Local Insurance Brokerage Wins National Recognition

The Insurance Business Canada Awards has named Red Deer’s Beyond Insurance as the Travelers Canada Award for Brokerage of the Year for fewer than 10 staff. Local Insurance Brokerage Wins National Recognition. 

The national award recognizes the brokerage that has displayed excellence over the past 12-18 months in the areas of client retention, customer service proposition, staff development and retention, business value proposition and strategy, and financial results including business growth.  

Co-Owners Matt and Andy Cassidy were ecstatic to  receive the award at a virtual ceremony held November 18, 2021.

“We are humbled and honoured by the recognition and we credit our growing business success to our focus on customer service, business innovation, and staff development,” said managing partner, Andy Cassidy.  “We love serving the people of central Alberta and take pride in ensuring their portfolio of insurance products is property suited to meet their needs and protect their assets.”

Beyond Insurance was one of eight nominees from across the country announced in September 2021.  Eligibility consisted of having less than 1o staff including all support staff and brokers writing business and being independently branded and headquartered in Canada. 

Presented by Insurance Business, the awards are the leading independent awards event for the insurance profession in Canada. Winners in all categories were selected by an independent judging panel of industry experts and announced at virtual awards shows November 17-18, 2021. The virtual show also featured a live panel discussion with the finalists. 

Founded in 2017 by locals Matt and Andy Cassidy, Beyond Insurance currently has eight staff and is located in downtown Red Deer.  Beyond Insurance is proud to be a community supporter and advocate. Their brokers are insurance experts that live, volunteer and contribute to Red Deer and Central Alberta.

Beyond Insurance is a full-service insurance brokerage and specializes in conducting an in-depth assessment of their clients unique needs to help them develop a gap-free wealth protection plan for both business and personal insurance needs. They are a proud partner of Excel Insurance. For more information about the brokerage, appointments, or quotes go online at  https://beyondinsurance.ca/

DCPD & The New Alberta Auto Reform

What you need to know about DCPD coming January 1 2022.

DCPD & The New Alberta Auto Reform
By Christina Kelley

Here’s what you need to know about DCPD & The New Alberta Auto Reform. Changes are coming to the way claims for vehicle damage are settled in the province, and
Albertans who are not at-fault in a motor vehicle collision will soon be able to turn to their own
insurance companies for help rather than relying on a third party provider.
The new Alberta auto reform takes effect on January 1, 2022, and under the new legislation,
Direct Compensation for Property Damage (DCPD) replaces the existing property damage
portion of the third party liability coverage on your automobile insurance policy.

What is Direct Compensation for Property Damage (DCPD) Insurance?

DCPD is designed to enhance the consumer experience by improving the way insurance
companies are able to support their customers. DCPD is a part of the mandatory automobile
insurance and applies to all private passenger, recreational and commercial vehicles insured in
the province.
Under the new system, Albertans who are considered not at-fault in a motor vehicle accident
are able to seek compensation for damages to their vehicle and vehicle contents, as well as
coverage for loss of use or replacement transportation from their own insurance providers.
This reduces the need for subrogation (and other formalities) between insurers which means
claims will be handled in a more timely and efficient manner.

Beyond Advice: Not all not at-fault collision losses will be covered under DCPD Insurance. Examples
where this is the case include claims arising from a hit & run, collision with an uninsured vehicle, or
accidents involving two vehicles both owned by the same person. In each instance, damage to the
insured vehicle is only covered if Physical Damage (Collision and/or Comprehensive) coverages have been
purchased by the vehicle owner prior to the loss occurring.

What happens if I’m deemed at-fault or partially at-fault in a collision claim?

DCPD Insurance responds to the same extent a driver is found not at-fault in a motor vehicle
collision. This means that insurance providers will be required to cover 100% of the vehicle
damage claim for a driver who is deemed 100% not at-fault for the loss.
Where a driver is found to be at-fault for a collision loss, DCPD will respond to the portion of
the vehicle damage claim equal to the same percentage that driver is considered not at-fault,
and in these cases, optional Collision coverage is required to cover the remainder of the claim.

