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Five anti-theft devices that can lower your auto insurance



The alarming spike in car thefts in Ontario has had an unfortunate side effect: it’s also increased auto insurance rates.



Since 2022, car theft in Ontario has increased by nearly 50%. One of the biggest reasons? Remote keyless entry fobs, meant to make driver’s lives easier, can have their signals hacked by thieves using relay devices. These criminals are then able to copy the signal to a blank entry fob, access your car and drive off with it, sometimes in less than a minute.

As stolen cars are often shipped overseas by organized crime rings, many of them are never recovered. The price of replacing so many stolen vehicles raise insurance costs for everyone…even for consumers who have never been considered high-risk. 

If you’re a car owner, it’s a frustrating scenario for sure: you’re already worried about losing your car to thieves, and now you also need to worry about increased insurance costs as well.

Here’s some good news, though. If you’re like the many people in Eastern Ontario who have invested in anti-theft devices for their cars, you may be eligible for a lower insurance rate as well. If you aren’t using vehicle anti-theft devices yet, now is the time to start. You’ll help protect one of your largest investments and you’ll lower your insurance costs as well.

Here are five anti-theft devices that can lower your auto insurance. While none of these are 100% foolproof, they should thwart most would-be thieves.

  1. Car key signal blocker. It’s somewhat reassuring that sophisticated car theft tools can be thwarted by a simple piece of fabric. Signal blockers consist of a small pouch that’s lined with RFID blocking material. Once you place your car keys in the pouch, all transmissions to and from the key fob are, yes, blocked. Would-be thieves will be unable to hijack the fob’s transmission frequency, so they won’t be able to unlock and start your car.
  2. A steering wheel lock. Remember that staple of 90s infomercials, The Club? Well, it’s back and it’s one of many steering wheel locks on the market. Cyber thieves may be able to hack your key fob, but if you’ve placed a lock on the steering wheel, your car won’t be going anywhere until it’s removed.
  3. Vehicle immobilizer. This does exactly what its name implies: it immobilizes your car. When it’s activated (usually automatically after you shut off the car), it disengages engine control units or circuits. This means that until the immobilizer is disabled, no one will be able to start or even access your vehicle. You can have an immobilizer installed on your car for less than $100.
  4. Onboard diagnostic (OBD) port lock. Your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port, or OBD port, is how updates and diagnoses are made from the vehicle’s onboard computer. Unfortunately, it’s also how many professional thieves are able to override your car’s systems so they can steal it. An OBD port lock prevents thieves from plugging into your car’s brain, so to speak. They’ll then be unable to get in your car, clone a start key or make off with your vehicle.
  5. Brake pedal lock. Much like the steering wheel lock, brake pedal locks prevent the brake pedal from being used. A heavy steel mechanism is placed around the brake or clutch pedal, holding it in place so it can’t be pushed to the floor. Even if thieves are able to start your car, they won’t be able to drive it away until the lock is removed.

If you already have some or any of these devices in use, let your Mackay Insurance broker know right away. Since you’ve added anti-theft measures to your car, you might qualify for lower rates on your auto insurance. These devices make it less likely your vehicle will be stolen, so covering it is less of a risk for insurers.

Here are a few other auto theft prevention tips.

  • Store your vehicle in a garage when not in use. While not everyone has access to a garage, those of us who do should use them for parking their car-especially at night.
  • Never leave your car keys by the front door. The closer your keys are to your car, the easier it is for thieves to use relay devices to pick up their signal. Keep your keys in your bedroom or the room that’s farthest away from the driveway.
  • Invest in security cameras. While they may not deter more brazen thieves, they will make identifying them much easier.

Again, it’s important to note that no anti-theft measure is completely foolproof. These tips and devices will, however, slow down even professional car thieves. Since these criminals need to act quickly to avoid being noticed, anti-theft devices make it more likely they’ll leave your vehicle alone.

If you want the best insurance coverage for your car, Mackay Insurance can help. We’ll make sure your car, truck and other vehicles are fully protected against everything…including thieves. If you’re using anti-theft devices, we may even be able to get you a better rate.

Click here for your free, no-obligation quote for auto insurance, and the get the coverage your vehicle needs.

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Home-based business insurance: four things you need to know

Home-based business insurance: four things you need to know

More and more people are choosing to run their business out of their own homes. After all, it can be one of the biggest perks of working for yourself: it's zero commute, your office can be designed to suit your preferences, and you always know there's going to be something good for lunch in the fridge.

It is important to know, though, that a home-based business still faces the same liability risks as any business - and those liabilities are not covered by your home insurance. 

This means that without the proper insurance coverage, your business could be left high and dry if you are the victim of a robbery, if there is a business disruption beyond your control, or if a customer is injured on your property. All the hard work you have put into making your business a success could be in jeopardy if you have not invested in on thing: home-based business insurance.

Here is the good news, though: it is very easy to tack on home-based business insurance to the existing insurance on your home. Once it is in place, you and your business will be protected against liabilities that might arise.

Before we dig further into this, here are two important things to consider if you run a business from your home:

  1. What insurance does the business need?
  2. Does your home insurance policy permit that business to be operated from your home?

In every instance where you operate a business from your home, it is critical to have a discussion with your home insurance broker. You'll need to ensure that your home insurance policy is not affected by the business you operate from your home. The next step is to look at the business insurance you need on the business itself.

For now, here are four things you need to know about insurance for your home-based business.

You might not realize your home-based business requires its own insurance.

I have met with business owners who assumed that their home-based business didn't require extra insurance. In some cases (for example, if you are a copywriter or editor) this might be correct. For the most part, though, if you are running a business out of your home, you're going to need home-based business insurance.

If you are trying to decide whether or not a home-based insurance plan is needed for your business, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Do you have customers coming to your home?
  2. Are the products you make/sell from home dangerous to those within your home?
  3. Do you have high-value equipment stored on your property?

If you answered “YES” to any of the above, you need home-based business insurance to protect you and your company. If your products or equipment stored at home, harm someone, or if you're the victim of a robbery, these exposures simply you won't be covered by regular home insurance.

Here are just a few examples of home-based businesses that require home-based business insurance.

  • Housekeeping services
  • Catering services
  • Baking services
  • Floral designers
  • Christmas tree farms

These businesses either use specialized equipment onsite, store materials onsite which could be hazardous if used incorrectly, or require customers to enter the property.  For these reasons alone, home-based insurance is vital.

Home insurance doesn't cover losses and liabilities to your business.

This can't be stressed enough: any losses, injuries or damages related to your home-based business won't be covered by home insurance. Anything in your home that's either exclusively or primarily used for your business is considered to be property of that business. This is why you need the correct insurance to cover your home-based business against any injuries or damages from clients.

As a rule of thumb: if clients and customers are going to be in your home or on your property, you need home-based business insurance. This includes businesses such as:

  • Home daycares
  • Music schools
  • Beauty salons
  • Chiropractic clinics
  • Massage therapy

These types of businesses require clients to be on site in order to receive services. Home-based business insurance ensures that these types of businesses are protected if a customer is injured on your property or damages your equipment. If you run a business like the ones above, make sure you have home-based business insurance.

Contractors need home-based business insurance as well.

Many contractors use their home address as their business address, store equipment on their property (such as a pickup truck or work van), and usually have a home office and computer for keeping track of clients and invoices. This means that in addition to contractor's insurance, contractors need home-based business insurance as well.

These are a few types of contractors who often run their business from their homes:

  • Carpenters
  • Plumbers
  • Landscapers
  • Cabinet makers
  • HVAC installers

While nearly all of their work is performed at clients' homes and properties, these contractors still need to insure their equipment and office space on their home properties. If their work vehicle is stolen or damaged while parked at home, or if their home office is compromised during a robbery, these contractors probably won't be covered unless they have home-based business insurance.

Having a home-based business protects you against many business disruptions.

It's great being your own boss, but it's also extra stressful when something goes wrong at the worst possible time. A truck breaks down right before a deck installation. An oven stops working during wedding season. A flood in your workshop destroys several pieces of equipment. It's enough to keep any business owner up at night.

