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3 years ago · by · 0 comments

Starter Guide to Home Insurance

Front View Vinyl Siding Single Family Home MDSudbury, like other areas of Ontario is an area that has frequent flood problems and homeowners should make sure they are adequately insurance. However, in most cases customers do not properly understand what home insurance is and how they can get it.

Here at Sudbury Insurance Brokers, we are specialists in home insurance and have a wealth of experience in the industry. We can offer advice and find you the best home insurance policy for you, and at the best price for you.

However, before making any lasting decisions, it is always best to know exactly what you are doing and how you can get the best deal. Our back to basic home insurance guide arms you will everything you need to know before you start shopping for coverage.

Types of Home Insurance
Home insurance is typically split into two types of policy, which differ in how much they actually protect your property.

All-perils – This home insurance is the most common type of policy as it covers everything, all of your possessions and the house itself. Because a house is almost always the most valuable thing a person owns, making sure it is all covered is a wise choice.

Named-perils – This type of coverage is rare and allows the customer to select specific named items that will be covered by the policy. In the event of damage or theft to the entire property, only the items named will be claimable.

For valuable household items some consumers may choose to take out a named peril policy alongside all-perils coverage. However, for goods of extreme value (fine art for example), more dedicated individual specialist insurance is needed and providers will not cover those items in a home insurance policy.

Flood coverage – While flood protection insurance is hot home insurance per se, it is associated as it protect the home from damage. Most insurance providers offer sewer back-up coverage and there is a grey area about whether this includes overland flooding (it doesn’t in the policy, but companies pay out claims frequently).
Providers are now starting to offer specific overland flooding coverage, but only a select few companies (Aviva, RSA, and The Co-Operators) currently have products.

Getting the Best Deal

Getting the best deal will depend on your circumstance, but in most cases it means getting the best policy you can for what you can afford. There are ways you can ensure value for money, and luckily the tips are very easy.

Shop around – Simply put, if you shop around extensively you are going to learn a lot. You will know what a policy offers and what price you can expect to pay to meet your needs. Looking at as many providers as possible will also mean you can find the best deal.

Sudbury Insurance Brokers are experts in finding clients the best deal with the absolute best policy they can get for their money. Our online quote engine will give you near instant results from the leading insurance companies in Ontario.

Ask for a discount – Is it cheek? You bet, but you never know until you try.

Bundle policies – Bundled policies can result in savings of up to 15%, and the most common bundle is a home insurance combined with auto insurance, something that is offered by most major insurers in Canada.

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3 years ago · by · 0 comments

Potential Flooding Serves as Home Insurance Reminder

exposure-cottage-country-editedA warning for heavy rain in the Greater Sudbury area and across Northern Ontario has been issued by Environment Canada, and the deluge could lead to some minor flooding.

At this time of year, snow is melting and rains sweep in to cause a perfect environment for overland flooding, and the climate serves as a timely reminder that homeowners need to keep their property secure from the elements.

The best way to do that is to make sure you have adequate home insurance, which includes protection against flooding. Heavy rain of up to 60mm is forecast for Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, with Environment Canada posting:

“Rainfall warnings are issued when 25 mm or more of rain are expected within 24 hours, when the ground is frozen or saturated, and has a reduced ability to absorb rainfall,” the federal weather watcher states in a bulletin.

The rainfall warning has been coupled with a flood statement from Conservation Sudbury, which said waterways could become too high. However, the organization stopped short of issued a warning and said while water may result in minor flooding, levels are still within seasonal ranges. Over the last week there has been substantial downpours, and coupled with seasonal snow melt, there is a recipe for flooding in at risk areas.

If you live in an area that is at risk from overland flooding, it is imperative that you make sure you have sufficient insurance coverage. We can help you find the best protection, whether that be a sewer back-up policy or a more dedicated sewer back-up with overland flooding endorsement.

Home insurance is hugely important to protect your property and valuables from fire, theft, and the climate.

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3 years ago · by · 0 comments

Greater Sudbury Working Towards Uber Bylaw

UBERIt was undoubtedly only a matter of time that Uber would bring its controversy to the doorstep of the Greater Sudbury Area. The city has said that it is at least willing to consider regulating Uber, but will need to create a new bylaw to do so … it is a luxury that other municipalities in Ontario and Canada have not afforded the U.S. based ride-sharing firm.

