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14 Valuable Cottage Insurance Tips For a Successful Cottage Closing

Fall cottage on a lake in Ontario.

14 Valuable Cottage Insurance Tips For a Successful Cottage Closing

Summer is quickly coming to a close - bringing a sad so-long to the heat and adventures of summer. And after spending as many long weekends and vacation days at the cottage as possible, it’s time to shore the docks.

As a cottage owner, you know the importance of closing down your cottage for the winter. And as insurance brokers, we have all the tips you need to get the job done right!

In this article, we have 14 valuable cottage insurance tips that will help you,

  • Close your cottage down successfully. 
  • Limit the risk of unnecessary loss and damage over the winter season.
  • Ensure your cottage insurance coverage is up to date.

Ready? Let’s get your Ontario cottage safely into hibernation mode!

 

1. Get your wood stoves and other heating systems checked.

Seasonal cottages usually have their heat source(s) shut down during the off-season.

This saves money on unnecessary heating costs and prevents your cottage heating from becoming a fire hazard.

So during your last visit to the cottage, be sure to shut off and clean your heating system - whether it's a fireplace, furnace or space heater!

You’ll also want to shut off/disconnect any gas lines and fuel supplies.

 

2. Turn off your main water supply.

Keeping your water on over the winter months is just asking for trouble.

Not only can this cause expensive water damage repairs. But it can also bring about mould and mildew growth!

If left unchecked, mould growth can even lead to:

  • Floorboards caving in
  • Ceiling collapses and
  • Crumbling walls.

And none of these vulnerabilities is something your insurance company wants to risk.

So, as you're shutting your cottage down for the season, don’t forget to shut off your main water supply too!

 

3. Empty your pipes, water tanks and drain lines.

Standing water in your pipes, tanks and lines can lead to freezing and even bursting - causing extensive home and plumbing repairs.

To avoid this issue, remember to drain your:

  • Pipes
  • Water Tanks
  • Drain Lines
  • Appliances etc.

 

4. Turn off your electricity.

Since there is no heat or running water in your cottage during the winter, turning off your electricity is the next obvious step.

According to the ESA, there are four critical steps in powering down your cottage:

  • Unplug all appliances before powering down.
  • Turn off each breaker before flipping the main breaker switch. This protects your large appliances from experiencing a damaging power surge when powered back up in the spring.
  • Store extension cords safely in a waterproof and rodent-proof location.
  • Check for tree branches near powerlines on your property to prevent electrical damage and fire hazards).

Note: Before turning off your electricity, remember to empty your fridge and freezer of any perishable goods.

 

5. Inspect your roof.

A damaged roof increases the risk of leaks and cave-ins over winter. That’s why repairing your roof before winter arrives is so important!

Heavy snow and high gusts of wind can cause severe damage to your home - both internally and externally - if your roof is not secure.

When inspecting your roof, look for:

  • Broken or missing shingles
  • Leaks
  • Mould growth
  • Sagging areas
  • Rusted nails
  • Insect/Animal infestation
  • Dark patches

And while you’re up there, don’t forget to clear your gutters!

 

6. Clear out your eavestroughs and downspouts

Rain water can’t drain properly from your roof with clogged eavestroughs and downspouts.

This water buildup can cause expensive water damage to your home, both internally and externally.

The solution?

Before leaving your cottage for the winter, ensure your roof’s drainage system is fully intact and cleared out. This will prevent water from pooling in and leaking into your home.

 

7. Trim overhanging branches.

Trimming large, overhanging branches on your property is incredibly helpful for more than one reason.

We already mentioned how trimming branches near power lines help prevent electrical damage and fire hazards. But those aren’t the only trees you have to worry about.

Overhanging branches around your home, boathouse and sheds can also present a problem. That problem could be the branches themselves falling on these structures or even heavy snow and ice falling off them.

 

8. Ensure unwanted critters can’t get into your cottage.

Over the winter months, most critters are looking for a warm escape, shielded from heavy snowfall.

Unfortunately, your vacant cottage is the perfect hideaway for mice, racoons, squirrels and even bats.

And all of these creatures can wreak havoc on your home, its structural integrity, furniture and other valuables.

To keep your cabin guest-free over the winter, follow these steps:

  • Keep wood piles far away from your cottage.
  • Clear out your gutters.
  • Reapply caulking around pipes, dryer vents and gas lines.
  • Check window and door seals.
  • Use steel wool to fill in small holes.
  • Cover your chimney.
  • Seal foods like oats, pancake mix and pet food (or, better yet, take them home with you).
  • Set traps in and around your cottage.

 

9. Store your boat and other recreational vehicles safely away.

To keep your water-crafts safe over the winter, we recommend storing them in a secure location and investing in boat insurance.

Are you planning on storing your boat on your cottage property over the winter? If so, you’ll want to ensure it’s well protected from harsh weather, uninvited critters and robbery.

This is why boat insurance is so important!

Is boat insurance still necessary while it's in storage?

 

10. Remove the doc from the water.

As water freezes and unfreezes, ice expands and contracts. And, since wooden docks soak up water, this expanding and contracting can cause breakages.

Removing your dock from the water ensures it doesn’t get ruined over the winter months.

Note: If you plan to keep your dock in the water over the winter with water agitators, don’t forget to post a sign on its location! Snowmobilers and skiers who use the frozen lakes for recreational use over the winter never expect docks to lie in their path. So labelling the location of your dock helps keep them safe.

 

11. Go over your current cottage insurance coverages.

Once you've packed up your cottage, it’s time to review your current cottage insurance plan.

This is especially important if the usage of your cottage has changed recently. Having up-to-date coverages that reflect your specific needs helps ensure that you,

a) Have the right protection, and

b) Are not overpaying for any unnecessary coverages.

10 Questions You Need To Ask Before Choosing a Cottage Insurance Policy

 

12. Speak with your insurance broker about recent or upcoming cottage renovations.

Have you made any recent changes to your cottage lately? Or plan to?

If these renovations are not currently reflected in your policy, they aren't protected. This means that they are not reimbursable in the event of damage or loss.

Making sure your insurance company is aware of these changes ensures your property is fully protected. And that includes any recent, pricy upgrades!

 

13. Remove all valuables from your cottage property.

As you’re doing a final sweep of the cottage, make sure you pack up all valuables. That includes expensive equipment, recreational vehicles (i.e. kayaks), landscaping tools etc.

Removing your valuables from your vacant cottage helps prevent break-ins and theft.

 

14. Secure your cottage.

Lastly, secure your cottage as best you can!

Cottage security tips:

  • Lock all doors.
  • Lock all windows.
  • Draw your curtains so people can’t see indoors.
  • Store outdoor ladders and furniture away from your cottage.
  • Install a gate at the front of the driveway.
  • Ask a nearby neighbour to check in once in a while.
  • Install security cameras and an alarm system.

 

Need An Updated Cottage Insurance Policy? Contact Mackay Insurance in Belleville and Napanee!

At Mackay Insurance, keeping your family and home as safe as possible is our number one goal. And that includes your home away from home!

Want more information on our cottage insurance packages? Whether looking for a new policy or upgrading your current coverages, your Mackay broker can help!

Contact our Belleville office at 613-966-5740 or our Napanee office at 613-354-2555. And don’t forget to ask about our free, online cottage insurance quotes!

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Is Boat Insurance Still Useful In Winter When It's In Storage?

Packing summer boat away for the off-season.

Is Boat Insurance Still Useful In Winter When It's In Storage?

It’s tempting to cancel your boat insurance in the off-season. But should you?

Now that summer is ending and you’re getting your boat ready for storage, it probably seems natural to cancel your insurance coverage. After all, why would you need your boat protected when it’s not even on the water?

While some consider winter boat insurance coverage to be an unnecessary expense, it’s quite the opposite.

During the summer, your boat is likely skimming across the Bay of Quinte, carrying multiple passengers. And while it’s on the water, it’s obvious how much of a risk it can become - whether that’s to you, the boat itself, your passengers or even other boats on the water.

In this case, this insurance coverage makes absolute sense.

But is boat insurance still useful in winter, when the boat is in storage?

Yes!

It may not put other boats and passengers at risk while stored away, other factors can put it at risk - like theft, vandalism, fire etc.

