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How To Obtain Camper Trailer Insurance For Your Summer Camping Plans This Year!

Mackay Insurance in Belleville, Ontario, provides the best Camper Trailer Insurance coverage options.

How To Obtain Camper Trailer Insurance For Your Summer Camping Plans This Year!

The great outdoors has always been great. But in the wake of the global pandemic, being outdoors has become positively spectacular.

This year, getting outdoors is the safest way to have fun, de-stress and see other actual human beings again.

And one of the best ways to get outdoors is to go camping with your COVID bubble or social pod!

As the warm season approaches in earnest, it will soon be time to pile your tents and all your gear into your camper trailer and head for one of the lush and lovely scenic sites Canada is known for.

But before you hit the road, there is one thing you absolutely don't want to forget to do. Be sure to insure your camper trailer! Learn everything you need to know to get the best deal on camper trailer insurance in this post.

 

What Is a Camper Trailer?

There are four basic types of trailers.

1. Classic Pop-Top Camper Trailer

This is often dubbed the "pop up trailer" because when the tent portion is stowed away out of sight, it looks like a small rectangle on wheels.

But pop the lid and voila! You've got a really neat, multifunctional cross between an RV and a tent.

2. Hard Top Trailer

Hard top trailers are also called teardrop trailers, standup trailers, compact hard wall trailers and variations of the same.

These are extremely small, lightweight hitch trailers with a small footprint. Many can take you into the backcountry!

3. Fifth Wheel Trailer

If you imagine the exact opposite of a compact, lightweight camper trailer, what you have is the fifth wheel trailer.

Fifth wheel trailers are basically like little homes on wheels. Some are spacious enough for families to live full-time, but others are used more seasonally. They attach to a suitable vehicle for hauling by means of a special mounted coupling.

4. Cottager Trailer

A cottager trailer is essentially either a fifth wheel trailer or a traditional trailer that has been mounted semi-permanently or permanently on some type of foundation.

 

What Is Camper Trailer Insurance?

Fundamentally, camper trailer insurance is a type of insurance product that protects a towed, non-motorized, recreational vehicle.

And now that you have a better picture of all the different types of recreational vehicles that this definition applies towards, it will make more sense when we tell you that camper trailer insurance is not just one product.

Rather, it is a suite of products offering different types and levels of insurance coverage for different needs.

In most cases, camper trailer insurance policies and riders can be customized to reflect add-ons and modifications (such as a sunroom or deck) that may be unique to your specific camper trailer.

 

How to Choose the Right Camper Trailer Insurance

How do you know what type of camper trailer insurance policy you need to protect your investment?

This is what we recommend.

1. First, verify your camper trailer's value.

The best place to start is to verify your camper trailer's current market value. You want to know how much your investment is worth.

Some of our clients have been surprised to discover that, far from depreciating over time, their camper trailers have actually appreciated in value as a result of the pandemic.

2. Next, identify your usage patterns.

Are you living in your camper trailer seasonally or full-time? Do you envision using it for occasional weekend getaways throughout the summer? Perhaps you plan to take it on an extended trip cross-country or internationally.

Where will you park it? How will you secure it? What possessions or valuables will you bring with you? Will you have any pets on board?

The answers to each of these questions give you a better idea of your financial exposure if your camper trailer and its contents is not adequately insured.

3. Match your camper trailer with the right method of insurance coverage.

Let's say you have a cottager (stationary) camper trailer and you live in it seasonally or full time.

In this case, rather than purchasing a standalone camper trailer insurance policy, you would want to modify your homeowners insurance policy to reflect the new addition.

If you have a lightweight pop up or hard top camper trailer that you haul with your commuter vehicle, you may have partial liability coverage through your auto insurance policy. But typically this only applies when the camper trailer is physically attached to the hauling vehicle.

In this case, you would want to look at whether adding a rider on to your existing auto insurance or homeowner's insurance policy would provide enough coverage. Alternately, you may find that purchasing standalone camper trailer insurance ends up being both more comprehensive and more affordable.

Finally, if you have a fifth wheel camper trailer, you will most likely need to purchase a complete standalone camper trailer insurance policy to obtain the level of coverage required to fully protect your investment and your family.

 

Camper Trailer Insurance Coverage Options

Camper trailer insurance coverage is flexible enough to reflect different usage patterns, garaging options and special risks related to a camper trailer's shape and size.

The major categories to consider include the following:

  • Comprehensive and collision coverage
  • Liability coverage
  • Accessories (attachments) coverage
  • Emergency coverage

 

Call Your Mackay Broker For Belleville Camper Trailer Insurance

We predict this will be the summer of the camper trailer - and you don't want yours to be uninsured! A camper trailer is a high value investment that needs to be protected from loss, theft and damage.

