Posts

Storm Season Tips:

Protecting your home and vehicles from hail

Summer storm season is upon us and, as your best Red Deer insurance broker, we have put together a list actions that you can take to protect your home from hail damage. We encourage you to chat with your insurance broker to discuss specific strategies for upgrading your home to hail resistance. If you are renovating, replacing your roof or replacing siding, make it a priority to call us first for advice on what grade and product to consider. Various Insurance companies offer policy discounts for upgraded siding and shingles that are rated for higher impact resistance.

EASY:

The simplest and most common form of risk mitigation for your vehicle during a storm is to park it in a protected structure, such as a garage. If this isn’t possible, the use of car covers or blankets is recommended. Several car cover manufacturers make covers and blankets that are hail resistant.

Use window safety films to protect windows, doors, and skylights.

MEDIUM:

When re-roofing, install a ice and water shield underlay (preferably self-adhering and waterproof).

Use a roofing product that has Underwriters Laboratories UL2218 Class 4 impact resistance rating. And remember, some insurance companies will offer a discount on your premiums when your home has higher rated shingles.

ADVANCED:

Consider using cement board (Hardie Board or fiber) in place of aluminum or vinyl siding for your home – especially if you are in a high risk hail zone.

Purchase a home with steeper sloping roofs. Flatter roofs are more susceptible to hail damage.

What are we doing for you?

Insurers are working hard to prevent hail damage. Have you noticed the planes that fly into the clouds when there is a hail or thunderstorm warning? Cloud seeding disperses silver iodide into the developing clouds to change the physical properties of the cloud, which changes the type of precipitation the cloud forms. Seeding doesn’t eliminate hail, but it does reduce the size of hail the cloud creates.

Take our Quiz

Want to know your hail damage risk score? Hop over to our Facebook or Instagram and measure your risk.

COVID-19: Tools for Your Business

COVID-19: Tools for your business
As we navigate Covid-19 together, as your Red Deer Insurance broker, we are invested in your prosperity and, among other available resources, we want to make the following suggestions at this time:

We have comprised a TIP SHEET with 5 things you can do immediately for your insurance and your business. Please feel free to share this with any other business owners you may know, we are not excluding this to only our clients out of respect for the betterment of our overall community.

1} Connect to recently announced Government and Community Support. Reach out to Accounting Firms or Chamber of Commerce locations for assistance with the application process.
2} Update active insurance policy details as they may be rapidly changing – such as locations, drivers lists, active vehicles, equipment, etc.
3} Monitor revenue impact and apply for a mid-term adjustment to your liability policies.
4} Review options to defer installment payments as insurers make these options available on a case by case basis.
5} Take advantage of any included Legal Expense or HR assistance available through your Insurance Program to assist with personnel decisions.
Nearly all Financial Institutions, Credit Unions, Farm Credit Institutions, BDC, and Export Development are assisting via creative financing mechanisms, payment deferrals, or access to additional working capital.
Locally, the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce has compiled resources to help businesses at the following link.
Many accounting & law firms are offering additional expertise to assist in accessing the available resources. We have relationships with many of these financial partners are are happy to provide a referral.

As you know, we are working remotely, so please reach out to An or Matt directly if you have any questions at all about your existing policy with us. You can also reach out on sisal media anytime and I will connect you with answers or the person you need. We are 100% committed to helping you navigate this overwhelming time for your business and your family.

Distracted Driving in Alberta

False information is circulating regarding Distracted Driving in Alberta. There is no new law coming into effect for February 1 and there will be no changes to the existing law. The rumors around new laws or stricter penalties are false. But, please know that distracted driving penalties are still very serious. With insurance companies cracking down on their underwriting, a distracted driving ticket could mean loss of coverage, a $287 fine, and 3 demerits.

Here’s an overview from the Government of Alberta on what is restricted.

“Alberta’s distracted driving law applies to all vehicles as defined by the Traffic Safety Act and all roads in Alberta. It restricts drivers from doing any of the following, even while stopped at red lights:

  • using hand-held cell phones
  • texting or e-mailing
  • using electronic devices such as laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays, and programming portable audio players such as MP3 players
  • entering information on GPS units
  • reading printed materials in the vehicle
  • writing, printing or sketching
  • personal grooming such as brushing and flossing teeth, putting on makeup, curling hair, clipping nails or shaving

You can be charged with distracted driving, even if your driving performance does not appear to be affected. If you commit a moving violation while distracted, you could receive two tickets — one for distracted driving and one for the moving violation.
Under the Traffic Safety Act police also have the discretion to lay charges if you are engaging in other activities while driving that impair your ability to drive safely.
For example, you can be charged with distracted driving if you are distracted by your pet while driving. Police can also charge you if you permit anything to:

  • occupy the front seat of your vehicle that interferes with your access to the vehicle controls and the safe operation of the vehicle
  • obstruct your clear vision in any direction

Activities that are not specifically restricted under the law are:

  • using a cell phone in hands-free mode – the device is not held in the driver’s hand and is activated by voice or a single touch to the device
  • using an earphone – if it is used in a hands-free or voice-activated manner
  • drinking beverages – coffee, water or pop
  • eating a snack
  • smoking
  • talking with passengers
  • listening to a portable audio player – as long as it is set up before you begin driving
  • calling emergency services such as 9-1-1 with a hand-held cell phone
  • using two-way radios or hand-held radios (also known as CB radios) when a driver is required to remain in contact with one’s employer, such as when escorting oversized vehicles or when participating in search, rescue and emergency management situations
  • permitting the display screen of the following:
    • a GPS navigation system – as long as the system is affixed to the vehicle and programmed before you begin driving or the system is voice-activated. You cannot hold the unit or manually enter information while driving
    • a collision-avoidance system
    • a gauge, instrument, device or system that provides information about the vehicle’s systems or the vehicle’s location
    • a dispatch system for transporting passengers
    • a logistical transportation tracking system that tracks vehicle location, driver status or the delivery of goods for commercial purposes
    • an alcohol ignition interlock device

Under the Traffic Safety Act, emergency vehicles include police service vehicles, fire response units, ambulances and gas disconnection units. Drivers of emergency vehicles are able to use hand-held communication devices or other electronic devices only when acting within the scope of their employment.

First Time Home Insurance

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.

 

Thanks to Sable Creative for the lovely photo.

Condo Regulation

Condo regulation rules have changed as of January 1 2020. Over the past 10 years, we have seen a steady increase to deductibles in condo insurance policies and deductibles can range anywhere from $5000 up to $250,000 for larger properties. The insurance market for condos has been one of the most unstable markets in the province due to environmental loss, huge property limits and owner occupied claims. As of January 1, 2020 an amendment to the Condo Act in Alberta requires Condo Corporations to insure a condo building for the full appraised replacement value, which in turn drives up the deductible in order to mediate the overall premium cost of the policy. Applying a higher deductible helps to manage insurance premium costs (which have tripled now that Condo Corporations are required to insure to full replacement value).

The important part to note about this regulatory change is that, if you own a condo unit and your unit causes a claim, Condo Corporations can now more easily pass along deductible expenses – up to a $50,000 maximum. This essentially helps share the burden of insurance costs with the unit owners insurance policy. Many standard condo insurance policies only include $25,000 for deductible expenses, so it is crucial to review your condo policy and coverage.

As your insurance broker, we have already been addressing this industry change and are reviewing and adjusting each of our condo policies to hold increased coverage of $50,000 for deductible expenses. The cost to the policy holder is minimal – in some cases only $50 to better protect you as the individual condo owner in the case of a claim. If you have any questions on this change, please don’t hesitate to connect with us, whether you are an existing client or not. We are always happy to answer questions.

You can review the condominium rules on the Alberta Governments website.

Stride Physiotherapy Testimonial

Blake and Jen Goehring are incredible human beings and very talented physiotherapists. We know first hand how great Jen is at her job and we can’t recommend them enough! They recently opened Stride Physiotherapy & Wellness and the clinic is beautiful! Be sure to support this great local business and check them out on social media too! They have some great wellness tips. Here’s what they have to say about their insurance experience with us:

Stride Physiotherapy testimonial:

“Our previous experience with insurance brokers was the typical stereotype – it was complicated and unclear, always over promised and under delivered. We were opening our own business which was complex enough, without the added stress of choosing appropriate insurance coverage to operate. This is when we remembered Beyond Insurance. I had previously met Andy who seemed to be a passionate business owner who cared about getting her clients the right service.

We spoke with Matt who made things very easy for us! He ensured he understood our business so that our insurance needs were met. He was personable, knowledgeable, professional, and timely. Andy and Matt were prompt at getting the coverage required to start the construction of our clinic. We have been so impressed at the service Beyond has offered that we will be transferring all of our personal policies to them! We would highly recommend Andy and Matt – insurance done right!”