Home-based business insurance can provide a safety net against temporary disruptions such as these, along with extra peace of mind. With the right coverage, potentially devastating breakdowns and damages can become mere hiccups on the way to getting the job done.

If you're looking for just the right coverage for your home-based business, you're in the right place. At Mackay Insurance, we've helped businesses like yours across Eastern Ontario protect themselves, their equipment and their livelihoods against the unexpected.

Click here for your free, no-obligation quote for insurance on your home-based business, and find out how Mackay Insurance can help you be sure.

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Embarking on the Road to Your First Car: A Journey of Decisions

Embarking on the Road to Your First Car: A Journey of Decisions

Owning your first car is more than a landmark; it's an exciting journey into newfound independence and mobility. Despite the excitement of selecting your wheels, the road to purchasing your first car can be fraught with twists and turns that necessitate careful navigation. Budget considerations, knowing the complexities of insurance, and evaluating the allure of new cars with the value of used ones are all important decisions. In this blog, we go on a thorough investigation, digging into the critical criteria that every first-time automobile buyer should consider. Join us as we rev up the engines and navigate the critical insights that pave the road for a confident and informed decision. This decision not only fits your lifestyle today but also tomorrow.

Things to Consider When Purchasing Your First Car

1. Useful Budgeting

Your budget covers insurance, maintenance, fuel, and unforeseen repairs in addition to the purchase price. Consider all of these expenses to ensure that your new wheels do not become a financial burden.

2. Research and Test Drive

Don't make a hasty purchase. Investigate various makes and models, considering factors like fuel efficiency, safety ratings, and reliability. Take many test drives to gain a feel for the vehicle and confirm it fulfills your requirements.

3. New versus Used

Both options have advantages and disadvantages. A new car may come with a guarantee and the most up-to-date equipment, but a used car may provide greater value for money. Make a conscious decision based on your priorities.

4. Insurance Fees

Insurance prices might vary greatly depending on the brand and model of the vehicle, your age, driving history, and region. To avoid unpleasant surprises, obtain insurance estimates before making your final decision.

5. Recognize Your Financing Options

If you are considering financing, be sure you thoroughly grasp the terms. To get the best offer, compare interest rates, loan terms, and monthly payments. Always read the fine print to avoid any surprises.

6. Inspection & Vehicle History

Obtain a vehicle history report for used cars to look for previous accidents or major repairs. Consider having a pre-purchase check from a reputable mechanic to ensure the vehicle is in good condition.

7. Fuel Efficiency & Upkeep

To estimate the car's long-term costs, consider its fuel economy. Investigate the maintenance plan as well as the costs associated with routine servicing, part replacement, and any specialized requirements.

8. Market Value

While it may not be your primary concern right now, the resale value of your automobile can have a significant impact on your finances when it comes time to update. To maximize your investment, choose a car with a high resale value.

9. The Costs of Ownership

Aside from the initial purchase, keep in mind that car ownership entails taxes, registration fees, and maintenance costs.

10. Security Features

Airbags, anti-lock braking systems (ABS), stability control, and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) should be prioritized. Your driving safety should never be jeopardized.

Owning your first car is an exciting experience, but you must go with prudence and thorough research. By taking these things into account, you can make a decision that not only matches your lifestyle but also ensures a smooth and happy journey ahead.

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Dangerous Winter Driving Ahead - Safety Up With Winter Tires!

Dangerous Winter Roads Ahead

Dangerous Winter Driving Ahead - Safety Up With Winter Tires!

Summer in Ontario has quickly transitioned into fall. And with the changing fall colours comes a multitude of weather-related risks.

Soon we’ll have falling ice, slippery walkways and dangerous driving conditions!

The beauty of the upcoming season comes with its fair share of driving risks too.

Thankfully, taking the necessary precautions reduces these risks and helps you drive safely!

At Mackay Insurance, we’re all about, 

a) Reducing your risk,

b) Lowering your auto insurance rates and

c) Increasing your safety.

Installing winter tires on your passenger vehicle achieves all three of these goals!

Winter tires increase road safety for yourself, your passengers, and other drivers. They can even lower your auto insurance premium by up to 5%!


The Importance of Winter Tires 

Ontario drivers quickly become apprehensive during the winter months. And for good reason!

After all, winter driving in Ontario is highly unpredictable. It can become dangerous - even life-threatening - in just seconds!

Severe weather changes and challenging road conditions make it impossible to know what lies ahead. 

Our team is here to help local drivers stay safe during these unpredictable months ahead.

Our number one recommendation?

Winter tires!

81% of winter tire owners believe their tires saved them from hazardous driving (i.e. loss of control).

While not mandatory, their benefits hugely outweigh their cost!

Benefits Of Installing Winter Tires:

  • Up to 30% more traction
  • Hydroplane resistance
  • Improved braking
  • Collision prevention
  • Increased control
  • Improved road safety (for you and the other drivers around you)
  • Improved driving performance
  • Lower insurance premiums

PLUS, winter tires can grip in temperatures as low as -30 degrees!


Can Winter Tires Lower Your Auto Insurance Premium?

Did you know you can get a discount on your Belleville auto insurance rate by installing winter tires?

Canada initiated this in 2017! Now, all Canadian insurance companies must offer auto insurance discounts for vehicles with winter tires.

This discount saves Canadian drivers 1-5% on their auto insurance premiums!

Does your vehicle qualify for these auto insurance discounts? Find out below!

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Eligible vehicles include private passenger vehicles - excluding antiques and classics.
  • You must install winter tires from December 1st to March 31st.
  • Your winter tires must have certification by Transport Canada and display the Alpine symbol.
  • Your vehicle must have existing auto insurance coverage.

*You may need to confirm the presence of winter tires or provide supporting documentation (i.e. a bill of sale) to validate your discount.


Your 2023 Winter Tire Guide

Never owned winter tires before? This guide can help!

1. Order your winter tires as early as possible.

At Mackay Insurance, we recommend ordering your winter tires as early as possible. The sooner, the better! 

This ensures you get your order in ahead of the rush. 

Once you get your tires, schedule their installation right away. That way you're ready for Canada’s unpredictable weather!

Remember, you’ll need to install winter tires from December 1st to March 31st to receive the discount.

2. Ensure your new winter tires have the Alpine logo.

The Alpine logo is a symbol used strictly on winter tires. It guarantees the tire meets specific snow traction performance requirements.

The symbol shows a mountain and a snowflake. It confirms the tire can grip better on ice in sub-zero weather conditions.

In other words, it guarantees your tires can take on even the worst winter conditions!

Many drivers ask us whether their all-season tires qualify for the discount. 

The answer is no, they do not.

All-season tires do not display the alpine symbol. No symbol means that they do not meet the requirements.

Snow tires actually perform 30% better than all-season tires as well. So, if you're looking for the best in safety & performance, winter tires are definitely the way to go!

3. Install all four winter tires at once.

What if you install two winter tires? Will you get the same discount?

Although installing two of the four necessary winter tires may appear to be a money-saving hack, it could actually cost you more in the long run.

To lower your auto insurance premiums, you must install all four tires. 

Four tires ensure proper all-around traction and improve your driving performance!

4. Ensure your winter tires stay in good condition.

It’s crucial to keep your winter tires in good condition - whether in use or storage!

Winter Tire Storage Tips:

  • Clean winter tires before storing them.
  • Store winter tires in a cool, dry place - protected from outdoor elements.
  • Don't let your winter tires come into contact with direct sunlight while in storage. 
  • Keep your winter tires away from solvents, fuels, lubricants, chemicals, etc.
  • Do not store winter tires under external pressure or tension (i.e. stacked under other storage items).

5. Ensure proper air pressure in your winter tires.

Ensuring proper air pressure in your tires is vital regardless of the season. But during the fluctuating weather conditions of winter, it’s especially common. Cold weather can cause tire pressure to deplete unexpectedly.

We recommend keeping a careful watch on your tire pressure throughout winter. Close monitoring helps ensure good vehicle performance in the snow. 


Before You Hit The Road!

While winter tires reduce your risk on the road, they aren’t the only variable keeping you safe.

