Access Insurance Group https://www.accessinsurancegroup.com Alberta Insurance Broker Fri, 07 Dec 2018 20:16:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 /wp-content/uploads/2018/08/cropped-access-insurance-logo-3-32x32.png Access Insurance Group https://www.accessinsurancegroup.com 32 32 Preparing Your Business for the Holiday Season /preparing-your-business-for-the-holiday-season/ /preparing-your-business-for-the-holiday-season/#respond Fri, 07 Dec 2018 20:16:44 +0000 /?p=3805 The holiday season is a hectic time for consumers and businesses alike. During this busy time, companies experience an uptick in foot traffic and sales,... Read more »

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]]> The holiday season is a hectic time for consumers and businesses alike. During this busy time, companies experience an uptick in foot traffic and sales, necessitating more product and staff.

While this often means higher profits for retail businesses, seasonal employees, crowded stores and a greater amount of inventory can be a recipe for disaster. In fact, during this time, stores face a variety of risks related to theft, workplace safety, employee morale and property damage. This Risk Insights highlights some tips businesses need to know to prepare for this year’s holiday season.

Mitigate Your Risks

Depending on your type of business and how you approach seasonal hiring, there are a variety of exposures to account for. The following are some general tips that can help you maintain a safe and productive business this holiday season:

  • Maintain good housekeeping practices—Slips, trips and falls are common hazards businesses face every month of the year. However, these risks are magnified when you consider things like increased foot traffic and inventory. To keep workers and patrons safe, consider doing the following:
    • Keep floors clean, dry and in good condition.
    • Maintain appropriate inventory levels. Avoid overcrowding backrooms and other storage areas.
    • Store heavy items closer to the ground.
    • Encourage employees to use a ladder to reach items on high shelves.

 

  • Account for employee-related risks—The holidays are a busy time, and hiring seasonal employees can help ease the burden. However, if you don’t properly train these individuals, it could lead to serious on-the-job accidents. What’s more, with expensive products lining your shelves, both full-time and temporary staff could be tempted to steal. To account for these and similar employee-related risks, consider the following:
    • Ensure any new hires are familiar with their surroundings and responsibilities.
    • Review daily transactions and security footage to help mitigate the risk of theft. This practice can reduce customer theft as well.
    • Vet seasonal employees and begin the hiring process before the holidays begin. Conduct background checks and give yourself enough time to onboard seasonal hires effectively.
    • Pair new workers with experienced employees as often as possible.
    • Train employees on safety concerns and provide them with the right tools for the job. Rotate jobs and ensure workers take frequent breaks.
    • Have policies and procedures in place that account for safety concerns, like workplace harassment and violence.

 

  • Manage customer-related risks—The holiday season can stress customers, and it’s important to ensure your business is safe for all shoppers. To maintain order in your store, consider the following:
    • Retrain all employees about your store’s emergency protocols.
    • Use experienced and knowledgeable employees to help manage crowds and resolve potential conflicts.
    • Place sale items throughout the store strategically. This can help disperse crowds and manage traffic flow.
    • Hire on-site security staff. Request the assistance of local law enforcement if you need additional help managing large crowds.
    • Educate employees on who to contact in the event of an emergency.

 

  • Chose your decorations carefully—During the holidays, it’s not uncommon for businesses to go all-out with displays and decorations. While this can brighten up a sales floor, misplaced decorations and poor safety procedures can create fire and other hazards. To address this, do the following:
    • Avoid using combustible decorations.
    • Store decorations away from sources of heat or ignition.
    • Use extension cords properly and don’t overload them.
    • Choose smart locations for any additional holiday displays. Do not block emergency exit signs or doorways.
    • Secure decorations properly. Ensure they will not tip over and that customers can easily navigate around them.

Secure the Right Policy and Rest Assured this Holiday Season

The holidays can be a challenge for businesses, particularly from a risk management standpoint. In addition to proactively managing your exposures, securing the proper insurance can go a long way toward keeping your employees and customers safe.

Make sure that your Property, Automobiles, RV’s, and Business Ventures are insured properly. Review the coverages with a specialist at Access Insurance Group. Get advice, a quote or make a change anywhere in Alberta or in-person at one of our convenient locations in Edmonton, Lacombe, Lloydminster, Red Deer, and Stony Plain.