Get in touch with your friendly, knowledgeable brokers at Mackay Insurance by phone or email today. We will help you get the best deal on affordable camper trailer insurance so you can get back to planning your summer camping adventure!

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

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Condo Insurance: What You Don't Know Could Cause Your Rates to Increase

Learn more about Condo Insurance with Mackay Insurance brokers in Belleville, Ontario.

Condo Insurance: What You Don't Know Could Cause Your Rates to Increase

Do you understand your condo insurance? Many condo owners remain in the dark about important policy information impacting their rates.

For example, did you know that your condo is actually covered by two different insurance policies?

The majority of condo owners do not realize this.

Do you understand why your insurance premiums keep going up, and up, and up?

Most owners don't understand this either.

Mackay Insurance can help! This article explains both mysteries so you will be better informed and better protected.

 

Condo Insurance Is Two Policies, Not One Policy

When you decide to purchase a condo, you are responsible for taking out a condo insurance policy.

That is one of two policies that covers your condo in case of loss or damage.

Your condo corporation (sometimes called syndicate) also takes out a condo insurance policy.

This is the second policy that covers your condo in case of loss or damage.

 

Condo Corporations Are Facing Premium Increases on Condo Insurance Too

Understanding what the condo corporation policy covers and excludes is critical to selecting the right type and amount of condo insurance for you.

Various factors can influence pricing for annual insurance premiums on syndicate and individual condo insurance policies.

As syndicate insurance premium prices increase, your syndicate may elect to drop or reduce certain coverages.

Alternatively, your syndicate may decide to offer incentives to condo owners who implement individual unit risk reduction strategies against constant cash drains such as water damage claims.

This becomes especially pertinent as condo structures continue to age at the same time severe weather increases province-wide.

Not only can aging alone cause syndicate condo-wide insurance premiums to increase, but as structures age and claims increase, premiums may increase yet again as a result.

And when you add in the increase in new condo construction and increasing demand for condo insurance as a result, you can see even another increase in insurance premiums.

As if that wasn't already enough, investors into the condo insurance may choose to divert funds towards less costly, lower risk investments, causing a scramble within the condo insurance marketplace for new sources of funding.

Syndicates, like individuals, have options to try to control annual premium costs, including raising their deductible, dropping certain coverage riders and limiting coverage for certain categories of claims.

It is important to take time each year to review what your condo corporation's insurance policy covers and to then review your own individual condo insurance policy in light of that.

If you need help comparing what each type of policy covers for your condo, your friendly Mackay Insurance broker is happy to help.

 

What to Look For When You Review Your Condo Insurance Coverage

The generic individual condo insurance policy typically consists of seven parts:

  1. Interior condo upgrades.
  2. Contents inside the condo.
  3. Liability (third party).
  4. Theft (condo).
  5. Locker (theft).
  6. Assessments rider.
  7. Additional living expenses.

Whether you opt to purchase all seven of these coverages, and how much coverage you elect for each, can and should be adjusted based on what the condo corporation's own policy covers.

In other words, why pay money every month for coverage that is also included in the condo corporation's coverage benefits?

You will also want to take some time to read the fine print explaining how the condo corporation handles deductible payments.

For instance, it is vital to find out if you may be responsible for reimbursing the condo corporation for your portion of the corporate deductible for certain categories of claims and losses.

Specific Features & Benefits of Condo Insurance Solutions:

  • All risk coverage and replacement costs on contents are covered 
  • Debris removal for an additional 10% of the contents limit is covered
  • Credit card coverage (up to $10,000 per occurrence)
  • Coverage for electric vehicles 
  • Satellite dishes are included automatically, at no additional cost 
  • Food freezer installation ($3,000, no deductible applies)
  • Premium discounts
  • Lock replacement ($1,000 with no deductible)

 

Be Aware of These Big Changes In Corporate Condo Insurance Policies

Recent industry reports highlight a worrisome trend among condo corporations to downsize their own liability, shifting that responsibility over to individual condo owners.

Well-publicized recent changes include shifting responsibility for maintaining insurance coverage for damage to floors and countertops to individual condo owners.

Water damage claims are another hot button area where condo corporations are increasingly attempting to shift responsibility over to individual condo owners.

Structural claims such as water damage can become particularly problematic to resolve when the damage affects more than one condo in the building.

