Thinking About Joining a “Transportation Network”?

Published by . Filed under Auto Insurance. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Ride sharing 

Thinking About Joining a “Transportation Network”?

                      Here’s what you need to know about your insurance.                        

It’s a standard exclusion in personal auto policies in Ontario that you do not carry passengers for compensation. As we know, the times they are a changin’ and companies like Uber are alternatives to the traditional taxi industry, and of course, involve passengers and compensation.  Commercial insurance used to be the only way to go, but it can get quite expensive, and what if it’s only a part time gig? Aviva Insurance has introduced an endorsement available for your personal auto policy to cover you should your calling in life be a part time ‘ride sharer’. The exclusion for carrying passengers for compensation is removed while “the driver is logged into the transportation network”. What is a transportation network you ask? A digital network or electronic means that allows people to arrange to provide transportation for compensation is how Aviva defines it. In short: an app.

To be eligible for this endorsement to be put on your policy, Aviva has a few stipulations for you. Seven, to be exact. Here they are:

1. The vehicle is not used for more than 20 hours a week as a Transportation Network Automobile

2. The vehicle is not driven by people not listed on the policy for transportation network purposes

3. Driver must be licensed in Canada or USA for 6 years or longer

4. Car cannot fit more than 8 occupants (incl. driver)

5. Not used for any retail or wholesale delivery of goods for any commercial use, except carrying paying passengers

6. Vehicle is not plated for use as a taxi, limo, or any other public transportation

7. Logs from Transportation Network can be requested and must be provided to disclose hours that the vehicle was logged on and off the Transportation Network

How much will it cost? Here’s a couple of ballparks for our area. Of course type of vehicle and driving history impact where you will fall within this range. These ranges are for 10 hours a week. Rates will increase if you’re working more than 10 and up to 20 hours/week.

Great driver in Burlington $335-482/year

Not-so-great driver in Burlington $ $586-844/year

Great driver in Hamilton $583-840/year

Not-so-great driver in Hamilton $1020-1469/year

If you’re looking for additional info, give us a call!

 

Winter Tires? There’s A Discount For That

Published by . Filed under Auto Insurnace. Total of no comments in the discussion.

 

snow tire

Find out if you are getting the fringe benefits of investing in snow tires – As of January 1st, 2016 auto insurance companies in Ontario are now required to offer a discount for snow tires. The discount varies amount companies (between 2% and 5%) but their eligibility rules are fairly consistent. Here is a run down of the most popular insurance companies that we sell for at Youngs Insurance.

Retired? Have a private driveway? Have a child in school more than 100kms away? There are discounts for that, as well as many other scenarios that might apply to you. Give us a call so we can make sure your policy has all of the discounts you qualify for.

Aviva:

How much? 5%

Number of tires? All Four

Duration tires have to be on? November til April

Portion of the premium the discount applies to: Liability, Accident Benefits, Uninsured Automobile, Direct Compensation – Property Damage, Collision and Collision portion of All Perils coverages.

Proof required? No, but they could ask for a bill of sale of proof of installation at any time.

 

Intact/Novex:

How much?3%

Number of tires? All Four

Duration tires have to be on? December 1 to March 31

Portion of the premium the discount applies to: Liability, Accident Benefits, Uninsured Automobile, Direct Compensation – Property Damage, Collision and Collision portion of All Perils coverages.

Proof required? No, but they could ask for a bill of sale of proof of installation at any time.

*Tires must be certified as winter tires by Transport Canada and have the Alpine symbol.

 

Jevco Insurance:

How much? 2%

Number of tires? All Four

Duration tires have to be on? December 1 to March 31

Portion of the premium the discount applies to: Liability, Accident Benefits, Uninsured Automobile, Direct Compensation – Property Damage, Collision and Collision portion of All Perils coverages.

Proof required? No, but they could ask for a bill of sale of proof of installation at any time.

*Tires must be certified as winter tires by Transport Canada and have the Alpine symbol.

 

Pembridge/Pafco:

How much? 5%

Number of tires? All Four

Duration tires have to be on? November to April

Portion of the premium the discount applies to: Liability, Accident Benefits, Uninsured Automobile, Direct Compensation – Property Damage, Collision and Collision portion of All Perils coverages.