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/preparing-your-business-for-the-holiday-season/feed/ 0 Insurance Considerations for Strata Unit Owners /insurance-considerations-for-strata-unit-owners/ /insurance-considerations-for-strata-unit-owners/#respond Mon, 26 Nov 2018 17:07:42 +0000 /?p=3795 Stratas are a popular choice for many Canadians, as they offer convenience, security, unique amenities and value prices. In fact, in British Columbia alone, over... Read more »

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Stratas are a popular choice for many Canadians, as they offer convenience, security, unique amenities and value prices. In fact, in British Columbia alone, over 1.5 million people live in stratas. To protect their investment, strata unit owners must purchase coverage that works in conjunction with a strata corporation’s master policy.

A strata corporation’s insurance may cover insured losses to the condo building and common property, but it does not cover your personal contents, liability or improvements to your unit. What’s more, following a major disaster, you could be held liable for the cost of any repairs.

This Coverage Insights provides a general overview of what’s covered in a strata corporation’s master policy and a list of coverages strata unit owners need to consider.

Comparing Policies: Strata Corporations vs. Unit Owners

Unit owners often wrongly assume they do not need coverage because their strata corporation already has a policy. While it is true that strata unit owners are not legally required to obtain insurance in B.C., adequate coverage is highly recommended to avoid major property and financial losses in the event of a claim.

One of the most difficult things to understand is the relationship between a strata corporation’s policy and a unit owner’s policy. The following is a high-level overview of the types of exposures each policy accounts for.

What a Strata Corporation’s Policy Should Cover

  • The buildings shown on the strata plan
  • Common property such as hallways, stairs, roofs, pools, garages and driveways
  • Fixtures built or installed as part of the original construction, including things like floor and wall coverings or electrical and plumbing fixtures
  • Strata assets in common areas like furniture and equipment
  • The liability of the strata corporation for property damage and bodily injury claims

What a Unit Owner’s Policy Should Cover

  • Personal property such as clothing, household items, furniture and items stored in lockers
  • Unit upgrades (betterments or improvements)—such as custom hardwood flooring—made by current and previous unit owners
  • Expenses over and above the normal cost of living in the event that the unit owner is unable to live in their home following an insured loss
  • Unit owner’s personal liability for any bodily injury or property damage unintentionally caused to others

Recommended Policies for Strata Unit Owners

Often, strata associations strongly recommend that strata unit owners and tenants purchase insurance to cover their needs. This is because strata fees only pay for the strata corporation’s insurance—not for homeowners or tenants insurance. As such, unit owners need to account for the following:

Betterments and Improvements

Unit owners need to understand that any improvements they make to a strata are their responsibility. In addition, if a suite has been remodeled by a previous owner, the new fixtures are the unit owner’s responsibility.

These are important considerations to keep in mind when electing condominium/homeowner insurance. Strong policies provide coverage for any upgrades to your unit (e.g., adding in custom hardwood flooring or custom counters).

Liability Coverage

Unit owners can be held personally responsible for any bodily injury or property damage they unintentionally cause to others. As a result, strata unit owners need their own liability coverage. While strata corporations are required by law to obtain specific limits of liability insurance, unit owners have more flexibility. Work with a qualified insurance broker to assess your risks and secure the adequate level of liability coverage.

Loss Assessment Coverage

Many unit owners don’t realize that deductibles on strata insurance are often their responsibility. If an insurance loss, such as a major fire, were to occur to a strata corporation, unit owners would have to contribute to the deductible. In some cases, a strata corporation may sue a unit owner to recover its insurance deductible, particularly if the owner is responsible for the loss or damage that led to the claim.

This could be a significant expense, as deductibles can easily reach $100,000 or more. What’s more, unit owners may be responsible for a corporation’s deductible even if they aren’t found to be negligent, careless or legally liable.

Unit owners should review the corporation’s insurance policies alongside a qualified insurance broker. Doing so allows owners to purchase sufficient coverage for the strata corporation’s deductibles or for the cost of the loss if it is less than the strata corporation’s deductible. In addition, unit owners may want to consider contingency coverage, which insures their unit if a strata corporation’s insurance policy falls short.