Take a look at the following claim example:

  • Driver A and Driver B are both involved in the same motor vehicle collision causing
    damage to each of their vehicles.
  • Driver A is found to be 25% at-fault for the loss and Driver B is deemed 75% at-fault.
  • Driver A chose to purchase the optional collision coverage prior to the accident taking
    place. On the other hand, Driver B chose to decline the optional collision coverage.
  • Since Drive A chose to purchase the optional collision coverage, DCPD Insurance will
    respond to cover 75% of the vehicle damage claim. The remainder of the claim (the
    portion equal to the 25% at-fault determination) will be covered under the optional
    collision coverage and subject to a collision deductible.
  • For Driver B who chose to decline the optional collision coverage, DCPD will respond to
    cover 25% of his/her vehicle damage, and the remainder of the claim (equal to the
    percentage at-fault) will be paid out-of-pocket.

Following a collision, your claims adjuster will gather and review every detail of the accident
including police reports, witness statements and consultations with the examiner who assessed
the vehicle(s) for damage. After review, fault will be allocated based on these details and the
DCPD Fault Determination Rules.

How will the new system affect my automobile insurance premiums?

Under the new DCPD system, insurers are no longer responsible for paying for damage to
vehicles they don’t insure. This is the most significant change as it removes uncertainties and
allows insurers to deliver a more precise and accurate pricing model to the consumer with
premiums for DCPD coverage based on the costs associated with repairs to the specific vehicle
insured.

Stated simply, Albertans who own inexpensive vehicles will pay less for DCPD coverage than
those who own expensive vehicles with higher repair costs.

To discover how your vehicle compares to others on the road, check out the Insurance Bureau
of Canada’s annual publication: How Cars Measure Up 

Claims made under DCPD will have no adverse affect on premiums.

Beyond Advice: While insurance providers are required to provide DCPD coverage with a $0 deductible,
many insurers have chosen to implement deductible options which can be applied to lower premiums.
When considering deductible options for DCPD coverage, it’s important to keep in mind that the
legislation prevents the policy holder from recovering the deductible from an at-fault driver when a claim
has occurred.

Do I need to contact my agent before these changes take affect?

Albertans are not required to do anything before DCPD takes affect on January 1, 2022. The
legislative changes will be considered automatically written in to all existing Alberta automobile
insurance policies.

For consumers seeking more detailed information, visit:
Alberta Auto Insurance Reform
Direct Compensation for Property Damage
IBC

 

Be sure to reach out if you have any questions. We are your insurance industry partner and we keep on top of changes in the industry. 

Let us help you navigate these changes, we are experts in creating gap-free protection plans and are here to offer guidance in any phase of your decision-making process. 

Finalist for Brokerage of the Year

 

We are proud to announce that our brokerage has been selected as a Finalist for the Travelers Canada Award for Brokerage of the Year (fewer than 10 staff) in the sixth annual Insurance Business Canada Awards, the leading independent awards event for the insurance profession in Canada.

Presented by Insurance Business, the Insurance Business Canada Awards recognizes insurance professionals and organizations for their outstanding achievements, best practices and leadership in the insurance profession over the past 12 months.

“We are incredibly honoured to be nominated as a finalist for Brokerage of the Year (fewer than 10 staff). This is a huge recognition and achievement for our brokerage and reflects on the hours of thoughtful innovation we have invested into making our brokerage a true industry leader in service delivery, expertise, and community reputation,” says Andy Cassidy, Managing Partner and co-owner of Excel Beyond Insurance. 

“We have worked hard at elevating the level of knowledge and service delivered to clients and fostering a highly professional environment by likening our broker services to other financial service professionals such lawyers and accountants,” says Matt Cassidy, President and co-owner of Excel Beyond Insurance. “Congratulations to our fellow finalists and good luck to everyone. We are proud to stand with such noteworthy brokerages as we all work towards elevating the respect, relationship and integrity between staff, clients, and especially broker to broker interactions.”

Winners will be selected by an independent judging panel of industry experts and then revealed at the celebratory virtual awards show happening November 17-18, 2021. The virtual show will also feature live panel discussions with the finalists.

For the full list of finalists or more event information, visit www.ibawards.ca.

About Excel Beyond Insurance: Highly entrepreneurial people and businesses have complex insurance needs. Excel Beyond Insurance conducts an in-depth assessment of their unique needs and helps them develop a gap-free wealth protection plan that frees them to live purposeful, passionate lives and leave behind an impactful legacy. 

