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May 15 CSR Team Update - Working From Home

Our CSR Team

Hi!

It’s Bruce Mackay from Mackay Insurance - currently working from home! Whether I’m dressed like this, or this, or even this, we’re here to help you!

You can reach me at extension 206 or email me at bruce@mackayinsurance.com.

Most of our staff during COVID 19 are at home and they’re here to help you!

Hi! I’m Holly. My extension is 209 and my email is holly@mackayinsurance.com.

Hi, my name is Wendy. My phone extension is 207 and you can reach me by email at wendy@mackayinsurance.com.

Hi! I’m Anita. I’m working from home! You can reach me by email anita@mackayinsurance.com or at extension 202.

Hi! I’m Donna Mitchell Perry. I’m working from home! You can reach me at donna@mackayinsurance.com or contact me at extension 204. Thanks and stay safe!

Hi! I’m Janet and I’m working from home! You can reach me at my extension 208 or email me at Janet@mackayinsurance.com. Thanks!

Hi! I’m Tara. You can reach me at extension 229 or tara@mackayinsurance.com.

So we’re open for business and here to help! Give us a call at 613 966 5740.

Be safe, and let’s stop this virus!

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May 15 Sales Team Update - Working From Home

Our Sales Team 

Hi!

It’s Bruce Mackay from Mackay Insurance - currently working from home! Whether I’m dressed like this, or this, or even this, we’re here to help you!

You can reach me at extension 206 or email me at bruce@mackayinsurance.com.

Most of our staff during COVID 19 are at home and they’re here to help you!

Hi, I’m Davin and I’m working from home! My extension is 219 and my email address is davin@mackayinsurance.com.

Hello! Don - extension 205. My email address is don@mackayinsurance.com.

Hi I’m Paul, I’m working from home where you can reach me at my email Paul@mackayinsurance.com or extension 211

So we’re open for business and here to help! Give us a call at 613 966 5740

Be safe and let’s stop this virus!

 

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April 24 Update - Check Your Business or Home Daily

Transcript

Hi again everyone, Bruce Mackay from Mackay Insurance.

You know, Covid-19 has impacted us in many ways. One of which, for business owners, is the shutdown of their business. For your buildings, you do need to check on them, and we recommend that you check on them daily.

There's a few things that you should be checking on:

First, check your sump pump. Make sure it's in working order. Also check your water systems, making sure if you have any sprinkler systems, fire extinguisers, or your plumbing - check for leaks.

Second, check on your heating and thermostat. Make sure your building is properly maintained.

Third, check on your roof. You want to make sure that there's not any missing shingles or any leaks.

Fourth, check on your property. It's a good practice to check it daily.

Also, if you're a homeowner, and there's been a change in your home or if you've had a rental home and it's now vacant. You do need to let your insurance company know. These are things that sometimes people forget. We recommend that if you have any changed use of your building, that you contact us as soon as possible.

These are trying times, and we're here to help. If you need any more information, please contact your broker or give us a call at 613-966-5740. You can also email us at info@mackayinsurance.com.

Please be safe.

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Tips to Keep Your Basement Dry - Mackay Insurance April 15 Update

Transcript

They say April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring floods, and claims.

Hi folks, Bruce Mackay here with a few tips to keep your basement dry.

First, check your downspouts and your eavestroughs. Over the winter, lots of things could have gotten into them and blocked them. Make sure you check the bottom and maybe get an extension that will take the water away from the house.

Second, if you're spending a lot more time at home, perhaps putting this on your project or to do list for the spring is to make sure the grading is pulling away from the house. So as water comes off your roof it doesn't go back towards the house, but goes away from the house.

Third, check your sump pump. Sump pumps that haven't worked in a while, you want to make sure that they're in good working condition. As well, we get storms in April and should the power go out, you need to look into getting a battery backup system. The life span can be anywhere from ten to fifteen years on a sump pump, and if yours is older than that, perhaps replacing it and getting a battery backup system in place would be a good idea.

For all these and more tips, contact your broker. We are working away from the office right now. You can contact us by phone at 613-966-5740, leave a voicemail and we'll call you back, or by email at info@mackayinsurance.com.

Please be safe. We'll see you next week.