During the underwriting process, unit owners should discuss any other applicable coverages not mentioned in this document, such as insurance for home-based businesses or tenants that rent your unit.

Personal Property and Items Stored in Common Areas

Unit owners will need to secure insurance that protects their personal belongings, including furniture, clothing, electronics and major appliances. A strata corporation’s policy will typically only cover fixtures built or installed as part of the original construction. Essentially, anything that can be removed from a space without causing damage will not be covered under a corporation’s policy. Coverage will also need to account for any personal items stored in common areas such as art on display.

Living Expenses

Following an accident, unit owners can be displaced from their unit. As such, in the event that an owner is unable to live in their home following an insured loss, it’s important for unit owners to maintain insurance that covers expenses over and above the normal cost of living.

When it comes to insurance for your unit, remember that a strata corporation will seldom protect your personal property or pay for your living expenses if you are displaced following an incident. Before purchasing your unit, it is imperative that you ask for a copy of the strata corporation’s insurance agreement. That way you are aware of your responsibilities and the amount you need to pay for any deductibles.

Earthquake Insurance

Coverage for earthquakes is noticeably absent from the requirements placed on strata corporations. Unit owners should consider purchasing earthquake coverage for their units, particularly if they live in earthquake-prone areas of B.C. Prior to doing so, discuss the cost of the deductible for both the unit owner’s earthquake insurance and the strata corporation’s earthquake insurance with a qualified insurance broker.

Securing the Right Coverage

The underwriting process for stratas can be confusing, especially for first-time owners. Not only do unit owners need to have an understanding of what a strata corporation’s policy covers, they need to assess their risks and secure the right insurance for themselves.

Above all, it’s important to remember that your strata corporation’s insurance may cover insured losses to the building and common property, but it does not cover your personal contents, liability or improvements to your unit. That’s why purchasing your own personal condominium/homeowners policy is so essential.

Only by working with a qualified insurance broker can unit owners properly manage their exposures. Contact Access Insurance Group Ltd today to speak with a strata expert and learn all about your policy options.

When meeting with your insurance broker, bring a copy of your strata corporation’s bylaws and master policy. This will help in the underwriting process and will ensure that you get the right level of protection.

Make sure that your property, automobiles and RV’s are insured properly. Review the coverages with a specialist at Access Insurance Group. Get advice, a quote or make a change anywhere in Alberta or in person at one of our locations in Edmonton, Stony Plain, Red Deer, Lacombe and Lloydminster.

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Protecting Your Home From Water Damage /protecting-your-home-from-water-damage/ /protecting-your-home-from-water-damage/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 16:09:02 +0000 http://www.accessinsurancegroup.com/?p=3545 As our climate changes, water damage is becoming more of a problem. Water damage can be costly to repair, but there are many things you... Read more »

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Man and son looking out rainy window.

As our climate changes, water damage is becoming more of a problem. Water damage can be costly to repair, but there are many things you can do around the home to prevent it. Here are some tips to help you keep everything dry.

Your Plumbing System

Plumbing is one of the most important things in your home to check regularly.

  • Inspect pipes, drains, taps and fixtures like toilets, showers, baths and sinks, frequently.
  • Keep a lookout for leaks from water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, humidifiers, sump pumps and other appliances.
  • Install a water detection and automatic shut-off system to prevent water damage inside your building. (See below for more information)
  • Take appropriate steps ahead of the cold weather to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Mark water supply pipes clearly so they are easy to find in an emergency.
  • Check that water is draining away properly from the basement and from outside the building.
  • Make sure that drainage hoses from appliances such as the washer, dishwasher and refrigerator are made of flexible metal and have been connected by a certified professional.
  • Install a sump pump with a backup power supply.

The Water Heater

A water heater that is more than 10 years old is prone to leaks. The damage can be considerable with these types of leaks because of the water pressure inside the tank.

The problem with hot water tanks is that there is often no sign of deterioration until it’s too late. That’s why it’s a good idea to replace your water heater as it nears the end of its lifespan. You should have it replaced by a certified plumber within two years of that date, if not sooner.