Safe winter driving also relies on your driving skills! 

How prepared are you for winter driving? Below are a few winter driving do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.

Heading Out?

Don’t: Leave the house without taking the necessary precautions.


  • Charge your phone battery (and bring a charger along with you).
  • Pack an emergency kit (i.e. blanket, flashlight, water bottle).
  • Double-check your vehicle for a set of booster cables.
  • Fill your tank up with gas.
  • Refill your windshield wiper fluid and bring an extra jug, just in case.


Don’t: Keep your foot on the gas, fight the steering wheel or pump the brakes. These actions could cause you to lose control of your vehicle entirely - resulting in a flip!


  • Take your foot off the gas.
  • Gradually steer in the direction your car is skidding.
  • Gently apply the brakes.

Stuck in the snow?

Don’t: Spin your tires. Spinning tires only bury them deeper into the snow.

Do: Clear out the snow and ice under the tire and pour sand beneath them to improve their traction.


Contact Your Mackay Auto Insurance Brokers

For more information about our Belleville auto insurance packages, call our office!

Reach our Belleville office at 613-966-5740 or our Napanee office at 613-354-2555.

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Should You Invest in Contractors Insurance in Ontario?

Construction team working on plans.

Should You Invest in Contractors Insurance in Ontario?

Thinking of starting your own contracting or trades business? Read this article first!

Becoming a contractor comes with incredible perks, like

  1. Being your own boss,
  2. Making your own hours, and
  3. Getting paid to do a hobby you (hopefully) enjoy!

But with its perks come many potential downsides as well.

You can count on your life as a contractor being predictably unpredictable.

No day is the same as the day before, just as no project is the same as the last. At each job site, you experience new environments and challenges.

It’s up to you to protect yourself, your team and your clients in light of these uncertain job sites.

If you don’t, it could mean the end of your livelihood.

That’s what this article is all about - contractor insurance!

You’ll learn

  • Whether this coverage is legally required,
  • What coverage you should invest in, and
  • The coverage you don’t need for your field, etc.

Let’s get started!

Pssst… we also offer FREE contractor quotes!


What Is Contractors Insurance?

First, let’s break down what contractor insurance really is.

Contractor insurance protects your livelihood from professional liability and property damage.

You may think this coverage only applies to certain trade jobs, like electricians and roofers. But it actually applies to numerous contractor positions!

Types of Contractors We Ensure:

  • Plumbing
  • Construction
  • Landscaping
  • Window/Door Installers
  • Photographers
  • Cleaning (Residential, commercial, and industrial)
  • Carpentry
  • Electrical
  • Architects
  • Accountants
  • Engineers
  • Handyman
  • Designers
  • Physicians
  • Legal Consultants
  • Painting (Residential, commercial, and industrial)
  • Snow plowing
  • Roofing
  • Marketing Consultants
  • HVAC
  • Extermination
  • Personal Chefs
  • Air duct cleaning

As you can see, the list is endless!

While some of these jobs are statistically more dangerous than others, all come with unique risks.

Whether you work independently or have a team, it’s your responsibility to meet these risks with ample coverage.


Is Contractors Insurance Legally Required In Ontario?

All businesses in Ontario must carry commercial general liability insurance (CGL) - it's the law.

We’ll get into what this basic coverage entails in the next section.

This basic coverage becomes the foundation for your contractor’s insurance policy. All other inclusions become add-ons.


What Does a Contractor’s Insurance Policy Cover?

So, what’s actually included in your contractor’s insurance policy?

In its most basic form (CGL), this policy includes legal and financial coverage in the case of,

a) Personal injury and/or

b) Property damage claims.

It’s also important to note that these coverages only apply to third-party persons.

At this point, you’ll need to decide whether further coverage is beneficial for your business.

We’ve listed some add-on options coverages below!

Add-On Coverages:

  • Tool Floaters
  • Equipment Floaters
  • Installation Floaters
  • Builders Risk
  • Pollution
  • Performance Bonds
  • Contractors Surety Bonds

Not sure which add-ons your business should invest in? Ask your Mackay Insurance broker!


Coverage For Independent Contractors

Are you planning on running a contracting business by yourself?

First of all, congratulations on this incredible business venture!

Starting and running a business as a one-person show is a huge undertaking. There are probably countless areas within your business that you’ll work in - from admin to providing your service(s).

Our team wants to help take a load off your plate!

We’ll work with you to design a contractor insurance policy that fits your unique needs. We don’t want you paying extra for unnecessary coverage.

Working with our brokers ensures you get the best coverage at the best price!

Other policies to consider when starting out on your own include:

Home-Based Business Insurance

If you plan to run a home-based business insurance, you’ll need to consider this coverage. Even if you only use your home for client appointments or equipment storage, it’s imperative!

This coverage protects against:

  • Equipment loss/damage
  • Inventory loss/damage
  • Property damage
  • Customer lawsuits
  • Liability claims, etc.

Commercial Vehicle Insurance

It’s also important to look into adding commercial vehicle insurance to your policy.

All Ontario vehicles must have insurance. But even if it wasn’t mandatory, accidents are bound to happen! There’s always a risk, whether at the job site, on the road or on your own property.


3 Reasons To Invest in Customized Contractors Insurance

While you can’t predict what will happen daily, you can help control the outcome.

We’ve listed five top reasons our team recommends investing in a contractor policy.

1. Protection for things you can’t control.

Contractor insurance provides financial and legal coverage for situations you can’t control.

Many contracting jobs are dangerous. From sharp tools to precarious installations, there are countless opportunities for injury.

In fact, a recent study found construction one of Canada's most dangerous job industries!

Other dangerous contracting jobs could include roofing, electrical and demolition. If you asked contractors about these jobs, they’d say danger comes with the territory.

Each morning, they wake up and walk into a dangerous workplace environment. They pack all their knowledge of health & safety, as well as their safety equipment. But once they start work, they’re at the mercy of their job site, tools, coworkers, etc.

If an accident happens, the right coverage could save them thousands!

2. Affordable peace of mind.

If you ask us, peace of mind is priceless. Ensuring the safety of yourself, your employees, and your clients is a top priority.

At Mackay, we ensure your coverage protects you as thoroughly as possible. But we also don’t want you breaking the bank!

We work directly with you to ensure your coverage plan meets your unique industry needs. So you can rest assured that your livelihood has thorough and affordable coverage.

3. Established trust between yourself and your client(s).

Investing in contractor insurance can also build trust between yourself and your clients.

As we just mentioned, peace of mind is priceless. People like to know that they’re covered in case of an unpredictable and/or unfortunate event. It increases their trust in you, your team and your work!


Start Protecting Your Livelihood Today

As a contractor, you have enough to worry about. Let our professional brokers take some of the weight off!

At Mackay Insurance, we promise to find you the best coverage at the most affordable rate.

Call our Belleville office at 613-966-5740 or our Napanee office at 613-354-2555.

We also offer FREE contractor insurance quotes!

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Large & Small Boat Insurance: Take Water Safety to the Next Level

Man peacefully boating on the Bay of Quinte.

Large & Small Boat Insurance: Take Water Safety to the Next Level

Next to your home and personal vehicles, your boat may be one of your biggest investments. Yet far too many boat owners neglect to protect it!

It’s a well-known fact that you must meet open waters with ample precaution. The risks are too high to leave the shore unprepared.

That’s where large and small boat insurance comes in!

We know buying boat insurance isn’t exactly fun. Water sports equipment like fishing rods and water skis is more appealing. But boat insurance is one of the best investments you can make in water safety.

Every boater wants to leave his worries on the shore - to feel free and relaxed on the waves. But failing to take the necessary precautions can leave your boat (and your bank account) in the lurch.

In this article, our Mackay Insurance brokers discuss everything you need to know about boat insurance.

We understand the risks and have the coverage you need for a smooth, worry-free boating season!


What Is Boat Insurance?

Boat insurance protects certain watercraft - both motorized and manual.

