Mackay Insurance Blog
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
- Being your own boss,
- Making your own hours, and
- 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!
- 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:
- Window/Door Installers
- Cleaning (Residential, commercial, and industrial)
- Legal Consultants
- Painting (Residential, commercial, and industrial)
- Snow plowing
- Marketing Consultants
- 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!
- Tool Floaters
- Equipment Floaters
- Installation Floaters
- Builders Risk
- 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.
We also offer FREE contractor insurance quotes!
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)
- Equipment (GPS equipment, dinghies)
- Boat trailers
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
- Theft &
These situations are beyond your control.
Thankfully, boat coverage protects the physical boat and any attached/onboard boating equipment.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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:
- Vandalism or malicious mischief
- Damage caused by aircraft
- Damage caused by vehicles
- Fire or lightning
- Riot or civil commotion
- Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- Windstorm or hail
- Falling objects
- Damage from water or steam. This could be due to household appliances, plumbing, HVAC, fire-protective sprinkler systems, etc.).
Tenant policies also include legal liability.
This is useful in two separate scenarios:
- If someone accidentally gets hurt while visiting your apartment, or
- 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:
- If your rental is unfit to live in due to an insured peril.
- If you cannot access your rental due to an insured peril in a neighbouring premise.
- 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.
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!
Your policy does not cover loss or damage in the event of a bug problem.
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!
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.
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
- 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.
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.
Freshen up your outdoor woodwork (i.e. decking) to ensure its structural integrity.
- 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.
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!
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.
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,
- 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.
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 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.
Boat insurance typically covers
- The boat itself, and
- 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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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:
- 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.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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:
- Computer chargers
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.
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
- 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!
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:
- Passenger vehicles
- Dune Buggies
- T-Rex, Slingshot and Spyders
- Classic/vintage Vehicles
- Lowered/Modified Vehicles
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:
- Taxis/Ubers/Lyft vehicles
- Vehicles equipped with storage for hazardous materials
- Racing cars/demolition cars
- 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:
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!
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!
Contractor Insurance Quotes For a Safer Job Site
Your business is your livelihood. Your passion! And it’s up to you to ensure it’s safe and protected.
As a contractor, you have the incredible opportunity to work in a wide variety of settings. To work with and for many different people. And to experience new challenges daily.
It’s exciting yet also demanding. And the results are always worth it in the end. That’s the thrill of working as a contractor!
But without the right coverage, these exciting challenges can quickly become your greatest risk. Or even your downfall!
Learn more about contractor insurance as well as how to get free contractor insurance quotes below.
What Is Contractor Insurance?
A day in the life of a contractor is never the same as the last. There’s always something new to learn. And their “office” is typically on the go. And while it’s exciting, we also mentioned how risky it can be.
Construction and maintenance work is actually considered one of the most dangerous professions. That includes homebuilders, ironworkers, roofers etc.
These jobs involve more physical labour, heavy-duty machinery/equipment and dangerous working conditions.
Common Contractor Professions:
- General Contractors
- Handyman Services
- Excavating Companies
- Roofing Contractors
- Masonry Contractors
- Painting Contractors
- Drywall & Siding Contractors
- HVAC Companies
All these professions involve at least one element of risk. Most involve more than one.
For example, electricians face several dangers at a job site. This includes electrical shock, burns, falls, toxic substance exposure or personal injury.
And that’s just while they’re on the job site!
Other risks associated with contract work include:
- Damage to third-party property,
- Completed work liability and
- Reputation harm.
That’s where contractor insurance comes in!
Contractor insurance protects contractors, subcontractors and contracting companies against,
- Liabilities and
Contractor insurance includes the four areas mentioned above. That is bodily injury, completed work, reputation harm and third-party property damage.
On top of these coverages are optional add-ons, including:
- Installation Floaters
- Builder’s Risk Coverage
- Tool Floaters
- Pollution Insurance
- Performance Bonds
- Contractor’s Surety Bonds
- Cyber Security
- Fleet Coverage
Your Mackay Insurance broker can help ensure you have the best coverage for your needs. Ask about our contractor insurance quotes to get started!