In the meantime, you can reduce the risk of a leak by taking the following precautions:

  • Check whether there are floor drains near the water heater.
  • Install drip pans that are connected to a drain if the water heater is installed on any level above the basement.
  • Make sure that the first 18 inches of the hot water line, or longer, are composed of copper pipe.

Windows and Other Openings

Any opening to the outside needs to be checked frequently. Inspect the edges of attic windows and skylights closely, from inside and outside, to see whether there is any chance of leakage. If you notice dampness or mould, water seepage is a likely cause.

Outside Drainage

Large accumulations of water outside the building can quickly cause serious repercussions. Don’t take chances!

  • Keep storm sewer grates clear of leaves and debris.
  • Disconnect downspouts that drain directly into the sewer system and redirect them so that they are least two metres away from the building foundation.
  • Check downspouts to ensure water is draining properly from the roof.
  • Make sure the building lot is graded so that water drains easily away from the building walls and foundation.

What is a Water Detection System?

A water detection – or leak detection – system can prevent water damage caused by leaking plumbing fixtures or pipes. Sensors are installed in strategic areas of the home, such as water lines, sprinklers and major appliances. When the sensor detects water, it sends a signal to an alarm panel and a monitoring station immediately alerts you to the problem. Some systems come with an automatic water shut-off valve that shuts off the water supply.

Make sure that your property, automobiles and RV’s are insured properly. Review the coverages with a specialist at Access Insurance Group. Get advice, a quote or make a change anywhere in Alberta or in person at one of our locations in Edmonton, Stony Plain, Red Deer, Lacombe, Lloydminster, and Olds.

 

Get A Quote Today!

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10 Tips for Keeping Auto Rates Low /10-tips-for-keeping-auto-rates-low/ /10-tips-for-keeping-auto-rates-low/#respond Fri, 01 Jun 2018 16:03:24 +0000 http://www.accessinsurancegroup.com/?p=3526 Auto premium rates vary based on a variety of factors. Knowing how premiums are calculated can help you control the cost of your insurance. What... Read more »

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Auto premium rates vary based on a variety of factors. Knowing how premiums are calculated can help you control the cost of your insurance.

What affects rates?

  • Size and performance of your vehicle. Smaller cars can cause your premium to be higher because they sustain more damage in collisions. High-performance vehicles, such as sports cars, tend to be driven more aggressively and therefore often incur a higher premium.
  • Value and age of your vehicle. The more expensive and new a car is, the higher the premium.
  • Vehicle usage and location. The more kilometres your vehicle has travelled, the higher the premium. Additionally, where you drive and store the vehicle affects your rates as well. If you are in a more densely populated area, with a higher risk of theft or accidents occurring, your premium will also be higher.
  • Age and gender. Statistically, younger drivers are at a higher risk of getting into an accident than older drivers. Additionally, studies show that males under the age of 25 get into more collisions than females. Some provinces adjust premiums for different statistical groups to reflect these findings.
  • Your driving record. Drivers with past claims are more likely to have future claims. Because of this, your driving history directly affects your auto policy rates.
  • Your deductible. If you choose to pay a higher deductible, your premium will be lower. Keep in mind that this means you need to have more cash on hand if an accident occurs.

How can I control my rates?

Many carriers offer discounts based on your vehicle’s safety features—such as anti-lock brakes or anti-theft devices—or for having multiple cars on one policy. Your behaviour as a driver can also impact your rates.

Here are some tips for keeping your premium low:

  1. Research before you purchase. Find out how the size, performance, value and age of the vehicle you are looking to purchase will affect your premium compared to other vehicles you may be considering.
  2. Choose a higher deductible, but make sure to stay within your means.
  3. Don’t drive while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or fatigue. As well, you should never text and drive. Avoiding these behaviours will lower your chances of getting into an accident, which will help your driving record stay clean and your premium low.
  4. Drive defensively.
  5. Drive less: walking, riding your bike or taking alternative transportation can help you qualify for an infrequent driving discount.
  6. Consider purchasing a car with more safety features.
  7. Install an anti-theft device. This is an easy way to deter one type of car emergency that would raise your premium.
  8. Keep your credit in good shape.
  9. Consider excluding high-risk drivers in your household from your policy. If you choose to do this, make sure these drivers do not get behind the wheel of your car.
  10. Ask Access Insurance Group Ltd about multi-policy discounts.