The main categories of covered watercraft include:

  • Boats (motorized and non-motorized)
  • Watercraft (like jet skis, and inflatables)
  • Motors
  • Equipment (GPS equipment, dinghies)
  • Boat trailers
  • Yachts

Not sure if your boat or watercraft qualifies for boat insurance? Ask your Mackay Insurance broker!


What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Boat insurance policies cover you in many different scenarios.

Like most insurance products, you can customize boat coverage to your unique needs. Depending on your specific situation, you may need all or only some of the coverage offered.

Below are the basic categories a standard boat insurance policy covers:


Liability coverage is a big one for most boat owners, regardless of craft type. It protects you in the event of an accident.

If an accident causes injury, fatality or harm to another person or property, this coverage has your back.

Damage to The Boat Itself

There are many risks associated with owning a boat. Not all pertain to a collision with another boat though.

All-risk boat coverage protects you from the types of events you simply cannot foresee. This can include:

  • Weather-related perils
  • Fire
  • Loss
  • Damage
  • Theft &
  • Vandalism

These situations are beyond your control.

Thankfully, boat coverage protects the physical boat and any attached/onboard boating equipment.

Add-On Coverages

Most insurance companies also offer add-on coverages for your policy. These are not mandatory, but they do offer an extra level of protection and peace of mind.

Personal Property

This add-on coverage protects the personal belongings aboard your watercraft. Life jackets and fishing equipment are some of the most common.

Emergency Towing & Assistance

Many boat owners add emergency coverage to their policy at the start. It operates much like CAA insurance. But instead of bringing emergency towing and assistance on the road, it comes to you on the water!


Do You Really Need Boat Insurance?

This is a really good question! While boat insurance is not mandatory in Ontario, specific scenarios do require it.

For example, if you keep your boat at a marina, they may ask you to show proof of boat insurance.

Other scenarios may mean you don’t need boating insurance. One example of this is if your watercraft already has coverage under your homeowner's policy.

Canoes and kayaks, for example, do not need their own standalone insurance. Their coverage is already built into your home insurance policy.

Other boats and watercraft, however, do require their own standalone policy. This includes speedboats, fishing boats, jet skis, etc.

In these cases, we have large and small boat insurance coverage to meet your specific needs.

Should you have boat insurance during the off-season?


How Much Boat Insurance Do You Need?

When it comes to determining how much boat insurance you need, there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer.

The coverage you need depends on:

  • The value of your boat and related property,
  • The type of power your boat uses,
  • Your usage patterns,
  • The type of storage you have for your boat/property,
  • Who can use the boat,
  • What type of trailer or hauling vehicle you use, etc.

Here’s a good rule of thumb to put the cost of boat insurance into perspective:

If your boat has a value of $100,000 or less, you will most likely spend about 1% of its value on boat insurance annually.

This would mean that insuring your $100,000 boat would cost you about $1,000 in boat insurance each year!


What Are The Discount Benefits of Boat Insurance?

Not sure if you want to invest in boat insurance quite yet? Below are a few discount benefits associated with investing in boat insurance:

Ask your Mackay broker about the following discount opportunities:

  • Multiple policy discounts (if you carry more than one policy with the same insurer)
  • Full lump-sum premium payment (if you pay for the full year at one time)
  • Power Squadron or other boat safety courses
  • Homeowners insurance discount
  • Member discount (if you belong to a boat club or association)
  • Dry dock discount (if you store your boat at a dry dock instead of on the water)
  • Usage discount (if your usage patterns are moderate or seasonal)
  • Good credit discount (if you have an excellent or good credit score)


Get in Touch

Ready to find the best boat insurance coverage at the best price? Contact your Mackay broker today to get started!
Give us a call at 613-966-5740 or get a free, online quote!

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8 Reasons To Choose an Independent Insurance Brokerage

Independent insurance brokerage.

8 Reasons To Choose an Independent Insurance Brokerage

Choosing your insurance provider can be a confusing process.

How do you find the best coverage when presented with so many options?

After all, it’s not like you’re buying a carton of eggs or a new pair of shoes.

Insurance coverage is a major financial investment in your future.

Choosing the wrong provider or coverage could drastically affect your financial well-being.

No wonder there’s so much stress around the decision!

How do you ensure you’re making the right choice? How do you know there aren’t better coverage options out there?

At Mackay Insurance, we believe in giving our clients the best coverage at the best price. That’s why we remain an independently-owned insurance agency!

Since 1977, this independence has freed us to work solely for your best interest. Today, we continue to uphold that mission fiercely.

Need help determining if an independent insurance agency is the route for you? Keep reading!

Below are eight reasons why an independent insurance agency is the way to go!

1. They become your personal advisers.

An independent brokerage has 100% freedom to serve its clients first. They have no ulterior motives. Their only goal is to provide their clients with the best coverage at the best price.

This mission allows them to,

a) Offer insurance from many different carriers, and

b) Provide unbiased advice for your unique needs.

The opposite of an independently owned agency is a captive agency.

A captive agency sells insurance for only one carrier - limiting its coverage scope and options. It also means that they cannot provide unbiased advice. Their focus is on making sales for their specific insurance carrier. 

This is one of the biggest differences between independent and captive agencies.

2. They focus on your best interest.

Many local competitors are under ownership by larger insurance companies.

This ownership limits their ability to,

  • Create trusting relationships with their clients,
  • Offer honest expertise and advice, and
  • Provide affordable coverage options.

An independent agency doesn’t agree with this. They believe they should freely and solely work for their client's best interest!

3. They share your interest in the community.

Picture your local, independent insurance agency as your next-door neighbour.

Independent insurance agencies typically operate exclusively in their own communities. 

This local servicing allows them to better,

a) Understand the challenges/common risks of living in that locale,

b) Involve themselves with local businesses, charities, sports events, etc.,

c) Provide support and sponsorships to local organizations,

e) Have a say in their local Chamber of Commerce.

4. They are your one-stop shop for insurance needs.

Since these agencies have more than one carrier, they aren’t limited to the type of coverage they can offer. 

They work with a variety of carriers to offer a multitude of insurance services.

The best part?

Clients can have many forms of coverage from different carriers under one broker. 

This makes insurance shopping easy!

Instead of using a different company for each of your insurance needs, trust one to keep your coverage all under one roof!

Tip: Keeping all your policies under one agency means you could be eligible for multi-discount savings!

6. They walk with you and your family through all life’s adventures.

New chapters of your life call for different coverages. An independent agency has the resources to walk through these chapters with you - adjusting your policy as needed.

Whether buying your first home, insuring your son’s first car, starting a business, etc. - an independent agency is there for you. You can work with the same agent for a lifetime, even as your coverage needs change!

7. They offer more coverage options.

As we’ve mentioned above, independent agencies have more flexibility. 

Because they aren’t under a parent company working with one carrier, they can,

  • Work with more than one insurance carrier,
  • Provide a variety of coverage options,
  • Advocate on their client’s behalf.

That’s what these agencies are all about!

They don’t believe that insurance is a one-size-fits-all solution. They work with each client to determine the right coverage for their lifestyle, budget and financial goals. 

This allows them to offer the best coverage at the best price for each client.

7. They do the research for you.

Researching insurance providers and coverage options can be stressful, confusing and time-consuming.

While this research is necessary, it’s not an easy process.

Thankfully, an independent insurance agency can help!

These agencies handle all the research on your behalf. They advocate for your best interest and ensure you get the coverage you need at a fair price.

They’ve already done the work of getting to know you, your lifestyle, needs and budget. Now, it’s up to them to find you the coverage that fits you best.

They do the shopping so you can focus on saving - that’s the deal!

8. They help you save money.

One of the best advantages of working with an independent agency is the cost savings! 

Did you know that, regardless of the extra services provided, there is no extra cost to you?

Your broker researches different coverage opportunities and advocates on your behalf. All without adding a dime to your bill!

At this point, you may be wondering how the agency benefits by doing this extra service.

It's simple. By earning commission!

These agencies earn commissions through the carrier they place their client’s business. 

There’s no higher financial incentive to pick a certain one. So it doesn’t matter which carrier the client chooses. 

This freedom allows your agent to work on your behalf and in your best interest with 100% commitment!