For example, if a wall pipe bursts and causes damage to both your condo unit and a neighbour's unit, the claims filing and payout process can quickly get complicated.

Condo insurance as a product is designed to minimize such headaches. But it can only do its job well to serve your interests when the coverages you select effectively plug up any coverage holes in your condo corporation's own policy.

 

Three Condo Insurance Riders You May Regret Not Having

These three condo insurance riders are all too commonly overlooked, either because the owner does not think they are needed or because the owner mistakenly believes the condo corporation is providing coverage.

Water damage

According to a recent insurance industry survey, a full one-third of condo owners do not carry any insurance coverage for water damage.

Water damage is the number one condo insurance claim.

Valuables

If you are keeping high-value possessions such as instruments, collectibles or jewelry in your unit or locker, be aware that your standard condo insurance may not cover these items.

Tenants

If you have roommates or tenants (whether long-term or short-term renters), you need to make sure they carry their own separate tenant insurance policy.

This is especially the case if you plan to participate in home-sharing (i.e. Airbnb), which could void your coverage entirely if not disclosed.

Give your friendly Mackay insurance broker a call to review your current condo insurance coverage against coverage provided through your condo corporation and make sure your policy fully protects you.

Optional Condo Coverage Add-Ons:

  • Claim Free Discount Protector (protects the claim fee discount following the first claim)
  • Personal Umbrella Coverage (as high as $9,000,000)
  • Enhanced Special Limits (doubles the special limits noted in the policy)

 

Mackay Is Your Napanee and Belleville, Ontario, Condo Insurance Broker

Worried about your skyrocketing condo insurance rates? We may be able to help! Reach out to schedule a virtual appointment by phone, email, Zoom, Skype or chat.

Here are some Points For Protection to help keep your condo investment safe:

  • Place all valuable jewelry and other expensive items in a safe location (ie. not in the master bedroom)
  • Review and practice your basic fire safety plan (with all family members)
  • Always keep an up-to-date inventory on all large purchases (ie. televisions, furniture)
  • Always always always turn off the water before you leave for vacation!

For more tips, stay tuned to our Mackay Insurance Blog! You can also visit us online or give us a call at 888-853-5552.

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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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Ready Your Home For Winter

November is a time for remembering. As we have just held our memorial services and practiced our two minutes of reverent silence on November 11th, we are reminded of our troops and the sacrifices they make for our freedom. As we near December and prepare to close 2020, we are also reminded of the many changes this year has brought each of us - the good times and the bad times. We remember cycles, the ebb and flow of changing seasons, as winter begins to roll in - mighty and brave as ever. By recalling the cycles of our lives, we are reminded of this key point - bad times are always followed by the good times. As 2020 comes to its close, let’s remember to look forward to the good times of 2021.
 
Something else we want to remember as we are heading into this new season are a few important tasks related to preparing our homes for the upcoming winter months. November is hitting us in full force this year with the occasional flurry of snow, frosty windshields and heating bills appearing in our mailboxes. At Mackay Insurance in Belleville, Ontario, we recognize these little hints far too well as the beginnings of a cold winter approaching. Is your home ready for it?
 
With the COVID-19 pandemic sticking around for the remainder of 2020, there are many individuals who continue to spend the majority of their time quarantining indoors. Whether you have a home office or run homeschooling from your kitchen table, the comfort of your home during these upcoming winter months is imperative.
 
At Mackay Insurance, the comfort and safety of your home is extremely important to us! We hear questions about winter home insurance and readying homes for those upcoming cold months all the time . This is why we have come up with a simple list of November To Do’s that you can follow in order to get your home ready for winter!


How To Ensure Your Home Is Prepared For Winter

There are a few key steps in preparing your home for winter - steps that should never be missed! We’ve outlined these winter prepping steps below:

  1.  Remember to clear your gutters and downspouts and extend your downspouts away from the house.
  2. Check foundations for exterior cracks and ensure that those are properly repaired as soon as possible.
  3. Check that there is 20cm. between the bottom of your window(s) and ground/bed(s).
  4. Check your batteries on your smoke detector and back up sewer systems.
  5. Check your basement and storage areas. Consider not storing things of value down in the basement and consider buying totes for anything stored in crawl spaces.

 
Mackay Insurance understands the value of your household and we strive to protect that value for you. By following the above steps, you are aiding in loss prevention - meaning that you are ensuring that your home is protected from any potential losses.
 
During the winter months in eastern Ontario, there are many potential household losses and damages that can occur:

  • Flooding caused by melted snow) 
  • Damages caused by heavy or fallen snow
  • Burst or frozen pipes
  • Fallen gutters
  • And more!

