Posts

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

Insurance Renewal Increases: And what we’re doing for you.

Have your insurance renewals increased 20, 30, 40 percent? Ya, we hear you. As we navigate the changing insurance marketplace together, you can rest assured our team is working diligently to provide the service you deserve for your insurance needs. Here’s how we’re mitigating the industry change for our clients.
If you are a current Beyond client, you have already been benefiting from our proactive approach to insurance renewals. Each renewal is personally reviewed and we take great care in making sure your coverage and policy information is up to date and that your rates are competitive. We actively go to market for you when a policy has a large increase on renewal, and share the market results of numerous insurers.
We broker more than TWENTY reputable insurance companies. This means, we can quote your insurance risk to all of these markets and find the best coverage, package and rate for your insurance needs.  And we care about assessing your FULL insurance risk.
Bring us your full insurance portfolio to increase your discounts & minimize your risk.
If you’re not currently a Beyond Insurance client and you’d like a quote, we are happy to help! Our online quote form is thorough and provides us all the information we need to get the right information to the right insurance providers for your quote. Take the time to fill out all of your insurance risk including Home, Auto and Business or Commercial. You maximize your discounts and minimize your risk exposure by having us review your FULL insurance portfolio. Start your quote here:
https://beyondinsurance.ca/get-a-quote/
Want to know more? We’ve got a blog about what’s behind all of these industry changes and rate increases.
https://beyondinsurance.ca/insurance/why-the-insurance-rate-increase/
 
#insurance #insurancebroker #insurancereddeer #yqf #reddeer #alberta #albertainsurance #rateincrease #albertainsurance #ShowMeBeyond

Winter Tires and Your Insurance

How does having winter tires on your vehicle affect your insurance? If you put winter tires on your car, let us know! It could mean a discount on your insurance policy. Does you car have AI? Same thing! It could mean a reduced rate for your auto insurance policy.
Winter has arrived and we’ve got a hot tip for you. If you put winter tires on your vehicle every winter, let us know. Some insurance companies offer discounts to your auto insurance if you change your tires over to winters every season. We will update your file and in some cases, this generates a discount on your policy.
Also, Insurance companies are getting more and more sophisticated and recognizing AI technology in vehicles. Be sure to inform us if your vehicle has advanced braking features, or lane assist. These features can sometimes generate a discount for your auto policy as well.
As your Red Deer insurance broker, we are accessible, available and always looking for great information to share with you about your insurance policy.

Accident Checklist

Top 5 Things to do if you get into an accident

So, you got into an accident…now what? Here are our top 5 things to do immediately.

  1. Ensure everyone is safe and unharmed. If there are injuries, please call 911. Locate witnesses and gather their information
  2. Take photos. Document damage and the scene of the accident with photos. Also, take photos of the other parties insurance information
  3. Call the police to report the accident
  4. If the vehicle is safe to drive, take it somewhere safe to park. Alternatively, call a tow truck. Many auto policies include coverage for a rental vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced. Be sure to review your policy with your broker to ensure you have this coverage.
  5. File a claim. Contact your broker. You can call or text us directly and we will gather the information needed to file the claim on your behalf. Alternately, on our website, you can find a 24/7 claims portal OR 1-800 number for each insurance company. You will be prompted to provide the accident information and file the claim directly to the insurance company.

We are always, always available to walk you through this process. We are available by text, email, or phone and are happy to review your policy coverage or walk you through any questions you may have. If your vehicle does need repairs, be sure to ask us for recommendations on where to take it for a repair estimate.

Remember to stay calm, take pictures, and ensure that everyone’s safety is your top priority. Want another hot tip? Print out these 5 steps and keep them with your proof of insurance. That way, you have them handy to follow if you do end up in an accident.

Restaurant Insurance

Let’s talk about Restaurant Insurance and why choosing Beyond Insurance as your broker is the best choice!

Do you own a restaurant, lounge, or bar? We’re happy to help you identify potential coverage gaps and develop a balanced insurance program together, managing risk, premiums, and coverage offerings. 

Here are a few services we offer when it comes to managing your commercial insurance portfolio;

-Site Visits

-Inspection Follow Up

-Current program audit

-Review and Renewal strategy

-Resources such as equipment schedules, incident logbooks, referral partners, and industry-specific templates

We are accessible Insurance professionals, who work hard to understand your unique business and build a lasting relationship. We are entrepreneurial just like you and passionate about building our community and seeing local businesses grow and succeed. What makes us your best choice for Insurance in Red Deer? We compete against the biggest players, and we win. Our combination of market access, extensive risk analysis, and industry experience sets us apart.

Check out our Common Exposures for restaurants checklist on Facebook.

Fall Home Preparation

Welcome to November! As you prepare your home for winter, remember to update your broker of any significant renovations or larger purchases (high-end art or wine, a new custom sound system, or high-end sporting equipment). These items should be scheduled to your home insurance policy for optimal coverage.

Fall is also an excellent time to do a video inventory of your home. Walk around your home and record your possessions. In the event of a claim, this recording will be very helpful.

As your best Red Deer insurance broker, we are always looking for ways to make your insurance journey easier.

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.

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