In this article, our Mackay Insurance brokers discuss the value of winter boat insurance - keeping your investment as safe and protected as possible during the off-season.

 

What Does Boat Insurance Typically Cover?

Boat insurance typically covers two things - the boat itself and your liability in the event of an accident. 

Let’s break down these coverages in more detail below:

Physical Boat Coverage

Boat insurance coverage protects the physical boat and attached/onboard boating equipment, such as the hull, boat motor, sails and engine.

This all-risk boat insurance covers physical risks such as:

  • Weather-related perils,
  • Fire,
  • Loss,
  • Damage,
  • Theft and
  • Vandalism.

If your boat is no longer useable (due to one of the above events), your insurance plan provides a loss settlement. 

  1. Agreed Value

In an Agreed Value policy, insurance companies provide the agreed-upon amount in the policy. Physical depreciation is not factored into the agreed-upon value.

  1. Actual Cash Value (ACV)

In an ACV policy, insurance companies reimburse the current market value. In this case, the insurance company does factor in physical depreciation.

Additional Boating Insurance Coverage:

Most insurance companies also offer additional boating insurance coverages. These are add-ons to your existing policy and offer further protection. 

1. Personal Property Coverages

Extra insurance coverage that many boaters invest in is personal items coverage. This coverage protects personal belongings aboard your boats - such as clothing or fishing equipment.

2. Emergency Towing & Assistance Coverages 

Just as CAA insurance goes hand in hand with car insurance, emergency boat assistance goes hand in hand with boat insurance.

Emergency Towing & Assistance coverage reimburses you for costs associated with emergency services. This could include towing, fuel delivery or even emergency repairs.

 

Accident Coverages

Liability Coverage

What happens if you experience a boating accident and another party makes a claim against you?

In this situation, liability boat insurance is imperative.

It financially protects you, the boater, if you cause injury or damage to another person’s property or boat.

Note: Liability boating insurance is not required by law. However, it is highly recommended.


 

5 Reasons Why You Should Insure Your Boat In The Off-Season

Now that you know what boating insurance covers, let’s explore why it’s useful to keep this insurance over the winter months.

1. Theft and Vandalism

Although the in-water risks associated with boating are extensive, out-of-water risks to your boat exist too.

Over the winter months, you can store your boat in several different locations:

  • On your property (i.e. in the garage or a boathouse).
  • At a marine.
  • In a storage facility.

But no matter where you choose to store it, your boat is still at risk of theft, damage and vandalism.

Anyone can steal the boat from your property, vandalize it at a public marine or damage it in a storage facility.

Thankfully, boat insurance covers these types of losses.

But if you do not have boat insurance, you are responsible for repairing/replacing your boat out-of-pocket.

 

2. Weather Damages

Your boat may have an off-season, but weather conditions are ongoing.

Even if your boat is safely stored away, weather damages can occur.

While your boat may not experience the same weather damages as it would on the water, there are others to consider.

For example, fire and flooding are two high-risk weather events that can cause extensive damage and loss. And without coverage, these damages and losses are your responsibility alone.

 

3. Homeowners Insurance Might Not Cover Your Boat

If you choose to store your boat on your property, does your home insurance policy cover it?

Yes and no.

Homeowners insurance can cover damages to your boat while it’s on your property, but these coverages have a strict limit.

Smaller watercraft, like canoes and kayaks, are typically covered in full. However, powerboats, pontoons and sailboats are not - leaving you to pay for most of the loss yourself.

 

4. Some Lenders and Storage Facilities Require Boat Insurance

Although boat insurance is not required by law, some lenders, marines and storage facilities do require it.

These parties are protecting themselves and their investments, just as you should!

 

5. Canceling or Pausing Your Coverage Could Cost You More In the Long Run

It may seem like cancelling your boat insurance during the winter can save you money. But this is not always the case.

Firstly, you could experience cancellation penalties if you exit your insurance plan before the end of your policy term.

Secondly, insurance companies typically prefer to ensure a boat that has already had insurance coverage in the past.

And thirdly, many insurance companies reward clients with a reduced deductible for each claim-free year. Cancelling your coverage plan would eradicate this reward.

 

Contact Mackay Insurance For Your All-Season Boat Insurance

Your boat is a major investment. Just like your home, trailer or car is! Keeping it protected, whether it’s in use or not, is invaluable.

Learn more about your Belleville Boat Insurance options from our Mackay Insurance Brokers today! You can reach our Belleville office at 613-966-5740 or our Napanee office at 613-354-2555. We also offer free boat insurance quotes online!

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Cottage Insurance: 10 Questions You Need To Ask Before Choosing a Policy

Local Island Cottage in an Ontario Lake.
Off-Grid Island Cottage In Ontario, Canada.

Cottage Insurance: 10 Questions You Need To Ask Before Choosing a Policy

Your cottage is your safe haven. Your peace and quiet. Your vacation! But without the right cottage insurance coverage, your home-away-from-home might actually become:

a) A safety risk and

b) A Financial liability.

Are you investing in a new cottage property this year? Maybe you already have a cottage and a policy but aren’t happy with the cost or coverages you’re getting.

Now is the time to start thinking about (or re-thinking) your cottage insurance policy.

After all, your cottage policy is what protects your vacation home in the event of:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Explosions
  • Vandalism
  • Damage from falling objects
  • Weather Damage

But not all cottage policies are the same.

Do you need help understanding cottage policies and how to choose the right one?

In this article, we explore some of the most important factors in choosing your cottage insurance policy. So you can make the best choice for your family, budget and investments!

Keep reading for 10 key questions you should ask BEFORE choosing your cottage insurance policy this year.

 

1. What are the policy differences between seasonal and year-round cottage insurance?

Do you have a seasonal cottage or a year-round cottage? This is a crucial detail for your insurance company to know. Especially if you’re looking to narrow down your coverage needs and reduce your insurance costs.

Seasonal Insurance

Seasonal cottages are not winterized and are only accessible for a part of the year.

Do you have a seasonal cottage? If so, our Mackay brokers recommend seasonal cottage insurance, also called basic coverage.

This basic insurance covers your seasonal cottage and belongings. But it does not automatically insure seasonal detached buildings (i.e. a boathouse). You can, however, add this coverage at an extra cost.

That’s why it’s considered a Named Perils Coverage plan. It only covers losses resulting from perils that are clearly identified in the policy.

Seasonal-use cottages are usually considered a higher risk because cottagers visit them less. Thus they are not maintained as regularly.

Year-Round (Second-Home) Insurance

If your year-round cottage is accessible 365 days of the year, your Mackay broker recommends broad coverage.

This policy includes protection for your cottage, detached buildings and belongings.

This form of coverage is commonly referred to as Second-Home Insurance. Why? It covers all risks associated with homeownership. Much like your Home Insurance policy does.

2. Does a cottage insurance policy cover a cottage located on an island or remote location?

While some cottagers choose a local, more public location for their vacation home, others prefer the off-grid lifestyle.

But will your insurance company still cover a cottage located on an island or other remote location?

That depends on which insurance company you work with.

While some Ontario insurance companies refuse to insure remote vacation homes, others specialize in it!

In this case, we recommend speaking with your insurance provider BEFORE purchasing your cottage. 

They may agree to ensure you, but pay close attention to the insurance premiums they offer you. A cottage not easily accessed makes it an extremely high risk.

And  many providers tend to increase insurance premiums for remote locations because they are not easily accessible by:

  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Fire Halls
  • Fire Hydrants
  • Hospitals…etc.

3. Does an off-grid small cabin still need insurance?

The simple answer is no.

Smaller cabins (600 square foot buildings) deep in the woods and without power don’t legally need insurance.

But while cottage insurance is not required, third-party liability coverage is always a good investment.

Protecting yourself while another individual is on your property is always crucial.

And while we are on the topic of guests…

4. Do you need liability protection for cottage guests?

If you own a cottage, chances are you host many family and friend get-togethers every summer. After all, who wouldn’t want to share such a gem of a location with their loved ones?

But if you don’t have liability insurance, these events become a big financial risk.

Here’s why:

As a cottage owner in Ontario, it is your legal responsibility to make your property as safe as possible. In fact, Ontario’s occupier’s Liability Act clearly states:

“An occupier of premises owes a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that persons entering on the premises, and the property brought on the premises by those persons are reasonably safe while on the premises.”

