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Do You Have Insurance for Emergencies and Natural Disasters in Canada

Mackay Insurance provides the best rates and coverages for emergency and natural disaster insurance in Belleville, Ontario.

Do You Have Insurance for Emergencies and Natural Disasters in Canada

No matter where you look in the world today, it seems emergencies of all types are on the rise.

Changing weather and climate conditions, overloaded power grids in densely populated urban areas and an aging population are not a recipe for peace and ease, especially when the unexpected happens.

Add in a side order of COVID-19 and suddenly you may be wondering if you need additional insurance to protect your family or business from all the unknowns!

If this has been on your mind of late, your friendly Mackay Insurance brokers in Belleville crafted this post especially for you!

 

Insurance for Natural Disasters in Canada

Snow and ice. Wind and rain. Heat and humidity. Wildfires.

Canada may be best known for our winter sports and ski slopes, but the truth is, we get all kinds of weather events here in the far north.

And each type of natural disaster has its own perils, which is what the Canadian insurance industry calls an event that may be covered under an insurance policy or optional rider.

So, let's take a closer look at how natural disaster insurance works.

 

The Four Key Elements of Natural Disaster Insurance in Canada

There are four key elements that influence whether, how and how much insurance coverage may be available for different types of natural disasters, including weather events.

These are the four major factors you can discuss with your Mackay Insurance broker in Belleville.

1. The specific category of natural disaster.

While there is no single universal insurance policy that will simply cover you for everything, everywhere, all the time (wouldn't that be wonderful!), there actually is quite a for more coverage options than most people realize.

Let's take a look at the major weather events that are typically covered if you have the right type of insurance policy or rider:

  • Fire (insurance coverages for home fires or wildfires).
  • Ice and snow (including insurance coverage for frozen/burst pipes).
  • Hail (damage coverages to vehicle roof damage).
  • High winds (insurance coverage for damages caused by high winds)
  • Rain (including insurance coverage for water damage caused by structural and roof leaks).
  • Weather events (including insurance coverages for hurricanes, tornadoes etc.).

There are some types of weather related natural disasters that are typically excluded from insurance coverage protection, including these categories:

  • Flooding (from natural overland flood events).
  • Landslides
  • Earthquakes

More on this in the very next section here.

2. The area where you live and/or work.

It probably won't surprise you to learn that different geographic areas may have different insurance coverage options for natural disasters.

For example, if you live in a flood plain, your options for flood insurance will typically decrease because this is a known peril associated with choosing to live in that specific area or region.

This is not to say you have zero insurance coverage options, although sometimes this is the case. The best way to find out is to contact your Mackay Insurance broker in Belleville to talk through your concerns and coverage options.

3. The coverage options based on your property type and personal circumstances.

In a similar way, the type of structure you own and the property it sits on can influence what insurance coverage may be available for certain categories of weather events and natural disasters.

Also, the age of your building or home and its value (based on the estimate) will have an impact on coverage options and their costs.

4. The insurance provider you select.

Last and certainly not least, different insurance providers may offer a different menu of coverage options for your specific concerns, or perils.

While many aspects of the entire insurance industry here in Canada will be regulated at the provincial level, insurance providers do have some flexibility to bundle or package their coverage products differently.

Some insurance providers may opt not to offer certain types of coverage while others may choose to specialize in certain categories of insurance coverage.

This is where it really pays to talk with your Mackay broker and shop around until you find the insurance provider with the right suite of insurance policies and riders that meets your specific needs!

Don't settle for the first or even the second natural disaster insurance quote you receive.

It is very smart to ask your Mackay Insurance broker to gather several quotes and estimates. This way, you get a good sense for what the current insurance marketplace is offering and which provider gives you the best coverage for the right price.

 

Don't Forget About Disaster Coverage For Your Home Insurance, Car Insurance and Life Insurance

There are three other places you don't want to forget about when searching out the most comprehensive coverage for emergencies and disasters.

These are your home insurance, car insurance and life insurance policies.

All three types of policies typically offer a certain level of coverage, plus optional riders to address the unexpected.

For home insurance, an example might be a sudden and accidental burst pipe that causes water damage.

For vehicle insurance, an example might be coverage for an unexpected hail storm that cracks your windshield.

For life insurance, an example might be accidental injury from being caught out in severe weather.

NOTE: This does not usually include work-related incidents, for which you will need to look at specific business insurance riders that are relevant to your industry and type of business.

 

2 Steps to Get the Right Type of Canada Emergency and Natural Disaster Insurance

Here is the best way to find the right insurance coverage.