Learning about how automobile insurance rates are determined helps you navigate varied rates. You can then make smart auto buying decisions, and control the cost of your insurance. If you have questions about your auto premium, contact Access Insurance Group Ltd today.

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Five Steps to Understanding the Value of What You Own /five-steps-to-understanding-the-value-of-what-you-own/ /five-steps-to-understanding-the-value-of-what-you-own/#respond Tue, 15 May 2018 14:24:56 +0000 http://www.accessinsurancegroup.com/?p=3464   Do you know the total value of your possessions? You likely have a sense of the major things you own, but the complete picture... Read more »

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Do you know the total value of your possessions? You likely have a sense of the major things you own, but the complete picture can prove difficult to discern. If ever a catastrophe or robbery strikes, your insurance company will ask you to estimate the cumulative worth of your belongings so that you can receive the correct compensation. This can be daunting. No need to worry: by following the steps below you will be able to compile an accurate estimate.

1. Start Big, Go Small

Over time, your home and life have likely become increasingly cluttered with possessions. When making a list and assigning values, start with the bigger stuff (e.g. house, jewelry, art, etc.). This way, you can ease into the process. By the time you get to socks and sundries, you’ll be an expert. As you go, film and photograph everything so you have concrete evidence.

2. Consider the Variables

Of course, the things you own seldom hold their value. In fact, everything will either appreciate or depreciate over time; when doing the math, try to account for this. Also, talk to your insurance broker about the specifics of your policy and whether you will receive payment for a replacement without deduction for depreciation or the item’s value at the time of loss.

3. Ask an Expert

Chances are, you will not have expert knowledge about all of your effects and what they go for. Feel free to reach out to an expert for specific items. For example, if you don’t know what that piece of art you bought a decade ago is valued at, try asking an art dealer.

4. Backup Your List

When you have a solid account of your things, type it out, back it up, then back it up again. You may choose to email it to yourself, store it in the cloud, find a safety deposit box, or share it directly with your insurance company. Furthermore, if you can, keep paper records, tax files, receipts, warranties, government papers, and so on, in an offsite location.

5. Update as You Go

Your possessions can evolve: some material goods you have acquired may gain additional value. Once you know what you have, revisit it every few years to maintain its accuracy. To streamline the process, keep records and receipts every time you make a new purchase.

women biting pencil

So, now you know how to determine the value of what you own. Talk to your insurance provider to ensure you have the right coverage for your situation, and update it as needed.

Make sure that your property, automobiles, and RVs are insured properly and review the coverage with a specialist at Access Insurance Group. Get advice, a quote, or make a change in person at one of our many Alberta locations, including Edmonton, Stony Plain, Red Deer, Lacombe, Lloydminster, Olds, and Vermilion.

If you have any inquires, contact us here.

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Alberta’s New Impaired Driving Laws /albertas-new-impaired-driving-laws/ /albertas-new-impaired-driving-laws/#respond Tue, 01 May 2018 18:56:47 +0000 http://www.accessinsurancegroup.com/?p=3453 The Government of Alberta recently passed an act to reduce cannabis- and alcohol-impaired driving, which will come into force on April 9, 2018. The act... Read more »

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The Government of Alberta recently passed an act to reduce cannabis- and alcohol-impaired driving, which will come into force on April 9, 2018.

The act is designed to deter impaired driving, reduce collisions, and ultimately save lives. This is particularly important given that, between 2006 and 2015, there were 1,001 traffic fatalities and over 15,000 injuries in Alberta, as a result of alcohol- or drug-impaired driving.

Government officials believe that the act provides Alberta with the necessary framework to continue to deter and deal with impaired driving in the province. The following is a summary of the four new impaired driving laws:

1. Suspensions—Under the new rules, any driver found to be impaired by drugs or alcohol will receive a 90-day licence suspension. The act defines impairment as follows:

  1. Drivers found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more
  2. Drivers found to be impaired by drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs
  3. Drivers who fail or refuse to a breath or blood sample

Following the suspension, drivers are required to participate in a one-year ignition interlock program. Should the driver choose not to participate in this program, their licence suspension will remain in place for a full-year term.