This means you need to ensure all aspects of your cottage property are reasonably safe, including your:

  • Cottage
  • Docks
  • Waterfront
  • Boats
  • Land
  • Porch
  • Dock…etc.

Liability insurance protects you in the unfortunate event of injuries resulting from a slip, fall, drowning, watercraft incident…etc. on your property.

5. Does a cottage insurance policy cover renters?

Planning on renting out your cottage? Be sure to tell your insurance company!

Some providers don’t allow cottage rentals on their policies. So you may need to look for a different insurance provider if you plan to rent out.

On its own, your cottage policy does not usually cover renters. But for companies that offer it, adjustments to accommodate rental situations are usually an option.

6. What structures ( i.e. dock, boathouse) does your cottage insurance policy cover?

As mentioned before, the structures covered on your cottage insurance policy depend on what type of policy you choose.

Seasonal cottage insurance offers Named Perils Coverage. This usually includes attached structures like the garage and deck. It does not, however, cover other outbuildings unless otherwise noted.

On the other hand…

All-season cottage insurance is an All Risk policy, much like your home insurance policy. So it does cover unattached, outdoor structures, including:

  • Boathouses
  • Sheds
  • Detached Garages
  • Bunkies

7. Are cottage toys (i.e. boats) covered by a cottage insurance policy?

Most cottage toys require additional or separate coverage. This can include your:

  • Boat
  • ATV
  • Jet Ski
  • Inflatable Dock
  • Kayak
  • Paddle Board
  • Water Trampoline…etc.

These items are usually not included in your cottage insurance. However, you must check with your insurance company on what is and isn’t covered.

8. Does cottage insurance include Replacement Costs or Actual Cash Value?

Every insurance company is different. So understanding the financial reimbursement factor of your cottage insurance coverage is crucial. After all, replacement costs and cash value are two potentially very different amounts. And you want to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your policy.

Replacement Costs

If your insurance company promises replacement costs, you’ll receive the repair costs or item replacement in full. With zero depreciation.

Actual Cash Value:

If your insurance company promises actual cash value, you’ll receive the current, depreciated value of the building.

9. Do your home and cottage insurance have to be with the same company? 

Many insurance companies won’t insure your cottage unless you have existing home insurance with them. While others specifically specialize in vacation home insurance!

So before you start shopping for the best cottage insurance policy, be aware of your limitation. Ask your insurance company what their requirements are and proceed from there!

10. How do you keep a cottage insurance policy valid?

For your insurance policy to stay valid, there are usually a few requirements set out by your insurance provider.

For example:

Many companies insist their clients make regular visits to their seasonal cottage throughout the year.

Failure to make these regular visits could result in your policy becoming invalid.

If you’re unsure what your insurance company requires of you for a valid policy, ask your insurance broker! They will review your policy, or potential policy, with you to ensure you understand your role in the policy validation process.

 

Get The Right Cottage Insurance Coverage With Mackay!

Whether you have a cottage, a cabin, a lakehouse, a hunting camp or a chalet, we’ve got the insurance coverage you need!

Get in touch with your Mackay broker today to learn more about our cottage insurance options.

You can reach our Belleville office at 613-966-5740 or our Napanee office at 613-354-2555. You can even start your online application process for cottage insurance right away!

Happy Cottage Season!

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Get The Best Belleville Auto Insurance Coverage For Your Needs

Get The Coverage You Need With Belleville Auto Insurance From Mackay!

Get The Best Belleville Auto Insurance Coverage For Your Needs

The right auto insurance policy protects you, your family, your community and your investments. Do you know what coverages are included in your Belleville auto insurance policy?

Having the right insurance coverage is crucial for a vehicle owner. After all, you never know what might happen on the road. And without the proper coverage, you could experience:

a) Costly fines,

b) A license suspension or

c) An impounded vehicle!

Not something you want to risk on your morning commute or long-awaited summer road trip,

That’s why our Mackay Insurance brokers always ensure you have the right coverage for your unique needs. So you’re always prepared - no matter what lies ahead!

Keep reading to explore your auto insurance options!

 

How Does Auto Insurance Work in Ontario?

Auto insurance is compulsory in all Canadian provinces and territories. So you must have auto insurance on your registered vehicle to legally drive it on the road.

Without it, your insurance company could see you as a high-risk driver and raise your insurance premiums. They could even outright refuse to insure you at all!

Other consequences of not having valid auto insurance include a fine - ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 - or vehicle impoundment.

Thankfully, with a valid policy and the right coverage, you don’t have to worry about these complications.

A valid auto insurance policy can cover the driver, all passengers and any other people involved in the event of a car crash.

 

Factors That Affect Your Auto Insurance Policy

During the initial calculation, your insurance company will ask basic questions, including:

  • Your age.
  • Your gender.
  • Where you live.
  • The car you drive.
  • Your driving record.
  • Your claim history.
  • The type of coverage you choose.
  • The amount of your deductible.

But your insurance company also requires updated information about your car to keep your policy valid.

This re-evaluation ensures your policy stays up-to-date with the correct coverages.

Below are some of the questions your insurance company may ask when calculating or re-evaluating your insurance premiums:

How often do you drive your car annually?

The more kilometres you travel, the higher your risk for an accident.

What do you use your car for regularly?

Your insurance company needs to know whether you use your vehicle regularly. Do you use your vehicle as a commuter car daily? Or do you use it as a “pleasure vehicle”?

Have your driving habits changed? Are you commuting less or working from home?

In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, insurance companies know that many offices have allowed their employees to continue working from home. If this is the case, they may be able to reduce your insurance premiums.

Who is the primary driver of the vehicle? And who would you like listed as additional drivers?

The primary driver is the main driver - the one using the car most often. Your insurance company must know who this primary driver is and any additional drivers in your household that may get behind the wheel. Their driving records could affect your insurance premium as well.

 

What Coverages Does Your Auto Insurance Policy Include?

The right coverage is crucial for Canadian drivers. But not all are legally mandated. Lots of them are optional!

Let’s explore which auto insurance coverages are necessary, which are additional and which are optional below:

Mandatory Insurance Coverages:

Liability

Liability insurance covers any losses your vehicle causes, such as injury, death or damage to another vehicle.

It does not, however, cover repair costs for your car.

Accident Benefits

Accident benefits cover your medical expenses and loss of income after a car accident.

You must review options to increase accident benefits coverage.  Don’t be underinsured!

Direct Compensation - Property Damage (DC-PD)

DC-PD insurance covers vehicle repair expenses after an accident - whether you are at fault or not.

Additional Coverages:

Collision

Collision insurance covers your vehicle repair or replacement costs if involved in an accident. It is not usually mandatory in most provinces, but we recommend it in most cases.

Many people choose to add collision onto their existing policy to safeguard their vehicle investment. But once the value of their vehicle starts to decline, it’s common to remove collision insurance from your policy.

Today, the value of vehicles is not currently decreasing. So many vehicle owners are actually choosing to keep collision coverage on much longer.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive insurance also covers repair or replacement costs. However, not those relating to an accident. This coverage protects you from other types of damages or loss, including theft, vandalism, or windshield damage.

Optional Coverages:

Loss of Use

Loss of use insurance covers the cost of a rental vehicle while your damaged vehicle is being repaired/replaced. Most insurance providers offer loss of use coverage with a limit of $1500.

This coverage can be very beneficial, as it gives you a rental vehicle to use while you wait for your own to get fixed. Today, however, many repair shops are experiencing long delays for parts and repairs due to supply chain issues. For this reason, $1500 limit will likely not be enough coverage to pay for rental car coverage. Consider increasing this limit! 

Accident Forgiveness

Accident forgiveness protects your premium after your first at-fault accident. After your first accident, your insurance company usually raises your auto insurance premium and considers you a high-risk driver. But with accident forgiveness coverage, your insurance company will essentially “forgive and forget” so your premium doesn’t increase.

This insurance is only relevant for drivers without at-fault accidents on their record. And specific limits and regulations surrounding it that you will need to discuss with your provider.

Emergency Road-Side Assistance

Emergency roadside assistance insurance ensures you have the help you need on the road, no matter where you are in Canada. Our CAA Insurance at Mackay is even valid in the U.S! So whether you’re commuting to work or road-tripping across Canada, you’ll always have the help you need.