1. Make a list of your specific concerns and needs.

2. Make an appointment to review this list with your Mackay broker.

 

Get in Touch With Your Belleville Ontario Mackay Insurance Broker

Get in touch with us by phone or email us to schedule a virtual appointment. Ask us about our safe contactless insurance estimates, invoicing and payment options.

Visit us online for our full menu of contact options or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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Returning to the New Normal: What That Means For Your Insurance Coverage

Returning To The New Normal: What That Means For Your Insurance Coverage

Returning to the New Normal: What That Means For Your Insurance Coverage

Slowly yet surely, we are starting to emerge out of the firestorm of the global pandemic.

Many of our customers are returning to working outside the home, with their kids similarly preparing for a return to school.

The roads are more crowded now. Some of that traffic even represents seasonal cottage-holders finally able to make the trek to check on their properties and perhaps enjoy a long weekend away.

We may still feel a bit shaky, a touch uncertain about personal safety and next steps, but there is life to be lived and we want to live it.

And while insurance matters may not feel pressing in light of the other major issues we have faced as individuals, communities and a nation this year, this shift towards post-pandemic life also means it is time to revisit your insurance coverage yet again.

In this timely post, we highlight important insurance coverage tasks you may need to consider as we move into the fall and winter season here in Ontario.

 

Commuting Again? Make Sure Your Auto Insurance Has You Covered

Earlier this year, it came as a welcome relief for many of our customers when auto insurers dropped rates and offered rebates to reflect province-wide pandemic shelter-in-place orders.

You may have also had a conversation with your Mackay broker about reducing coverages based on reduced driving activity.

As the world opens back up again and you find yourself logging more commute time once more, be sure your auto insurance coverage reflects your actual use patterns.

 

Time to Make the Switch to Off-Season Cottage & Vehicle Insurance?

This hasn't been an easy summer season thus far for seasonal cottage owners and recreational vehicle owners.

In fact, with the majority of the brief warm season now behind us, our goals for getting the RV out of storage or taking a spin with our motorboat or jet skis may rapidly be fading as we move into fall.

However, with fall nearly upon us, our customers who own snowmobiles or ATVs may be eyeing those with unseasonal eagerness, imagining a winter with the pandemic firmly behind us at last.

In either case, make sure you update your seasonal cottage insurance and recreational boat insurance coverage accordingly. It is not too early to retire a recreational vehicle you don't anticipate using for the remainder of the summer season and reap the savings from that.

Similarly, if your cottage is typically inaccessible in winter, talk with your Mackay Insurance broker about transitioning to off-season coverage there as well.

 

Evaluate Business Insurance Coverage for a Remote Workforce

Whether your business is an entrepreneurship or a large company, the transition to a largely remote workforce can have a ripple effect on the types of business insurance coverage you need.

In many cases, business liability insurance is set up to reflect a group of workers operating out of a single location. The risk profile changes across the board when that same group of workers is now working from multiple locations.

Part of the increased risk comes into play due to the need to provide remote online access to secure company networks and databases that may contain sensitive or proprietary information.

Part of the increased risk arises from the use of a remote location as a "work site" and what might happen if the remote worker is injured on the job or causes harm or injury to another during scheduled work hours.

Another aspect to the increased risk comes from the need or choice to store company property, supplies, materials, devices or data in an off-site, remote location.

Yet, another issue that arises is when a remote worker needs to use their personal vehicle for non-commute-related company business or to transfer company property or data from one location to another, such as between a home office and the regular work site.

Each of these issues needs to be addressed in a thorough review of the current business insurance coverage - even more urgently if there is an ongoing semi-permanent or permanent transition to a remote workforce. Your Mackay broker in Belleville can help you review and adjust your business coverage policy to reflect these types of post-pandemic shifts.

 

Homeowners Insurance Policies May Not Cover a Home Office

Similarly, for remote workers who are using a portion of the home as a temporary (or transitioning to permanent) remote work site, it is vital to be aware of any coverage limitations under your existing homeowner insurance policy.

Your current homeowners insurance policy may contain a clause that expressly prohibits operation of a home-based business. Should a claim arise out of the choice or necessity of working remotely from home, it will be up to your insurer to decide whether that constitutes a violation of the policy exclusion or not.

And while it is true that many insurers have adopted a policy of leniency during these unprecedented crisis months, this should be viewed as a temporary laxity and never something you should count on.

It is worth a phone call or email to your Mackay Insurance broker to talk through any changes to your work site and possible risks that may open up when filing a homeowners insurance policy claim.