Mackay Insurance: Quinte’s Fiercely Independent Insurance Brokerage

At Mackay Insurance, our clients are always our number one priority.

That’s why we operate as a 100% independently owned agency! This freedom allows us to provide the best service, coverage and rates.

Have questions? Contact our team of brokers today!

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What Is Tenant Insurance and Why Is It So Important?

Young girl moving into her apartment with a tenant insurance policy.

What Is Tenant Insurance and Why Is It So Important?

Are you getting ready to rent? Whether this is your first rental or not, you probably have mixed emotions.

After all, leaving the comforts of your previous home and stepping out on your own is huge!

Ready to embark on a brand new adventure?

In this article, our Mackay Insurance brokers discuss everything you need to know about tenant insurance.

What does it cover? Is it mandatory in Ontario?

Discover the answers to these frequently asked questions and more!


What Is Tenant Insurance?

Tenant insurance is another form of home insurance. But instead of the home itself, it protects you, the renter.

Let’s break that down a bit…

Home insurance protects against the loss or damage of the physical structure of a house. It also covers personal belongings from loss and damage and offers liability coverage.

But all these coverages focus on the homeowner. They do not apply to you if you’re renting a living space within their home.

Tenant insurance protects you - your personal belongings and liability.


What Does Tenant Insurance Cover?

Mackay understands that your home is your safe haven - the one place in your life where you should feel completely safe, at peace and at home.

That’s where tenant insurance comes in. It covers your personal contents, personal liability and additional living expenses (if necessary).

Whether you’re renting a house, condo or apartment, this coverage is your safety net.

Personal Contents

This type of coverage is often called contents insurance. It protects everything you own!

In Ontario, contents insurance covers anything from your clothing to your furniture. 

These items don’t even need to be on the premises. This coverage protects them whether they’re in your home or temporarily away (i.e. if you’re on a work trip or vacation).

Your renter’s policy protects these items against a list of potential perils. This includes:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Damage caused by aircraft
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Fire or lightning
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Smoke
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Falling objects
  • Damage from water or steam. This could be due to household appliances, plumbing, HVAC, fire-protective sprinkler systems, etc.).

Legal Liability

Tenant policies also include legal liability.

This is useful in two separate scenarios:

  1. If someone accidentally gets hurt while visiting your apartment, or
  2. If you cause unintentional damage to the rented space.

In either of these events, your policy can provide legal financial protection.

Extra Living Expenses

Additional living expenses coverage is probably not something you’ve considered before. It helps you pay for necessary costs if you’re forced to leave your home.

This coverage helps pay for moving costs, hotel rooms, storage, etc.

In what circumstance would you need this coverage?

Here are a few examples:

  1. If your rental is unfit to live in due to an insured peril.
  2. If you cannot access your rental due to an insured peril in a neighbouring premise.
  3. If there is a mass evacuation ordered.

The extent of coverage varies for each of these scenarios. But regardless of what happens, Mackay ensures you’re never left without a home.


What Does Tenant Insurance NOT Cover?

Before you sign a rental agreement, you should know what you are responsible for. While your policy does protect against many perils, it does not cover everything.

Car damage

Your policy may cover the personal items within your car, but it will not cover damage to the car itself.

In this case, you will need to address your auto insurance policy.

Read to the end to learn about Mackay’s multi-policy discount opportunities with auto insurance!

Insect Infestation

Your policy does not cover loss or damage in the event of a bug problem.

For example:

If bed bugs damage your furniture, you are responsible for the repair costs.

Damages Due to High-Risk Dogs

Do you plan on keeping a high-risk dog breed (i.e. Rottweiler) in your rental space?

If so, this is a crucial exclusion to be aware of in your policy.

You will not receive liability coverage if the dog causes personal injury or property damage.

Damage to the Building

As mentioned above, tenant insurance does not cover the building itself.

In this case, the landlord’s home insurance policy will typically need to address the issue.

Loss Due to Earthquake or Flood

Tenant insurance does not cover losses due to floods or earthquakes.

You must request a separate policy if you would like coverage for this.


Is Tenant Insurance Mandatory in Ontario?

In short, tenant insurance is not mandatory in Ontario. But it is highly recommended.

Your landlord’s home insurance covers the building and their own personal belongings. But in the event of a fire, their insurance can’t help you.

You are responsible for ensuring the protection of your own belongings and liability.

If you do not choose to invest in tenant insurance, you need to cover all repair, replacement and legal costs.


5 Reasons You Should Invest In Tenant Insurance

1. Unexpected Events Happen

Unfortunately, nobody gets a warning signal when unfortunate circumstances happen to us. But with the right insurance policy, you can ensure you’re always covered.

2. Your Landlord May Ask For It

As mentioned before, tenant insurance is not mandatory. But we do recommend it for many reasons!

For one, landlords often ask for tenant insurance as a non-negotiable on a lease agreement.

This means that, without the policy, they will not allow you to rent from them.

3. Get an Early Start on Your Insurance History

Establishing your insurance history early can help lower your rates when buying your first home!

With that in mind, a tenant policy is a great way to begin planning for your future!

4. Protect Your Guests From Negligence

Accidents happen. But if you’re found negligent, that accident can quickly become a costly lawsuit.

For example, if someone trips on wet, slippery floors in your home and hits their head.

In a scenario like this, your negligence could cost you.

A tenant policy then helps cover the lawsuit expenses (up to a coverage limit).

5. Save Money With Multi-Line Discounts

Do you own a vehicle? If so, consider switching your auto insurance to the same provider as your tenant policy.

This could qualify you for multi-policy discounts!


Protect Your Rental Home With Mackay Insurance

Protect what's yours with affordable tenant insurance!

At Mackay, we ensure you get the best coverage at the best price.

Call your insurance broker in Belleville or Napanee to learn more about our tenant insurance packages.

Our Belleville Office: 613-966-5740

Our Napanee Office: 613-354-2555

You can also visit our website to get a free quote!

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Spring Maintenance Tips To Help You Prevent Home Insurance Claims

Child playing in spring puddles.

Spring Maintenance Tips To Help You Prevent Home Insurance Claims

Have you begun your spring cleaning checklist yet? We have a few more valuable tips you can check off!

Spring cleaning helps spruce up your home’s appearance and cleanliness. But, at Mackay Insurance, we think it should do more than that.

Your spring cleaning checklist should also,

  • Prevent damage,
  • Fortify your living space,
  • Protect your home’s value, and
  • Prevent unnecessary home insurance claims.

It’s common to find seasonal wear and tear in and on your home after a long winter. This could be a disconnected downspout, loose siding or even wind damage on your roof.

But did you know minor repairs like these can help prevent common home insurance claims?

It usually doesn’t cost much to ensure your home is well-fortified for the next season.

Plus, all the minor repairs you make now can help lower the risk of more serious and costly repairs in the future.

That’s what our brokers are all about - lowering your risk.

Check off each item on the list below to ensure max safety and cost-saving benefits!


Replace Batteries In Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

According to the Ontario Building Code, CO alarms are mandatory in Ontario homes that have,

a) Fuel-burning appliances,

b) Fireplaces or

c) Attached garages.

Homeowners must also install them next to each sleeping area.

These alarms warn you of rising CO levels in your home. This gas is odourless and colourless but can lead to long-term health damage or even death.

We recommend changing your CO alarm batteries annually and replacing the device every 7-10 years.

Note: If you have an existing detector in your home, check the expiry date. If it’s a 2010 model, immediately replace it.

Smoke Alarms:

According to the Ontario Fire Code, Smoke alarms are also mandatory in Ontario homes. Homeowners are to install them on every storey and outside all sleeping areas.

Smoke alarms detect smoke and alert you immediately - saving countless lives. But only if they’re properly installed and maintained.

The Canada Safety Council states, “a dead unit is worse than none at all - it can give you a false sense of security”.

For this reason, we recommend,

  • Changing the batteries twice a year
  • Testing monthly, and
  • Replacing the unit every 10 years.


Schedule HVAC Preventative Maintenance

When did you last schedule a tuneup for your heating, cooling and air quality systems?