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Mackay Insurance Update April 9 - From Bruce Mackay

Mackay Insurance Update April 9 - From Bruce Mackay

Video Transcript

Hi There. Thanks for joining me today.

As you may or may not be able to tell. I'm coming to you from my home office. This is my living room.

Due to Covid-19, to protect most of our staff, we have moved them to working from home.

While our offices at 35 Jim Kimmett Blvd in Napanee and 211 Dundas St. East in Belleville are temporarily closed, we are definitely open for business.

You can contact us by phone at 613-966-5740 - you'll likely get voicemail, but we will likely call you right back.

Also, you can email us (see our staff list here).

Over the next week we'll be relaunching our app and customer portal. You can go online and get your documentation as well as your liability slips directly. It's a self-serve option and it'll be really slick when it's launched.

As well, we just launched something on our website where you can pay your policy by credit card (link). As well you can send your e-transfer instead of coming in to the office. You can e-transfer to us at liz@mackayinsurance.com.

From all of my staff, we want to wish you well, we want to wish you safety, during these challenging times. And we will be in touch with more announcements in the coming weeks.

Be safe everyone.

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5 Steps to Shop for Car Insurance Online in Ontario

key with insurance tag for auto insurance

Sometimes it seems you can buy just about anything online today.

Car insurance is no exception.

It has never been easier than it is today to shop for car insurance online in Canada.

But in exchange for the convenience of doing your research from home, you give up some potential cost savers that come with shopping over the phone or in person.

Plus, the world wide web is like the last Wild West frontier for shoppers – if you don’t know how to tell if an online auto insurer is legitimate, you might get taken for the wrong kind of ride.

In this post, we outline our tips for shopping effectively for car insurance online here in Ontario. Of course, you can always contact us directly for an insurance quote. We’re happy to do the shopping for you and find the best rate available for you from all of our vendors.

1. Get all your auto insurance needs down on paper

This may not be something you feel confident to answer yourself. But you can at least familiarize yourself with what the province of Ontario requires as far as a basic car insurance policy.

At the time of this post, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario mandates that your car insurance policy must at least meet the following requirements:

  • Third party liability coverage: $200,000 minimum

  • Income replacement benefit: 70 percent of gross income (up to $400/week)

  • Medical rehabilitation/non-catastrophic: $65,000

  • Medical rehabilitation/catastrophic: $1 million

  • Catastrophic/caregiver: $250/week for dependent 1 and $50 for each additional

  • Catastrophic/home: $100/week

  • Death and funeral: $25,000 payout to spouse; $10,000 payout to each dependent; $6,000 funeral expenses

These are the minimum legal requirements and are not adequate for anyone. As an example the minimum liability limit anyone should consider is $1,000,000, and the other minimum limits should be reviewed. However if you do an online quote for “basic coverage,” this may be all you are buying. Check what you are getting a price on against this checklist so you know what has been upgraded and what has not.

These minimum coverages also do not give you insurance on your car – for example, if it is stolen or if you bump into someone in a parking lot and your car is damaged.

2. Write down all possible savings and discount options

Because carrying car insurance is mandatory in Ontario, once you know the coverage you want, the coverage that companies provide will be similar. 

Where insurance companies can and do get competitive is in the types of discounts, savings and perks they offer their customers.

Here are examples of savings and discounts you may be eligible to receive:

  • Discounts and perks for memberships you have, and groups you are part of. As an example, at Mackay Insurance we represent one insurance company that will give a discount for CAA membership, and another insurance company that will reward you with Air Miles points.

  • Good driver discount: Accident-free for a certain period? This could save you money.

  • Discounts for how you pay your premium – you may be able to save money if you want to pay in two or three installments instead of in 12 monthly installments

  • Multiple policies: if you insure your cars and house with the same broker, you could get a valuable discount.

  • Good grades: For younger drivers, good grades can sometimes save you money on your policy.

  • On-board driver tracking device: part of a new breed of insurance policies called “usage-based insurance,” some insurers now offer savings for drivers who allow their driving to be monitored in real time.

  • Limited vehicle usage: If you drive only during certain hours of the day or on certain days or at certain times of year, this could lower your premium.

  • If you keep your car on your private driveway or in your garage at night instead of parking it on the street, you may be eligible for a discount.

3. Consider your deductible comfort zone

If you are still paying off a loan on your car, the lienholder may limit what your deductible options are.