Other cities have shown that exploring the idea of a new bylaw is easier said than done. Edmonton successfully created a bylaw that Uber agreed with, only for an auto insurance problem to scupper the company’s legalization in the Albertan city. Other cities have seen Uber pull out of markets in protest at what the company perceives as unfair regulations, Calgary being the most notable.

So, Greater Sudbury has a balancing act to perform, but it is one the city says it is willing to perform. The local government has said it is going to try and create a balanced bylaw, one that can accommodate Uber without alienating the traditional taxi service, which sees Uber as an unfair competitor.

The new vehicles-for-hire bylaw is still in its infancy and the council is sending out a report to assess a way to tread a line towards pleasing all parties.

“The recommendation in this report responds to the motion by council to consider regulations that find a middle ground which allows Uber to serve as broker for its drivers and allows the conventional taxi industry to function more like Uber,” the report says.

“This includes restricting ride share drivers to app-based activity while allowing conventional taxi’s the flexibility to use traditional dispatch, hail and taxi stand methods in addition to an app similar to the ride share sector.”

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3 years ago · by · 0 comments

CANATICS and IBC Fighting Auto Insurance Fraud in Ontario

fraudWhile it is easy to think that auto insurance fraud is a problem for the big smoke of the cities in Southern Ontario, the truth is the crime is also a problem for Sudbury and across the northern regions of the province. To further combat rife auto insurance fraud in Ontario, the Canadian National Insurance Crime Services (CANATICS) has teamed with the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) to fight fraud and improve detection methods for suspicious claims.

Toronto based CANATICS is a non-profit that uses cutting edge software to hunt for suspicious insurance claims, passing on any activity it finds to insurance companies. The organization works with auto insurance providers to work towards better fraud detection methods. Insurance companies have been working harder to fight fraud, with many opening dedicated fraud busting teams.

Aviva Canada is leading the way, and last week CTV News found an undercover video that the company made showing an Ontario clinic helping patients to conduct claims fraud.

CANATICS is now going to use its technology to pass on suspicious claims alerts to the IBC as well as insurance companies, allowing the bureau to carry out further investigations independently.

“The fraudsters move fast. The insurance industry has to move faster,” said Ben Kosic CEO, CANATICS.

“This collaboration is an important step forward,” said Kosic in a release. “As two organizations with an industry-wide view, CANATICS and IBC are uniquely positioned to support the fight against fraudsters who attack multiple insurance companies. CANATICS is the early warning system, producing alerts on suspicious activity. IBC is the investigative body that can confirm whether activity is indeed fraudulent, by gathering the evidence that police and prosecutors need to bring the bad guys to justice.”

Garry Robertson, IBC’s National Director of Investigative Services, said: “This partnership with CANATICS will be very important. IBC has the mandate to coordinate organized crime ring investigations and provide police and prosecution support. Access to CANATICS alerts should greatly improve the effectiveness of our investigations thereby bringing the fraudsters to justice sooner and reducing the impact of fraud on honest policy holders.”

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3 years ago · by · 0 comments

Changing from Winter to Summer Tires are you getting a winter tire discount?

It is Mach the 15th as I type this and the sun is so bright that is coming through the office window I can barely see the screen. It is plus 8C according to the Weather Network app on my cell phone and everything looks like spring. Birds are singing, people are out walking and enjoying the long awaited sun. My friend Bob is even changing his tires from winter to summers!winterVSsummertires

Now I agree with Bobby but…..just a minute Robert are you receiving the Winter Tire Discount on your Auto Insurance?? The reason I ask you is if you are you might affect the coverage on you car in the event of an accident. Why? Well the reason is that in many (if not all cases) one of the conditions for the discount is that the Winter tires stay on your car till March 31 of each year. (check your wordings or call your agent or broker to clarify).

Yes I am aware it is sunny was in the low teens on the weekend and it is plus 8C out side but the same weather network say there is a chance of snow next Wednesday and Thursday here in Sudbury. I am also aware that if you have a claim your coverage maybe in jeopardy if you have the winter tire discount and no winter tires on your car!

A claims dispute or out right denial would not be a good thing but it is best to check with your Insurance Broker and be sure rather than chance it!

PS Happy Spring it has been a long wait lets not taint it with a bad insurance experience.