Depreciation

Depreciation insurance protects your brand new vehicle from losing value over a certain amount of time. This coverage takes effect during the reimbursement of your lost or damaged car.

It will cover you for either the listed vehicle purchase price, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price or the cost of the vehicle today.

 

What does your Auto Insurance Policy NOT Include?

It’s important to note that most auto insurance companies do not protect against loss or damage of an accident involving any of the following:

  • Ride sharing
  • UBER
  • Skip The Dishes
  • Pizza Delivery

Most insurance companies also do not offer coverage for the loss of personal possessions. So in the event that someone steals something from your trunk, you’ll have to check your home insurance policy for reimbursement options.

 

Get a Free Quote On Belleville Auto Insurance at Mackay

Are you shopping for the best Belleville auto insurance?

Are you trying to lower your premiums?

Are you purchasing your first vehicle?

At Mackay, our brokers ensure your Belleville auto insurance has all the coverage you need! We even offer policies for:

Give your Mackay Insurance broker a call! We offer affordable insurance plans that cover all your unique needs. You can reach our Belleville office at 613-966-5740 or our Napanee office at 613-354-2555.

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The Right Insurance Coverage For The Perfect Cross Canada Road Trip

Discover the insurance coverage you need for out-of-province travel with Mackay Insurance.

The Right Insurance Coverage For The Perfect Cross Canada Road Trip

You’ve got it all packed! The suitcases, the kids’ snacks, the dog… but do you have the right insurance coverage for a cross Canada road trip?

With summer just around the corner, everyone is busy planning their family getaways, camping trips and vacations. They’re packing up their travel trailers, booking their plane tickets and drawing wobbly marker lines on big paper maps - searching for their next adventure! 

And while some adventures take you OUT of the country, and some take you deeper INTO the country, others take you elsewhere…

ACROSS the country!

Are you planning a Canadian expedition with your family this summer? Whether you're headed East or West, road-tripping across Canada is an experience you’ll never forget!

But do you have the right insurance coverage for out-of-province travel? 

Keep reading to find out! 

 

What Insurance Coverage Do You Need To Travel Out-of-Province?

While exploring Ontario can be an incredible experience, why not venture out a little? See what the rest of Canada has to offer! After all, the coastal shores of Prince Edward Island and the snow-topped mountains of British Columbia are waiting!

At Mackay Insurance, we understand that familiar call of the wild. We're excited to help you and your family venture out into the great outdoors and explore all that this beautiful country has to offer.

So, before you pack your bags and start trekking, let’s go over the insurance coverages you need when travelling out of the province. 

Auto Insurance 

In Ontario, every registered vehicle is required by law to have Auto Insurance coverage. In fact, if a driver does not have Auto Insurance, they can receive a fine of at least $5,000! 

In the event of an accident, what does Ontario Auto Insurance coverage protect?

  • The driver of the vehicle 
  • All passengers involved in the accident. 
  • All pedestrians involved in the accident.
  • Any damaged property caused by the accident.
  • Any vehicle damage caused by the accident. 

This insurance coverage will provide liability coverage for accidents where you are at fault or partially at fault. And it will also provide you with Accidents Benefits, which are available regardless of whether you are at fault.

No-Fault Benefits For Ontario Drivers:

  • Caregiver Services 
  • Income Replacement 
  • Rehabilitation 
  • Medical Expenses 
  • Attendant Care 
  • Death and Funeral Costs 

So what happens when you travel outside of Ontario? Do you need to buy temporary Auto Insurance for an out of province trip? 

Thankfully, you do not!

One of the most convenient aspects of your auto insurance policy is that it goes where you go (to an extent). 

Are you travelling out West - Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia or Manitoba? East to Quebec, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador or New Brunswick? Your Ontario Auto Insurance Policy will travel with you, no matter where you venture. But it does have its limits! 

Your Ontario auto insurance policy is valid in all Canadian provinces and throughout the United States. But it is not international. If, for example, you wanted to drive to Mexico, your Ontario auto insurance would no longer be valid there. 

Get a Free Quote On Auto Insurance

CAA Insurance

Imagine this: 

You’re taking a road trip out to Alberta from Ontario. It’s a beautiful day, your car is full of gas and everyone is settling in for the long haul. 

But then your engine unexpectedly cuts out. 

What happens now? Are you stranded?

Not as long as you have CAA Insurance! 

Your CAA membership ensures you have the roadside help you need no matter where you are in Canada. It's even valid in the US! 

Plus, when you buy CAA Insurance through Mackay and combine your CAA account with your Mackay Home and Auto Insurance, you could qualify for multi-discount savings!

So while CAA Insurance is not mandatory - we would highly recommend looking into it before you begin travelling this summer. 

Register For CAA Insurance

Trailer Insurance

Nobody wants their vacation interrupted by loss, theft or vandalism. And the last thing you want to worry about while travelling in another province is whether your trailer has the right insurance coverage.

That’s why your Mackay Insurance broker always recommends adding Travel Trailer Insurance to your existing Auto Insurance policy. This additional coverage protects: 

  • The travel trailer itself from theft, damage, collision, loss etc. 
  • The contents of your trailer. (Limited on policy but extend from Home Policy)
  • Loss of use of your trailer in the event of theft, damage or destruction. 

While Travel Trailer Insurance is not legally required, it does give you immense peace of mind and protection. Especially when you’re in unfamiliar territory! 

Learn more about Travel Trailer Insurance and how it protects your home away from home in our recent blog post! 

Get a Free Quote on Trailer Insurance

Travel Insurance 

Now that you have insured your vehicle and trailer and have roadside assistance at the ready, it’s time to sort out your Travel Insurance. 

Travel Insurance offers specific health insurance coverages that could become detrimental during an out-of-province trip.

If you get sick or injured while out of Ontario, your Travel Insurance provides coverage for:

  • Emergency Medical Transportation 
  • Diagnostic Tests 
  • Prescription Medications
  • Emergency Oral Health Care 
  • And More!

Interested? Call 1-800-491-0851 and type in agent 7062. 

 

Mackay Insurance Makes Sure You Have The Right Coverage For Your Next Trip!

Planning an out-of-province trip, whether by yourself, with friends or family, is an incredible experience. And whether you choose to travel East or West, you’re guaranteed to have an adventure you’ll never forget!

Get the right insurance coverage for your cross-Canada trip with Mackay Insurance! Our job is to make sure the memories you make on this trip are good ones - not stressful ones. 

To learn more about the above insurance coverages, give us a call! You can reach our Belleville office at 613-966-5740 and our Napanee office at 613-354-2555.

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The Reason You'll Need to Invest in Secure Special Event Insurance

Mackay Insurance in Belleville and Napanee explain why you need to invest in Special Event Insurance.

The Reason You'll Need to Invest in Secure Special Event Insurance

It is exciting to watch our world open back up following the pandemic. Now, finally, we are seeing local special events happen again.

Are you making plans to host a special event? Do you have a private special event such as a wedding or birthday celebration? Is your business planning a grand reopening? Is your charity planning a nonprofit fundraiser?

Whether your event is local or virtual, you need to be sure your investment is protected by carrying special event insurance. Learn what type of insurance you need for your event and be sure it’s a flawless success!

 

Perils & Pitfalls of Virtual Versus Local Special Events

During the last year and a half, we have gotten very used to hosting and attending virtual events for personal and professional purposes. After all, what other option have we had?

But now we have options again. And this requires a consideration of the different risks that accompany these different types of special events. Let's take a look.

Risks of Virtual Special Events

In some ways, virtual special events carry quite similar risks to in-person events. For example, virtual special events can still be cancelled or postponed.

Typically this happens due to a speaker no-show or last-minute cancellation or transmission problems due to technology.

And in other ways, virtual special events actually carry a higher risk than local events do.

An example is the risk of cyber hacking that causes event disruption, such as the "Zoom bombing" that ruined many virtual meetings (and made international news headlines) during the early days of the pandemic.

Virtual events are also unusually vulnerable to other cybercrime activities, such as data leaks and identity theft.

Another thing to consider is whether your virtual event will include the participation of sponsors. Many corporate sponsors require proof of special event liability insurance (at a minimum) before they will sign on to sponsor an event.

Risks of In-Person Special Events.

As you can see, some of the risks of virtual events are the same as live local special events.