In general, raising your deductible will lower your car insurance premiums. Just be sure you don’t raise your deductible beyond what you could readily pay out of pocket if your vehicle gets damaged. Get the price difference on a few deductible options and find the balance that makes sense. If a much larger deductible saves you only a few dollars, keep the lower deductible.

4. Be sure to verify that the insurer is licensed to provide policies to Ontario residents

This is a big one! When you shop for car insurance online, the burden is on you to be sure the quote you receive is from an insurer who is licensed to provide policies to Ontario residents.

Here at Mackay Insurance, we have heard just about every horror story there is about how customers got taken for a ride by unethical insurers.

We don't want this to happen to you! If you end up without insurance, you get hit three times. You may not be able to get back the premium you paid to an unethical, unlicensed company. You may pay a fine for not having proper insurance. And you won’t have the coverage you thought you were buying.

When in doubt, the best way to verify that the insurer is legitimately licensed to do business in Ontario is to contact the Financial Services Commission.

5. Research the insurer thoroughly before choosing your policy

Even after verifying that the insurer is legally permitted to offer you an auto insurance quote, you should do additional research to make sure the insurer has positive ratings and is in good standing in the community.

Look for independent reviews and read what other customers say about working with that insurer. Verify that the insurer has a local office, a brick-and-mortar physical location where you can meet with brokers or claims adjusters in person if you need or want to.

Get in Touch

Do you need help shopping online for Ontario car insurance? Our friendly, knowledgeable brokers can assist you!

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-888-853-5552.

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5 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Amount of Life Insurance

how much life insurance coverage do i need

Buying life insurance is never fun. But it doesn't have to be difficult or even stressful.

In fact, life insurance as a product is actually designed to help ease stress, worry and anxiety in your life.

With the right life insurance policy by your side, you can wake up each day knowing your loved ones will be taken care of financially should you suddenly be unable to provide for their needs.

But getting there can feel daunting, especially when you are trying to figure out which type of life insurance product offers what and how much of it all you actually need.

In this post, we aim to demystify and simplify life insurance step by step so you can select the right policy with ease and confidence.

Step 1: Choose Between Term and Permanent Life Insurance

There are two basic umbrella categories of life insurance: term and permanent.

Term life insurance

Term life insurance is the simpler of the two types of life insurance you can buy here in Canada.

Term life insurance gets its name from how it works: the policy is active for a set term and activates only if the policyholder dies. Once the policy term expires, it is necessary to buy a new term life insurance policy to stay covered, and the premium for the next term will generally be higher.

The one exception is if you purchase a convertible term life insurance policy. In this case, you can convert your policy into a permanent life insurance policy as long as you do so before the term expires.

You should choose term life insurance if:

  • You have debt and just need to know your family has financial protection in place until the debt is retired.

  • You have a limited budget for life insurance and need predictable premiums.

  • You are building an investment portfolio elsewhere.

Permanent life insurance

Permanent life insurance is sometimes also called universal or whole life insurance, although there are some important differences about each.

Essentially, permanent life insurance is a type of policy that is, as its name implies, permanent - it stays with you throughout life and your premium is generally the same for your entire life. It also has a value in addition to the amount it pays out when you die, so it is like a combination life insurance policy and investment.  

As such, permanent life insurance is often viewed as both a protective policy and an investment policy.

You should choose permanent life insurance if:

  • You want to add life insurance to your investment portfolio.

  • You are able to afford the higher premiums for having a cash value to your policy.

  • You want to offer your dependents a guaranteed death benefit payout.

  • You are interested in the tax benefits from holding a life insurance policy.

  • You want the flexibility to access the equity on your policy in emergencies.

Step 2: Decide How Much Life Insurance You Need to Buy

Because the whole topic of life insurance can feel emotionally charged, it can be good to talk through this step in the decision-making process with your insurance broker.

Having friendly, knowledgeable, objective input can really simplify the planning process.

We like to give our clients this simple 4-step worksheet:

1. How much debt are you carrying?

You may have a car note, a mortgage, student loans, credit card debt or all of the above.

In the event your income suddenly ceases, these creditors will be first in line to gobble up any available resources.

So you definitely want to make sure you purchase sufficient life insurance to cover your debts until they are paid in full.