Community. Community. Community. We just can’t say enough how valuable our relationships in the community are to us! As business owners AND insurance brokers, we hold many roles, and our passion for business often….no, ALWAYS… overflows into our day to day lives and conversations. Our understanding of what it takes to open and operate a business is firsthand, and this experience makes us so invaluable to our business clients. We love chatting about lawyers and hold cos and leases and employees and contracts. We LOVE it! This is another example of our Above and Beyond mentality. We understand your journey as a business owner and we are always happy to connect you with resources and other people in the community who have helped us in our process of owning a business.

All Set Style Testimonial

Read our All Set Style testimonial and find out what makes our service better than any other Red deer insurance broker. Shelby from All Set Style offers an incredible service for anyone looking for an image consultant. Check out her services. They include a wardrobe edit, personal shopping and even group events! (Ladies night, right?!) You can find her online on Facebook and on her website All Set Style. Here’s what she had to say about her experience with us as her insurance broker:

“I have been highly impressed with Beyond Insurance. Matt & Andy are a great team, they are both passionate and knowledgeable about insurance and providing excellent service. When setting up our insurance policies (Home & Auto) they made it so simple, which was great as we don’t live in the same city. They were quick to answer all our questions and follow up where we needed. In a recent home claim we had they were awesome about making sure we were okay and gave some great recommendations on how to proceed that we hadn’t thought about. Knowing we have them on our side and just a phone call away gives us peace of mind, especially since I spend most of my time working from home. I highly recommend getting in touch with them, even if you aren’t located in Red Deer!” – Shelby, B.Comm, Certified Image Consultant

 

Craft Beer Nation Testimonial

Sure, insurance can be boring….and we’re not always the most popular guys at the party, but we often get to mix business with pleasure and meet the coolest people, doing cool things! Erin and Josh from Craft Beer Nation are two of those people. As their insurance broker, we sat down with them to discuss their insurance portfolio and review their insurance needs as they were getting ready to open Craft Beer Nation. These guys are doing it all, and may we say, they’re doing it well. If you haven’t popped into Craft Beer Nation yet, it’s worth a stop. Their growler bar is impressive and you may just get a tasting or two to decide your next favorite. Here’s what they had to say about their insurance experience with us: “Matt and Andy have been so great to deal with for all our home, auto and business insurance needs. They are knowledgeable, efficient and make insurance actually enjoyable! They are always available for questions, quick to follow up and you can tell they genuinely care about their clients. We are so happy we switched to Beyond Insurance – thank you for everything!”  — Thanks Erin & Josh!

Small business insurance is one of our favourites! We are so lucky to have grown up in Red Deer and know its unique economy and community and how that relates to insurance. If you have questions about your existing small business insurance or you’re curious whether you have the right coverage and the right price, give us a call, send us an email or find us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We’re always happy to chat insurance.

HeartPrint Threads Testimonial

Read our Heartprint Threads Testimonial. We promise, Insurance isn’t always boring. We get to meet and interact with some very cool people, doing very cool things. Meet Jenna and Taylor from Heartprint Threads. They sell beautiful Alpaca products sourced from Ecuador, but have a great story behind their product. For each blanket purchased, one is also donated to the local shelter. Check out their website for more info: Heartprint Threads 

Here’s what they had to say about their insurance experience with us:

‘We called to get insurance…but we received compassionate and whole hearted service that really went the extra mile to make sure that we had everything we needed to feel secure in an often wild and unpredictable world. Thanks Matt and Andy!’

We offer comprehensive insurance management for Business, Commercial, and Professionals; along with personal, home, auto, and recreational insurance. Our mission is to add value to your business, not simply sell you an insurance policy. We proactively forecast and service your insurance portfolio, allowing opportunities for savings, enhanced coverage, and customized solutions. Visit our website for a quote or to book an appointment.

Doug & Bre’s Testimonial

Read Doug & Bre’s Testimonial to find out why Beyond Insurance is the best option for your insurance Red Deer. Another great personal lines insurance testimonial from happy clients! Bundling your home & auto is a great way to maximize discounts and boost your savings! If you’re worried about having to get a vehicle inspection in order to switch companies, don’t let that hold you back. Many companies are just looking for photos in place of an inspection, which can save you hundreds of dollars right there! Ask us today for a quote and let’s see what we can save you.

Bre & Doug say: “Matt and Andy are in our corner. Everything from navigating insurance province to province, making things work on the fly and coaching us though a rental water damage claim. We can level with them and they make service simple for us. In addition to this, they helped save enough on our policies that we are almost getting a motorcycle insured at no extra cost.”

Who doesn’t love saving enough money on their insurance to buy a motorcycle?! Win win! Thanks Bre & Doug for your kind words.

© Copyright - Beyond Insurance Inc. | Home, Auto, Commercial | Red Deer, Alberta