2. Provincial Sanctions—The act outlines the provincial sanctions. This means that, in addition to any provincial consequences, drivers are subject to any criminal charges and penalties imposed by the court system.

3. Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program—GDL drivers found with any amount of alcohol, cannabis, illegal drugs or a combination of these substances are subject to a 30-day licence suspension, seven-day vehicle seizure and a lengthened term in the GDL program. This represents a zero tolerance policy for GDL drivers.

4. Alberta Transportation Safety Board Procedural Updates—In an effort to streamline their processes, new limits will be imposed on the number of reconsiderations the Alberta Transportation Safety Board is required to hear in the absence of new evidence. It should be noted that drivers have the right to an immediate second breath or blood test to confirm their blood alcohol or drug concentration. Drivers may use this data to appeal sanctions to the board.

Albertans can expect future changes to the act as the province plans to enforce upcoming revisions to the federal impaired driving charges found in the Criminal Code of Canada. Among these upcoming revisions, the government will propose blood drug concentration limits for cannabis.

The Government of Alberta will be ready to enforce criminal-level provincial sanctions for drug offences once the federal legislation receives royal assent.

To learn more about the act, click here.

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Support Stars /stars/ /stars/#respond Mon, 23 Apr 2018 17:44:08 +0000 http://www.accessinsurancegroup.com/?p=3440 Access Insurance is proud to stand with the men and women of STARS who offer time, hope, and life-saving transport to critically ill and injured... Read more »

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Access Insurance is proud to stand with the men and women of STARS who offer time, hope, and life-saving transport to critically ill and injured patients.

Did you know that less than half of the population in Western Canada resides in a major urban centre and has access to critical care within minutes? For the other half, access is hours away.

The STARS mission is simple – to save lives. But being a hero doesn’t come easy. Many crewmembers need their mental health restored in the aftermath of being an emergency responder.

http://starshorizons.ca/who-helps-the-helpers/

Why do you support stars? Utilize the STARS hashtag #ISupportSTARS and let them know.

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Five Little Mistakes That Could Cost You Big on Car Insurance /five-little-mistakes-that-could-cost-you-big-on-car-insurance/ /five-little-mistakes-that-could-cost-you-big-on-car-insurance/#respond Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:00:35 +0000 http://www.accessinsurancegroup.com/?p=3354 Canadian law requires all drivers to hold auto coverage. Specific requirements may vary from province to province as well as insurance plans, so it is... Read more »

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Canadian law requires all drivers to hold auto coverage. Specific requirements may vary from province to province as well as insurance plans, so it is up to you to make sure that your package includes all that you need.
To ensure you make the right choice and avoid significant costs in the future, consult an insurance broker and beware of these five common mistakes.

1. Missing out on discounts

Every plan is different, so talk to an insurance broker to find the right one for your specific situation. During that conversation, ask about if and how you qualify for various discounts. For instance, drivers with anti-theft devices, certificates from approved training courses, or claims-free records could all be eligible to receive a discount. Other potential discounts, depending on your province, include mature drivers, summertime-only vehicles, and multiple vehicles in the same household.

2. Holding a Balance on Premiums

Many people pay their premium in instalments rather than in a single payment, which can ultimately cost them more. Paying premiums monthly or three times a year means that you will pay a lower amount per instalment. However, you may also have to pay an instalment fee. The amount you pay could vary, depending on whether you bundle your home and auto insurance. Additionally, late or missed payments incur fees and can even lead to the cancellation of your policy, driving costs way up. To escape this, set up pre-authorized payments through your bank.

Credit Card, Access Insurance

3. Taking Long Commutes

The longer your commute, the higher your risk of collision, which translates into higher premiums. And then there’s the wear and tear on your car. Help the environment (and your wallet) by taking public transit a few days per week or by carpooling.