Why Should You Invest in Contractor Insurance?
There are many reasons to invest in a contractor insurance policy. Some air on the side of caution, while others are legally required.
In Ontario, it’s mandatory for contractors to,
a) Have commercial general liability insurance and to
b) Show a valid insurance certificate.
This insurance protects your business and yourself from property damage or injury claims.
A contractor’s job involves many moving parts. Ranging from people to equipment, machinery, vehicles, tools etc.
It’s no wonder a contractor’s job site is so chaotic!
And when there’s that much chaos happening, accidents are bound to happen.
When those accidents do happen, ensuring you have the right coverage can save your livelihood.
Ask your Mackay Insurance broker about our free contractor insurance quotes today! We ensure you have all the mandatory coverages in place. We can also discuss further recommendations to help protect your business.
What Does Your Contractor Insurance Policy Cover?
Your contractor insurance policy covers four specific areas. That includes injuries, damaged property, completed work and reputation harm.
These coverages protect you, the contractor, and the client.
Let’s discover what each of these coverages entails below!
Damage to Third-Party Property
Your contractor liability insurance covers accidental damages to third-party property. This could be to the property, a nearby property or something within the property.
Your insurance covers the legal fees associated with this damage. That includes repair and replacement costs.
An HVAC contractor accidentally damaged your walls while carrying equipment into your home. Their liability insurance covers the damages caused by this mishap.
We’ve already mentioned how dangerous contract work can be. Whether it be the tools used, the machinery or the work environment, a day in the life of a contractor is full of risk.
What happens if your work causes bodily injury to a third-party individual? That could be the mailman, the homeowner or even the neighbour.
It’s up to you to have the right insurance coverage to protect yourself, the business and them.
What if a renovator dropped a tool from the roof and it ends up injuring a third-party individual? Their liability insurance covers the legal or medical fees associated with this accident.
The neat thing about contractor insurance is that it doesn’t end when the contractor leaves the job site. Their insurance continues protecting them even after they’ve finished!
An electrician improperly installed new electrical wiring. That wire then leads to a house fire. In this situation, their insurance covers the legal, medical and repair/replacement costs of this house fire..
This is one of the most valuable coverages.
Reputation harm coverage protects against slander, libel, copyright infringement, privacy violations etc.
An example of this would be if a contractor got sued for copyright infringement. Their liability insurance would cover the legal costs associated with this scenario.
There are many other coverages not included in basic contractor liability insurance. We’ve listed a more comprehensive list of extra coverages above.
These extra coverages provide specific protection for specific businesses but are not required.
One example of added coverage is worker’s compensation insurance. This covers medical costs, lost wages, disability and death benefits etc.
Get Free Contractor Insurance Quotes With Your Mackay Broker!
We also offer FREE contractor insurance quotes online!
Does My Home Insurance Plan Cover Slips and Falls On My Property?
Autumn is quickly turning into winter here in Quinte, Ontario. And now that most of the leaves have fallen, homeowners are preparing their properties for the first snowfall. That means goodbye leaf rakes and hello snow shovels!
As you prepare for winter, don’t forget to focus on slip and fall prevention. Although many of us like to prepare for the winter season with holiday decor, the more crucial step is to ensure your property is safe for your family and guests.
Did you know accidental falls are the most common cause of hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits? According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), there were 654,000 ED visits caused by accidental falls in 2016-2017. And resulting injuries varied from fractures to more extreme head injuries.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has also noted that Ontario's snowfall and warmer winter temperatures increase the risk of these fall-related ED visits.
This means homeowners need to be extra cautious when that first November snowfall does hit. Heavy snowfall paired with a mild climate can make for a treacherous landscape.
Don’t get caught off guard with a slip, trip and fall claim! Know what your home insurance policy covers and learn how to prepare your property for the unpredictable snowy season ahead.
Your Home Insurance Plan Covers Medical Payments and Personal Liability
Your home insurance plan protects against numerous types of loss and damages, from theft to house fires, fallen trees, accidental falls etc.