 

Builder’s Risk Insurance

Understanding the Gap between your Personal or Commercial Property Policy &
Builder’s Risk Insurance.

Whether you are considering a major home renovation, planning to remodel your office space,
or building something new from the ground up, if you haven’t notified your insurance company
before the work begins, your time and the money you’ve invested likely aren’t covered. You
could be voiding the coverage on your existing residential or commercial property policy as
well.
Structures under construction pose an inherently greater risk to insurers than those that aren’t
because there is more opportunity for things to go wrong. This is true no matter the size and
scope of the work being done.

Accidental damage to exposed pipe or wiring can cause severe and often devastating fire or
water losses. Construction sites that are vacant or unoccupied are more attractive to thieves
and other criminals, and a labor shortage in the industry has companies desperate to fill new
positions as the industry continues to flourish with inexperienced or over-houred tradesman.
These are just a few examples of why insurers across the country have attached conditions to
the policies they offer that exclude coverage to any building under construction unless
permission is granted before work begins.

Beyond Advice: Permission granted doesn’t necessarily mean coverage granted. Your insurance
company may add an endorsement or special condition to your residential or commercial property policy
expressing consent for you to proceed with your renovation or construction project, but if you haven’t
discussed the coverage provided – and the exclusions that still apply – with your insurance provider, you
may find yourself inadequately covered should a loss occur.

“I’ve hired professional contractors. If something goes wrong, I’m protected by their
liability insurance.”

While that statement may be partially true (some of the time), it is important to remember that
the sole purpose of your contractor’s General Liability policy is to protect them. Not you.

The Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy is designed to respond in the event the policy
holder is sued for property damage or personal or bodily injury which is caused by the use of
their products, services, or the negligent actions of their employees. It provides the policy
holder with coverage for legal expenses, court-awarded damages and out-of-court settlements.

 

What does this mean for the property owner when a loss occurs?

A contractor’s liability insurance will only respond to loss or property damage if the contractor
is found liable or at-fault for the loss or damage that occurred, and often, when a claim arises,
liability is disputed by one or more of the parties involved.
When this happens, reaching a settlement can be both costly and time-consuming. For the
property owner who is ill-prepared and under-insured, this can mean project delays and for the
business owner, there is potential for lost revenues.

 

How does Builder’s Risk Insurance work to fill these gaps?

Also known as a Course of Construction policy (COC), Builder’s Risk Insurance is short-term,
project specific and tailored to meet the property owner’s coverage requirements in all areas of
the construction process.
From design to wrap-up, a Builder’s Risk policy offers protection against losses or damage
suffered at the construction site and to the building undergoing construction. It provides
coverage for both hard costs, such as labor, materials and equipment related to the project
insured, and soft costs such as professional or administrative fees, project management costs
and interest on money borrowed.
In the event liability is disputed, the Builder’s Risk policy will respond immediately, and claims
made against the policy should have little to no impact on the property owner’s claims rating
under their existing residential or commercial property policy.
Usually the responsibility of the property owner, Builder’s Risk Insurance is written with a
broader definition of who qualifies as a named insured, and is made available to any party with a financial interest in the project. While not an inclusive list, coverage may extend to the
general contractor, construction manager, sub-contractors, lender and building engineer.

Beyond Advice: Never assume the contractor you’ve hired has obtained Builder’s Risk Insurance for your
property on your behalf. If the contractor is required to obtain coverage as part of your written
agreement, make sure you receive proof of coverage prior to your project’s start date.
One final note for every property owner to consider – although placing coverage after
construction has started is not impossible, it can be more difficult. Often times, it’s also more
expensive.

If you have construction planned, or are simply entertaining the idea of a new project, it’s both
wise and recommended to speak with your insurance broker today!

Watercraft Insurance & Safety Tips

Ready to get that new boat out on the water this summer?

Watercraft Insurance & Safety Tips.

Trust our expert brokers to review the right insurance options for you and help get you properly protected and insured. Our watercraft insurance policies help to protect your boat, the equipment and occupants. Contact us today at 403.392.6118 and learn about our affordable coverages for all of your recreational needs.