We recommend booking a tuneup with your local HVAC company once a year.

Besides the benefits of peak performance and efficiency, a yearly tuneup can also,

  • Save money on hefty repair bills,
  • Prevent gas leaks.
  • Prevent fire hazards.
  • Ensure proper air circulation in your home.

As you may have guessed, gas leaks and fire hazards in your home are our top safety concerns for your HVAC. Ensuring your systems get necessary maintenance can help prevent both from happening!


Clean Out Your Dryer Lint

According to the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office, appliances like dryers cause at least one fire a day in Ontario.

Regular maintenance on your dryer lowers the risk of it becoming a fire hazard.

As your dryer runs, it accumulates lint - one of the leading causes of dryer fires. It’s a highly flammable material that can enter your exhaust system and heating element.

While cleaning the lint screen between each load can help prevent some accumulation, it doesn’t stop it.

Here's what else you can do!

Remove lint from the,

  • Metal ducts
  • Exhaust vent/hood
  • Dryer vent hose

We recommend cleaning out your dryer lint in these areas at least once a year. This can help decrease the risk of a dryer fire occurring!


Inspect Your Lawn

It’s crazy how much you can find lying around your yard once the snow melts.

After a long season of snow storms, you’re bound to find:

  • Fallen/Falling trees
  • Branches,
  • Dirt and Debris,
  • Rotten trees.

Removing debris from your yard ensures it doesn’t become a slip, trip and fall hazard. 

Removing fallen or rotten trees near your home or power lines can help prevent a fire.


Clean The Gutters

Gutter maintenance and repairs are crucial.

Over time, gutters fill with leaves, dirt, sticks and other debris - clogging the water flow.

Clogged gutters can cause,

  • Foundation problems
  • Broken gutters
  • Wall/Ceiling damage
  • Wet basements
  • Insect Infestation

Your insurance company is not responsible for gutter-related home damages.

This means you’re responsible for all costs associated with the damages caused by a clogged or faulty gutter system. And the results can get pricy!

Prevent these costly water damages by clearing out your gutters as often as needed.


Check Your Foundation

Did you know that water damage is the most common cause of home damage? It accounts for about 50% of home insurance claims costs!

Most home insurance policies cover accidental or sudden water damage. They also offer add-ons for more serious coverage - like sewer backup and overland water insurance.

This coverage helps protect your home from heavy rainfall or rapid snow melt.

For example:

You could potentially make a home insurance claim if your basement flooded because the drainage system couldn't keep up.

But your insurance company won’t cover you if you haven’t taken the right precautions.

Foundation Maintenance Tips:

  • Check your foundation for cracks.
  • Keep melting snow away from the foundation walls and basement windows.
  • Ensure proper grading for water to drain away from your home.

Contact your Mackay broker to learn more about our overland water insurance coverages.


Check Your Roof

Inspect your roof for cracked, lifted or missing shingles. If you don’t replace these shingles, they can 100% lead to leaks - causing more water damage to your roof.

In certain unpreventable scenarios, home insurance companies cover roofing repairs/replacements. But you’ll have to speak with your Mackay insurance broker for the full details.

Want to avoid making a home insurance claim for roofing repairs? We recommend replacing missing shingles and fixing small leaks as needed.

Note: We don’t recommend doing this yourself unless you take all the necessary safety precautions. Hire a professional if you are able.


Repair Driveways and Walkways

Was your driveway or walkway damaged over the winter? Maybe from weather-related incidents or even a snowplough?

We recommend making the necessary repairs right away!

These damages can easily lead to a slip, trip and fall claim due to personal injury on your property.


Clean/Re-Stain Woodwork

Freshen up your outdoor woodwork (i.e. decking) to ensure its structural integrity.

We recommend,

  • Cleaning the woodwork
  • Checking for rotting wood or loose materials
  • Checking for loose nails or wobbly railings.
  • Making any necessary repairs.
  • Re-staining if necessary.

These steps help fortify your home and keep your home insurance valid.


Clean Up Your Insurance Policies

While you’re checking off your list, don’t forget to note any changes, questions and concerns along the way.

Spring is the perfect time to re-evaluate your insurance policies and ensure everything is up to date.

For example:

Have you made any repairs, replacements or renovations to your home?

Do you have the right home coverage (i.e. overland water coverage)?

Do you need to revisit the terms of your policy?

These questions may affect your policy validation, future home insurance claims and liability.


Contact Your Mackay Insurance Broker Today!

Contact our Mackay Insurance brokers in Belleville and Napanee to learn more about our home insurance packages.

Our Belleville Office: 613-966-5740

Our Napanee Office: 613-354-2555

You can also visit our website to get a free quote on home insurance!

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2023 Cottage Insurance Checklist: For Your Best Season Yet!

Mackay Cottage Insurance Ontario.

2023 Cottage Insurance Checklist: For Your Best Season Yet!

Cottage season is right around the corner! 

Who doesn’t love a fun, relaxing trip to the cottage? Whether you’re eight years old or eighty, the novelty never ends! 

Those calm mornings you spend reading in your favourite Muskoka chair.  The sunny afternoons you spend boating through waves and swimming off the dock.  Those cosy evenings around a family fire - roasting more marshmallows than you can count.

These memories make cottage living so memorable for the whole family!

While it’s too early to pack your bags, now is the perfect time to start preparing your policy.

Make the most of your cottage weekends this summer with Mackay Cottage Insurance in Belleville, Ontario!

At Mackay Insurance, we strive to make your summer as stress-free and relaxing as possible. That’s why we created an easy-to-follow Cottage Opening Checklist! 


Before You Go 

If this is your first year as a cottage owner, the amount of prep work there is before you even get there may surprise you. But each step is crucial to your family’s safety and the protection of your investment(s). 

Below are four things you should do before you head up to the cottage:

1. Turn On Utilities 

Nobody should spend their first cottage weekend without access to lights and water.

Call your cottage utility providers to turn on all essential services before you head up there. That includes water, electricity, gas, phone, internet, etc. 

These utilities make your first weekend more comfortable, convenient and safe!

2. Book HVAC & Plumbing Inspections 

Booking a quick inspection and tuneup ensures no unwanted surprises upon your arrival. 

Your cottage HVAC and plumbing just spent a whole winter cooped up inside. It’s important to ensure everything is working efficiently and safely.

3. Review your cottage insurance. 

This is one of the most crucial steps in preparing for your cottage opening weekend. 

Make sure that all your cottage-related insurance policies are up-to-date and active. These include those for your cottage, boat, RV, trailer, other recreational watercraft, etc. 

Need a new insurance policy? Want to lower your rates? 

Call your Mackay Insurance broker and ask about our cottage insurance packages! 

What insurance policies should I review before opening weekend?

4. Pack all the essentials

Lastly, you’ll want to ensure you pack all the essentials. 

Your typical cottage packing list will include food, water, emergency supplies, etc. 

But a successful cottage opening weekend may mean packing a few extra items. 

Your first trip back is the time to clean up, assess and repair your cottage and property. This visit sets the stage for the rest of the summer.

So pack everything you need to ready your cottage for a safe summer season - that includes basic tools and materials.

Making the necessary repairs ensures your cottage insurance policy stays valid. 

Here’s a list of essential items we recommend packing for your first trip: 

  • Cleaning supplies. 
  • Batteries for fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Tools for simple repairs.
  • Flashlights (to check basements, attics, outdoor buildings, etc.).
  • Keys (don’t forget the ones to the boathouse!).


When You Arrive

You’ve arrived! Time to get to work.

There’s a list of things to check off before kicking your feet up. Here’s how to get started!

1. Inspect Your Cottage Interior

First things first, how’s it look inside? After almost seven months, who knows what you’ll find! 

  • Look for signs of rodents and other animals. Telltale signs include droppings, gnawed wire, torn insulation, etc. 
  • If you have a basement, check for signs of spring flooding.
  • Check for water damage. This could be mould, mildew, leaks, cracks and discolouration in walls/ceiling. 

You cannot make an insurance claim for rodent infestation. But some insurance companies offer specific water damage coverage. 