2. Who is financially dependent on you?

Do you have a spouse? Children? Grandchildren? Elderly parents? Pets?

Consider who among your loved ones may find themselves in sudden financial distress if you were to pass prematurely.

3. What is your monthly net income?

At the very least, you want your life insurance policy to be able to cover your ongoing monthly financial obligations (such as debt) plus replace your monthly net income.

4. What are your dependents' future financial needs?

If you are saving for a child's higher education or have an aging loved one who may need future care, these are examples of financial needs to factor in when choosing your policy amount.

Buy Earlier And Pay Less in Life Insurance Premiums

Like any insurance product, life insurance premium quotes factor in a variety of risk variables.

The major risk variable when it comes to life insurance, however, is, well, death. So it just makes sense that you may well pay lower insurance premiums when you are young.

This can be helpful for budgeting as well as future financial and investment planning.

Other Ways to Save on Life Insurance Costs

You may also be able to trim your premium costs by taking advantage of these cost-saving tips.

  • Ask your employer about group life insurance (employer-sponsored life insurance).

  • Opt for term life insurance if premium costs are a real issue.

  • Choose a shorter term up front.

  • Use a life insurance broker like Mackay Insurance that can shop around for the best rates on your behalf.

  • Pay for your premiums once annually instead of monthly or semi-annually.

  • Ask about preferred rates (these can include non-smokers, health history, etc.).

  • Buy a stand-alone life insurance policy instead of mortgage life insurance.

Get in Touch

Do you need expert, objective guidance to help you protect your loved ones through the purchase of a life insurance policy? We can help! Just complete this simple online form to get a no-obligation life insurance quote.

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

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Take Water Safety to a Whole New Level With Boat Insurance

knot on dock

Next to your home and personal vehicles, your boat may represent one of the biggest investments you make in life.

Yet far too many boat owners neglect the one task that will protect this investment no matter what life or open waters may bring: boat insurance.

We know buying boat insurance isn’t exactly fun. It isn’t why you wanted to invest in a boat. Just tending to the maintenance itself is no joke – that boat of yours probably keeps you pretty busy even in the off-season!

But this is also why winter is the best time of year to talk with your Mackay Insurance broker and find out what boat insurance has to offer. This way, you can look forward to your launch this spring with confidence that your investment is completely protected!

What Is Boat Insurance?

Boat insurance is designed to protect certain categories of watercraft, whether motorized or not.

The main categories of covered watercraft include:

  • boats (both motorized and non-motorized)

  • watercraft (like jet skis, inflatables)

  • motors

  • equipment (GPS equipment, dinghies)

  • boat trailers

If you are not sure if your boat or watercraft will qualify for boat insurance, our friendly Mackay brokers are happy to talk about it with you.

What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Boat insurance policies are designed to cover you in a number of different categories. You may need all or some of the types of coverage a boat insurance policy is designed to provide.

Boat insurance, like most insurance products today, can be customized to your unique needs and concerns.

These are the basic categories a standard boat insurance policy will offer coverage for:

Liability

Liability coverage is the big one for most boat owners, regardless of craft type; it will protect you if you get into an accident with your boat that causes injuries or fatalities or harms another person’s property.

Emergencies

Emergency services can include coverage for boat repairs or towing.

Damage to the boat itself

All-risk coverage protects you for the types of events you simply cannot foresee.

Some examples include damage, theft, vandalism, destruction, weather, fire, explosion, lightning strikes and other situations that are beyond your control that cause damage or destruction of your boat and related property.

Do You Really Need Boat Insurance?

This is a really good question! Be aware that some types of low-value, low-liability watercraft may actually be covered under your homeowners insurance policy. Examples include canoes and kayaks.

But when you start to get into boats as an investment, it is time to look at standalone boat insurance rather than a rider on your homeowners policy. (As a side benefit here, taking out a standalone boat insurance policy will also safeguard you from an increase in homeowners insurance premiums if you have to make a claim for your boat.)

When it comes to determining how much boat insurance you need, there actually is no “one size fits all” answer to this question.

Rather, the boat insurance you need is dependent 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 and other factors.

How Much Boat Insurance Do You Need?

One big question all new boat owners typically have is how to figure out how much boat insurance you need.

As a general rule of thumb, if your boat is valued at $100,000 or less, you will pay about 1 percent of its value annually for your boat insurance policy.