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3 years ago · by · 0 comments

Sudbury OPP Continuing Distracted Driving

drive phone mockup isolatedThe Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Sudbury is continuing to warn drivers about operating their vehicles distracted, in a bid to cut escalating rates of accidents resulting from distracted driving. The police force is concerned about the levels of incidents in the city and is educating drivers about the risks and ramifications.

The March Break between March 14, 2016 to March 20, 2016, will be when the Sudbury OPP will double down on its Distracted Driving Campaign. Distracted driving is one of the chief causes of traffic collisions in Canada, with cellular phone use a primary cause of concern despite using a mobile device while driving has been illegal for over a decade in Ontario.

During 2015, some 299 people died on Ontarian roads, with distracted driving being the chief cause of death, above speeding, impaired driving, or other factors.

Driver inattention-related deaths: 69
Speed-related deaths: 61
Lack of seat belt use: 51
Impaired-related deaths: 45

Law enforcement is even discouraging the use of hands free systems for using cellular devices, as even these have been shown to cause enough distraction to cause accidents. The OPP says drivers should only use their hands free kits in the following circumstances:

The vehicle is off the roadway or lawfully parked
Must not be in motion
Is not impeding traffic

Emergency calls to police, fire or emergency medical services (if possible drivers should pull off the road)
Most common types of distracted driving:

Visual — taking your eyes off the road
Manual — taking your hands of the wheel
Cognitive — taking your mind off what you’re doing

If a driver is caught using a mobile products and other devices, there is a $490.00 fine and three demerit points on a license. Continued infractions of careless driving can lead to fines as high as $2,000 a revoked license and guaranteed higher auto insurance premiums.

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3 years ago · by · 0 comments

Fraud Prevention Month Kicks into High Gear in Sudbury

fraudBecause of continued fraud scams taking place in the Greater Sudbury area, the city police force is warning residents and businesses to be extra vigilant, while also detailing some of the scams that are currently rife in the city.

Scams have been a real problem this winter and seem to be orchestrated by well-organized fraudsters who prey on vulnerable tax payers and enterprises. The Greater Sudbury Police says it has seen a spike in fraud throughout Ontario over the last year, with normal ploys targeting people who lack understanding about their rights.

Many scams pretend to be the Canadian Revenue Agency, with scammers typically requesting payments of supposedly owed taxes, which are false. The CRA says citizens can contact its Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at 1-888-495-8501 to see if a call was legitimate of fake, while also to report and suspicious activity.

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police launched a crimes prevention booklet last month, aiming to detail which fraud cases are most common throughout the province, and residents of Sudbury can see that booklet at www.oacp.on.ca/news-events/resource-documents/public-resource-docs.

Fraud is estimated to cost Canadians more than $10 billion per year, according to law enforcement, with 51,385 fraud cases reported through the Anti-Fraud Centre between January and November last year.

The Greater Sudbury Police is doing its part by initiating the Notification of Community Crime program, which will raise awareness about fraud and other types of financial crime. March is Fraud Prevention Month in the city, so the police will be continuing with their efforts to inform the public.

In support of this initiative, Greater Sudbury Police Service conducted the Notification of Community Crime program throughout the month of February, informing residents about financial crime and fraud. Members of the local police service will continue this initiative throughout the month of March, as this is Fraud Prevention Month.

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3 years ago · by · 0 comments

Greater Sudbury Police Target Winter Driving

Winter pedestria safetyAfter focusing on Pedestrian safety in January, the Traffic Management Unit of the Greater Sudbury Service says it turned to attention to winter driving and snowmobile safety during February.

“On an average day, speeding vehicles travelling in excess of the posted speed limits cause the greatest concern for our community,” the service says. “The concern of speeding vehicles is amplified during less-than-ideal road conditions during the winter season.”

With roads exhibiting dangerous winter conditions, drivers are advised to operate vehicles with the utmost caution, driving safely, and obeying familiar winter driving practices. Drivers should also be more vigilant for pedestrians, who can often be unseen at intersections because of high snow banks.

Risky driving in winter is more likely to result in a collision, which will then lead to an insurance claim and an increased auto insurance policy in the future.

The Sudbury Police and specialist snowmobile officers were situated at key locations where waterways had frozen or in areas that were seeing more incidents. The response came as many people in the city said snowmobiles were loud, and being used on private land, such as in parks and residential areas.

The police took part in two S-Day (students, safety, snowmobile, security and survival) events in schools, one at L’Horizon and another at Lively District Secondary School, which included an in-class safety session followed by a snowmobile ride for officers and students.