For example, there is still the risk of a speaker no-show or last-minute cancellation. There can still be the risk of technology malfunction that leads to event failure.

But there are other risks specific to local events, including the risk of cancellation due to bad weather or damage to the event venue.

There is always a risk that a guest, vendor, volunteer, performer or contract worker will get injured during your event. This risk escalates if you plan to have live music or any types of interactive events or games.

And if your menu includes liquor, your liability may extend to what happens even after your guests leave the premises. Special care is required here to avoid being held liable for any drunk driving accident that may occur after your event ends.

And sponsors will likely require proof of event insurance before signing on to participate.

Risks of Hybrid Special Events.

Hybrid special events include both a virtual and a local component.

An example might be a streaming virtual event from a live event location site. Often this is done with sporting events, conferences and many private events such as weddings and graduation ceremonies.

If you are hosting a hybrid special event, you will want to think through the risks for both components - virtual and local - and be sure you are carrying adequate special event insurance to protect your investment.

 

What If You Don't Know What Special Event Insurance You Need?

If you are reading through this blog post and thinking, "But I don't even know what kind of special event insurance I need”, don’t worry.

Every day, individuals and businesses begin planning an event for the first time. This learning curve is a necessary part of making sure your investment in your special event pays off for you!

So where should you start if you aren't sure what type and level of special event insurance you need?

1. Get your event details down on paper.

The first step is definitely to write down all the details of your special event.

  • What is your event date?
  • When will the actual special event start and end?
  • When will setup and teardown for your special event start and end?
  • What is the schedule of events?
  • Will you have sponsors involved?
  • Will you have volunteers at your event?
  • Will you have performers or vendors at your event?
  • Will your event include sports or interactive activities or games?
  • Will liquor be served?
  • Is your event local, virtual or hybrid?
  • Will your event include or cater to minors?
  • Will you rent a space for your event or host at your own space?

2. Schedule a call with your Mackay Insurance broker.

Special event insurance represents a mere fraction of the investment of time, money and sweat equity you are pouring into your special event.

Once you have all of the details of your special event down on paper, it is time to sit down with your Mackay insurance broker and have a conversation about how to protect your investment.

Here, our shared goal will be to identify the exact components your special event insurance package must include.

This way, you will not end up paying for coverage that doesn't apply to your event. And you will not end up going into your special event with coverage omissions that could leave you vulnerable to lawsuits.

 

Contact Mackay Insurance for Your Belleville and Napanee Ontario Special Event Insurance Needs

Here at Mackay Insurance, our friendly and experienced brokers are delighted to help you plan a successful, memorable and profitable virtual, hybrid or local special event!

Contact us at 613-966-5740 to chat about your special event insurance needs or visit us online for a fast free quote.

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Travel Trailer Insurance Protects Your Home Away From Home

Mackay Insurance in Belleville and Napanee, Ontario, offer travel trailer insurance coverage for all your vacation vehicle needs.

Travel Trailer Insurance Protects Your Home Away From Home

Travel trailers come in all shapes and sizes today. Luckily, so does travel trailer insurance. 

And mobile home insurance. 

And RV insurance. 

And seasonal vehicle insurance!

Sometimes, you just need to get away from it all. To find some peace and calm. To remember why you are working so hard - hustling, skimping on sleep, racing through your weekdays and even your weekends.

The last thing you want is to finally start your long-delayed vacation only to have it interrupted by loss, theft, vandalism or worse. That is what insurance is for!

And that is what this blog post is for too - to help you choose the right insurance for your best vacation yet!

 

What Is Travel Trailer Insurance?

Travel trailer insurance is a specialized insurance product designed to protect three types of year-round or occasional use vehicles.

1. Motorhome

Travel trailer insurance covers Class A, B and C motorhomes.

2. Towed trailer

Examples of towed trailers can include:

  • Pod or tent trailers

  • Travel trailers

  • Hardtop trailers

  • Livestock or horse trailer

  • Trailers

  • Toy haulers

  • Campers 

  • End even fifth wheels.

3. Stationary trailer

A stationary trailer can be a park model or another permanently parked trailer.

 

What Does Travel Trailer Insurance Cover?

As you might imagine, there are different levels of travel trailer insurance coverage.

But the product itself is designed to offer protection in three key areas:

1. The travel trailer itself.

The structure of the trailer is covered against loss, theft, damage, vandalism accident or collision.

2. The contents.

Here, "contents" means anything you have stored in or on the travel trailer itself.

Depending on the scope of the coverage, this might mean anything from your clothing and personal items to appliances inside the travel trailer, to frozen food, perishables and more.

Contents can also mean any belongings stored inside a standalone accessory building or storage unit.

3. Loss of use.

If your travel trailer is lost, stolen, damaged, destroyed or otherwise rendered unusable, your travel trailer insurance will provide you with a substitute vehicle or funds you can use towards your choice of transportation.

 

But Won't My Auto Insurance Policy Cover Me For All This?

This is the tricky part about relying on your existing auto insurance policy to cover your travel trailer as well.

Here in Canada, you are legally required to register your travel trailer, motorhome or stationary trailer. But you are not (at least at the time of publication) required to insure it.

So why purchase a travel trailer insurance policy - especially if you already have a regular auto insurance policy?

For one simple reason: typically, only the liability portion of auto insurance extends to cover the travel trailer as well. And this coverage only applies if the travel trailer is actually hitched to a covered automobile at the time the claim issue arises.

That leaves a lot of in-between where your travel trailer is not protected at all.

 

Coverage That You Only Get With Travel Trailer Insurance

It becomes especially critical to look beyond what a standard auto insurance policy can provide when you are using your travel trailer in certain ways.

Lease Location Protection

For example, let's say you decide to lease a semi-permanent or permanent campsite at an RV park or campground where you park your stationary travel trailer.

Here, it is very important to read the fine print in your homeowners and auto insurance policies before you assume your travel trailer is covered at a leased location.

Fire Damage Service Charges

Or perhaps your travel trailer is damaged or destroyed by fire and the fire department gets involved. Neither your homeowner nor auto insurance policy typically covers fire department assistance charges, which can range up to $1,000 or more.

Vacation Injury Liability

Another all-too-common situation arises when someone gets injured at the vacation site. Who pays for the costs of first aid, clinic or hospital charges for injuries that take place at a temporary vacation site where your travel trailer is parked?

It won't be your auto insurance policy or homeowners insurance policy, that's for sure!

 

What Other Optional Coverages Are Available for Your Travel Trailer?

Sometimes it just takes sitting down and thinking through possible situations and scenarios to start seeing where travel trailer insurance makes smart financial sense.

In addition to a standard basic travel trailer insurance policy, you can also talk with your Mackay Insurance broker about these optional coverages that may apply.

  • Protection against water damage.
  • Additional roadside assistance coverage and benefits.
  • Coverage if you park your travel trailer on a leased site.
  • Coverage if you rent your travel trailer out or are part of a rental share program.
  • Increased coverage for liability.
  • Guaranteed replacement cost for personal items.
  • Guaranteed replacement cost.

This last optional rider is especially important to consider upfront. Should your travel trailer be destroyed, will you have sufficient coverage to replace it in kind?

 

Choose Your Travel Trailer Insurance Before Purchasing Your Travel Trailer

You don't want to invest in a travel trailer only to discover the insurance coverage you need puts you over budget.

Our knowledgeable Mackay Insurance brokers are happy to provide you with a free no-obligation quote on travel trailer insurance for different makes and models of travel trailers.

 

Mackay In Napanee and Belleville Handles Your Travel Trailer Insurance Needs

Do you have fun travel plans for this summer? Canada's summer season is brief and beautiful and you don't want to waste it filing insurance claims!

Not sure what insurance products and coverage levels you really need? Let your friendly Mackay Insurance broker help you review your current coverage to protect your seasonal vehicle! 

Learn more about RV insurance, travel trailer insurance and mobile home insurance from the experts!

Visit us online for a free travel trailer insurance quote or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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What Is an Errors and Omissions Insurance Policy & Why Do You Need It?

Mackay Insurance explains what errors and omissions insurance is and why it is so important for businesses.

What Is an Errors and Omissions Insurance Policy & Why Do You Need It?

You work hard to make your business succeed. You take pride in your work ethic and the services or products you provide to your clientele.