Here, this would mean that insuring your $100,000 boat would cost you about $1,000 in boat insurance annually.

All things considered, paying $1,000 for a boat worth $100,000 is a very reasonable cost to protect the value of your investment.

Are There Discounts for Boat Insurance?

Many boat owners are happy to learn that discounts can apply to boat insurance.

Here are some discounts to be sure to ask about when you talk with your broker about boat insurance:

  • 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

Are you considering a boat purchase? Contact one of our friendly, knowledgeable brokers before you buy to find out what your insurance rate will be.

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-888-853-5552.

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Trailer Insurance: Year-Round Protection for Your Travel Trailer

person coupling a travel trailer

Have you ever heard of “insurance potholes?” As their name implies, insurance potholes are unexpected coverage gaps that arise when you least expect them.

In the case of a travel trailer, camper or recreational vehicle, insurance potholes in your regular homeowners or auto insurance policy often aren’t noticed until it is too late.

You make a call to your insurer because your trailer has become damaged, destroyed, stolen or vandalized, only to be told you have no insurance coverage or only minimal coverage for such issues.

What now? What can you do? The answer is often, sadly, “not much.” We don’t want this to happen to you! This is why Mackay Insurance offers flexible, personalized coverage for these special types of non-motorized wheeled vehicles.

What Is Trailer Insurance?

Trailer insurance is a product specifically designed to cover a vehicle that is not really a vehicle – one that has wheels but doesn’t have a motor.

The exact configuration of what you are towing can vary – you may have a small pop-up camper, a large fifth-wheel trailer, a teardrop sleeper camper or some variation thereof.

As long as it has wheels but no motor and is designed to be towed, not steered, trailer insurance is the right policy to protect what you own.

What Types of Trailers Does Trailer Insurance Protect?

As we just outlined, trailer insurance is designed to protect wheeled vehicles that lack motors.

More specifically, these are the major categories of trailers that trailer insurance is designed to cover:

  • Fifth-wheel campers

  • Tent campers

  • Pop-up campers

  • Truck campers

  • Travel trailers

When Do You Need Trailer Insurance?

Depending on the details of your personal homeowners insurance and auto insurance, you may actually have some amount of coverage for these non-motorized, wheeled, recreational vehicles already.

But then again, you may not.

Before taking out a separate trailer insurance policy, be sure to talk with your Mackay broker and review what existing coverage you already have to see what is and isn’t covered.

What Is Included in a Trailer Insurance Policy?

Like other insurance products, trailer insurance can be personalized to a degree. This means you have flexibility when it comes to options like your deductible, coverage levels, types of coverage, seasonal coverage, etc.

These are the typical categories of coverage that trailer insurance is able to provide:

  • Emergency roadside assistance

  • Damage, destruction or theft of the trailer

  • Damage, destruction or theft of trailer contents (including perishables like food)

  • Collision coverage

  • Water damage coverage

  • Debris damage coverage

  • Lock replacement coverage

  • Injury to people or pets

  • Extended warranty for parts or appliances

In addition, there are special riders available to cover less typical needs.

How Much Trailer Insurance Do You Need?

This is where you will want to look closely at any existing coverage you may have through your homeowners insurance or auto insurance policy.

For example, your homeowners insurance may offer coverage for damage, destruction or theft of some of the contents of your travel trailer. Your auto insurance may cover liability issues when you are on the road with the trailer hitched behind your vehicle.

But the only way to know for sure is to read the fine print and review policy details with your Mackay broker.

Whatever is not covered under any existing insurance policies you already have is what trailer insurance is designed for.

Here, as with other insurance policies, you will have a deductible. The deductible is designed to give you more control over your premium costs, but you don’t want to choose a higher deductible than your finances can comfortably accommodate.

So take a look at the full replacement value of your trailer, minus what existing insurance provides coverage for, minus any amount (if applicable) you can afford to pay out of pocket to fix or replace your trailer. That is the amount of coverage you need.

Should You Rely on Your Homeowners or Auto Policy?

One thing we always tell our clients here at Mackay Insurance is that sometimes purchasing more insurance is actually less expensive in the long run!

For example, let’s say your homeowners and auto insurance policies do provide some level of coverage for your trailer as well. So you assume you don’t need trailer insurance, but then something happens.