If necessary, your coverage can be adjusted to reflect your new use of a portion of your home space as a work site. Something as simple as an "incidental office use" rider may be all that is needed.

You may also need to adjust your personal riders to reflect use/storage of high-value business property like computers. If there is theft or loss, you want to be sure those items can be replaced without causing you to use your personal savings to do so.

 

Get in Touch With Your Mackay Insurance Broker Today

Mackay Insurance in Belleville, Ontario continues to work remotely and our qualified Mackay Insurance brokers are available to serve you by appointment, in person, as well as by phone, email, fax, social media and courier.

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

 

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COVID-19 Insurance Relief for Individuals & Businesses

Mackay Insurance provides updates information on insurance relief for both individuals and businesses during COVID-19

COVID-19 Insurance Relief for Individuals & Businesses

If there is one COVID-19 fact everyone around the world easily agrees on, it is this: the new novel coronavirus is wreaking havoc with budgets and bottom lines worldwide! 

This includes individuals, small businesses, big businesses and not-for-profit organizations of all sizes. It seems no individual or business is immune to the effects. The economic ripple effect from the unexpected pandemic is only now starting to make its impact felt.

In fact, 95%  of the calls we are receiving right now are calls to inquire about insurance for income loss and/or business interruption, auto insurance discounts and personal insurance benefits.

Callers want to know if the insurance they have been faithfully paying for all these months, or years, can help them in this time of near-universal struggle.

In this post, CEO Bruce Mackay of Mackay Insurance will answer your most frequently asked questions about insurance policy benefits as they may relate to COVID-19 relief. 

NOTE: Do you have a question that we didn't answer in this post? Use the contact information at the end of this post to send us your question!

 

Question #1: Auto Insurance Discounts - Are You Going to Get One?

The short answer to this question is "it depends on the insurer. 

Ontario province has adjusted regulations to permit auto insurers to offer discounts and/or rebates to customers who are driving less, due to COVID-19. This option will continue to extend for a full 12 months after the pandemic is officially over.

But officials have left it up to each individual insurer to decide if and/or how to administer financial relief to policyholders. 

Some insurers are choosing to be proactive and simply issue blanket financial relief to all policyholders. Some insurers are choosing not to offer relief at all. Some insurers are only administering rebates or discounts on a case-by-case basis - and often only if you, the policyholder, call them first to ask for these benefits.

The best way to find out if your auto insurer is providing rebates and/or discounts due to reduced mileage or changes in vehicle use is to contact your Mackay Insurance broker right away.

NOTE: You can find additional information about coronavirus-related changes to auto insurance in this blog post.

 

Question #2: What Happens If You Can't Pay Your Policy Premiums Due to COVID-19?

An enormous number of people in Ontarian are struggling to pay for essentials due to the pandemic shutdown. So it is easy to see how paying for insurance premiums might become a serious economic hardship.

Currently, it is up to each individual consumer or business insurance provider to decide how to handle requests for payment deferments and/or premium discounts due to COVID-19 related economic hardship; however, from what we have seen thus far, the majority of insurers are doing their best to provide special concessions to policyholders who are severely impacted by COVID-19. Many insurers are providing policyholders with generous deferments (where you can simply resume paying for your premiums at a later date) upon request.

The best way to find out what, if any, type of economic relief may be available if you can't afford to pay your insurance premiums on time is to contact your Mackay Insurance broker. 

 

Question #3: Will Business Interruption Insurance Cover You for COVID-19?

Recent events have conspired to make this the most controversial and hotly contested question in the insurance industry right now.

Traditionally speaking, the business interruption clause in most commercial insurance policies has not been designed to cover pandemic disruptions, at least according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

As Insurance Business Magazine points out, a recent Supreme Court ruling has rekindled hope that commercial insurers might provide benefits for coronavirus-related business interruption. However, since this ruling was not related to COVID-19, it may be a long road to try to apply this case as precedent to seek coronavirus business interruption benefits.

Because so many businesses are being economically impacted by pandemic-related shutdowns, we expect much more dialogue and debate on this question in the coming weeks and months.

For now, the individual wording of each commercial insurance policy is still the ultimate determinant of whether a pandemic-related shutdown constitutes business interruption for the purposes of triggering insurance benefits.

Some companies and business owners are choosing to take the matter to court, and at least one class action is in process due to denial of business interruption benefits coverage.

 The best way to find out if your particular commercial insurance policy may provide benefits for a pandemic-induced business interruption is to contact your Mackay Insurance broker to review your policy.

 

Question #4: Should You Get Travel Insurance If You Need to Travel During the Pandemic? 