Proof required? No, but they could ask for a bill of sale of proof of installation at any time.

*Tires must be certified as winter tires by Transport Canada and have the Alpine symbol.

 

Travelers:

How much? 2%

Number of tires? All Four

Duration tires have to be on? December 1 to March 31

Portion of the premium the discount applies to: Liability, Accident Benefits, Uninsured Automobile, Direct Compensation – Property Damage, Collision and Collision portion of All Perils coverages.

Proof required? No, but they could ask for a bill of sale of proof of installation at any time.

 

Coachman:

How much? 2%

Number of tires? All Four

Duration tires have to be on? November 30 to March 31

Portion of the premium the discount applies to: Liability, Accident Benefits, Uninsured Automobile, Direct Compensation – Property Damage, Collision and Collision portion of All Perils coverages.

Proof required? No, but they could ask for a bill of sale of proof of installation at any time.

*Tires must be certified as winter tires by Transport Canada and have the Alpine symbol.

 

 

 

 

Straight From The Horse’s Mouth…

Published by . Filed under Uncategorized. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the sewer back up coverage and claim rating changes for Chieftain clients. This information was provided by Travelers Canada for Chieftain.

What changes are being made to sewer back-up coverage?

We are adjusting limits, pricing and policy wording to better recognize increasing sewer back-up loss trends and to reflect other factors such as where someone lives, their sewer back-up claim history and any mitigation measures they have taken.

How will the changes to sewer back-up coverage limits impact the customer?

The impact to customers will vary, taking into consideration where the risk is located, mitigation efforts (use of a backflow valve or sump pump with a battery back-up) and the history of sewer back-up claims at the customers current location. In force policies will automatically renew with the maximum available limit with the assumption that no mitigation is present.

Can a customer choose different coverage limits?

Yes, most customers will be able to select different coverage limits. In force policies will automatically renew with the maximum available limit with the assumption that no mitigation is present. Eligible customers will have the option to increase their limits by purchasing additional coverage (with proper proof of mitigation), or decrease their limits as a means to lower their premiums.

What is required for proof of mitigation?

Where applicable, customers need to demonstrate that a backflow valve or sump pump with battery back-up has been professionally installed at the risk location. Acceptable proof includes copies of receipts, invoices or documentation from a contractor, builder or dwelling inspector.

What will the premium impact be as a result of these changes?

The premium impact will vary between customers depending on location and the applicable sewer back-up coverage. Some policyholders have never had a sewer back-up loss.

Why is Travelers Canada limiting their coverage?

Due to an increasing trend of adverse weather patterns, the frequency of sewer back-up claims is expected to remain high. As a result, we will no longer offer coverage up to policy limits in all areas. We have varied the available limits by location to recognize different risk areas. Approximately 60 percent of customers can continue to purchase sewer backup coverage up to their full policy limits. The remainder of customers can purchase different limits depending on their individual needs (subject to eligibility). It is important to note that full policy limits coverage is not required in the majority of situations; 85 percent of all sewer back-up claim payouts in the last five years have been below $50,000. The median cost of all sewer back-up claims in the last five years was approximately $22,000. Approximately 82 percent of customers have the option to purchase at least $50,000 in coverage under the new program, which will meet the needs of most policyholders.

What policy wording changes are being made for sewer back-up coverage?

Policy wording changes are being made to our personal property products to clarify the exclusion for loss or damage caused by sewer back-up during a flood. We have also amended our sewer back-up policy wording to remove coverage for water escape from eaves troughs or downspouts.

Will existing Canadian Crest, Condominium, and Tenants policies be affected by these changes?

There are no changes to the sewer back-up coverage limits for Canadian Crest, Condominium and Tenant policies. We are, however, making changes to our sewer back-up policy wording for Canadian Crest, Condominium and Tenant policies. These changes clarify the exclusion for loss or damage caused by sewer back-up during a flood, and remove coverage for water escape from eaves troughs or downspouts.

What can a policyholder do to make sure they do not suffer a significant financial loss in the future due to water damage?

At Travelers Canada, our priority is to help clients manage risk. Visit travelerscanada.ca to access industry-leading “Prepare and Prevent” information that can help your clients prevent loss or damage, and even decrease the cost of their insurance.