Now you are in the stressful position of having to make a claim on your existing homeowners insurance or auto insurance policies if something happens with your travel trailer.

These types of major insurance policies tend to be more expensive in every way, including the hike in premiums you are likely to face after making even a minor claim.

This is why we say that, often, it can be a safer bet for your finances to simply let a separate trailer insurance policy handle any claims you may need to make to repair or replace any aspect of your trailer.

How Much Does Trailer Insurance Cost?

As with other types of insurance policies, the cost of your trailer insurance will be based on the value of your trailer and its contents.

Let’s take a very general example just so you can get a sense of how this might work.

For every $10,000 of value, you can expect to add another $15 or so to your monthly premiums. So for a very basic trailer worth $10,000, your monthly premium would likely be around $15. For a trailer worth $20,000, your monthly premium would be around $30 per month, and so forth.

Do You Own a Travel Trailer or RV?

Mackay Insurance now provides a special type of insurance policy to ensure your travel trailer is protected.

Get in Touch

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-888-853-5552.

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Special-Event Insurance: When You Need It & How to Get It

special event insurance

Special-event insurance is a less well-known product – in fact, most people don’t even know they need it until after their event date has passed!

But depending on what you’re planning, you really may need it. In this litigious society we live in today, you just never know when an unexpected oops might turn into a headline-making lawsuit.

In this post, find out more about what special-event insurance is, when you need it, how much insurance you need and how to get it.

What Is Special-Event Insurance?

Special-event insurance might more accurately be named “special-event planner insurance.” It could also be called “one-day event insurance,” since in most cases it is active only for the time the event is taking place.

The primary purpose and goal of this type of insurance product is to protect you, the event planner, from any event or action that might cause you financial or personal distress.

More specifically, special-event insurance is designed to cover anything and everything that might occur during your special event that no other existing insurance policy will cover.

What Does Special-Event Insurance Cover?

Special-event insurance, like most insurance products, can be customized to some degree. This means the answer to the question of when you need special-event insurance may not be clear-cut at first.

It is always smart to talk with your Mackay broker to share the details of the event you are planning and discover if special-event insurance is a smart choice.

For general purposes, special-event insurance is designed to cover issues such as the following:

  • Damage/destruction of rented property (i.e., venue, tables, chairs, tent, vehicles)

  • Bodily injuries sustained by bystanders, participants, staff or you

  • Extra costs sustained by last-minute vendor cancellations or changes

  • Financial losses due to participant cancellations (permits, security deposits, etc.)

  • Issues related to alcohol (this often requires a special rider on the policy)

  • Event cancellations due to weather, fire, power outages and other unforeseen issues

When Do You Need Special-Event Insurance?

Here are some common event-planning scenarios to help you think through whether or not you may need a special-event insurance policy.

You are hosting an event at your home

In general, if you are hosting small events in your home, your homeowner’s insurance policy will probably be sufficient to cover you.

Here, you want to read the fine print of your policy, because sometimes there are exclusions for gatherings over a certain number of people, where alcohol will be served, specific types of gatherings (such as bachelor/bachelorette parties) and similar limitations.

If you will be bringing in a band, a DJ, portable bathrooms, a tent, valet parking attendants or any similar additions, you may also need one or more permits from your municipality.

And if you are hosting a party where most of the guests are personally not known to you, be sure to talk with your Mackay broker to find out if you need special-event insurance to increase liability coverage during the event.

You are hosting a personal event at a rented space

Purchasing special-event insurance is always a smart move if you are hosting an event at a rented space. If alcohol will be served, be sure to mention this when you take out your policy. Often this will require a separate policy rider.

Here, it does not matter whether the event will be private (invitation-only) or open to the public. In either case, and especially in the latter case, unless the rental venue specifically states otherwise, purchasing your own independent special-event insurance policy is a protection you don’t want to be without on the day of your event.

You are hosting an event for work

If the event you are hosting is for your employer and is part of your job description, it is quite likely your employer already has insurance that will protect you, but be sure to ask!

If the event you are hosting is for your own small business, talk with your Mackay broker about whether your existing small-business liability insurance policy is sufficient to protect you or if you need to add a separate event insurance policy for the day.

How Much Special-Event Insurance Do You Need?