 
Is Your Home Insured For Potential Winter Damages?

Does your home insurance cover potential loss and damages caused by seasonal effects? Contact your home insurance brokers at Mackay Insurance today to discuss your home insurance coverages this winter!
 
Located in Belleville, Ontario, and serving the Quinte region and beyond, our goal is to provide our community with a safe and comfortable winter. Let us handle the stress and worry of keeping your house protected so that you can enjoy the season!
 
From all of us at Mackay Insurance, we hope you stay safe and have a great day!

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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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Considering Home Renovation? Make Sure Your Insurance Protects You!

home renovation

As the price of real estate continues to increase, more homeowners are choosing to renovate an existing home rather than trying to upgrade by moving.

This makes a lot of sense, especially if you like where you live and enjoy your neighbors and community.

But there is a crucial task many homeowners fail to do before launching into a remodel, and that is to alert their home insurer.

According to Canadian Underwriter Magazine, a mere six percent of Ontario homeowners thought to review their homeowner’s insurance policy before beginning their renovation project!

And just 14 percent of homeowners contacted their insurance provider to be sure their current coverage would protect them during the remodel.

In this post, learn about common myths, misconceptions and realities regarding homeowners insurance during home renovations.

3 Questions to Ask Your Home Insurance Broker

No homeowner likes to contemplate an increase in an existing insurance policy. But not asking the right questions at the right times can end up being a lot more expensive than taking the time to be sure your current policy is sufficient.

These are the three questions you absolutely need to ask your broker before launching into your home remodel.

1. Will my current homeowners insurance policy provide sufficient coverage while my home is being remodeled?

If you are planning to move out of your home temporarily while your renovation project is completed, this can impact your existing insurance policy.

This is especially true if you will be out of your home for 30 days or longer. You may need to change your home’s status to “under construction” or obtain a home vacancy permit in order to have coverage for perils like vandalism or theft while your home is unoccupied.

2. Will my policy protect me if a contractor, subcontractor or construction worker is hurt on my property while working on my home remodel?

The simplest answer to this complicated question is often “no.” You need to verify that your contractor carries a general liability insurance policy, and also that they are covered by workers compensation.

If you do the work yourself, obviously the risk of a contractor damaging your home or being injured is not a factor. However, this doesn’t change your need to notify your insurer about remodel plans. DIY renovations are still home renovations.

3. Will my homeowners policy need to be changed after I complete my home upgrades?

Did you know that some home upgrades can actually lower your future homeowners policy premiums?

Some examples include beefing up your home security system, installing extra safety lighting, upgrading your roofing or electrical system, upgrading to new energy-efficient appliances or windows, updating your plumbing or installing basement waterproofing.

Other upgrades, however, may cause your policy premiums to increase. In most cases, this is because the upgrades themselves increase either the square footage of your home or its overall value or both.

Examples can include installation of a pool or spa, expanding the square footage of your home, converting an unused room to a home office, adding on an apartment above your garage, installing expensive extras such as granite countertops and any customized one-of-a-kind upgrades.

If you are on the fence about certain upgrades, talking with your insurance broker can be a useful tiebreaker!

Be Sure to Read Your Policy Fine Print Before Starting Your Renovations

Every year, unhappy homeowners find out too late that they have voided their homeowners insurance policy by failing to notify their insurer before a remodel.

Some find this out when something is damaged during the renovation and they learn they are not covered. Others discover long after the renovation that the increased value of their home is not insured because their broker was never informed.

Unfortunately, these homeowners don’t have much recourse once they find out this requirement to notify was outlined in the fine print of their policy documents.

The moral of this sad story is to always err on the side of informing your broker!

What If You Run Into Trouble During Your Home Renovation?

If you have ever been through any type of remodeling or renovation project in the past, you probably know all too well that surprises often crop up once the project gets underway.

Sometimes these surprises occur when you go to file for a permit and discover the building standards have changed and you now need to make unanticipated upgrades to plumbing, wiring, insulation or other components of your home.

At other times, you may be surprised to uncover an unanticipated leak, crack, mold outbreak or other issue that you have to stop and address before your remodel can proceed.

In these cases, your project may take longer than you originally anticipated. Here again, it is vital to contact your broker right away to make sure you have the right coverage for as long as you need it during your renovations.

What to Do After Your Home Remodel Is Complete

Once your remodeling project is finished, it is essential to let your insurer know that your project is complete. You may need to change your home status back from a building under construction and adjust your limits accordingly.