Here in Ontario, the travel insurance industry is closely linked to official travel advisories and border closures.

Starting on March 13, 2020, when Canada officially posted the non-essential travel advisory, the majority of insurance providers stopped issuing travel insurance policies regardless of the reason for the trip. 

While some boutique insurers may still provide travel insurance policies for international travel outside of Canada, it is important to verify with the insurer that coronavirus-related travel delays and cancellations as well as medical benefits are included within the policy.

 If travel is a requirement for your job, your employer may provide travel insurance benefits to you as a part of your employment package.

If your travel is of a personal nature, the best way to find out the most up-to-date information about available travel insurance benefits is to contact your Mackay Insurance broker.

 

Get in Touch 

Do you have other questions about how the insurance industry is changing in response to the global pandemic crisis? 

Do you need help applying for insurance premium payment deferment or filing a claim related to the current economic shutdown here in Canada?

 Contact Mackay Insurance in Belleville online or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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COVID 19 and Your Mackay Home Insurance

Mackay Insurance Belleville Provides Home Insurance Updates During COVID-19

COVID 19 and Your Mackay Home Insurance

Like many people, on March 16, 2020, Mackay Insurance in Belleville, Ontario began to transition our staff from our town office to working from home in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus and to do our part in protecting you. During this time, we have experienced quite a few phone calls in regards to this increased time spent at home. Many of our Quinte home owners have been asking whether their home insurance policies should be updated now as well, due to working from home, using business tools within their home, holding business property within their homes, renovations and home maintenance updates etc. Our Quinte team of certified home insurance brokers have many suggestions for our clients in terms of these working from home transitions. Keep reading as we reflect on these changes and advise on  your home insurance policies! If you have any questions or would like more information in regards to any aspect of your home insurance, please contact us!

Home Insurance - Working From Home

Most home insurance policies in Ontario don’t include home business coverage, nor do they extend liability to working from home.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies actually changed their policy in order to include this coverage, but after July they are expected to revert back to the policy wordings as before, which don’t include working from home.

If you are temporarily working from home or, like Amazon and other tech companies, making a permanent transition to your home office, we definitely recommend getting this noted by your insurer and getting liability on your home insurance policy extended as soon as possible.  This can be done very inexpensively as well! Contact one of our qualified home insurance brokers today and we will get this sorted out for you!

Home Insurance - Business Tools

Most homeowner policies in Ontario have limited coverage for business tools/business property while at your residence as subject to your home policy deductible.  Many of our Quinte homeowner clients have brought home desktops or laptops, as well as other materials from their business offices and it is important to make note of these within your home insurance policy.  It’s not uncommon for your home insurance policy to limit business tools and property to $2,500 - $5,000.  In many circumstances, however, this isn’t enough.  We recommend speaking with your employer about this to see if their insurance extends to their property while at your home, or if they can increase the limits. 

Home Insurance - Business Property

Many of our clients who are working from home keep their company property within their house, which most policies will extend to with limited coverage.  Some clients, however, have left company property in their car, which we highly recommend not doing. For security reasons, empty your car each night of business property.  Leaving a laptop in your car is an easy target, and can also make your employer vulnerable to cyber security issues and could jeopardize your employer’s willingness to allow working from home to continue in the future. 

Home Insurance - Renovations

With the onset of the current pandemic, many of Mackay’s clients have opted out of vacations and travel and have, instead, invested in updating their workspaces at home. This includes upgrading renovations within their home. An interesting statistic has emerged where fire claims have actually increased during this pandemic, due to many clients attempting to renovate their homes themselves. Unfortunately, encountering electrical and other issues causing more fire claims. We highly encourage and recommend ensuring you have the proper building permits and hiring professionals to do all electrical work for you.  Before and after you do renovations, please contact your Mackay Insurance broker to update your home insurance policy and limits, and to ensure that you have the proper coverage for water, sewer, and overland coverage.  

Review Your Property Policy

While most of our country is spending more time in their homes, we are highly recommending you consult your property policy and review the data with respect to any of the following updates:

  1. When was your roof last updated?
  2.  How old is your furnace?
  3.  How old is your wiring?
  4.  How old is your plumbing?
  5. What are your limits for sewer and overland water coverage?

Home Run Business Packages

For many, the transition of working from home is now permanent. 

At Mackay Insurance in Belleville, Ontario, we offer Home Run Business packages that will extend liability, and also increase commercial coverage for business property. To get a fast and easy online quote for updating your home insurance policy, please contact our team today or visit us online!


