdown prevents you from returning home for a time.
- Special coverage caps that relate only to COVID-19 treatment or detainment.
These are just some of the special health coverage considerations to ponder if you are planning an out-of-province trip in the near future.
While the fine print in your policy should always provide answers to these questions, it is not always so simple to identify the relevant passages and accurately interpret their meaning.
Your friendly and knowledgeable Mackay Insurance brokers in Belleville, Ontario, are happy to review your existing insurance coverages with you and talk through any limitations or exclusions that may be relevant to your holiday travel plans this year. For more information on travel insurance, contact our team directly or visit our travel insurance page.
Are You Relying on Travel or Health Coverage Through Your Credit Card or Airline?
It can feel very reassuring to know that you have travel insurance coverage through a credit card or through your airline carrier.
Once again, however, the good feelings may quickly evaporate when you take the time to read the fine print to discover limitations or exclusions.
For example, some airline carriers are now offering a limited amount of coverage if you contract COVID-19 while aboard a flight, but how much coverage is offered? What conditions must be met in order to receive that coverage?
If your credit card offers coverage, the first thing you want to check for is that the coverage provided will follow you if you travel outside the province versus outside the country. Many cardholders realize only too late that their coverage only applies to international travel.
Will Supplemental Travel Insurance Make Up the Difference?
Now that the international travel ban has been largely lifted, supplemental travel insurance is back on the table.
Yet here again, you want to be sure that the policy you purchase is actually worth all that fine print you just had to read through.
When reviewing all your options for travel and health insurance, the goal is to put together a complete picture of all the types of coverage and care you may potentially need.
That care doesn't all have to come from one provider, although for simplicity's sake this is always ideal.
Ultimately, you just want to be sure you have the coverage you may need for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-related health and travel claims if you choose to travel out of the province this winter.
For instance, let's say you are waiting to board your flight only to discover the flight was overbooked and you've been bumped off of it. You contact your supplemental travel insurance provider to file a claim.
It is only then you discover that claims made for overbooked travel are specifically excluded from your policy coverage.
This is unfortunately quite common, because the insurer will say the airline carrier is at fault and you will have to apply to them for reimbursement (in which case, good luck).
Get in Touch With Mackay Insurance, Belleville
Mackay Insurance in Belleville, Ontario continues to work remotely at this time. Our qualified Mackay Insurance brokers are available to serve you by appointment, in person and by phone, email, fax, social media and courier. Don’t forget to check out our travel insurance page for more information on our travel insurance options!
Seasonal Cottage Closing Time Means Insurance Updates: Get Yours Now
This has been a tough year for seasonal cottage owners and visitors. Throughout much of this year, we have simply been unable to enjoy "cottage season" the way we typically do.
With only 1-2 months of warm weather here in Ontario, you may be facing a choice:
Should you open up your seasonal cottage at all or simply keep it closed and wait for spring?
In this post, our experienced Mackay Cottage Insurance experts review our recommendations for seasonal cottage customers and give you information about possibilities for adjusting your seasonal cottage insurance.
Is Your Seasonal Cottage Standing Unoccupied, But Not Vacant?
The first big question to ask yourself is this: is your seasonal cottage standing unoccupied, but not vacant right now - and is it likely to stay that way throughout 2020?
Here is why this is an important question to ask.
From the perspective of an insurance underwriter as well as a cottage owner, there are different risk levels associated with a truly vacant structure and a structure that is not vacant, but is standing unoccupied.
Depending on who your insurance provider may be, the definition of each term can also vary. For some cottage insurance brokers, the change in cottage status for 2020 may constitute what is called a "material change in status."
If this applies to your coverage, this can trigger a revision in the type and level of cottage coverage you are eligible for as well as how your claims may be handled.
There is also a lot more that you, the cottage owner, can do to minimize risk for a structure that is not vacant, but is simply standing unoccupied at the moment.
The more you choose to do to minimize risk of weather damage, theft, vandalism and other risks that increase when a structure is continually unoccupied for an extended time period, the less you risk denial of claims or increase of insurance premiums.
Insurance Concessions May Be Available Due to COVID-19
Just the idea that your seasonal cottage insurance premiums might increase on top of the financial concerns that 2020 has already presented may be enough to tempt you to shut your browser window and stop reading this post.
Please do not do this - at least not yet!
It is quite possible that insurance providers may be willing to provide concessions due to the extraordinary financial burdens 2020 has imposed.
Concessions may conceivably include each of the following options:
Deferral of premium payments due to COVID-related financial hardship.
Here, "deferral" is not the same as "forgiveness." Rather, deferral simply means that your policy period gets pushed back by the amount of time you are granted before resuming your regular premium payments.
While deferral is more the order of the day with Canadian underwriters when reviewing COVID-related relief requests, some insurers may be open to an outright forgiveness, or the waiving of any missed payments.
The only way to know for sure is to contact your Mackay Cottage Insurance broker so that we can investigate the possibilities on your behalf. Do you need more information on your recreational cottage insurance coverage this year? Contact Mackay Insurance in Belleville online or give us a call at 888-853-5552.
Rate review based on owner's plan to secure the premises through year-end.
If your insurance provider does decide that 2020's unusual cottage usage patterns constitute a "material change in status," this may trigger an automatic policy review and a subsequent rate increase.
From what we have seen thus far, however, the majority of local Quinte insurance providers we work with are more than willing to back off on proposed rate increases provided that the cottage owner can demonstrate a plan-in-progress to enhance security measures at the property.
For example, many of our seasonal cottage owners have not been able to do much more than make a quick run to check up on their seasonal cottage. Some have not even been able to do that much until quite recently.
Examples of enhanced security measures that could stave off any premium increases might include each of the following:
- Installation of a remote security monitoring system.
- Early cottage winterization preparations to protect the structure from damage.
- Hiring a local security company to monitor the cottage on the owner's behalf.
- Hiring a local individual to check on the cottage regularly.
- Upgrades to the structure itself to prevent seasonal weather damage.
- Upgrades to the HVAC, plumbing, septic and/or sump system to guard against water damage, especially freezing.
Just the choice to install a remote security monitoring system might even be good for a discount of up to 15% off your annual policy rates.
Note - Linking that system to a local company that can follow up will probably be your ticket to the rate decrease.
Review Your Coverage and Make Sure It Protects You & Your Cottage Investment
At Mackay Insurance in Belleville, Ontario we are encouraging all of our seasonal cottage insurance clients to take this opportunity to review their cottage insurance coverage in light of the unusual circumstances of 2020.
We have released an entire post that walks you through the steps to do this.
There are many different levels and types of seasonal cottage insurance based on the type of property, usage patterns and other considerations.
We warmly invite you to connect with your Mackay Cottage Insurance broker to discuss all of your options for adjusting your seasonal cottage insurance in a way that is most favourable for your personal finances.
What If I Rent Out My Cottage Part-Time? How Does This Affect My Insurance Coverage?
In the sharing economy, many cottage owners have transitioned to renting their cottages out during different parts of the season. If you rent out your location, you need to make sure that your insurance company is well aware. In some cases, policies can be endorsed to cover rental for up to 2 weeks. If you are renting out your cottage for more than 2 weeks per year, it may have to go on a more commercial based plan. Talk to our team of qualified cottage insurance brokers today about your options.
Get in Touch With Your Mackay Cottage Insurance Broker Today
Mackay Insurance in Belleville, Ontario continues to work remotely and our qualified Mackay Insurance brokers are available to serve you by appointment, in person, as well as by phone, email, fax, social media and courier.
Need cottage insurance? Complete our short, easy application now!