Typically when we think of the term damages, we think of structural damages. Those caused by wind, rain or vandalism. But in a legal case, damages actually pertain to the amount of money compensating for loss, medical expenses, and suffering.
As a homeowner, you are responsible for keeping your property safe. This means keeping up with proper maintenance and ensuring safe conditions.
If someone slips, trips or falls on your property due to dangerous conditions, they could very well sue you! And if you are negligent or at fault for those injuries, you’re held liable.
This is where your home insurance policy comes in!
Your home insurance helps cover medical payment expenses and protects you if you are found liable.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payment coverage helps pay for medical expenses related to the injury on your property.
This can include:
- Hospital stays
- ER visits
- Ambulance rides
- Physical therapy etc.
Personal Liability Coverage
Personal liability coverage protects you financially if you are negligent or at fault.
How do you know if you are legally responsible for the injuries obtained on your property? Answer the following questions to find out!
- Did you cause dangerous conditions on your property?
- Did you fail to fix unsafe conditions on your property?
- Should you, as a reasonable person, have known about and repaired hazards on your property?
You could be found negligent if you answered yes to any of the above questions.
Negligence means you failed to reasonably take care of something - causing damage or injury to someone else.
If you are found negligent, your home insurance will help cover you with personal liability coverage. This coverage helps pay for legal expenses, settlement costs, lost wages etc.
Someone Just Slipped and Fell On My Property! What Should I Do?
First and foremost, make sure they’re okay. Call an ambulance or find medical treatment if necessary.
Write everything down! This includes a complete accident description from the injured person and all witnesses. Don't forget to jot down the necessary witness contact information as well!
Contact your insurance provider and transfer all further discussions to them. You will also want to provide them with all the details you collected in Step 2 and any other information they request.
Take photos of the injury, the area where the injury occurred and any other necessary components.
Find out why the injury occurred and learn how to prevent future accidents.
How To Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents On Your Property
As mentioned above, you are responsible for ensuring the safety of your property. While this applies to indoor and outdoor areas, this article focuses on your outdoor property.
Outdoor Winter Property Maintenance Tips:
- Install railings where necessary.
- Shovel and salt your driveway and walkway as necessary.
- Provide sufficient lighting for your walkway.
- Fix any wear, tear and damage to your property (i.e. an uneven or cracked sidewalk).
Even leaves and other debris can cause a hazardous walkway for visitors. So keeping your walkway clear before the snow comes is just as important!
You may be responsible for maintaining your rented property as a tenant. If you’re unsure, review your tenant contract or clarify these details with your landlord. And don’t forget to get their answer in writing! You may be found responsible if someone injures themselves on your rented property.
Invest In Complete Coverage With a Mackay Home Insurance Plan!
Accidents happen. But they’re not inevitable!
Contact your Mackay Insurance broker today to discuss your home insurance needs! We're committed to protecting your home - for you, your family, your visitors and your wallet!
You can contact us online or call one of our two Quinte office locations below!
Our Belleville Office: 613-966-5740.
Our Napanee Office: 613-354-2555.
Why Classic Car Insurance Is Important All Year Round
Do you need classic car insurance, even during the off-season?
In one of our recent blog posts, we discussed the importance of keeping your boat insured over the winter months. And how, even though it’s tempting to cancel that insurance, we actually recommend keeping it!
In this article, we’re answering the same question, but about your classic car.
As a collector car owner, you know how fragile and treasured your vehicle is. It wasn’t built for Canada’s cold temperatures or rough terrain. And it was definitely not designed to withstand heavy snowfall.
That’s why most vintage car owners keep their vehicles indoors over the winter month. They store them safely away in a shed, garage or vehicle storage facility. And they won’t operate the vehicle again until late spring or early summer,
That is simply the nature of owning a classic car.
Why then is it necessary to ensure your car during the off-season?
If you’re not planning on taking it out for a spin in the snow, wouldn’t it be cheaper to cancel its insurance temporarily?
In most cases, no.
Classic car insurance is not meant to be a temporary solution. It’s a year-round commitment meant to keep your vehicle protected - whether it’s driven or not.