For example:

At Mackay Insurance, we offer optional add-on coverages for your cottage insurance policy. One of these is overland water coverage. 

This coverage protects you from damage caused by sudden ground/surface water accumulation. 

Do you have water damage or basement flooding due to spring run-off or an overflowing river? Contact your Mackay broker! 

Your broker will check your policy and let you know if the incident has coverage. 

2. Inspect Your Cottage Exterior

After thoroughly inspecting your cottage interior, it’s time to peak outdoors. 

Here, you’ll want to check your cottage exterior. This includes your property, patio, decking, docks, outdoor buildings etc. 

Here’s where you should check for damages:

  • Power lines (stay far away from these!),
  • Windows and doors,
  • Roofing,
  • Siding,
  • Railings,
  • Decking,
  • Docks,
  • Outbuildings, etc. 

Cottages located in heavily forested areas or near water are typically quite vulnerable. Wind, rain, heavy snow and fallen trees can all present extreme risks! 

If you’re unsure whether your policy covers specific damages call your Mackay broker

3. Look for fire hazards.

Fire prevention should always be top of mind for an Ontario cottage owner. So while inspecting your cottage, remember to check for potential fire hazards too.

Indoors, you’ll want to: 

  • Check exhaust vents and flues of all fuel-burning appliances. Make sure no flammable debris or obstructions surround the area.
  • Clean your chimney.
  • Dispose of hazardous waste properly (cleaning solvents, paints, etc.).
  • Check all electrical fuse boxes and wiring. 

Outdoors you’ll want to: 

  • Stack dry firewood well away from your cottage. 
  • Clear any fallen leaves, branches and dried brush away from the surrounding area.

Learn more about fire coverage for your cottage. 

4. Prepare The Plumbing.

First, you’ll want to prime your sump pump system.

Second, you’ll want to set up your hot water tank. 

Third, test your taps and toilets to ensure they operate well.

Fourth, check around your septic tank. Is it damp or smelly? If so, you may need to get it pumped before the season starts.

Are you worried about your sewer backing up?

Our cottage insurance package at Mackay offers optional sewer backup coverage!

Contact your Mackay broker today to update your policy.


Protect Your Investments With Mackay Cottage Insurance 

You’ve waited all winter to get back to the cottage. And we want you to enjoy every moment of the season ahead! 

The above steps can help you lower the risks for a safer cottage season! After that, leave the worries to u and go enjoy the summer vacation you deserve.

Below are the cottage insurance policies you should review before opening weekend:


Cottage Insurance 

Get a Free Quote

Cottage insurance is a specialized policy designed for secondary or vacation homes. It’s typically added to your home insurance policy. 

Depending on your specific plan, your cottage insurance may cover

  • Vandalism, fire and theft,
  • Damage from falling objects,
  • Lightning, hail and windstorm damage.

Learn more about cottage insurance!


Boat Insurance 

Get a Free Quote

Boat insurance typically covers

  1. The boat itself, and 
  2. Your liability in the event of an accident. 

This coverage financially protects the boat from physical risks. This can include fire, loss, vandalism or damage. 

It also protects you, the boat owner, if you cause injury or damage to another party/property. 

Learn more about boating insurance on our blog!


Trailer Insurance 

Get a Free Quote

Travel trailer insurance covers the trailer itself, the contents and loss of use. 

This coverage protects the boat from loss, theft, damage, collision, etc. 

It also protects the trailer contents (i.e. personal items, appliances, etc.).

Lastly, if your trailer becomes damaged or destroyed, a trailer policy can help get you home.

Your insurance company will provide you with a substitute vehicle or transportation funds.

Learn more about travel trailer insurance!


Get In Touch

Are you excited about the upcoming cottage season? We sure are! 

If you need help with a new cottage insurance policy or want to review your existing policy, give us a call!

We make your cottage insurance easy and affordable.

Contact our Belleville office at 613-966-5740 or our Napanee office at 613-354-2555

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Peace of Mind While You're Away - Home Insurance Belleville Ontario

Get ready for a relaxing vacation with Mackay Home Insurance Belleville Ontario.

Peace of Mind While You're Away - Home Insurance Belleville Ontario

Taking a well-deserved vacation this winter? Take us with you!

Just kidding…but seriously.

While we would love to join you on your Southern excursions, we won't fit in your suitcase. But your insurance policy will!

Your home insurance policy is always there for you - whether you’re at home or not!

It will protect your home 24/7/365, so you can enjoy your home away from home. That is, as long as you have taken all the necessary precautions that your policy outlines.

So before you say sayonara, make sure you have checked off your vacation to-do list - and read the fine print of your insurance policy too!


What Does Your Home Insurance Policy Cover While You’re Away?

Your home is probably your biggest investment, financially speaking. But it should never hold you back from investing time in your family or health.

Taking a vacation can do wonders for your health and relationships. But if you’re constantly worried about what’s happening at home, it can be more stressful than relaxing.

That’s where your home insurance policy comes in!

This policy covers the home itself, its contents and your personal liability.


Your policy covers the physical structure of your home from loss or damage. Although your policy may vary, most standard versions have general insured perils.

In most cases, this would include loss or damage caused by:

  • Theft
  • Explosion
  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Smoke
  • Water
  • Wind
  • Falling Objects
  • Plane or Vehicle Impact.

Note: Your Mackay Home Insurance policy may outline specific restrictions to these coverages.


Your policy also insures the contents of your home - including things like:

  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Electronics
  • Bicycles
  • Sports Equipment

Your policy covers the costs of your belongings if they become lost, damaged or vandalized. 

Note: Your Mackay Home Insurance policy may outline specific restrictions to these coverages.

Personal Liability

Lastly, your home insurance policy protects your personal liability. This policy covers legal and medical costs if someone becomes injured on your property.

We discussed this coverage in more detail in one of our recent blogs about slips, trips and falls on your property.

Note: Your Mackay Home Insurance policy may outline specific restrictions to these coverages.

Extra Coverages (Endorsements)

Other optional coverages under your home insurance policy include:

  • Sewer backup
  • Equipment breakdown
  • Flood
  • Earthquake
  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost etc.

Do you have any questions about extra coverage on your policy? Contact your Mackay home insurance broker for more information.


Your Vacation To-Do List

It’s crucial to prepare your home before you leave on vacation. Proper care ensures your house is in good condition when you go and when you return. It also prevents countless avoidable disasters and secures your policy.

That’s right!

Your Mackay Home Insurance in Belleville, Ontario, has specific requirements if you plan on leaving home. Whether it’s a 3-day weekend trip or a month-long vacation, your house must be properly cared for.

If you don’t take proper care in preventing avoidable disasters, you could face,

a) Higher insurance claims, or

b) A void insurance policy.

In other words, your relaxing vacation can quickly turn into an expensive disaster.

That’s why you must know the precautions outlined in your policy before going.

But not all requirements are the same!

Many are similar, and most are common sense. But each insurance company has different requirements. So be sure to read the fine print on your Mackay home insurance policy before you begin your prep. 

Below are a few of the most important steps in preparing your home for vacation. While not all are mandatory in your policy, they do ensure your home is well-cared for and safe for your return.


  1. Contact your Mackay Insurance broker.

Always let your Mackay Insurance broker know if you’ll be away from home for an extended time.

We can help walk you through the mandatory precautions and ensure your policy isn’t affected.


  1. Arrange for a house sitter.

In all home policies, having somebody stop by every 48-72 hours is actually mandatory. But it’s also something we’d recommend, even if it weren’t required.

Having a trusted family member, friend or neighbour over while you’re away can help prevent damage and theft. 


  1. Don’t spread the word. 

We recommend only telling close family, friends or neighbours about your vacation plans. We also suggest you do not post vacation photos on social media until you return home.

Letting everyone know you’re not home could increase the risk of break-ins and theft.


  1. Make it look like someone is home.

Making it appear as though someone is home can help deter intruders.

Set up timers on your indoor lighting or have your neighbour park their car in your driveway.