Water sports, relaxing in the sun and splashing in the water are great ways to make memories with family and friends. Water lovers must be careful near the marina and dock, though, to ensure that their getaways are safe ones. If you are hitting the open waters this season, don’t forget these safety tips!

  • Dock at a marina that has standpipes, fire extinguishers, good lighting, surveillance cameras and security measures in place.
  • Always wear personal flotation devices when on the water, and require them for children and those that cannot swim.
  • Do not swim near a marina since boaters cannot see you when they are trying to dock.
  • Keep your boat in good condition with all equipment meeting safety standards established in your area.
  • Ensure that the marina has the proper power voltage for your boat.
  • Add fuel to portable tanks on the dock only; never on the deck of your boat.

Safety First

To avoid a potential fire onboard, inspect fuel hoses and containers on a regular basis to prevent the escaping vapors from going into bilges. Also, check the wiring and all appliances on deck for damage frequently. As a safety precaution, keep fire extinguishers on deck and fit smoke detectors to the cabin.

 

Have you been itching to get out on the water and haven’t been able to find the right watercraft for you? Try renting first and see which type of watercraft best suits your needs. Our friends at Sun Sports Rentals in Sylvan Lake have some great options for rentals.

 

Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Tips

Gear Up & Ride Safe This Motorcycle Season

Read our Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Tips from our Commercial Account Executive, Christina Kelley. Find out more about Christina or book an appointment with her HERE.

For many of us, riding is a way to escape the ordinary or the mundane. We anticipate those all too brief moments when we feel the sun on our backs and can smell the scent of spruce and pine trees co-mingling with fresh cut grass and backyard barbeques. For others, riding is a way of life, and there is nothing more gratifying than the feel of the road beneath their tires and the engine rumbling between their legs.  

While there may be many reasons to ride, the one thing all riders share in common is our vulnerability on the road. May is Motorcycle Awareness month, and as we kick-off this year’s riding season, here are a few tips to help keep you safe:

Know your skill level & ride within it.

Exercise good judgement in ride selection. Know how much weight you can handle and how much power you can safely control. You should be able to plant your feet on the ground, and your arms at a comfortable angle. 

Take a motorcycle training course, and always plan your route ahead. When travelling in a group, be mindful of your limitations, and don’t push them to keep pace with others. Be prepared for inclement weather, and leave your bike at home if you’re not confident riding in it. 

Love your ride & get to know every inch of it. 

A motorcycle in poor running condition is a danger to the rider, as well as other drivers on the road. Get to know every inch of your motorcycle, and perform a proper mechanical pre-trip inspection each time you ride. Learn how to check your tires, frame, lights, fluids, brakes and controls. 

Remember, if something doesn’t look or feel right, it probably isn’t. If you aren’t sure that your motorcycle is in proper running condition, do not ride it until it can be examined by a certified motorcycle technician. 

Annual maintenance and adequate winter storage are equally important and should not be overlooked. 

Leave your flip-flops at home.

No one plans to be involved in a collision, but even the most highly skilled riders in the best conditions can find themselves in a potentially fatal situation. From the moment you open that throttle, the only thing protecting you from a serious case of road rash (or worse!) is the gear you’re wearing. 

The proper equipment will not only prevent serious injury, but it is also our greatest combatant against the elements. Always protect your face. Wear pants, not shorts. Never ride without boots, gloves, and a helmet that complies with federal safety standards. Your clothing should be well-fitted, well-vented, and made with leather, textile or Kevlar material. 

Always insist that your passengers adhere to the same set of standards. 

Never assume another driver can see you.

Choose lane placement wisely, and always ride in the most visible position. Know and obey the rules of the road, ride defensively and within the speed limit. Slow down in inclement weather, maintain a clear line sight, and always be on the look out for debris and other road hazards. Avoid other drivers’ blind spots, and make sure to keep a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles. Signal well in advance, and learn to use hand signals as well as the turn signals your bike is equipped with. 

Be especially vigilant at intersections. Stay Alert and ride sober. 

Protect your Investment.

Keeping yourself and others safe is arguably the most important priority this riding season, but it isn’t the only thing motorcycle owners should keep in mind. Before you set out on the road, it’s important to make sure that the money you’ve invested to ride is properly insured in the event of a collision or other claim situation. 

If you lay your bike down and destroy your riding gear, will your insurance company provide coverage to replace them?