4. Breaking the Law

Speed demons, beware! A lead foot could cost you much more than the initial ticket. Likewise for distracted driving. Collisions and traffic violations can raise your premiums substantially, especially when it comes to multiple infractions. Take your time, put your cell phone away, and drive smart to save.

5. Lending Out Your Vehicle

It’s great to help out a friend by lending them your car, but remember that you’re not only lending your car, but your insurance as well. Even if the driver has his/her own insurance, it will be your policy that provides coverage should there be an accident, with your rates going up as a result. Use good judgement when lending your car, make sure the driver has your permission to use it, and that he or she holds a current and valid driver’s license.
Should the same person regularly use your car, you should list him or her as an occasional driver on your policy.
By avoiding the above mistakes, you will keep the cost of your auto insurance down. If you have any questions or would like to discuss more ways to cut costs, reach out to your provider.
Make sure that your property, automobiles and RV’s are insured properly. Review the coverages with a specialist at Access Insurance Group. Get advice, a quote or make a change anywhere in Alberta or in person at one of our locations in Edmonton, Stony Plain, Red Deer, Lacombe, Lloydminster, Olds, and Vermilion. http://www.accessinsurancegroup.com/contact-us/

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Happy Trails: Exploring Canada’s Best Snowmobile Routes /happy-trails-exploring-canadas-best-snowmobile-routes/ /happy-trails-exploring-canadas-best-snowmobile-routes/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 09:00:49 +0000 http://www.accessinsurancegroup.com/?p=3336 When the mercury drops, many Canadians hunker down and crank up the heat. For others, the winter promises adventures as they fire up their snowmobiles.... Read more »

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When the mercury drops, many Canadians hunker down and crank up the heat. For others, the winter promises adventures as they fire up their snowmobiles. Are you ready to hit the trails? Then check out the following list of some of the country’s best rides.

Quebec: The Laurentians

Quebec’s famed range is known for its mountain sports and a rich snowmobiling heritage that includes the world’s first snowmobilers’ club. The area boasts more than 2,500 km of trails and a surfeit of snow. Up, down, and any which way you look, there is a memorable ride in front of you (and a delicious meal around the bend). Rev up and enjoy.

Ontario: The Bon Echo Loop

Ontario has more than 30,000 km of snowmobile trails, making up the world’s largest interconnected network. With so many options, how is one to choose? You can’t go wrong with the 232 km Bon Echo Loop, which encompasses much of Ontario’s Highlands. It promises a couple days of scenic travels featuring a diverse selection of terrain.

Alberta: The Iron Horse Trail

Located in central Alberta, the Iron Horse Trail encompasses an incredible 300 km of options, from simple day trips to longer hauls that suit novices and experts alike. Historic sites, local restaurants, and plenty of snow await.

British Columbia: Chappell Creek

Your winter is looking up in Valemount, British Columbia, where you will find one of the most thrilling snowmobile experiences in Canada: Chappell Creek. With an elevation of almost 2,500 metres, the view is thrilling and the snow is pristine.

Winter, sunset, Alberta

Before You Head Out

Make sure that your equipment is ready to ride and that you have the right insurance coverage. You are required by law to hold private civil liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $500,000 to ensure compensation for any bodily injury or property damage caused by the snowmobile. This civil liability insurance is mandatory for all snowmobiles, whether ridden on a trail or not. As official insurer to the Quebec Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (FCMQ), Intact Insurance offers its members coverage of $1,000,000 at a reduced rate, which is included in the price of a trail permit. Quebec residents may purchase additional coverage at very little cost. Visit the FCMQ website for details.

Wherever you wander this year, remember to ride safe. That means using the right equipment, avoiding dangerous areas, and speaking with your broker to ensure your snowmobile has the right insurance coverage. Happy trails!

From property to automobile and RV, review your coverage options with a specialist at Access Insurance Group. Get advice, a quote, or make a change anywhere in Alberta or in person at one of our locations in Edmonton, Stony Plain, Red Deer, Lacombe, Lloydminster, Olds, and Vermilion. http://www.accessinsurancegroup.com/contact-us/

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Condo insurance is different… make sure you’re covered /condo-insurance-is-different-make-sure-youre-covered/ /condo-insurance-is-different-make-sure-youre-covered/#respond Fri, 06 Oct 2017 22:59:52 +0000 http://www.accessinsurancegroup.com/?p=3265 The proper insurance is critical for those that own or are looking to own a condominium (sometimes referred to as a strata). However, understanding how... Read more »

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The proper insurance is critical for those that own or are looking to own a condominium (sometimes referred to as a strata). However, understanding how condo coverage works is not always a straightforward process.

