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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.

 

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

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.

Greg Weik, Associate Partner

Greg has over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. He is a businessman, entrepreneur, father, and was born and raised in Red Deer. Greg takes pride in his honest communication and his accessible, personalized service.

Looking for Red Deer’s best insurance broker? At Beyond, we are the new standard for innovative, anticipatory, community-based Insurance brokerages.

As Associate Partner, he connects with his community and offers experienced advice. He delivers the high level of service we are known for. Greg is truly respected in the Red Deer community and we pride ourselves in surrounding ourselves with brokers of integrity, knowledge, and honesty.

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