From this perspective, it can be hard to wrap your mind around the need for errors and omissions insurance coverage.

You have the best of intentions. Your attention to detail is stellar. You hire with care and select your vendors with equal care.

Yet mistakes still happen. 

Even worse, not everyone you work with may be quite so devoted to your company's ideals as you are. An errors and omissions insurance (E&O Insurance) policy is there for both the perils you can imagine and those you can't.

Keep reading to have your business liability insurance questions answered! We also offer free errors and omissions business insurance quotes here! 

 

What Is Errors and Omissions Insurance?

A few blog posts ago, we spent a whole article talking about professional business liability insurance.

If you read that post, you probably remember that one of the products we always recommend to our business clients is errors and omissions insurance.

This insurance product is specifically designed to protect you in two sets of circumstances.

1. When honest mistakes happen.

What is an example of an honest mistake? Let's say someone on your team misses a critical typo in a time-sensitive campaign for one of your clients.

Whether the campaign goes to print and causes your client to lose face with their customer base or the campaign has to be redone and causes delay and loss of sales, you may find yourself faced with an expensive lawsuit.

There are a myriad of scenarios that could occur from one small error or oversight (omission). But errors and omissions insurance protects you from both!

2. When dishonest actions occur.

This is a situation too many honest business owners fail to even consider. You have integrity and high standards and you assume everyone else does too.

Here is an example. Let's say you entrust a team member or vendor with funds to purchase high-end supplies to create your products. But they use the funds to purchase inferior supplies, pocketing the difference.

Your product malfunctions or even causes harm to your clients. The lawsuits start pouring in. You are now potentially on the hook for refunds and damages.

This is a frightening - and all too common - situation where you will find errors and omissions insurance invaluable.

 

What Types of Industries Can Benefit from an Errors and Omissions Insurance Policy?

Does your company produce products for sale or resale?

Are you in the service business, providing:

  • Consulting,
  • Legal or financial guidance, 
  • Public speaking, 
  • Tutoring, 
  • Pet sitting, or 
  • Child care?

Can you see any point from origin to delivery of your products and services where an honest mistake or deliberate omission might potentially occur?

If you answered yes, your business could benefit from errors and omissions insurance protection.

However, there are certain types of industries where taking out E&O insurance is especially warranted and encouraged.

Sometimes these are called the "softer" industries because the product being provided is actually in the form of a service delivered through a human being.

Even with the most meticulous attention to detail and scrupulous employee training, service-based businesses can be particularly vulnerable to mistakes of interpretation.

Here are some examples of industries where E&O insurance is especially necessary:

  • Legal and attorney services.
  • Financial planning guidance.
  • Tax planning and preparation.
  • Advertising and marketing.
  • Public relations.
  • Coaching (life coaching and business coaching).
  • Writing, editing and journalism.

You get the idea. When you and your team essentially ARE the product, you are especially vulnerable to financial harm arising from honest errors or deliberate omissions.

 

Evaluating Your Business's Need for Errors and Omissions Insurance

If you are just now launching your business or are still in the hectic and messy startup phase, it can be hard to envision the need for errors and omissions insurance.

Heck, you are still trying to figure out exactly what you do, how you do it, what works, what doesn't and where your trajectory might take you!

But this is also the phase of your business life cycle when you are most vulnerable to even small errors and omissions. A small misstep at this stage could shut your doors forever.

Here at Mackay Insurance, we guide our business clients to build a firm foundation from day one. Sure, you may be small potatoes in your industry now. But when you take your potential and your dreams seriously, you don't let your imagination stagnate there.

So much of the early days of any business entity are about making mistakes, learning from those mistakes and trying again. Each time, you get stronger, smarter, better than you were before!

That is if you don't go under from a lawsuit from one of those missteps.

At large, stable, well-known companies, this process of evaluating risk and putting protections in place against that risk is known as risk management.

In small, fledgling, start-up ventures, this process is called errors and omissions insurance coverage.

Right now, you just need to know you are protected, and not just from the “oopses” you can imagine or anticipate. You need protection from all the learning curve moments, perils and pitfalls you can't even begin to imagine or anticipate.

Errors and omissions liability insurance is there in your corner to ensure your dream business makes it through its infancy, terrible twos, preteen and teenage years so it can become a big, bold, force to be reckoned with.

This is why E&O insurance is an essential part of your business liability insurance.

 

Napanee and Belleville Clients Trust Mackay for Their Business Liability Insurance Needs

Mackay Insurance is a provider of choice for small, mid-sized and large businesses in and around the Belleville and Napanee areas.

Not sure what insurance products and coverage levels best fit your business life cycle stage? Worried about how to budget for the insurance your business requires? Your friendly Mackay Insurance broker can help you find the insurance policy that works best for you and your business! 

Visit us online for free business insurance quotes or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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Don't Be Fooled! Protect Your Privacy This Year With Complete Home Cyber Security Insurance

Mackay Insurance in Belleville and Napanee offers Cyber Security Insurance for Home-Based Businesses in 2022.

Don't Be Fooled! Protect Your Privacy This Year With Complete Home Cyber Security Insurance

There are many benefits that come from the rise of global connectivity. But increased home security isn't necessarily one of them.

"But wait!" you may be saying to yourself. "Didn't the internet bring us smart home security systems?"

Yes, it did. But it also brought cybercriminals with an eye towards hacking those same home security systems.

Internet, Wifi, GPS and other digital aids open up a whole new world of potential home security risks. 

Luckily, there is a new breed of home insurance coverage designed to protect you from these risks.

 

What Is Cyber Security Insurance?

We have to admit, home cyber security insurance is a mouthful. So what precisely does this insurance protect you from?

Home cyber security insurance protects you from cyberattacks.

Cyberattack occurs through what is called access points.

Access points are points of entry online where a cybercriminal could breach your home's digital defences.

Examples of access points include your:

  • Smartphone
  • Laptop
  • Desktop computer
  • Tablet
  • Gaming system
  • Network
  • WiFi hotspot
  • Smart home monitoring or security system 
  • And more!

Anything with the ability to connect to the internet is a potential access point where cybercriminals could breach and access your digitally-stored valuables.

Cyber security insurance protects you from these threats.

It is worth mentioning there are two different types of cyber security insurance: 

  1. Commercial cyber security insurance
  2. Residential cyber security insurance

 For the purposes of this blog post, we are addressing the home edition of cyber security insurance.

 

How Does Home Cyber Security Insurance Protect You?

Imagine if you left the house and accidentally left your home's front door unlocked all day.

How calm and focused would you feel running errands, attending classes or sitting at your desk at work once you realized your mistake?

Of course, that is what your homeowner's insurance policy is there for....to protect you in the event there is a breach of premises that causes theft, loss, damage or destruction to your home or property.

Now imagine that, rather than your physical home premises, we are instead referring to your digital home online.

All of the same sorts of risks are present when a digital breach occurs. Yet your existing homeowner's insurance policy is not going to protect you from loss of your sensitive personal or financial data.

Your homeowner's insurance policy won't protect you from the time and financial costs of any of the following issues commonly associated with cybercrime:

  • Initial and ongoing data breach response.
  • Data fraud.
  • Identity theft.
  • Cyberbullying or deception.
  • IoT (internet of things) device implementation or mitigation.
  • Cyber extortion.
  • Costs of system repair, restoration and/and recovery.
  • Digital forensic investigation.
  • Legal and notification expenses.
  • Reparation to other affected parties.

But home cyber security insurance can and will protect you from each of these threats and more.

 

3 Main Threat Protections of Home Cyber Security

Starting this year, Mackay Insurance in Quinte, Ontario, is proud to bring you leading edge digital insurance protection through Cyberboxx Home Edition.

Cyberboxx, newly available here in Ontario, provides three main threat protections to all of our Mackay Insurance customers.

Specialist Cyber Insurance

Cyberboxx provides a standalone insurance product to protect families and individuals from the impact and aftermath of cybercrime.

There is also the potential for employers to offer Cyberboxx protection to their employees as a benefit.

If you are employed, and especially if you are currently working remotely, ask your employer if they will be making Cyberboxx available as an employee perk.

Cybercrime Prevention

If you are like so many today, you are aware cybercrime is a threat but are not clear about exactly how it can happen or how to prevent it.