Is damage to your motorcycle covered if it falls off the vehicle or trailer transporting it? 

Is your aftermarket sound system or custom exhaust considered in the actual cash value of your motorcycle, or do additional coverages need to purchased? 

Is the cost of that killer paint job taken into consideration when determining the value of your motorcycle? If not, what are the steps you can take to ensure your financial investment is protected? 

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, make sure to reach out to your insurance agent to start the conversation today!

For more information on Alberta safety standards and regulations, visit https://www.alberta.ca/motorcycle-safety.aspx or check out the Alberta Motorcycle Safety Society website to find additional resources for the new and well-seasoned rider. 

Have more questions about motorcycle insurance or want to talk to one of our skilled brokers? Book an appointment today! Or Get a Quote online.

 

Introducing Keaton Sawicki

Beyond Insurance welcomes our newest team member, Keaton Sawicki, Commercial Account Manager.

Keaton is a licensed Insurance Professional who prides himself on providing exceptional customer service and advice. He enjoys working with his clients to determine their commercial needs.  Keaton ensures every client holds the best policy suited to them and their business. His best quality is that he understands what matters most to clients; honesty and integrity.

Keaton is a graduate of Red Deer College with a certificate in Commerce, and is now pursuing his Chartered Insurance Professional Certification. 

While growing up in Red Deer Alberta, Keaton was involved in various competitive sports and volunteering within the community. He played hockey for over 18 years, lacrosse, as well as many other sports. Through his sports, Keaton has been involved in many volunteer roles which remains a passion of his today.

Keaton enjoys spending time with family and friends and has many hobbies that keeps him active, like hiking in the mountains and golfing.

Home Insurance 101

What you need to know about insurance as a first time home buyer

What you need to know about first time home insurance. As your Red Deer insurance broker, we’re happy to walk you through this exciting, and sometimes stressful, milestone in your life. Buying home insurance for the first time should be empowering and educational and we take pride in the time we spend to review your policy and ensure you have the right coverage for your risk.

Know your coverage.
We pride ourselves in taking time with your policy. We’re a little nosy too. Why? We want to know everything about your house so that you have the most accurate home insurance. Home insurance policies can be overwhelming and confusing,  and we are committed to educating you about your home insurance policy so that you know what’s covered and what your best options are moving forward.

Discounts, Discounts.
There are lots of homeowners discounts that we can help you take advantage of. The dual policy discount is a big one (combining your home and auto insurance with the same insurance company). Many companies offer a Non-smoker discount and alarm discounts, for this reason, we help you navigate these and make sure you maximize your discounts.

Find out how much coverage you need.
Determining the replacement cost on your new home is something we can walk you through. And remember, the replacement cost is different from your purchase price. It’s based on your square footage, your finishes, and current industry construction costs. Replacement cost is something we continually revisit and ensure it is up to date.

Take a video inventory of your contents.
Contents coverage is another important area of your homeowner’s policy. Because many items like jewelry, art, or wine may need extra coverage, we help you determine what items to schedule and which items are covered under your existing policy wording. Take a walk through your home and take a video of your possessions. Do this every year to keep it current.

Spring Thaw: Know your Water Coverage

Overland Flooding and Sewer Backup

Spring Thaw: Know your Water Coverage. As Spring begins to shine her sleepy head, we want to equip you with some knowledge around water coverage and your home insurance policy. Also, watch for some tips on preventing flooding during the Spring thaw.

First and most importantly, review your home insurance policy and verify you have BOTH sewer backup and overland water coverage. At Beyond Insurance, we are diligent about having the water coverage conversation with our clients and aim to always educate around the benefits of full coverage. It is important to understand the terminology when it comes to water damage, especially overland flooding and sewer backup. Not having coverage for both can result in one cancelling the other out.

Here is a great definition from Wawanesa:

“What is overland flooding? This is when water literally flows ‘over the land,’ and ends up seeping into buildings through any opening — doors, windows, cracks and any open spaces. The Government of Canada calls this “one of the most frequent and costly natural hazards in Canada.”
“What is sewer backup? This is an unfortunate occurrence that often includes foul odours and other unpleasantries. Sewer backups are when water comes up through your sewer system and drain pipes, flooding into your home. This dirty water should be avoided at all costs, as it can also create health hazards for anyone in the house.”
“If you have coverage for sewer backup but not for overland water, your sewer backup coverage may not respond if you experience a backup but there has also been flood water identified inside your home.

