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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 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.

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.

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

 

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.

Coco Lady Testimonial

Read our Coco Lady Testimonial to find out why she thinks Beyond Insurance is Red Deer’s best insurance broker. We are so proud to be apart of the local business scene in Red Deer and pride ourselves in creating meaningful, connected relationships with our insurance clients. But why just listen to us ramble? Here’s a direct testimonial from BJ Tumanut, owner of Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut in Red Deer’s Village Mall complex. Be sure to go sample her delicious chocolate and follow them online for promos and updates! Instagram + Twitter
BJ says: “Personable, Professional and Trustworthy are three words I would use to describe my experience with Beyond Insurance. I never looked forward to dealing with by business insurance. That changed when I started working with Matt and Andy. They were easy to deal with and were able to get the coverage my business needs at a great price. My experience was so positive that I am now using them for my home and auto insurance as well.”
Our goal is to offer full portfolio and risk management. When you allow us to see the big picture and assess your full portfolio, from commercial and business insurance to home and auto, we can ensure you’re getting the correct coverage and best rates for all your risk needs. Thank you BJ for your kind words!
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