Getting Property Insurance: Information Checklist!

By | House Insurance, Property Insurance, What you need for a quote | No Comments

When purchasing a home, condo, rental, cottage, or even renting an apartment or a house, a broker requires essential information to provide a quote for insurance or make a change to your policy.

Here are some typical questions you will be asked, depending on the type of insurance you are looking for:

Age of dwelling (does not matter if it is an apartment building; the year it was built is still required.)

Square footage – this is typically for house insurance or if you are insuring a rental, cottage or secondary residence.

Is it detached or semi-detached?

Is there a garage?  Is it attached or detached?  Are there any other detached structures?

How many stories or is it a side split, back split?

Any commercial exposure? For example, do you rent an apartment over a restaurant? Do you run a business in your home or on your property?

Construction of dwelling?

Outside covering of dwelling?  For example, brick veneer, vinyl siding, wood siding?

Is the basement finished?  If so, we need the percentage it is finished.

Are there any water mitigation devices such as a sump pump or backwater valve?

How many bathrooms?  Are the full or half?

What type of flooring do you have throughout the house?

Is your residence hydrant protected?  If not, what is the distance to the nearest fire hall?  Is the fire hall Shuttle Tanker designated?

Is there a mortgage?

Is there a centrally monitored alarm system?

Smokers or non-smokers?

With the following, not only is the type needed, but also the year that it was updated:

Type of roof?   

Type of heat?

Is there any auxiliary heat such as a wood stove, wood fireplace insert or pellet stove? How many cords do you burn?  Is your woodstove WETT certified, self or professionally installed?

Type of plumbing?

Type of electrical service:  type of amperage, fuses or breakers and type of wiring?

Type of water tank and age? (even for a rental)

Other information required:

If you are looking to place your property insurance with our office, we would also need to know:

  • The name of the previous insurance company, if applicable, and the policy number.
  • The number of years insured.
  • Any claims?
  • Have you ever has property insurance cancelled by an insurance company?

Protect your investment and get a great price!

These questions are crucial to determine eligibility, the proper rebuilding cost and ensure we give you the best premium.  If you are buying a property, the seller and your realtor should be able to provide the answers if they are keen on selling the property to you.

If you are renting an apartment, your landlord should be able to provide answers as to the type of electrical, heat, plumbing, hot water tank and roof, and when they have been updated. Most landlords require that you carry tenants insurance.

Looking for a quote for insurance for home, contents, condo, or even a cottage?  Try our online quoting service!

 

 

Understanding Payment Plans

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Insurance companies offer a variety of ways of paying for insurance premiums, from payments coming directly out of your account or credit card every month to paying your premium in four installments.

Each company has its own payment formats and procedures.

It’s important to remember when you secure insurance; you are entering into a legally binding contract. Insurance is not a commodity like merchandise.  Unless you have purchased an extended warranty on a product, or it has a 30 or 60-day warranty, the transaction usually ends at the point of sale.

Insurance, on the other hand, is an investment into a product, a service,  and a means of recovery when there is an insurable loss.  But there is a contract involved, between you and the insurance company. Payment and keeping payments in good standing is a condition of your contract.

Failure to pay means that you have reneged your end of the contract.  You are telling the insurance company you no longer require the insurance.

We find that many lack understanding why it is a very serious issue if you are delayed in paying or miss a payment.

It is not because insurance companies are unsympathetic or cold.  They have a responsibility towards the public, shareholders and their regulatory body to have proper accounting and money management procedures in place.

It’s crucial to realize that it is very costly when people default on paying their premiums.

To look at it in a straightforward way, insurance is a pool of money that comes from insurance premiums and investments into a pot to be there for people in the event there is a claim.

Ask yourself:  What happens to the pool of money if people are defaulting on their insurance?

Therefore it is vital to understand the terms of  agreement with payment plans.

What happens if I miss a payment?  Is there a fee? Does my bank charge a fee? Our insurers charge an NSF Fee if the payment comes back because there is an insufficient amount of money in the bank.  This may not be the case if an account is frozen.  And banks charge a fee.  Fees vary from company to company, but it can cost you close to over $100 if not more for a one time NSF event when you add up the fee a bank and the insurance company charges.

How much time does my insurance company require to change of bank information or if I need to change my draw date?  This all depends on the insurance company.  Calling in or visiting the office the same day as your payment comes out will not work.  Some companies need a week or two; some require a few days.

If I missed a payment, should I come in right away with the payment?  Contact your broker first; some companies will do a double the next month with an NSF fee; some have procedures in place where they will try to pull out the payment again.  Always contact your broker first.  