Why was the claim rating program changed?

The new claim rating program provides greater segmentation based on the number of claims, time since the last claim, time insured with The Dominion and prior insurance. Also, the time period for claims has been expanded from three to five years. This increased segmentation provides more accurate pricing, which ultimately results in a better rate for long term and new business, claim-free customers. There are no changes to the claim rating within the Chieftain product.

What is the impact of the claim rating changes to in force policyholders?

Policies will be re-rated using the new claim rating factors. In force policies that previously received claim forgiveness will receive approximately the same premium credit as they did before the changes.

How will the policyholder be advised of all these changes?

Policyholders will be advised of the changes to their sewer back-up coverage and claim rating through a letter that will accompany their next renewal. Policyholders are also encouraged to contact their broker for coverage information and advice.

This document is provided for informational purposes only. It does not, and it is not intended to, provide legal, technical or other professional advice, nor does it amend, or otherwise affect, the provisions or coverages of any insurance policy or bond issued by The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company or Travelers Insurance Company of Canada and their subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively “Travelers Canada”). Travelers Canada disclaims all warranties whatsoever.

The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company and Travelers Insurance Company of Canada are the Canadianlicensed insurers known as Travelers Canada.

© 2014 The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company and/or Travelers Insurance Company of Canada. All rights reserved. Travelers and the Travelers Umbrella logo are registered trademarks of The Travelers Indemnity Company in the U.S. and other countries.

 

A Note to Chieftain Clients

Published by . Filed under Property Insurance. Total of no comments in the discussion.

A Note to Chieftain Clients:

You may have recently received documents from Chieftain, with a price increase and what looks like a coverage change for sewer back up on your home policy. The change is less impactful than it might appear to be (especially for the majority of our Chieftain clients who live in the Burlington/Oakville area).

Part of the puzzle when companies generate home insurance pricing is territory. I.e. if you are in an area that gets lots of rain and the sloping of land does not drain this water well, or there are major rivers or bodies of water around you that could overflow, this territory will be expensive for sewer back up coverage. Just the same as if statistically, lots of robberies happen in your area, the premium for theft coverage will be higher in your area.

Chieftain has just completed some ‘remapping’ of their territories with the most recent data they have available. With this remapping, some areas that were cheap for sewer back up (SBU), are now more expensive for the coverage. This is where a lot of pricing changes are coming from.  It isn’t necessarily that your coverage has changed; it is that the same coverage is now more expensive to have.  When you look at your policy documents, beside ‘sewer back up’ it probably says ‘included’. This means there is not a limit of $25k to $100k.  Other policies will have a dollar amount by sewer back up, indicating that this coverage is limited.

Another important point is the change to the ‘wordings’ of your policy; Chieftain has now excluded sewer back up claims caused by flood. This is not new.  Flood is very specifically defined as  the overflowing of lakes or rivers.  Where there was a grey area, was the fact that sewer back up is covered, but flood isn’t; what happens if the sewer back up was caused by a flood? It used to be a discretionary decision, and now it is cut and dry (no pun intended). SBU caused by flood is not covered.  The majority of SBU claims caused by flood were not covered anyway, but it was never in writing that it was excluded. Chieftain has made this update in writing only, it has already been so in practice.

The bright side? As a Chieftain client you have been an elite group of insureds and have benefited from superior coverage and lower rates than any other insurance company could offer you. Moving forward, even with the price increase the vast majority of Chieftain clients are still receiving more coverage less cost when compared to other insurance providers.

As always, call us if you have any additional concerns or questions. Informed clients are the best kind of clients!

I Heart My Mortgage Broker – And Here’s Why You Should Too!

Published by . Filed under Property Insurance. Total of no comments in the discussion.