If your remodel has changed the overall square footage, replacement value of items or resale value of your home itself, you will want to edit and update your homeowners insurance policy accordingly to stay fully protected.

In most cases, your policy premiums will not significantly increase, and as we’ve mentioned, some delighted homeowners have even seen their premiums decrease thanks to energy-efficiency, security or safety upgrades!

Get in Touch

Planning a home renovation and need to update your homeowners insurance coverage accordingly? Our friendly, knowledgeable team of insurance brokers can help!

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

Click here to get an instant, online, no obligation home insurance quote now.

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Cottage Season Is Nearly Here: Is Your Cottage Protected?

muskoka chairs on the dock

Victoria Day weekend, aka cottage-opening weekend, is around the corner!

This is a great time to refer to your cottage-opening checklist and start getting your game plan together. After all, the less time you spend actually opening your cottage, the more time you can spend enjoying it.

One key item it is so easy to overlook is insurance coverage. It may not be the most exciting part of opening up your cottage for the season, but it sure comes in handy if anything goes wrong!

In this post, learn what you need to know to determine if all of the coverage you need is in place.

3 Important Types of Cottage Insurance Policies

Of course, you want to have cottage insurance in place to protect you and your guests while you are on-site and to protect belongings and premises when no one is there.

But this isn’t the only type of cottage insurance you need to consider, especially if you keep valuable property or vehicles there or you have guests or tenants.

Cottage insurance

Your main cottage insurance policy protects your cottage itself, its contents and the surrounding property. It also protects you if a visitor experiences a mishap while on your property and decides to sue.

What many cottage owners do not realize is that their cottage use habits can impact how much they may pay for a standard cottage insurance policy.

Closing your cottage versus keeping it open year-round is another decision that can change what you pay for cottage insurance.

Declaring your cottage as a secondary residence can impact both your cottage insurance rates and the coverage that is available. Cottages that are actually regularly used “second homes” may be eligible for broader coverage.

We have written a detailed blog post about choosing the right cottage insurance that can help you think through the types of standard coverage and protective insurance riders you need in advance of the start of cottage season.

Tenant insurance

If you plan to rent out your seasonal cottage to tenants for part or all of the summer, or if you want to allow friends or relatives to stay for extended periods when you are away, you may need more than just a standard cottage insurance policy for protection.

A basic cottage insurance policy may allow limited use by other people. Before loaning or renting your cottage to others, you should call your broker to determine what your specific policy allows and arrange the correct coverage for the actual use of the cottage. Talk to your broker specifically about what goes with the cottage when you rent it out – for example, the use of a boat or an ATV.

If you do plan to start renting out your cottage, our knowledgeable brokers are happy to talk with you about your plans and protection needs before the season begins in earnest.

Recreational property or vehicle insurance

Recreational vehicles can include motorized boats, ATVs, classic cars, mopeds, motorcycles, jet-skis, trailers and trailer hitches, RVs and others.

If you store recreational (seasonal) property or vehicles on-site at your cottage or off-site, be sure insurance is in place before using them. You may need to reinstate full insurance on a vehicle that is used seasonally. If your insurance or plates renewed over the winter, remember to get the updated pink cards in each vehicle and tags on each license plate.

Making sure you have correct insurance in place for each recreational vehicle is important both for your own safety and for that of guests who may also use these vehicles during their stay at your cottage. It is particularly important to discuss with your broker the rules around other people using your vehicles. A standard vehicle policy does not allow you to “rent that vehicle out” to another person as part of a cottage rental.   

Save Money By Reviewing Your Current Cottage Insurance Policy

We always recommend taking a few minutes each year to review your active insurance policies with your Mackay Insurance broker.

Be sure to talk through these important points, which may lower your cottage insurance rates:

  • How often are you in residence at your cottage?

  • Does your cottage stay open only seasonally or year-round?

  • Who uses your cottage (you, family, friends, rental tenants)?

  • Does someone check on your cottage regularly when you are not in residence?

  • What type of security system (if any) exists at your cottage?

  • Do you store any recreational vehicles at your cottage?

  • Do you store any personal valuables at your cottage when you are not in residence?

  • Is your cottage your primary or secondary residence?

  • Do you have other buildings (workshops, sheds, boathouses, garages) at your cottage?

  • Do you conduct any business at your cottage (renting it out or another enterprise)?

Your answers to these questions can impact what you pay as well as what types of coverage and riders you need to fully protect your cottage investment and your plans to use your cottage.

Are You a First-Time Seasonal Cottage Owner?

If you are entering cottage season as a proud cottage owner for the first time, congratulations! This is a dream for many Canadians, and you are about to begin living it!