 

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COVID-19 and Your Mackay Auto Insurance 

Mackay Insurance Belleville, Rate Changes During COVID-19

COVID-19 and Your Auto Insurance 

On March 11, the global pandemic was issued with respect to COVID-19 - and our world, as well as our normal employment practices changed dramatically.

On March 16, the office culture of Mackay Insurance changed dramatically when the majority of our staff began working from home, rather than from our Belleville office location. 

We understand that these times are confusing, as we’ve experienced the struggle of unknown ourselves as well, but we want to assure you that Mackay Insurance has you covered. We know the importance of having up-to-date knowledge in the insurance sector - including general news, changes in rates, updated policies etc. - and we are here to provide you with that knowledge so that you can feel safe - even amidst this unknown time.

Our Quinte drivers have frequently been asking us about their auto insurance policies and how their rates have, or will be, affected since the COVID-19 pandemic continues. In order to ease your worry and provide some helpful knowledge on the topic of Quinte auto insurance and COVID-19, our team of brokers at Mackay Insurance have compiled the most important factors for you to review!  

 

How Is Your Mackay Auto Insurance Affected During COVID-19

Vehicle Use 

Before the start of this pandemic, your vehicle was rated for particular usage: 

  • Pleasure (For our Sunday drivers out there!)

  • Commuting

  • Business

  • Delivery 

Many of our Mackay Insurance clients are now inquiring, however, whether their auto insurance rates will be affected with the stay-at-home order. The short answer is yes, depending on what you are using your vehicle for currently and what it was used for previously, your auto insurance rate might be affected. If you have more questions regarding your own Mackay Auto Insurance rate changes, please contact one of our insurance brokers and we will be happy to discuss these changes with you further!

Delivery

Currently, if you are a business owner in Quinte and have been forced to allow for minor amounts of delivery within your business (ie. delivering essential services and products), Mackay Insurance will amend your policy so that these factors are included. 

Once the pandemic is over, however, you will need to advise your insurance provider about the continued deliveries and your rate will be adjusted accordingly. 

If you have further questions regarding these policy and rate changes, or how they might affect your current vehicle deliveries, let us know and we will clear this up as soon as possible with you! 

Annual Kilometers

Many people show their annual kilometers at 20,000, 16,000 or 10,000.  This is definitely a rating factor that should be reviewed every year, as we have found that most people will actually lower the number of kilometers driven this year, due to COVID-19. At Mackay Insurance, we strongly recommend each renewal cycle to review, assess and adjust accordingly. 

It is important to note that this year may indeed cause your kilometers to be quite a bit lower in comparison to other, more ‘normal’ years. In this case, you would need to contact your insurance company directly in order to adjust for this decrease. 

Each year, however, is subject to change and differs from what the previous year’s average might have been. For this reason, it is crucial that you contact your insurance company on the basis of any change so that they are able to adjust your rates accordingly. 

Pay By Use

CAA insurance has just introduced a product called MyPace Insurance. This product basically allows you to pay for the exact amount of kilometers you drive. This product is unique to the Ontario market and should be considered if you drive under 9,000 km on an annual basis. If you drive more than 9,000 km annually, however, our brokers at Mackay Insurance recommend that you stay with your current insurance ratings. If you would like to analyze your situation further with us, please let us know and we would be glad to go over these details with you!

 Drivers

When reviewing your policy, it is very important to ensure that all drivers within your household are known and listed on that policy. Many people try to save money by not listing a particular driver who holds a negative driving record - whether that be from an accident or a ticket - in order to save on their premium. Unfortunately, if this is the case within your household, you could be put in the uncomfortable position of material misrepresentation and/or voiding of your contract when it comes time to a claim. Take our advice and don’t put yourself in that position.  Simply review your drivers and your policy regularly so that you are constantly aware of the expectations and requirements. 

Accident Benefit 

When was the last time you reviewed your optional accident benefits? Perhaps you had a job which included disability or benefits before, but now, due to COVID-19 or employment downsizing, you have been forced to become an independent contractor with zero benefits.  This could impact your auto insurance. 

If you have reviewed your Mackay auto insurance before, but have recently experienced an employment change, we highly recommend that you review with us again. 

Disability benefits cap out at 70% of your gross income to a maximum of $400 a week. If you don’t have a group benefits plan, this limit may be highly inadequate.

Combining and Saving

Now is the time to review and adjust your policy limits and coverages with your insurance provider. By increasing your deductibles, combining property and auto insurance, and updating your usage, you could also save quite a bit of money! 