To protect their investment, condo owners must purchase coverage (also known as condo or unit owner insurance) that works in conjunction with a condo association or corporation’s master policy. Condo owners often wrongly assume they do not need coverage because their condo corporation already has a policy.

Failing to purchase a condo or unit owner policy can leave you exposed to gaps in coverage—gaps that could be incredibly costly in the event of a claim. To better understand the need for coverage, it’s important to learn what master and condo policies commonly cover.

Master Policies and What They Typically Cover

Typically, your condo corporation has a master policy that insures all of the property and common areas that are collectively owned by unit owners. Generally, condo corporation insurance covers the following:

  • The buildings shown on the condo plan
  • Common property such as hallways, stairs, roofs, pools, garages and driveways
  • Fixtures built or installed as part of the original or standard construction, including floor and wall coverings as well as electrical and plumbing fixtures
  • Condo assets like furniture and equipment
  • Liability of the condo corporation for claims of property damage and bodily injury suffered by others

One of the key takeaways is that your condo corporation’s insurance may cover insured losses to the condo building and common property, but it does not cover your personal contents, liability or improvements to your unit. That’s why purchasing additional coverage in the form of condo insurance is so important.

Condo Policies and What They Typically Cover

While having a separate insurance policy for your condo unit is not mandatory, it is highly recommended.

As noted above, a condo corporation’s master policy typically covers common areas. Not only does this limited protection put your personal belongings at risk, but any improvements you make, damage you do to another unit, or injuries that occur in your unit will also not be covered.

In the event of a major disaster (like a pipe bursting in your unit), you could also be held liable for the cost of any repairs. Master policies often include language that identifies the owner of the unit where a specific loss began as the individual responsible for the entire deductible. With this cost sometimes exceeding tens of thousands of dollars, condo insurance is a must in order to protect your finances.

Condo insurance typically provides coverage related to the following:

  • Contents or personal property. Condo policies will often protect personal property such as clothing, appliances and furniture.
  • Additional living expenses. In the event of an insured loss that leaves your condo unit uninhabitable, condo policies may provide policyholders with funds over and above the normal cost of living. This coverage is essential, as condo owners will need a place to live if their unit is ever uninhabitable.
  • Third-party liability. Condo policies can provide coverage for your personal liability for any bodily injury or property damage unintentionally caused to others.
  • Improvements and betterments. Condo polices provide coverage for any upgrades to your unit (e.g., adding in custom hardwood flooring or custom counters). This coverage is available whether the improvements were made by you or previous owners of your unit.
  • Loss assessments. In the event that that your condo corporation’s insurance fails to provide adequate coverage, loss assessment protection kicks in. This protection helps insure common property and liability.
  • Contingent coverage. Similar to loss assessment protection, contingent coverage insures your condo unit itself in the event that the master policy fails to protect you or is insufficient.

Other Considerations

When it comes to condo insurance, it’s important to remember that a condo corporation will seldom protect your personal property or pay for your living expenses if you are displaced following an incident.

As such, before purchasing your unit, it is imperative that you ask for a copy of the condo corporation’s insurance agreement. That way you are aware of your responsibilities and the amount you need to pay for any deductibles.

In addition, when meeting with your insurance broker, bring a copy of your condo’s bylaws and master policy. This will help in the underwriting process and will ensure that you get the right level of protection.

Depending on the province, condo associations may be required to offer certain levels of protection, and your broker can help you better understand any insurance gaps.

Let our broker specialists shop various insurance companies for the best prices on home, auto and commercial insurance. Smart, Clear and Simple. Get advice, a quote or make a change anywhere in Alberta or in person at one of our locations in Edmonton, Stony Plain, Red Deer, Lacombe, Lloydminster, Olds, and Vermilion.

http://www.accessinsurancequote.com/

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