Consider the repercussions of cancellations for non-pay and missed payments on your insurance profile:

  • Insurance companies track how many times in your renewal term you have defaulted on your payment.  If you have exceeded the times allowable, it can result in the removal from the automatic payment plan option,  and you may have to pay the remaining premium in full to reinstate.
  • People who have a history of cancellations for non-payment will pay more for their insurance.
  • You may end up in a non-standard auto insurance market resulting in even more costly insurance premiums.
  • If you default and are cancelled by an insurance company and attempt go to another brokerage for insurance, the broker will ask for proof that you have paid any outstanding balances.
  • Any cancellations for non-payment of an insurance policy that you do not resolve will be noted in your insurance history.
  • Insurance companies can be stringent concerning defaulting on payments with property policies.  One NSF can result in a Registered Letter of Cancellation, and your broker may have to contact the company to see if they agree to reinstate your policy.

Contact our office if you have more questions about the terms of agreement of your payment plan.

 

 

 

 

Travel Insurance Tips!

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This winter in Ontario has to be the most precarious one yet with all the mix of rain, ice and snow!  No wonder people head off for warmer temperatures for a reprieve.  Or maybe you like the snow and head off elsewhere outside of Ontario to hit the ski slopes!  If you are travelling out of province, seriously consider purchasing travel insurance, even within Canada as your provincial insurance may not cover all the costs entirely.

With Travel Insurance you can purchase coverage for :

Medical

Trip Cancellation, delays, and interruption

Lost or delayed luggage

Extreme Sports/high-risk activities (that are otherwise excluded)

Here are seven tips on travel insurance from Secureglobe.

If you are looking for a quote on travel insurance, be sure to call them or visit them at their website!

Not convinced you need travel insurance?  Check out this article about the medical costs that can incur from a medical emergency.

Do you have winter tires? Don’t forget to call!

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Winter Tire Discount

Have you installed winter tires on your vehicle?  Be sure you contact us to see if you qualify for  Winter Tire Discount on your automobile insurance.

The discount is only for Winter Tires.  All Weather Tires, Snow and Mud tires do not qualify, regardless if they have the Winter Tire Symbol.

Also, the discount does not qualify if the winter tires are on all year. (not advisable)

They must be installed and then removed for the appropriate season, and all four wheels must be equipped with Winter Tires.

Give our office a call to see if you qualify for the Winter Tire Discount.

 

 

 

Twas the Day Before Christmas!

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Most people are familiar with the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” which was first published in the Troy Sentinel newspaper in upstate New York on December 23rd, 1823.  There have been many amusing renditions of this poem.  As such, we felt one should be written for all insurance brokers out there!  Merry Christmas!

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Impaired Driving: Wise Words from A Young Driver

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Students of First Route Driving School are required to write out their thoughts, essay style on driving-related issues.  W.C. Burgess Insurance is proud to present the first of a two-part series from a young driver and his views on impaired and distracted driving.

Jonathan’s Essay on Impaired Driving

“Impaired driving is probably the most common cause of accidents on the road today.  My family is very against impaired driving especially because my grandfather’s father was struck and killed by a drunk driver on his way home from work on Christmas when my grandfather was only a young boy at 12 years old.

I have always gotten sick to my stomach hearing about drunk drivers or drivers falling asleep behind the wheel of their vehicle.  It isn’t that I’m sick with the person, it’s just that I’m sick with some people’s actions, inactions and choices, for example, actions and choices being getting behind the wheel drunk or even high and inactions being not pulling over or stopping when getting tired to rest.

We could convince people to never drive impaired in quite a few ways such as these; offering to be a designated driver, knowing your friends are going out and suggest a designated driver such as another friend or even to get a taxi to take them home rather than driving under the influence.

If the driver is drowsy, you as a passenger should tell them to get over and rest or even suggest swapping drivers while the other sleep for long car rides.  A common misconception lately was that although you weren’t drinking and driving, that it was still “Ok” to take drugs and drive.  This is not the case because anything that impairs judgment, control, and brain function will impair your driving.

Impaired driving means that while driving, something you may have done or that you are doing right now affects your driving style aka throttle control and speed, steering, braking, following, passing and signalling can be directly affected by a driving imparity.

Another driving imparity that we rarely hear about but does happen is young kids that aren’t old enough for a licence, stealing the car.  This is impairment because they haven’t gone through testing and still are too immature to put so many people at risk.”

Jonathan McConachie is 16 years of age and a proud owner of his G1 licence.  His mother is Marla Newell from our office, and we thank Jonathan for his contribution! Well done, Jonathan!