What Does Classic Car Insurance Coverage Include?
Classic car insurance is a specific type of auto insurance. It’s designed to protect antique or classic cars, rather than your everyday-use vehicle.
Classic car insurance is similar to traditional auto insurance in some aspects. However, it offers a more specialized approach to vehicle protection as well.
Some of the similar coverages that you’ll find in both traditional and collector car insurance include:
- Property Damage
- Bodily Injury Liability
The unique aspect of collector car insurance is the specialized coverage it offers for reimbursements, repairs and restoration.
This is where Agreed Value and Spare Parts Coverage comes in!
Agreed Value Coverage
Agreed Value coverage promises the agreed-upon value in the event of theft or damage. This value does not depreciate over time, as does Stated Value coverage.
This ensures you get the full, agreed-upon worth of your vehicle.
Spare Parts Coverage
Because your collector car is so unique, finding part replacements is costly. Spare Parts coverage helps pay for these expensive classic car parts and engine components. So you’re not left shouldering hefty restoration costs on your own!
4 Reasons To Keep Your Classic Car Insurance Over The Winter
You now understand classic car insurance and how it uniquely protects your vintage car. But do you know why you should keep that insurance over the winter?
A lot of car collectors think that pausing their car insurance plan over the winter is smarter and cheaper.
After all, they’re not using the car anyway, so why should they protect it?
But we’re here to tell you why keeping that insurance package is so important. And how it can actually save you money in the long run!
Below are four reasons to keep your classic car insurance over the winter:
1. Your antique vehicle can still become damaged while in storage.
You don’t have to drive your antique car to risk damaging it. Even tucked away in a storage facility, it still has a chance of becoming damaged.
Another vehicle could roll into it. Or even a beam from the ceiling could fall on top of it!
Accidents happen - whether you’re on the road or not. And without the proper insurance, the costly repairs would be yours alone to pay for.
Classic car insurance helps prevent the financial repercussions of these potential damages.
2. Someone can steal your antique vehicle while it is in storage.
Your vintage car is your prized possession. And after putting so much work and money into their restoration, you've probably become extremely protective of it. And for good reason!
Collector cars are rare and valuable. They’re definitely not something you can carelessly leave idling in your driveway or in an unlocked garage.
In minutes, they can get snatched up and resold - either as a whole or for parts. Which is why you are constantly reminded to,
- Lock your garage.
- Cover your vehicle.
- Never leave your car idling unsupervised.
- Never leave the keys in the ignition.
And while classic car insurance won’t prevent theft, it will prevent financial devastation if theft does occur.
3. Your vehicle is always vulnerable to fires, flooding and other natural disasters.
Whether you’ve securely stored your vehicle on your property or within a storage facility, there is still a safety risk.
Your antique vehicle is still vulnerable to fires, floods and other natural disasters. And no matter how many precautions you took in keeping the vehicle safe and away from harm’s way, that risk remains.
The only way to truly protect it is with collector car insurance!
Agreed Value and Spare Parts Coverages safeguard your investment - even in the event of an unforeseen catastrophe!
4. You could experience a penalty for cancelling your insurance plan.
Another reason you should not cancel your insurance for the winter season is to avoid mid-policy cancellation fines.
Most insurance companies offer year-long policies. And if you decide to cancel the insurance for a season, you expose yourself to further financial risk.
Even beyond the risk of financial loss is the effect this cancellation can have on your insurance history. A gap period between insurance plans isn’t something insurance companies like to see. And you could experience higher premiums because of it!
To avoid this penalty and loss of trust from your insurance company, we always recommend keeping your insurance policy until the end of the designated term.
Your Classic Car Is Too Precious Not To Protect!
At Mackay Insurance, safeguarding your investments is what we do. And your classic car holds too much value to not be thoroughly protected.
To learn more about our classic car insurance package, contact our office!
You can reach our Belleville office at 613-966-5740 or our Napanee office at 613-354-2555. And don’t forget to ask about our free, no-obligation collector car insurance quotes!
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:
- 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
- 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.
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!
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.
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!