 

Contact Mackay Insurance in Belleville

Our team of brokers at Mackay Insurance are here to walk you through these insurance processes, to review and customize to your specific needs and help you find the auto insurance coverage that fits you best. During COVID-19, we want to ensure that you are getting the best package to fit your needs. 

Although we are working from home, we are just as committed as ever in providing you with the best possible solutions for your specific needs.

 

Be Sure, Insure with Mackay Insurance!

 

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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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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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Mechanics: Are Your Tools Insured? Why You Canít Wait for This Important Coverage!

mechanic's tool cabinet

If you owned a brick-and-mortar business, you would want business insurance coverage to protect the premises as well as the contents.

But when your business is wherever you happen to be, and your professional tools and equipment travel with you from one appointment to the next, you need tool insurance that can travel with you and protect you wherever you are, day or night.

Mechanics tool insurance is not one of the better-known commercial insurance products, but it is also not the type of insurance you want to learn about only after your valuable tools and equipment have been stolen, damaged or destroyed.

In this post, learn timely information about mechanics tool insurance coverage, why you need it, when you need it and how to get it.

When Do You Need to Insure Your Tools?

When do you need to insure your tools? Is this insurance just for working professionals who use their tools and equipment as part of their career?

The short answer is no.

The longer answer is that tool insurance doesn’t just cover professional mechanics, contractors and businesses such as electricians or plumbers whose livelihood depends on their tools.

If you own a valuable tool collection for personal use, you can also benefit from tool insurance.

But Doesn’t Your Auto or Home Insurance Cover Tools and Equipment?

This is one of the most common misconceptions people hold about auto and home insurance policies!

Unless you have specifically requested a rider to cover valuable property such as tools and equipment, it is unlikely that either your homeowners insurance or your auto insurance policy will cover loss, theft, damage or destruction to your tools.

Even if you have a commercial auto insurance policy in place, this policy may not cover tools and equipment you transport, or your coverage limit may not be adequate to the full value of your tools and equipment.

What Does Tool Insurance Cover?

Tools and equipment insurance can vary depending on the insurer. In most cases, “tools” are belongings that are valued at $1,000 or less per item.

Common examples of tools covered under a professional tool insurance policy include hand tools, power tools, supportive gear (ladders, wheelbarrows, etc.) and safety gear (goggles, gloves, knee pads, etc.).

What Is Equipment Insurance?

If you also own equipment that you rely on to do your job, or if you have a personal collection of valuable equipment for projects or home safety, equipment insurance is a policy designed to protect your investment.

In most cases, “equipment” is defined as belongings with a replacement value of greater than $1,000.

Common examples of equipment covered under a professional equipment insurance policy include compressors, generators, backhoes, excavators, scaffolding and similar types of equipment.

Options for Ensuring Your Tools and Equipment Are Adequately Insured

If you are taking out an insurance policy as a part of your professional career, even a single day’s interruption could be costly for you.

So, as with any insurance product, it is important to set up your coverage in a way that fully safeguards your ability to get back to work quickly no matter what happens to the tools and/or equipment you rely on for your daily work.

Contractor insurance offers different options to address loss, theft, damage or destruction to your professional tools and/or equipment and also to the vehicle you use for work purposes.

Full replacement value versus market value

There are two ways you can be reimbursed for tools or equipment that have been lost, damaged, stolen or destroyed.

You can choose to receive the full replacement cost of the item (i.e., what it would cost you to purchase the item new) or you could choose to receive the market value of the item minus depreciation.

Rental reimbursement rider

It is not always easy to go right out and replace certain high-end tools and equipment. You may need to wait days or even weeks to obtain certain items.

A rental reimbursement rider can get you back to work quickly if you need to rent the required tools or equipment you need to do your job while you wait for the replacement items to arrive.

Commercial vehicle insurance

As mentioned earlier, if your business includes a mobile component, the vehicle you use also represents a valuable part of your business viability.

If that vehicle is also your personal vehicle, your personal auto insurance policy will NOT cover any claims that arise while you are using that vehicle for work purposes. You will need a commercial auto insurance policy to protect your vehicle when you are using it for work.

Even if you have a commercial vehicle that you use only for work purposes, you will still need commercial auto insurance to protect your vehicle as the business asset that it is.

Here again, it is important to review coverage levels with your broker to ensure your business is not interrupted while a claim is being processed.

How to Estimate the Total Value of Your Tools and Equipment

If you need help estimating the full or market replacement value of your tools and/or equipment, your Mackay insurance broker can help.

To get the process started, we invite you to create a complete list of your tools and equipment inventory.