Digital wellness is a component of Cyberboxx home security insurance. It helps you reduce your personal and family risk of being victimized by cybercrime. This digital wellness starts with knowing the warning signs of a breach.

As a Cyberboxx customer, you will also receive ongoing membership in the premium tier credit monitoring service through Equifax.

Cybercrime Incident Response

Timely detection and rapid response are the two keys to minimizing damage from a digital breach.

In the event of a digital breach, Cyberboxx offers all of their home insurance customers 24/7 support through their incident response team, Hackbusters (TM).

 

Is Cyber Security Insurance Required for Your Homeowners Insurance?

Home cyber security insurance is not yet a requirement for an active homeowners insurance policy here in Ontario. However, if there is one tenet the insurance industry as a whole exists for, it is this: lower risk equals greater savings.

This is especially true for homeowners who may be working from home during the pandemic or permanently. It is also a major consideration if your children attend school online or are homeschooled in a digital environment.

All that to say, it is worth a conversation with your Mackay Insurance broker to find out if adding home cyber security insurance to your existing suite of coverages may net you additional savings.

And for home-based business owners vulnerable to a data breach, cyber security insurance can make the difference between staying in business and going out of business.

 

Mackay Insurance in Napanee and Belleville Keeps Your Home Safe

Like practically everything else about life today, the insurance industry has had to mobilize quickly to keep pace with the ongoing changes in our rapidly evolving world.

As we increasingly move towards a remote workplace and home life, it is vital to consider how your whole life might be different after a digital security breach.

Should you be worried? Statistics say YES. But we can help minimize the risks. 

Reach out to your knowledgeable Mackay Insurance brokers today. We can help you identify digital risks and implement insurance protection that gives you daily peace of mind for the whole family.

Contact us online or by phone at 888-853-5552.

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When Is It Time to Shop Around for a New Auto Insurance Quote?

Mackay Insurance in Belleville, Ontario, helps Ontario drivers find affordable auto insurance coverage in 2022.

When Is It Time to Shop Around for a New Auto Insurance Quote?

If you own a vehicle, auto insurance in Belleville, or anywhere in Ontario, is not optional. Paying for car insurance is just the cost of being able to drive ourselves around.

But buying car insurance is not very satisfying. It is not one of those purchases we look forward to or talk much about.

And auto insurance coverage certainly isn't an expense we want to over-indulge in!

Every year, drivers all across Canada decide to make the switch to a new auto insurer. Is this your year? Find out now!

 

How Much Auto Insurance Coverage Is Required in Ontario Canada?

Before you can decide whether you are paying too much for your car insurance, you need to find out about the current Ontario minimums for auto insurance.

The current mandatory minimum for Ontario is $200,000 of third party liability coverage per single accident, but that is far too low.  

At minimum  you should have 1,000,000, but we highly recommend 2,000,000

Third party liability coverage protects you in the event you are involved in an accident where someone else is hurt or killed or their property is damaged or destroyed.

It also covers you in the case you are sued, whether you lose and have to pay out or you opt to settle out of court.

All Ontario drivers are also required to carry these coverages:

  • Statutory accidents coverage provides you with medical and rehabilitative benefits if you are injured in an accident.
  • DC-PD (Direct Compensation, Property Damage) coverage pays to repair your vehicle if it is damaged by another insured driver.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage pays to repair your vehicle if an uninsured motorist hits you. This coverage also compensates your loved ones if you are killed by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run incident.

 

Why Do You Need Auto Insurance Coverage?

So what is stopping you from simply dropping your Belleville auto insurance policy altogether?

In a word....fines. Any Ontario driver caught driving without proof of required minimum auto insurance may be assessed fines up to $50,000 per incident!

Aren't Auto Insurance Rates Regulated in Ontario Canada?

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) has the unenviable task of reviewing and regulating auto insurance rates for all providers licensed to offer auto insurance in the province.

But this does not mean that all auto insurance companies are required to provide the same product for the same exact price.

Each auto insurance provider has some wiggle room within which to propose premium rate changes to the FSRA.

Insurers may request to increase their rates based on inflation, overhead, prior claims payouts, interest rates and the need to make a certain level of profit.

This means it is very important to research the longevity and overall financial health of your auto insurer.

For example, if your current or prospective auto insurance provider has had an unprofitable year or a huge recent claims payout, you can potentially expect to see your premiums go up even if you have maintained a perfect driving record.

When Is It Time to Change Auto Insurance Companies?

According to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), the average Ontario-area adult driver pays around $1,651 per year in auto insurance premiums.

If you pay less than the average and are happy with your coverage and provider, you may not have any need to shop around for new auto insurance.

But if you are paying more than the average and are carrying only the mandatory minimum in auto insurance, you should definitely start gathering new auto insurance quotes.

And if you are paying at or above the Ontario average and do not feel satisfied with your coverage or insurer, it is a good idea to take some time to shop around for new coverage.

 

Warning Signs You Are Paying Too Much for Ontario Auto Insurance Coverage:

1. Your premiums keep increasing and your driver record is squeaky clean.

Make no mistake - your clean driver record is a moneymaker for your auto insurance provider. You should absolutely expect to be rewarded for not costing your provider money!

2. Your rates didn't go down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), up to 95 percent of auto insurers chose to drop their rates during the global pandemic.

If your insurer abstained, this may be a sign it is time to switch providers.

3. Your insurer is not offering you any incentives to stay with their company.

Auto insurance is one of the most competitive industries in the nation. Customers switch providers every single day.

If your insurer is not fighting hard to keep you, perhaps it is time to find a provider who will.

4. You are nearing your policy renewal date and haven't shopped around for the past five years.

Current industry averages indicate the typical motorist switches auto insurance providers about once every five years.

If you have held your policy for four years or more, it might be refreshing to do some shopping and see what other auto insurance companies have to offer.

5. You are unhappy with the customer service or perks provided by your current insurer.

An auto Insurance broker knows that shopping around for new car insurance isn't fun.

And while all Ontario insurance companies have some leeway to set their own auto insurance coverage rates, this isn't the arena where loyal customers are won or lost.

Real customer loyalty is built on exceptional customer service and great perks. You should be getting both from your current insurer. If you are not, it is time to start shopping for a new provider.

 

Contact Your Napanee and Belleville Auto Insurance Policy Experts! 

Did you know you can switch insurance providers without having to switch your auto insurance broker?

Our friendly, knowledgeable Mackay Insurance brokers are committed to helping you get the most auto insurance coverage - affordably! If you are not happy with your current auto insurance rates, give us a call! We’re happy to provide you with a new auto insurance quote that fits your coverage needs best.

Reach out online or by phone at 888-853-5552.

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Not Having Professional Liability Insurance for Your Business Is a Liability

Mackay Insurance in Belleville and Napanee explain the importance of business liability insurance for entrepreneurs.

Not Having Professional Liability Insurance for Your Business Is a Liability

Click Here For a FREE QUOTE

Professional liability insurance is the unsung hero for small businesses and solo-preneurships as well as businesses of all sizes. Why?

You may do a perfect job of shoring up your company from the inside out, controlling for every unknown that is under your control. But what about all the things that you can't control, such as the actions of employees, vendors and volunteers?

For this, you need professional liability insurance (also called business liability insurance). This is the way you can protect your business from the outside in.

In this post, we walk you through the different industry-specific types of business liability insurance. We will also discuss the categories of coverage this insurance policy offers you and three reasons why no business should be without it.

 

What Is Business Liability Insurance?

Business liability insurance protects your service-based company in the event a customer claims you or someone acting in your business's name caused them harm through the act of providing services.

This is why business liability insurance is often also called business negligence insurance or business indemnity insurance.

It is important to note that this professional liability insurance is designed to protect your business from negligence up front, well before fault has been determined. This can be life-saving for a small business of limited means.

As we discuss in the next section here, there are also other names for this type of policy depending on what industry your company serves.

 

What Type of Business Liability Insurance Do You Need?

All businesses have customers, which means all businesses can be vulnerable to professional liability lawsuits.

At the root of every professional liability lawsuit is an unhappy customer who believes they have been harmed in some way by what your company provides or does.

And when that unhappy customer decides to file a lawsuit against your company, professional liability insurance steps in to limit your exposure as you move through the legal process to resolve the issue.

