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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

 

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.

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!”

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.

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