Be sure to include carrying cases, safety gear, supportive gear, cleaning supplies, replacement parts and other items that you use to maintain your tools and equipment.

Get in Touch

Are you shopping around for an insurance policy that will cover your personal or professional investment in tools and/or equipment? We can help!

To generate a fast, free, easy online quote, simply complete this online short form. A friendly Mackay insurance broker will contact you to learn more about your tools and equipment and discuss your insurance options.

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

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Why Insurance Is So Expensive in Ontario & What You Can Do About It

money bags and question marks on blackboard

It’s no secret that Ontarians have some of the highest auto insurance rates nationwide.

This is a popular topic for major news outlets and certainly gets drivers’ attention when those annual premium notices go out.

“But why?” is the common refrain. Everyone is concerned about the cost of their insurance, from high-risk drivers to drivers with a spotless driving record.

Even officials representing the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) acknowledge that Ontario’s auto insurance premiums are high and that the industry is struggling to get a handle on the situation.

What can you do to control your auto insurance costs when you live in the priciest province in the nation? We’ll show you: read on to find out!

Shop Around & Don’t Settle for “This Is the Best Rate You’re Going to Find”

Shopping around is a smart play. While the insurance industry as a whole uses some common factors such as age, gender, location, make/model, driving habits, driving record, etc.), individual insurers file their own rates. Different insurance companies reward different customers with a better price. As an example, Company A may have collected data that tells them that customers who park their car in their driveway have fewer claims than customers who park on the street. They may give a discount to those people. Company B may never have looked at that aspect of setting rates. If you are insured with Company B, you may be getting their best rate, but not the best rate available.

Similarly, because bottom-line price is such a powerful motivator for customers to switch insurers, insurers are free to offer their own incentives and discounts to retain customers and build loyalty. So if an insurance broker tells you that their offer is “the best you’re going to find,” keep looking. Chances are good they know their offer isn’t the best!

Buying your insurance from an insurance broker such as Mackay Insurance gives you an advantage over people who buy from a 1-800 number with only one option for them. Your broker can do some of that legwork for you and check which is the best insurance company for you.

Even if you are insured with a broker, periodically stop in and talk to them about your options. Your circumstances may have changed, and they may now have a better answer for you. A good time to touch base with your broker is when you get your annual renewal notice. And remember that no broker represents every insurance company there is. Periodically  check the market yourself and satisfy yourself that you are not over-paying for your insurance.

Talk to Mackay Insurance for help with this. We represent many different insurance companies and can shop around and find the best deal for you. In addition, our knowledge and expertise can help find you discounts and rate reductions you may not have otherwise known about!

Carefully Review Your Insurance Discount & Savings Options With Your Broker Annually

Did you know that insurers will now discount your premiums if you install snow tires on your vehicle during the winter season? You may be able to save up to 5 percent for making this seasonal change! But you have to tell your broker or agent, or they won’t know to add the discount to your policy.

Some insurers will give you a discount if you choose to install a special app on your phone. This app is sort of like the black box on an airplane. It monitors your driving habits and can analyze this data to identify additional discounts you are eligible for (like not driving at night or regularly slamming on your brakes) to further lower your premium payments.

Another potential way to get discounts is to make your vehicle more difficult to steal! Anti-theft alarm systems and secure garaging may translate into lower risk to insure you and thus a premium discount.

Other Mainstream Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance Premiums

While you might not love all of these savings options, each one does offer a potential avenue for lowering auto insurance premiums.

Consider a higher deductible

The deductible is the amount you pay personally if there is a claim, and the higher the deductible, the lower the premium. It generally is not advisable to put in very small claims anyway, and if your budget can handle paying a larger deductible if there was a larger claim you may as well save some premium and take a higher deductible.

One word of caution is to check what the actual savings are, as there is often something called a “diminishing return” on taking higher deductibles. For example, it may save you enough premium to be worth changing from a $500 to a $1,000 deductible, but you may find that the savings to bump the deductible from $1,000 to $2,500 don’t save you enough to make that next change. Every situation and every budget is unique, so talk to your broker about your own situation.

Drop your comprehensive and/or collision coverage

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) points out that an older, lower-value vehicle may not merit the additional, optional collision and/or comprehensive coverage you would want with a new vehicle.

Bundle your policies

When you purchase more than one type of insurance with the same broker, you may qualify for a discount of anywhere from 5 to 15 percent on your aggregate premiums.

Pay your premiums annually in one lump sum

It typically costs insurers less in administrative overhead to collect premiums in one annual lump sum than to send out and monitor monthly payment reminders. If this fits your budget you can save service charges.