As with any insurance policy, you have options when it comes to purchasing your policy. In general, event insurance is an inexpensive product and also one you have a great deal of control over.

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Life Insurance Is a Gift for the Living

life insurance text

Life insurance is not the cheeriest topic in the world. No one loves to spend their weekend poring over pamphlets about death benefits and future payout potential.

But we do it because of them – our partners, our children, our parents, even our pets.

We do it because we don’t want to lie awake at night worrying about what will happen to our loves when we aren’t there to care for them. We do it because the unexpected is a smart thing to expect in today’s day and age.

Learn about your life insurance options as we move into the holiday season – perhaps this is the year you give this gift for the living to those you love!

Two Basic Types of Life Insurance

Despite what you may have heard or read, there are really only two basic categories of life insurance: term and permanent.

Regardless of which type of life insurance you select, you can expect to make a premium payment (typically remitted monthly or annually) to keep your policy active.

In exchange for your premium payments, your loved ones can expect protection in the form of a death benefit payout should the unfortunate occur.

What Is Term Life Insurance?

This is the simpler of the two options. Term life insurance is more affordable, faster and easier to apply for. It is a popular choice for singles, young couples and young families.

Term life insurance is designed to provide protection for a specific date range, or term.

After the selected period of time has expired, the insurance product also expires, whether there has been a death payout or not. If you continue to need protection, it is then necessary to purchase a new term life insurance policy.

What Is Permanent Life Insurance?

The second type is permanent life insurance. Here is where confusion often sets in, because permanent life insurance goes by lots of different names.

Some common names for permanent life insurance include whole life insurance, universal life insurance and even term to 100 life insurance. But basically, these are all just types of permanent life insurance with different benefit structures.

Permanent life insurance is also designed to provide protection in the form of a death benefit payout. But rather than having an expiration date, permanent life insurance endures until the policyholder passes, so there is never a need to purchase a new life insurance policy.

There is also an additional benefit in that the policy itself can function as a type of retirement investment product. It can be used in multiple ways while the policyholder is alive and passes the benefits on to designated beneficiaries when the time comes.

Why Choose Term Life Insurance?

Term life insurance is designed to be simple, although we realize it may not seem that way at first glance!

Term life insurance is a great fit if you are single, coupled or starting your family. This is the most popular type of life insurance with these three categories of shoppers because the basic goal is simply to protect dependents in case a primary income stream suddenly disappears, through death.

There are different protection periods to choose from. Term-10 is a policy that lasts for 10 years from the date of issue. Term-20 lasts for 20 years. Term-30 lasts for 30 years.

The premium you pay is calculated based on an average risk over the term you choose. Say you choose a term-10 life insurance policy. On the date your policy starts, the risk of death is probably low. But it will increase slightly every year for obvious reasons.

The premium you pay each year will be an average of all 10 years’ worth of risk. For this reason, your premium will not increase during the course of your policy term.

This is what makes longer-term periods attractive to term life insurance policyholders – you get a locked-in rate that includes the lower risk cost of your younger years.

However, when your policy expires after 10, 20 or 30 years, there is no cash value to you (no payout—payouts are not made unless in the case of death) and you will then need to purchase a new policy.

Why Choose Permanent Life Insurance?

Permanent life insurance is by necessity a more complicated type of life insurance product. This is because it is designed to do more than simply provide protection in the form of a death benefit payout.

The first difference is found in the cost of your premiums. This is because permanent life insurance does not have an expiration date. Your premium costs are calculated based on risk of death from now until you actually do pass, whenever that may be.

So the premium payments you make will be higher than they ever will be for term life insurance right from the start. As well, to keep your payments from skyrocketing later in life, premiums start out higher than they would be in a term life insurance policy and stay that rate.

This is important because your policy actually accrues cash value over and above any future death benefit. Each year, your premium payments are held in reserve and appreciate in value.

If you choose to cancel your permanent life insurance policy, you will then receive a refund based on how much you have paid in over and above what your actual risk to date has been.

Get in Touch

Is it time to think about giving your loved ones the gift of protection through taking out your personal life insurance policy? Our friendly, experienced Mackay insurance brokers are happy to help you choose the policy type that meets your needs!

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

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High-Risk Auto Insurance: What It Is, Who Needs It & How to Get It

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Being classified as a high-risk driver can impact your life in some surprising ways. Sure, you expected your auto insurance premiums to increase after that last accident.

