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COVID-19 Return to Work Toolkit

As we step into another new and uncharted season of COVID-19, we have a COVID-19 Return to Work Toolkit for our businesses. Flexibility is key as the situation evolves, but we advise our businesses to use the utmost cautious as they chose to re-open. Please create a plan for the health and safety of your staff and clients. Also, remember that employees will have higher expectations of you, so continued, open and honest communication with your teams/staff is
critical.

The Return to Work Tool Includes:

1. Communication sample templates

Workplace Coronavirus Infection Email to Employees, Essential Worker Employee Communications Letter, Letter Recalling Furloughed Employee, Communication Letter to Employees Re: Temperature Testing at Worksite, and a Survey Questions to Gauge Return To Work Concerns of Employees.

2. Preventative Measures Checklists

Preventative Measures Cloth Mask Information and Care Instructions, Sample Standard Operation Procedure Plan –Temperature Checks, Sample Health Screening Form for Visitors, 10 Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus (OSHA), and a Stop the Spread of Germs at Work (SHRM) tip sheet.

Please connect with us if these are resources you think will be helpful for your business as you navigate re-opening and bringing staff back into your spaces.

As we continue to navigate the changing guidelines in our community and province regarding re-opening, we also want to share this resource published by a Comparative Immunologist and Professor of Biology (specializing in Immunology) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

https://www.erinbromage.com/…/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them

Beyond Insurance will continue to practice social distancing in our office. We will continue to operate in a digital manner with our clients (via phone, email, text, video conferencing, and Docusign). Our office will remain closed to the public and walk-in traffic as we continue to respect the safety and health of our staff and their families.

We look forward to seeing everyone face to face soon, and will likely be doing this via an appointment only format. If you have questions or want help organizing a safe reopening strategy for your business, as your Red Deer insurance professionals, we are here to help you navigate and manage those risks.

COVID-19 and your Auto Commute

Many insurance companies are pivoting and offering solutions for COVID-19 and your auto commute. We continue to compile resources from every company that we represent to ensure we are keeping you up to date on how to best manage your insurance policies during the COVID-19 social distancing and isolation.

You are no longer commuting to work

If you still require use of your vehicle, but you are no longer using it to commute to work/school during the pandemic, or if your vehicle is driving significantly fewer kilometers over this period, we can adjust the applicable policy information. For example, if your vehicle was used for business purposes or driving to and from work or school, we can determine if you now qualify to modify your policy to pleasure use.

As a quick disclaimer, it is important to note that, in order to avoid potential risk of being under-insured, you are responsible for calling us to have the use and/or mileage adjusted once your situation changes. 

You are no longer driving your vehicle at all during the COVID-19 pandemic

It’s important that you understand the options available. If you are not using your vehicle at all during the pandemic, there are two options:

1. You can chat with us about reducing liability coverage as well as your comprehensive and collision deductibles.

2. You can choose to park the vehicle and completely remove road coverage. This is something we will chat with you about on a case-to-case basis and help you determine your risk vs. reward for amending coverage in this way.

Please note – if the vehicle is leased or has a lien holder, we can’t reduce to Comprehensive only without written confirmation from the lessor or lien holder.

 

Paying your Premiums

We are proud of the insurance companies we represent as many of them are offering flexible payment options or even payment deferral options. If you feel you can not pay your insurance premium, please contact us and we can navigate this with you and the insurance company.

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.

Behind the Scenes of Red Deer Insurance brokerage.

Who’s behind the scenes of all this Red Deer Insurance nonsense? ?It’s me, Andy!
I have my broker license, but my passion is so connected to marketing and communications. I love love love love love my community of Red Deer and can get pretty riled up (I admit, sometimes to a fault) about my community and it’s local small businesses. When I’m not doing marketing and social media for Beyond, I’m strategizing for our business growth, helping our employees be the best they can be for our clients and finding spaces to support them in their growth.
Events are another passion of mine, I come from a pro audio background and love the adrenaline and details that come from the execution of a successful event. I’m currently a co-race director for The Secret Marathon Secret 3k which is coming to Downtown Red Deer March 4th! Can’t wait!
Want to know “my crazy”? I’ve been doing photography for 15 years! I have traveled to Sri Lanka and India (among other places of course), I have my Bachelors of Applied Communications from Royal Roads University (my fav place in the world!), I love to dance and I come alive when I’m around live music, and, I am a serious fluid thinker and jack of all trades. Give me a task and I’ll figure it out ??. Oh, and current obsession is the gin and soda on tap at Troubled Monk. Yes, please! ??
Ok, back to business…..
As our business grows, I am excited to grow with it and continue to hone my skills and expand them in the way our company demands. We’re at the forefront of social media when it comes to other brokerages, and I am very proud of the accessibility and service we offer to our clients through this.
Thanks for hanging out with us on our platforms! We absolutely value your support and interaction. Bye! ?? #ShowMeBeyond#insurancereddeer #marketing #insurancebroker #yqf #reddeer#headshots #reddeerinsurancebroker #thisisandy

 

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.

Wild Brewing Testimonial

Need insurance for your brewery? Read our Wild Brewing Testimonial to find out if Beyond Insurance is right for you.

Have you met Emily and Brennan from Wild Brewing? You should! They’re passionate about Red Deer and building community. They are the owners of Wild Brewing Co. (located in Capstone) and they make a mean Kombucha. And you know what’s cool? Their Kombucha will soon be available in CANS! Can you say, summer and camping and kombucha, oh my!

They contacted us looking for a portfolio review of their business insurance. Their business has been growing rapidly and they were looking for a local broker who was familiar with their products, and able to help manage the growth of their business and the associated risk exposures of being a busy entrepreneur. Not only were we able to help them better manage their risk, protect their manufacturing assets, and shield them from business interruption, we were also able to make suggestions with regards to best practices in bringing their awesome Kombucha to market with retailers, off-sales, and on-tap locations. We are proud to work with such like-minded entrepreneurs! Be sure to catch them at the summer markets or visit them in their awesome tap room.

Here’s what Brennan and Emily had to say about their insurance experience with us: “Moving over to Beyond Insurance was definitely the right choice for our business. We have had such a good experience, we even decided to transfer all of our personal insurance over to them as well. They are responsive to our needs, easy to reach and locally owned which is a huge plus!”

Butter and Milk Testimonial

Read our Butter and Milk Testimonial and find out why they are happy small business clients. Butter and Milk Bath Bakery is Red Deer’s newest local bath and skin care provider. Renea has some beautiful bath creations that are all vegan, gluten and nut free. The products are made without preservatives, dyes or artificial fragrances. Be sure to check out their awesome Mother’s Day collaboration with Craft Beer Nation…”Bubbles and Beer” (could it get any better than that?!). Butter and Milk has a great recycling promo program set up too. Check out their website for more info and all their gorgeous products.

Commercial insurance needs can vary so much with small businesses. We take pride in thoroughly reviewing business operations and insurance needs to make sure your business is set up with the product and policy that fully meets your needs. One of the most important components to Butter & Milk’s insurance policy is the appropriate liability coverage, considering the manufacturing of products used on skin. Here’s what Renae had to say about her insurance experience with us as her broker:

“Starting a company is difficult. Trusting Beyond Insurance is simple. Considering the unique nature of our products, we anticipated finding the appropriate insurance could be a challenge. However, Beyond insurance got us exactly what we needed in no time. Matt not only found an insurance policy we can trust, but guided us through the entire process with comfort and ease. Additionally, Matt & Andy have helped us build local partnerships and encourage community collaborations. We would highly recommend Beyond Insurance!”

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

 

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