In between paying monthly or paying for a full year is another option to investigate. Many insurance companies have an option to pay in two or three installments and do not charge the finance fee they would if you paid monthly.

Get in Touch

Are you shopping around for a lower rate on insurance? Our talented, seasoned brokerage team would love the opportunity to assist!

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

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Use Our New Mobile App & Never Lose Track of Your Policy Information Again!

mackay insurance app screenshotAs our life today becomes increasingly hectic, it is easy to lose track of those old-fashioned paper insurance policy cards.

Also, moving, weather disasters, kids and pets can all too easily cause important printed policy information to simply “disappear.”

Here at Mackay Insurance, we are just as likely as you are to forget to place an updated insurance card in our vehicles or to replace last year’s now-outdated printed homeowner’s policy with the new updated document in our home filing system.

Some time ago, we realized that what we needed—and what our clients need—is a way to carry our insurance policy information with us at all times!

From that bright idea, the Mackay Insurance mobile app was born. From day one, we have worked hard to create an intuitive, fully functional mobile experience for iOS and Android devices where you can access all of your insurance policy information at all times and from one single portal.

In this post, meet the new Mackay Insurance mobile app and discover how it can make your life both easier and more organized!

Watch a Short Video Introducing Our Mobile App

In this short, focused introductory video, listen to our CEO, Bruce Mackay, review the new Mackay Insurance mobile app and its many features and benefits.

What Can Our Mobile App Help You Do?

The new Mackay Insurance mobile app is designed to keep you in touch and up to date. It provides this service in two ways:

The app keeps you in touch with your broker

There are times in life when you need to reach your insurance broker right away.

Whether you have questions about coverage, you need to initiate a claim, you are ready to add to or edit an existing policy or you have had a life change requiring a new type of coverage, with the new mobile app you can reach out to your Mackay Insurance broker via phone, email, chat or website.

The app keeps you in touch with your coverage and protection

With the new Mackay Insurance app installed on your phone, you can instantly access detailed information about each active insurance policy you carry.

You can also print new insurance liability cards, review coverage limits and details, begin filing a claim, request new coverage or different coverage, update your personal contact information and much more.

How to Download and Install Our New App

There are two easy ways to find, download and install the new Mackay Insurance mobile app.

  1. You can do a search for it on the app store for your smartphone. Our app is supported for both iOS and Android devices.

  2. You can visit our online client website and request your app login and password and a link to the new mobile app.

  3. You can reach out via email (app@mackayinsurance.com) to request your login and password and a link to the new mobile app.

What You Can Do Using the New Mobile App

Once you have downloaded and installed the new Mackay Insurance mobile app, you have your entire insurance world at your fingertips!

As you launch the app, you will notice there is a separate page for each of your active insurance policies (auto, homeowners, life, business, etc.).

As you add a new policy, a page will automatically be created for that new policy. When you make changes to an existing policy, those changes will be reflected when you visit the app.

You can access and download or print out your policy information for all of your policies, including your official pink card, anytime you need them.

If you need to add a new policy, add another individual to an existing policy, change your personal information, file a claim, view your premiums and payments or reach your broker here at Mackay Insurance, all of these other features are also readily available each time you power up the new mobile app.

Winner: 2018 Favourite Insurance Broker for Belleville Intelligencer

A tidbit of breaking news: We are so proud to announce that Mackay Insurance has been named Favourite Insurance Broker by Belleville’s The Intelligencer Readers’ Choice Awards!

Mackay Insurance is a family-founded and -owned insurance brokerage. We have been serving the Quinte and surrounding areas for more than four decades, and we are so honoured to be recognized by our clients for our insurance services.

Do You Need a Quote for a New Insurance Policy?

Our online portal (and our new mobile app) make it easy to request a free quote for a new insurance policy.

Download and install our new Mackay Insurance mobile app or visit our online free quote estimate generator webpage to request a quote for auto insurance, property insurance, life insurance, motorcycle insurance, commercial insurance and collector car insurance.

Don’t see the insurance product you need on this list? Not to worry! Just reach out to us by phone, email or through our mobile app to request a quote for the insurance product you are seeking.

Get in Touch

Do you have questions about our new mobile app? Want to make a special request for new features you don’t see online yet? Do you need help locating or installing the Mackay Insurance app or navigating through all of its features?

Our friendly, professional, knowledgeable team is happy to help! Contact us online or give us a call at 1-888-853-5552 to set up a time for a phone or in-person introduction to our new mobile app!

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