1. Errors & Omissions liability insurance.

If you work in a service-based business that is not medical or media-related, you will probably need a type of business liability insurance called E&O, or errors and omissions insurance.

E&O insurance protects your business from claims against you related to misrepresentation of services, negligence, good faith violations, mistakes, omissions and errors that result in financial harm to the client.

2. Malpractice liability insurance.

If your business functions in the medical and health services field, you will probably need malpractice liability insurance.

This type of policy protects medical professionals against allegations of negligence, errors and omissions, misconduct and similar situations, including treatment or medical equipment-related harms.

3. Media liability insurance.

If your company operates in the media and advertising industry, then the policy you need is called media liability insurance.

This insurance product protects your business if a customer decides to sue you for issues such as false advertising, contract and confidentiality breaches, misrepresentation, service delays, omissions, errors, violations of copyright, defamation or reputation harm and similar issues.

 

3 Universal Reasons Your Business Needs Liability Insurance Protection

Now that you understand the basics of what business liability insurance is and how it addresses specific concerns in different industries, let's talk about the three universal reasons why all businesses need liability insurance protection.

1. Peace of mind against the future unknown.

If there is one thing the last two years have taught business owners everywhere, it is that the future unknown is impossible to predict.

We just never know when we wake up each morning what the day may hold.

There are companies today that are only in business because they had a professional liability policy in place when a customer brought a lawsuit against them.

Even if you are in the right, your business may not have the means to outlast the often lengthy, costly legal process itself.

2. A financial cushion.

It is exciting to watch a solo-preneurship begin to grow and take on staff. But as this occurs, in addition to new opportunities you’re receiving, you are also taking on new liability.

You are not doing all of your marketing, selling and serving alone. You now have a staff that speaks and acts on your behalf under the auspices of your business name.

This is when the financial protection that professional liability insurance affords you is simply no longer optional. If an employee says or does something that triggers a lawsuit, you will ultimately be on the hook to get the issue resolved.

3. Protection from business identity theft.

As if the threat of personal identity theft wasn't terrifying enough, now business identity theft is also on the rise.

Many business owners get confused about what constitutes business identity theft. Here, what we are talking about isn't cyber crime or data breaches (there are separate business insurance policy products to cover these threats).

Instead, it is your business identity itself that is misused or misrepresented. This can occur when cyber criminals gain access to your business tax ID number, business bank account or credit card numbers and other sensitive information linked to your company.

The criminals can then use this information to access existing funds or open new lines of credit in the name of your business, methodically draining your company dry financially.

In addition to implementing your own internal risk management protocols and performing regular company credit checks, your business needs professional liability insurance to protect you from the potentially catastrophic impact of business ID theft and fraud.

 

Choose Mackay In Napanee and Belleville for Your Business Insurance Needs

Here at Mackay Insurance, we are proud to serve the insurance needs for businesses of all sizes and growth stages in and around the Napanee and Belleville areas.

Get started in just a few minutes with our fast and free professional liability insurance quote generator.

Have questions about what level of coverage your business needs? Visit us online or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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8 Timely Auto Insurance Discounts to Help You Save This Winter

Mackay Insurance educates winter drivers on available Belleville Auto Insurance discounts to help them save on their premiums this season.

8 Timely Auto Insurance Discounts to Help You Save This Winter

Our Canadian winters can be harsh and hazardous even off the roadways. On the road, you want to be sure you are well protected in every way - including having a sensible and suitable auto insurance policy.

But you don't want to overpay for your Ontario car insurance, either, especially in winter when your driving habits and patterns are likely to change.

You also don't want to miss out on valuable Canada auto insurance discounts that are only available during the winter season.

By reading this article, you can make sure you have the right type and level of auto insurance coverage. You can also make sure you are taking advantage of all available auto insurance discounts!

Looking for Belleville auto insurance? Contact our car insurance experts at Mackay for a FREE online insurance quote!

 

Save On Auto Insurance: Seasonal Vehicle Versus Annual Vehicle

Looking for cheap auto insurance coverage?

When your goal is to save the most money on your car insurance, the first consideration is always going to be how you use each vehicle you own.

For example, many drivers here in Ontario have seasonal vehicles such as RVs, collector cars, convertible cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles or other off-road vehicles.

In some cases, a seasonal vehicle may only come out of storage for the winter season. In other cases, a seasonal vehicle may only come out of storage after winter ends.

Either way, it is important to understand the difference so you don't pay for more auto insurance than you actually need.

You have a few options to insure a seasonal vehicle affordably:

  1. Pause your auto insurance during the storage period.
  2. Keep your policy active but for comprehensive only.
  3. Keep your full policy active through the storage period.
  4. Many seasonal vehicles like Motorcycles, Snowmobiles, RV’s & Boats have prices and premiums earned during their driving seasons. So, to suspend coverage on a motorcycle from November to March, will not get you any savings.

Where and how you garage your seasonal vehicle can influence which option is safest as well as most economical for you.  Many people believe that if you store a vehicle in the garage, if there is a fire, it’s the garage insurance that will cover the loss. This is not true.

The key is to consider what you would do if winter storms, theft, vandalism or worse damaged or destroyed your seasonal vehicle. Could you cope financially with less or no auto insurance?

Your Mackay broker can help you consider each option and make the best decision for your budget and safety concerns. Contact our brokers today for your Belleville auto insurance quote!

 

8 Auto Insurance Discounts to Trim Your Policy Premium

Whether you have a seasonal or year-round vehicle to insure, be sure to ask about these car insurance discounts in order to avoid paying more for auto insurance than you should.

1. Winter Tires Discount

Equipping your vehicle with winter tires can save you up to five percent on your auto insurance.

To be eligible, your vehicle must have winter tires installed during the period of November 1st through April 1st.

2. Multiple Policy Discount

While most drivers are familiar with multiple policy discounts, far fewer actually get organized enough to harness the available benefits.

Do you have several different insurance providers for your home, car, valuables and/or life insurance?

Consolidating your policies under a single insurance provider could save you up to 15 percent on the total cost of your annual premiums - across all of your policies!

But you save more than money when you bundle. You also get the benefits of streamlining policy renewals, address and information updates and overall insurance management tasks.

3. Telemetrics Discount

Telemetrics, or driver monitoring via GPS, has become popular in the auto insurance industry.

If you are willing to install and use a GPS monitoring device while you are driving, you could potentially save up to 25 percent on your annual auto insurance premiums.

There is a catch, however.

You need to be committed to driving safely!

You can expect a telemetrics device to monitor your braking, acceleration and night driving (midnight to 4am). The safer you are behind the wheel, the more you can potentially save.

4. Clear Driving Record Discount

When you think about your car insurance policy from your insurer's perspective, nothing says "discount" like a clear driving record.

Frequently, zero accident discounts are bundled together with customer loyalty programs that reward you for two high-value actions: staying with the provider longer and staying out of trouble on the road.

5. Mature Driver Discount

You may be eligible for a mature driver auto insurance discount as early as age 50 depending on your provider. In some cases this may be tied to when you retire rather than to your chronological age, so be sure to ask your insurer.

Of course, your driving record will remain the primary focus for whether this discount is available to you.

6. Limited Driving Discount

Do you only drive during certain days of the week or certain hours of the day? Or does someone else on your family policy, such as a young driver or senior driver, meet these criteria?

When it comes to insurance algorithms, the less time you spend on the road, the less risk your insurer bears for issuing you a policy.

Your limited driving premium discount can vary depending on when and how often you are on the road. Be sure to talk with your Mackay broker to determine the best coverage needs for your specific situation.

7. Garaging Discount

Similar to the amount of road time you log, the type of garaging you use for your vehicle can influence the risk an insurer takes on when issuing you a policy.

Off-street, covered, locked and monitored garaging may rate a discount on your policy premium, but you will likely need to ask to get it.

8. Young Drivers Discount

If your young driver completes the Young Drivers of Canada safety program and maintains a clear driving record, this could trim up to 10 percent off their policy premium.

 

Choose Mackay In Napanee and Belleville for Your Auto Insurance Needs

Here at Mackay Insurance, we have a reputation for helping our clients get more car insurance coverage for less.

Looking for a cheap auto insurance quote? Our quote generator provides a free online insurance quote!

Have questions about auto insurance benefits? Your friendly, experienced Mackay broker is happy to help!
Visit us online or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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