We know there can be a huge learning curve in your first year of cottage ownership and cottage insurance is only one small part of that learning curve.

Our friendly, knowledgeable brokers are happy to walk you through the steps for how cottage insurance works, what coverage you need to protect your investment and how to adjust your policy seasonally to reflect your usage.

Get in Touch

Are you getting excited for the start of cottage season? We sure are! If you need help with a new cottage insurance policy or want to review your existing policy, we can help.

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

Click here to get an instant, online, no obligation cottage insurance quote now.

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Modular Versus Manufactured Home: What Type of Home Insurance Do You Need?

assembling a prefabricated house

Modular. Manufactured. Mobile. There are so many alternatives to the traditional brick-and-mortar home today! Figuring out the differences between each of them can be surprisingly tricky.

The challenge increases when you are trying to determine what type of home insurance policy you need to cover a manufactured home versus a mobile home versus a modular home.

In this post, we review each of these three popular home types and explain the differences between them. Then we talk about what type of insurance policy you need to cover the home you have or are considering purchasing.

3 Alternative Home Types: Modular, Manufactured, Mobile

Each of these three home types sounds quite similar at first glance. In fact, they do share some similarities.

Modular home

A modular home is a type of prefabricated home that is built first and then relocated to the home site.

This type of home is often created in two or more separate parts that are then joined together at the building site—hence the word “modular,” which means “parts.”

A modular home is typically situated on a concrete foundation that can accommodate a crawl space or a full basement.

For the most part, once a modular home is placed on a site, it cannot be moved and is treated just like a permanent home.

Manufactured home

A manufactured home is also a type of prefabricated home—that is, one that is built at a location other than the site at which it will be permanently placed.

But a manufactured home is typically built and transported in one piece rather than in separate modules. Here, the terms “double-wide” and “triple-wide” refer to the width of a manufactured home.

A manufactured home is constructed around a steel frame and sits atop concrete blocks or concrete or metal piers. A manufactured home can also be placed on a concrete slab as a permanent foundation. However, most manufactured homeowners prefer the former in case they want to move their home at a later date.

It is not uncommon for manufactured homes to have exterior additions such as stairs or ramps, porches or garages.

Mobile home

The term “mobile home” is sometimes used interchangeably with manufactured homes, RV or trailer. The former is what is meant in the context of home insurance.

A mobile home manufactured in Canada will have a CSA label. A mobile home manufactured in the USA will have a red HUD (Housing and Urban Development) label. These organizations govern manufacturing and safety standards for manufactured homes.

RV or Travel Trailer

Recreational vehicles are meant to be mobile. There are several different classes of RVs (A, B,C, etc.) describing different configurations of these vehicles.

What is important to remember here is that RVs and travel trailers are considered vehicles rather than homes. For this reason, you need a different type of insurance policy to cover an RV or travel trailer than what you need for a modular, manufactured or traditional mobile home.

Matching the Right Insurance to Your Home

The type of home insurance policy you need is related to two key factors: whether your home can be moved and the building code your home is built to conform to.

Modular home: standard homeowners insurance policy

Modular homes are typically constructed to comply with local or provincial building codes. For this reason, a modular home will usually be covered under the same type of homeowners insurance policy that a brick-and-mortar home requires.

Manufactured home: mobile/manufactured home insurance policy.

Manufactured homes, in contrast, are built to comply with federal CSA/HUD building codes. For this reason, they need to have a different type of homeowners insurance policy. This policy may be called a mobile home insurance policy or a manufactured home insurance policy.

Adjusting Your Coverages for Full Protection

Modern modular homes are often indistinguishable from traditional brick-and-mortar homes once set in place on their permanent site. Typically, homeowners insurance treats modular homes just like brick-and-mortar homes in terms of overall insurability.

The only adjustments you may need to make here will relate to personal coverage needs and preferences.

Manufactured houses are viewed a bit differently by potential insurers. Because the vast majority are not secured to a permanent foundation and retain wheels and a chassis to be moved at will, they are naturally less secure during inclement weather.

 

Weather events can potentially cause major damage or even total destruction to manufactured homes, which can raise annual premium rates for manufactured homeowners insurance. Similarly, since many manufactured homes carry less insulation than traditional or modular homes, pipes are more prone to freezing or exploding during extreme winter weather.

However, as a balancing factor, manufactured home structures also typically carry a lower overall valuation than permanent modular or brick-and-mortar homes. In other words, it generally costs less to repair or replace a manufactured home. This fact can help to offset the higher risk of damage or destruction.