  1. Install security cameras and lighting.

On that note, you also want to invest in a home security system. That could include indoor/outdoor security cameras, lighting or alarms. Or all of the above!

Depending on your chosen security system, you can also watch your security footage from your phone.


  1. Put all valuables in safe storage.

Be sure to lock up valuable possessions before you leave the house. This could include jewellery, important documents or electronics (i.e. desktop computers).


  1. Reset your thermostat.

Lowering your thermostat won’t affect your insurance policy. But it can help lower your heating bill!

Lowering your thermostat by just a few degrees can help cut your bills while still preventing mould and mildew growth.


  1. Do a deep clean of your house (including the garbage - in and out!).

Cleaning your home before you leave will help ensure you don’t come home to any surprises. 

Leaving food on the counter or garbage in the bin can cause unwelcome odours and rodents. Neither of which is very welcoming for your return home.


  1. Unplug non-essential appliances.

Unplugging your non-essential appliances can,

a) Help you save on energy, and

b) Protect them from a power surge.

Non-essential appliances include things like:

  • Coffeemakers
  • Computer chargers
  • Televisions


10. Prepare your plumbing.

Unless you have someone living in your home while you're away, turn off the plumbing.

This includes shutting off your water and putting your water heater in vacation mode. You'll also want to ensure your pipes are completely dry before leaving to avoid frozen pipes.


11. Double-check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

Always ensure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors have fresh batteries.

If your neighbour hears your smoke alarm go off, they can make emergency calls.

And if you have a house sitter in your home, these devices are also imperative to their safety. 

These detectors are also mandatory in all Ontario homes. So ensuring they’re working properly will ensure you aren’t found negligent in the event of a fire or CO leak. 


Protect Your Home With Mackay Homeowner’s Insurance!

Is your home insurance policy up-to-date? Do you have the coverage you need for your extended family vacation?

Contact your Mackay broker for home insurance in Belleville, Ontario! We offer instant online home insurance quotes.

Contact our Belleville office at 613-966-5740 or our Napanee office at 613-354-2555.

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CAA Belleville Insurance: Multi Discount Savings and 24/7 Emergency Roadside Help

Couple Calling For CAA Belleville Insurance

CAA Belleville Insurance: Multi Discount Savings and 24/7 Emergency Roadside Help

Planning a road trip? Get there safe and sound with a CAA Belleville membership!

With a CAA Belleville membership at Mackay, you can count on 24/7 roadside service any day of the year. Plus, your CAA membership is valid throughout Canada and the U.S.!

So no matter where you are, we guarantee help is on the way.

The best part?

More protection on the road means more savings for you!

As a CAA reseller, we can combine your CAA account with your Mackay home and auto insurance packages. That means when you register for CAA with us, you can qualify for multi-discount savings!

Trying to determine if CAA is a good investment for you? Keep reading!


What is a CAA Belleville Membership?

CAA (The Canadian Automobile Association) is Canada’s most reliable roadside service provider.

In fact, it’s considered one of Canada’s most trusted brands!

Established in 1913, CAA was originally an advocacy organization for travellers. But today, it has become a sought-after voice. And not just in road safety! In new vehicle technologies, the environment, mobility, and consumer rights.

When you sign up for a CAA Belleville membership, you’re guaranteed to get the help you need - wherever you are!

CAA memberships cover many services - from fuel delivery to flat tire emergencies!

CAA saves you the hassle of dealing with an unexpected roadside emergency alone. So you can enjoy the journey without the stress!


Why Should You Invest in a CAA Membership?

CAA memberships are not mandatory. But as an insurance company focused on loss prevention, protection and safety, we couldn’t recommend it more.

CAA is a valuable resource!

Knowing you have the protection of a reliable team on-call 24/7 is incomparable. It allows you to live a life full of freedom, peace of mind and confidence on the road!


5 Top Benefits of Becoming a CAA Member?

What are the benefits of becoming a CAA Belleville member? Is it worth it?

Let's discuss five of the top benefits below!

1. 24/7 Roadside Assistance

Reliable roadside assistance is one of the most well-known and appreciated CAA services.

Whether you’ve run out of gas, popped your tire or killed your battery, CAA roadside service is there to help! 

They have you covered 24/7 - no matter the season.

CAA Roadside Services Include:

  • Car battery services
  • Flat tire services
  • Fuel delivery services
  • Lockout services
  • Towing services
  • Extrication services
  • Mechanical First Aid

2. Anywhere Towing in Canada And The U.S.

Road-tripping into the States? Travelling across Canada? Commuting to work?

Whether you travel near or far, your CAA membership travels with you!

You can access our roadside services, including towing, anywhere in the U.S. and Canada!

3. Protection in ANY vehicle

Your CAA Membership follows YOU. Not your license plate.

So regardless of what vehicle you’re in, CAA has you covered (as long as the vehicle is eligible) - whether that’s your vehicle or somebody else’s!

As long as you have a CAA membership, help is on the way.

4. Trip Accident and Interruption Assistance

Trip accident and interruption assistance ensure you’re never left stranded!

If your vehicle becomes disabled for 24 hours or more, and you are 160 or more km from home, you may qualify for certain reimbursements!

The reimbursement you're entitled to depend on your membership level, but it can be up to $600.

Trip accident and interruption assistance can cover one of the following:

  • Restaurant meals
  • Accommodation
  • Car rentals
  • Commercial Transportation

5. Two-Day Complimentary Rental Car

What if your vehicle gets towed away? You have to get to work tomorrow somehow!

You get two free car rental days each year with a CAA Premier membership plan.

Don’t worry about finding a ride again. CAA’s got you covered!

Note: Only Premier members have access to this complimentary benefit.


How To Get Help On The Road

If you have a membership, how do you use it? We explain the steps of using your CAA membership below!

But first…

Is Your Vehicle Eligible For Roadside Assistance?

As mentioned above, your membership follows you, not your car. So as long as you are in an eligible vehicle, you should qualify for your specific plan’s benefits!

Eligible Vehicles Include:

Note: some of these vehicles may require specific CAA membership plans (i.e. CAA Premier RV). Not all benefits apply to all vehicles (i.e. Bike Assist).

Ineligible Vehicles Include:

  • Limousines
  • Taxis/Ubers/Lyft vehicles
  • Vehicles equipped with storage for hazardous materials
  • Minibuses
  • Racing cars/demolition cars
  • Tractors
  • Snowmobiles
  • Two-seater UTVs

Requesting Roadside Assistance

CAA has over 35,000 road service vehicles throughout Canada and the U.S. So no matter where you are, they can get to you!

Here’s how to request roadside service:

First, get prepared.

The first step in requesting roadside service is to ensure you have all the information you need before calling.

As soon as you request service, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your membership number and expiry date.
  • Your name and address.
  • The location of the disabled vehicle.
  • The vehicle's make, model, year, colour and licence number.
  • The problem with your vehicle.
  • A phone number where they can contact you.

*To receive service, you must remain at or near your vehicle. CAA will accommodate you in extenuating circumstances.

*If you have an animal with you, You must let your provider know.

Next, contact CAA.

There are four ways to contact CAA for roadside assistance:

  1. The CAA App
  2. Call: 1-800-222-HELP (1-800-222-4357)
  3. Text "RESCUE" to 222247
  4. Request Service Online

Lastly, track your service!

Once you’ve requested service, you can start tracking their arrival using The CAA Service Tracker.


Why Sign Up For a CAA Membership Through Mackay Insurance?

As mentioned above, Mackay Insurance is a registered CAA reseller.

When you sign up for a CAA Belleville membership through us, we can link it to our account. This can qualify you for exciting multi-discount saving opportunities!

Planning on becoming a member? Don’t forget to use the registration link on this page and contact us to combine your CAA account with your Mackay home and auto insurance.


Wherever You Go, We’re There For You!

Our mission at Mackay Insurance is to keep you and your family safe and well-protected. What better way to do that than to ensure you have the help you need right when you need it?

Register for your CAA membership through Mackay Insurance today and let our team save you time, money and stress. So you can enjoy the journey!

Contact our Belleville office at 613-966-5740 or our Napanee office at 613-354-2555.

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