It’s crucial to have someone (who is qualified) to review and manage your mortgage. Just like we manage your insurance portfolio, James Loewen of the Loewen Group, and his team manage your mortgage portfolio. Their access to many different lenders means they can do some shopping for you. Options = savings. Think of a broker as a ‘strategic partner’.  Everyone knows a strategy gets you to your goals faster. Credit scores can’t be improved over night – making a broker part of your longer term financial team will allow you to outline your goals (current and future) and make a plan to get here.  Unfortunately, waiting for Great Aunt Milly to die so you get a chunk of dough isn’t a great savings plan. It’s actually quite morbid, and rude you weirdo.  It isn’t all about having more money either; it’s about making your money work for you. $100 towards principal is a lot better than $10 to principal and $90 to interest! It’s the same $100, but working much differently…feel me? Banks LOVE interest like a fat kid loves cake. Brokers aren’t motivated by this. They don’t benefit from high interest.  Working with a broker to make small tweaks in your payment can save you THOUSANDS (yes, 3 zeros) in interest.

 

Here’s a little broker poem to highlight their benefits:

 

B- Boy, call centre’s suck. Talk to a broker. You know their name and they know yours.

R – Rates! Lots and lots of rates. Brokers have access to tons of options. Options = savings (remember?)

O – Only a broker will help you pay less interest on your mortgage. Banks LOVE interest

K-Keep you on track. Have a goal? Share it with your broker. They’ll make a plan to get you there.

E-Extra attention – Mortgage brokers have a portfolio for you that they manage and strategize with. Banks don’t .

R-Routine. You don’t have to remember to review your rates and make sure your money is working for you. Dealing with a broker will allow your broker to routinely check on your mortgage and make sure you’re on track.

Give James Loewen a call and see what he and his team can do for you! http://loewengroup.ca/

 

WHAT THE F%^$ IS TELEMATICS?

Published by . Filed under Uncategorized. Total of no comments in the discussion.

I love Canada, and I feel very fortunate to be a Canadian, but like many new and progressive ideas or strategies, this one did not start in Canada. It’s new to us, but that does not mean that it’s new…or spooky. Telematics refers to monitoring of vehicle driving habits or ‘usage based insurance’ which has been used in Europe and the U.S. for quite some time now.

By plugging in a small (match-book sized) device into the diagnostic port in your car, this small but mighty device can gather tons of info about your driving habits. DAILY, I hear complaints, theories, and questions about how insurance rates are calculated, and why it isn’t “fair” that just because someone lives in a ‘high risk’ area or drive a ‘high risk’ car that their insurance rates should reflect this. After all, they are a PERFECT driver, and don’t want to be labeled or defined by their postal code…fight the power, hippies. This could be the chance you’ve been waiting for to take control!

This is your chance! For the first time, companies in Canada (Intact and Desjardins) are offering you the chance to lower your insurance rate by proving to them you are a good driver. The long and the short of it is you plug this thing into your car, it monitors your hard breaking, fast accelerating, and time of day driving (insurance company stats show driving between midnight and 4am is accident time). This info is owned by you, and can be accessed by you at any time. Login, view your usage, and see what discount you’re on track to receive. Easy.

Too ‘big brother’ for you? Then pass on it you conspiracy theorist. No biggy.

The Price Is Right…But Is The Coverage?

Published by . Filed under Uncategorized. Total of no comments in the discussion.

A ‘good deal’ in terms insurance means both a price that doesn’t force you to sell your first born, as well as coverage for damages most likely to occur at your house.

The number one property claim cause is water. Water coming up through drains, water over flowing, bursting pipes, basically any water coming up from where it should go down.  Without getting graphic, you can imagine how unpleasant this could be to clean up. You can also imagine that if it was your job to clean up this dirty water, you’d charge a pretty penny.  So does the insurance company.

I’m no Olympian, but I do well in thinking of coverage in terms of tiers, or ‘gold, silver, and bronze’.  If you have approached your insurance provider, be it a brokerage or an agency, without a doubt you have said ‘get me the best deal possible’.  Your price may be awesome, but you may be severely under insured.  Has your insurance provider given you all your options in terms of the gold, silver and bronze packages? Have you made an informed decision about your coverage amounts, or have you left it to someone else to find you a great deal? I know most of you worked hard to buy your home (for those of you who had your dad buy it, maybe for this example just imagine how hard he had to work to get it for you). Not making sure that it is protected against something that is statistically likely to happen (and in some postal codes VERY likely to happen), would be very irresponsible, like “password” as your password irresponsible.  Talk to you insurance provider, ask questions about coverage limits, and get informed about what actually is a great ‘deal’ and what’s just risky business.