There are also a number of optional safety features, such as hurricane straps or special skirting, that you can add on to help reduce the risk of storm or wind damage. These extra features can also help lower homeowners insurance premiums for manufactured homes.

Get in Touch

Do you own a mobile, modular or manufactured home or are you considering investing in one? Do you need expert guidance regarding the right type of homeowners insurance coverage? Our friendly, knowledgeable team of brokers can help!

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

Click here to get an instant, online, no obligation home insurance quote now.

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How to Select Tenant Insurance You Can Trust

modern apartment

Many renters don’t think about tenant insurance unless their landlord requires proof of a policy as a condition for renting.

It is all too easy to look at renting as a “no responsibility” situation—you pay for the space you live in and your landlord takes care of the heavy lifting for things like repairs and insurance. Many renters in Canada don’t carry tenant (renter's) insurance!

This strategy can backfire. As a renter, you are exposed to serious liability issues, both in your home and away. The easy and affordable solution is to buy a tenant insurance policy.

In this post, we take a close look at the benefits of tenant insurance so you can decide if now is the right time to take out a policy.

What Is Tenant Insurance?

You can bet that your landlord carries an insurance policy that protects the premises and structure of the building itself. However, for all intents and purposes, your landlord’s policy ends at your front door.

What lies inside your space—your possessions—is not covered by your landlord’s insurance policy.

This means that tenant insurance is the policy you need in order to protect personal items you have spent your hard-earned money to purchase.

The Star reports that tenant insurance often costs less than $1 per day and calls taking out a renter insurance policy a “no-brainer.”

But is it, really? Let’s take a look at exactly what a typical tenant insurance policy covers.

What Does Tenant Insurance Cover?

The typical basic tenant insurance policy covers two key things:

1. Personal property

Your personal belongings will be covered up to a certain dollar amount. You will select the amount of insurance needed to replace your possessions. You can add policy riders if you have high-valued jewelry, cameras or other special property and collections.

Many young renters in particular take the position that their personal possessions are not valuable enough to take out a renter policy. It is important to test out that theory by making a list of your valuables, assigning a dollar value to each. Though you have used your furniture and clothing and perhaps could not sell it for much, most tenant policies insure property for the cost to replace the item with new property—new for old.

For example, you might be readily able to replace your laptop or your watch if one of these items was stolen. But would you be financially able to replace all of your valuables at the same time if your home was broken into and robbed?

As well, if you choose to take your personal property outside your home and put it in the car and your car is broken into, your tenant insurance policy will still cover the loss. The same holds true if a valuable item is stolen or damaged on a trip or while you are running errands.

2. Personal liability

Personal liability is often an area of confusion for many. What does “personal liability” mean? You can be held liable (legally and financially responsible) for actions you take that cause harm to other people or damage to their property.

For example, let’s say you light a candle and fall asleep. Meanwhile, the air conditioning comes on and blows the curtains into the candle flame and they catch fire. By the time you wake up, the fire is spreading from your apartment to nearby units.

Without a renter insurance policy to protect you, you could be held liable for the damage your actions caused to your landlord’s building and other tenants!

Personal liability also covers you in case someone visits you, trips and falls, and decides to sue you. If you are away from home and cause injury to someone else that is not auto-related, your personal liability coverage can also protect you.

Tenant Insurance: Replacement Value Versus Actual Cash Value

You can choose whether to purchase a tenant insurance policy that covers the full replacement value of your personal items or the actual cash value at the time your items were stolen, lost or destroyed.

Opting for a policy that covers the full replacement value ensures you won’t have to dip into your own pocket to account for depreciation or changes in market price.

Tenant Insurance: All Risk Versus Named Perils

There are two types of renter insurance policies: all risk and named perils. Under an all risk policy, only perils that are specifically excluded in the policy fine print will not be covered.

Under a named perils policy, only perils that are listed in the policy are covered.

Perils, as the name suggests, is a term that means bad things that could happen. For example, a flood is a peril. So is a fire. Theft, vandalism, wind damage, water damage, rain or hail damage, even getting struck by lightning, are all considered perils.

Tenant insurance typically covers these types of perils so that if your personal items are lost due to any of these occurrences, you will have coverage to replace them.

Additional Living Expenses Coverage

Tenant insurance also covers your expenses if an insured event beyond your control causes your rental home to become uninhabitable and you need to live elsewhere until repairs can be made. For example, let’s say there was a fire and now your landlord needs several months to make repairs before you can move back in.

Where will you stay? How will you eat? These costs can really add up, especially if you don’t have a friend or family member who can afford to put you up at no cost while you are waiting to move back into your unit.

