Mackay Insurance Blog
COVID-19 Premium Relief for Auto Insurance Customers in Ontario
COVID-19 threw the whole planet a wildly unanticipated curve ball. Every industry has been impacted - some for the positive, but the majority for the negative.
For the most part however, it is individuals and families who have been hardest-hit by the pandemic.
From job pauses to outright losses, skyrocketing expenses with plummeting income streams, illness to the ever-looming threat of COVID-related fatalities, our stress levels and our bottom lines often feel inversely related.
Starting this quarter, some insurance companies are taking action to offer their loyal customers some relief.
At Mackay Insurance, we want to keep you informed about your options if you have fallen (or anticipate falling) upon financial hardship due to COVID-19.
This post has the latest auto insurance information!
Auto Insurance Companies Are Leading the Pack in Providing Premium Relief
We wish all insurance providers were as proactive and dedicated as the auto insurance industry in taking action to provide premium relief options.
Auto insurance Companies are stepping up to the plate and it is a welcome development.
As of this month, Intact Insurance is offering their customers one month of outright premium relief, due to COVID-19 related financial hardship.
It is also quite easy to qualify! Here is what you need to do:
- Download the Mackay Insurance free app (if you haven't done so already) and log in.
- You may also log in to your online account using any web browser.
- Select your auto insurance policy with Intact Insurance.
- Log in to your Intact Client Centre portal.
- Answer a single question to qualify for one month of auto insurance premium relief.
Additional Auto Insurance Companies Offering Relief Due to COVID-19 Financial Hardship
Exactly one year ago this month, we devoted an entire blog post to various COVID-19 related options you can pursue to reduce your auto insurance premiums.Many of these options are still on the table for the majority of our auto insurance customers.
Contact your Mackay Insurance broker to review your current Belleville car insurance coverage and explore options to reduce your premium payments.
As of this month, in addition to Intact Insurance, several other insurers have announced measures that may alleviate the financial burden of auto insurance coverage due to COVID-19.
Here are a few leading examples of how auto insurers are continuing to provide financial relief to customers in 2021.
Gore Mutual: the company continues to offer rate decreases and discounts. They offered a 1 time rebate of 20% reduction of 3 months premium as well as an overall 5% reduction
Economical: the company announced premium savings and a rate relief for eligible customers during the spring of 2020
CAA: the company announced a COVID-19 package that will provide more than $130 million in relief to customers impacted by the pandemic.
Western Assurance: that RSA will be implementing a rate decrease for Ontario personal auto customers on a temporary basis effective October 1, 2020 to June, 30, 2021 for 4%
To find out if your insurer is offering payment deferrals, skip-a-pay programs, additional discounts or incentives due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis, just contact your Mackay Insurance broker using any of the contact options you find on our home page.
Has Your Life Changed Due to COVID-19? Your Insurance Should Too!
Many of our Mackay Insurance customers have experienced minor or major upheavals to "life as usual" due to the ongoing global pandemic.
These are some of the most commonly reported life changes that may trigger a reduction in insurance policy rates and premiums as well as changing insurance needs:
- Became unemployed.
- Changed jobs or careers.
- Added a part-time job (in addition to an existing job).
- Started working from home.
- Started a small business (outside or inside the home).
- Changed driving habits.
- Kept seasonal cottage or property closed all year.
- Rented out your home and relocated to a new space and/or place.
- Sold a home and/or bought a home.
- Downsized living quarters.
- Divested assets such as rare, antique or collectible possessions.
- Welcomed a new family member (whether infant or elder).
- Added a new driver (whether partner or teen).
- Sold or acquired recreational property or vehicles (boat, RV, off-road vehicle, etc).
- Sold or acquired a vehicle.
- Became a homeowner or renter.
- Moved back home to live with extended family.
If you have recently experienced any of these or other types of life changes, it is definitely the right time to contact your Mackay Insurance broker to review your current insurance coverages.
In many cases, we are able to help our customers lower premium payments, take advantage of additional or emerging discounts, save with multi-policy discounts or family discounts and other money-saving strategies.
You won't know how you may save unless you ask!
Spring Means Cottage Season and Recreational Vehicle Use
It is true that our weather doesn't exactly feel like spring yet. But many of us are already starting to think about opening up our seasonal cottages and taking our seasonal recreational vehicles out of storage.
According to recent media reports, demand for seasonal cottage rentals is at an all-time high this year.
If you have plans to rent out your cottage and/or your recreational vehicles, or you plan to allow cottage tenants to use on-site recreational vehicles (including watercraft), you need to contact your Mackay Insurance broker right away.
In some cases, you may void your cottage insurance entirely if you are not carrying the proper coverages for longer-term or more frequent cottage rentals.
Your Mackay Insurance broker can review your coverages to better protect your cottage and vehicle investments.
Mackay Is Your Trusted Belleville Car Insurance Broker
Spring is a great time to review your current Belleville car insurance coverages and other insurance coverages, in order to make sure that you are taking full advantage of all available policy discounts - including COVID-19 related relief.
Get in touch with our Mackay Auto Insurance brokers by phone, or email us to schedule a virtual appointment. Ask us about our safe contactless insurance estimates, invoicing and payment options.
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:
- Interior condo upgrades.
- Contents inside the condo.
- Liability (third party).
- Theft (condo).
- Locker (theft).
- Assessments rider.
- 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.
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.
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.
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!