But what you probably didn’t expect was to have your auto insurance policy cancelled!

Unfortunately, even as the entire landscape of Ontario auto insurance is changing (read our blog post about this change here), there isn’t much that can change once you are classified as a high-risk driver.

Once your status changes to high-risk, typically your sole goal becomes finding someone, anyone, who will issue you auto insurance.

In this post, find out what you need to know about high-risk auto insurance: what it is, who needs it and how can you get it.

What Is High-Risk Auto Insurance?

As the name suggests, high-risk auto insurance is designed to provide coverage to drivers who have been deemed a “high risk” on the roadways.

What may not be so clear, however, is that different insurers are permitted to create their own set of criteria for determining who falls into the high-risk category and what type of policy they will provide, if any.

For example, some insurers may base this designation solely on your driving record. Other insurers may factor in additional information such as demographics (vehicle type, vehicle age, payment history, etc.).

So while it is always smart to shop around and gather several quotes before choosing an insurer for any type of insurance product, this makes shopping around especially important if you have been designated as a high-risk driver.

Who Needs High-Risk Auto Insurance?

A number of different factors can play into who gets designated as a high-risk driver. While every case is different, let’s look at some of the most common reasons you may be reclassified as high-risk behind the wheel.

Impaired driving

If you have a DUI (driving under the influence) charge on your driver record, even standard high-risk auto insurance may not be sufficient for your needs. DUI insurance is a special category of high-risk auto insurance that some insurers provide for this purpose.

Reckless driving

Reckless driving, which may include careless driving and stunt driving, can quickly get your driver status reclassified to high risk. A number of insurance companies have started to treat a cellphone/distracted driving ticket as a major problem, the same as careless driving.

Driving a high-risk vehicle

These two get frequently confused (for obvious reasons), but driving a high-risk vehicle is not the same as being a high-risk driver.

However, both can end up placing you in the high-risk category when it comes to auto insurance. Insurers view driving a high-risk car as similar to exhibiting high-risk driving patterns – both can end up being expensive for them if you submit a claim.

If you own an exotic car, a vintage restored car, a rare car or a car that frequently tops car thieves’ lists of “most desirable car,” you may wind up paying high-risk insurance rates.

At-fault accident

Ontario has elected to use the no-fault system of administering auto insurance claims. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be declared “at fault” by your insurer during the claims settlement.

More than 40 different accident classifications exist, including types where no one is at fault. But what is most important to know here is that you can be cited for being at fault in an auto insurance claim even though Ontario itself is a no-fault province.

Once you have been cited as at fault in a traffic incident, you can expect your premiums to increase. Different insurers have different criteria for when a driver is moved to the high-risk category for at fault accidents.

Traffic tickets

Another common reason drivers get reclassified as high risk is citation for other types of traffic incidents, including speeding and running red lights.

Other non-traffic reasons

If you are taking out an auto insurance policy for the first time, no data exists to help an insurer calculate their risk to insure you. This alone may place you temporarily in the high-risk category. 

Still another reason you might find yourself in the high-risk insurance category is if you have credit issues. Many people do not realize that allowing an insurance policy to be cancelled because you do not pay the premium will become part of your insurance record the same as having an accident does, and can put you into a high-risk category. 

How to Get High Risk Auto Insurance

Many insurers do offer high-risk auto insurance, although these types of policies are generally less well advertised than mainstream policies.

The best way to begin is to make a connection with an auto insurance broker and explain your situation.

By taking a more personal approach (versus just shopping around anonymously online), your broker can get to know you, learn the details about why you have been classified as a high-risk driver and advocate on your behalf to get you the best deal on a high-risk auto insurance policy.

This can be especially useful when you have been classified as high risk for non-traffic reasons!

As we shared in the introduction here, it can be beneficial to gather at least a few policy quotes so you can compare what each insurer has to offer. Your broker can assist with this process by reaching out to providers in their network to generate quotes on your behalf.

Get in Touch

Are you seeking high-risk auto insurance for yourself or a family member? We can help!

Reach out to us and one of our friendly Mackay Insurance brokers will be able to assist you with gathering high-risk auto insurance quotes and choosing the best policy to meet your needs.

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-888-853-5552.

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