Get a Free Tenant Insurance Quote!

It is free and easy to generate a quote for tenant insurance. Just visit our quick quote generator tool to get started.

If you have questions or want to speak with an agent personally, give us a call at 1-888-853-5552!

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Do You Run a Home-Based Business? Why You Need Business Insurance

home business woman at cluttered desk

It is exciting to get a new home-based business up and running! For many Canadians today, being able to work from home profitably is a huge “bucket list” goal.

The number of home-based businesses throughout Canada grows each year, which is great news for Canada’s economy.

However, a surprising number of home-based business owners do not realize that their home insurance coverage may not provide coverage for claims associated with their home business operations.

This can put both the business owner and the business at risk of exposure to liability and legal issues. In this article, we talk about why we recommend home-based business insurance.

What is Home-Based Business Insurance?

As the name implies, home-based business insurance is an insurance policy that is specifically tailored to the unique needs and potential liability issues of a business that is operated out of your residence.

What Are the Types of Home-Based Business Insurance?

There are two basic types of home-based business insurance. It is important to talk to your broker about your business and determine which of these solutions is right for you.

Extension of an existing homeowners policy

The first type of home-based business insurance can be provided through an extension of your existing home insurance policy.

This type of insurance may fit your needs if your business has just one or two employees without a lot of foot traffic through the home (customers, vendors, employees).

Standard business insurance policy

If you have a larger or more high-value business, or you are storing business inventory at your home, you may need a standard business insurance policy instead.

What Does a Home-Based Business Insurance Policy Cover?

Both types of home-based business insurance policies offer certain standard features that all business owners should have in place.

Property

For general purposes, the majority of home-based businesses have several types of business-related property kept on the premises to help run the business.

Examples include home office equipment (desks, file cabinets, printers, scanners, computers), business inventory (raw materials, finished products, packaging, marketing materials) and cash reserves.

Your property coverage typically provides coverage for business property losses in your home and any items you may transport for business purposes that are lost, stolen, vandalized or destroyed while you travel.

Your cash on hand needs to be looked at separately. You will need the correct amount of insurance, and insurance against the correct perils. As an example there is different coverage needed to protect you if someone breaks in and steals your cash (theft), if someone holds you up at gunpoint on the way to the bank (burglary), and if an employee steals from you.

Liability

Business liability coverage will protect you if, for example, a customer is injured while at your home. It can also protect you from legal issues that arise from damage that can be traced back to your company’s services or products.

Business interruption

Business interruption insurance is a valuable resource for small and home-based businesses in particular, since often even a short interruption may greatly impact the viability and health of the business.

Business interruption insurance can compensate you for being unable to run your business due to your place of business (in your case, your home) being unusable due to a fire or other insured peril. It may also cover the costs for you to move your business operations to another location until you can move back into your home.

Extra Business Insurance Coverage You May Need

The specific type and level of home-based business insurance coverage you need can vary depending on the type of business you operate as well as on the scope of the business and the number of employees you have.

For example, let’s say you run a service-based business. Your main “product” is your expertise. If you give professional advice, you may need a professional liability (errors and omissions) policy.

This policy covers and protects you if a client sues you for professional negligence or malpractice.

Businesses that work with children or at-risk adults face a higher liability exposure. In addition to slips, falls, accidents and other bodily injury issues, you need insurance that will pay for your defence costs if abuse is alleged.

You may need special insurance if your business property includes antiques, rare items, high-value items or unique items.

It is important to talk through your home-based business with your broker and put together the right coverage to meet your needs.

How to Determine What Business Coverage You Need

A technical term for figuring out what to insure and for how much is “risk management.”

Risk management means identifying possible risks in advance and then working backward to put a plan in place to both prevent them from occurring and protect you if they do occur.

You can use risk management to figure out how much insurance coverage your home-based business needs by following these four steps:

  1. Ask yourself what could go wrong. Write down everything you can think of.

  2. Brainstorm ideas for how to prevent each risk from ever happening.

  3. Assign a dollar value (or range) to each risk—how will it impact your bottom line?

  4. Brainstorm ideas for how your business will recover if each risk happens.

Doing this pre-work can come in handy when you meet with your insurance broker. You will already have a good idea of the potential impact of each business risk, and your broker can help tailor your insurance policies to meet your needs.

Get in Touch

Here at Mackay Insurance, we have a combined 165+ years of insurance industry expertise! Contact us online or give us a call at 888-853-5552 to find out how we can help you protect your home-based business!

Click here to get a free business insurance quote now.

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