Now that you’ve taken the time to review your policy, please don’t hesitate to call us, your Red Deer insurance broker, and we will make sure you are fully and properly insured.

Here are some great tools for preventing flooding at your home during Spring thaw. Thanks to Wawanesa for the excellent tips!

  1. Call the pros: When you think of calling someone in, the dollar signs start to flash. But this is one area you don’t want to skimp on. Have a plumber inspect and maintain your drains, sump pumps and backflow prevention devices. If you don’t have a sump pump and pit along with backflow devices, strong consideration should be given to having these devices installed as soon as possible.
  1. Backwater valves: Install a mainline backwater valve to protect basement plumbing, including the catch basin. Make sure your backwater valve is maintained and cleaned on a regular basis.
  1. Sump pumps: Select the right sump pump for your home by ensuring the motor is large enough to support it. Your sump pump should have its own outlet and circuit breaker, as well as a battery backup in the event of a power failure. Consider installing a warning device to signal water build-up in your sump pit.
  1. Take advantage of rebates: Before installing a backwater valve or sump pump, check with your municipality for incentives or rebates related to the installation of equipment used for flood prevention.
  1. Landscape: Although this will need to be tackled well in advance (before snow falls), it can make a major difference to adjust the slope of your yard and direct water away from your home. Look at the shape of any flower beds and ensure they don’t allow water to pool up near the building. For some lawns and yards, this could be a major landscaping project. As an interim measure, consider the purchase of a submersible pump and hose to drain “low spots” near the foundation.
  1. Get ahead in colder weather: In winter, move snow away from your home’s foundation as much as possible. But first, look up and consider hiring a professional to clear any excessive snow accumulation from the roof.
  1. Spring into action: As the weather warms up, watch for pooling water, reconnect your sump pump hose and extend it away from the foundation. Outside, also reconnect all downspout extensions and ensure they’re free of leaves and other debris. In addition, you’ll want to ensure those downspouts are not connected to the weeping tile and are directed away from your home.

As always, please don’t hesitate to connect with us. We are happy to answer any questions you have around your home policy, as well as your auto, commercial, farm or liability policies.

Excel Insurance Group a TOP 10 Canadian Brokerage

Excel Insurance Group has been named a TOP 10 Canadian Insurance Brokerage in 2021.

We are so pleased and honored to announce that the Excel Insurance Group has been recognized as one of the TOP 10 Canadian Insurance Brokerages in 2021 by Insurance Business Canada.  What a true honor to have our group recognized for their innovation and leadership in the industry. Excel Insurance Group is driven by the entrepreneurial qualities of its partners. For not even a decade, Excel has worked to grow from managing several million dollars in premiums in one office to more than $200 million across 17 locations. At Beyond Insurance, we are one of 17 partner offices that comprise the Excel Insurance Group.

Excel came about as a solution to a common succession issue in the insurance industry. Over the past few years, owners and principles in locally owned brokerages prepare to retire, and Insurance companies and brokerage conglomerates have been swallowing up local independent brokers. In this, clients suffer through reduced market options and ‘packaged’ insurance solutions. Excel Insurance Group partners maintain their entrepreneurial qualities, their revenue and their equity.

Long term, locally owned brokerages can stay local, and clients benefit from the independent broker’s ability to respond quickly, act decisively and deliver without compromise.

Excel Insurance Group established itself by delivering expert insurance, risk management and surety service to our clients operating in Canada and around the world. We are proud of the Excel Group reputation and continue to uphold the brand and service level with our clients, broker partners and underwriters.

The capabilities of Excel Insurance Group are vast and specialized. As a trusted Partner in the Assurex Global Network, our Group’s expertise help multi-national and cross-border clients to avoid the regulatory pitfalls related to the use of unlicensed (non admitted) insurance in Canada.

Again, we could not be more proud of our partnership with Excel Insurance Group and are honored to have our group recognized as the number 6 Brokerage in Canada in 2021.

Want to know more about the Excel Insurance Group? Check them out.

Want to see the Beyond Service Difference? Show Me Beyond

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