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3 years ago · by · 0 comments

Sudbury Police Warn of Phone Scam Pretending to be CRA

Scam caller concept.Sudbury Police are urging the public to be vigilant of a phone scam sweeping Ontario, which involves fraudulent calls from people pretending to be the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

These calls are fake says the police, and usually involves the caller pretending to be working for the CRA, seeking to get identity knowledge and financial data from individuals. The scam is looking for people to give this information and the result is typically identity theft and stolen money and bank details. People are saying those who are unclear on CRA operations are the most vulnerable.

The scam typically sees a caller pretend to be a CRA operative who says the individual risks going to jail, having bank accounts closed, or having a house seized. To stop this the scammer says the individual can make an instant credit card transaction to avoid the bogus CRA fine.

If you get such a call, hang up immediately and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by telephone at 1-888-495-8501 (from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time) or through their online reporting tool at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm

If you suspect you or a family member may be a victim of fraud or have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, contact police.

The Canada Revenue Agency:

•never requests prepaid credit cards;

•never asks for information about your passport, health card, or driver’s licence;

•never shares your taxpayer information with another person, unless you have provided the appropriate authorization; and

•never leaves personal information on your answering machine or asks you to leave a message containing your personal information on an answering machine.

For more information on the Canada Revenue Agency and this telephone scam, visit http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/security

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3 years ago · by · 0 comments

Snow Machine Collision 2 Dead North of Sault Ste Marie

snow machine collision Sudbury

Snow Machine Collision Sudbury Ontario

Sadly each year people go out to enjoy themselves and too many get injured or killed. The reasons for the injuries and deaths vary but in almost every fatality human error somehow comes into play.

I listened to two people argue on Saturday as to whether or not snow machine trails should be open after a thaw and fast freeze. It’s too icy said one the OFSC should close the trails when icy! The other disagreed and said that people must drive to the conditions and even if the clubs had barricaded the trails, many people would just drive around or over the barricades get hurt or worse and there would be less chance of discovering them when the trail is shut down. Things got louder and I found a reason to leave before I too became involved.

I am a past volunteer for the Ontario Federation of Snowmobilers. I used to snowmobile every winter and it seemed like a good idea to help the other volunteers in the area and take a more active role. At first I just brushed trails, positioned signs and fixed bridges and was quite content to do just that. Gradually I ended up with a few other duties including attending the occasional meeting for the district as a club representitive.

Membership dropped and the work increased. The effects of Global Warming took their toll and some winters the trails were barley open. Trial permit prices increased as less people rode the trails and the maintenance and grooming still had to be carried out for those who still rode. My wife (who was at the time a Master Instructor) had health issues last year and it became time for us to find a new hobby.

The reason I preface this Blog with the little personal story is that after you have seen both sides of a changing situation it is often easier to see what is actually going on.

On the one hand you have the snow machine owner who has in many cases paid a great deal of money for a sled that can only be used a few months each year and who also purchases a permit that does not guarantee that he or she will enjoy a successful season on the trails. Insurance is mandatory when you leave your own property so there is that to consider also.

On the other hand you have the OFSC Volunteers and Full time support in Barrie that try to make sure the trails are kept in safe operating condition with proper signage, and Trail Groomers that are fueled , reliable and ready to create the trails for the rider who in most cases feels they paid too much for the Trail Permit.

In a perfect world for the snow mobile club, the trails are brushed, signed and packed prior to be groomed and opened.

In a perfect world for the rider the trails are ready and open when they want to ride. Are you starting to see a problem?

Weather has to cooperate also, the past few years have been unusually good for snowmobiling from a weather perspective. El Nino and Global Warming had thrown a wrench into things this year and others which makes the perfect recipe for conflict between the trail builders and the trail users.

The users who buy the snowmobile, trail permits and insurance see an investment they can’t use in mild snowless winters.

The OFSC sees danger to the user if the trail is not prepared correctly and will often to protect in mild spells close the trails till more snow falls or temperatures drop.

The user will often in spite of the signs and barricades, signs, web posting and announcements use the trail damaging it severely (often times the persons caught doing so don’t even have permits but it still has to be repaired). Sadly one of the duties I did as a volunteer was replace signs after others thought the signs looked better in their recreation room or garage.

In a bad weather year people don’t get into a rhythm to ride properly or try to get in as much riding as they can becasue of the good day in a bad season. Often they become tired and this leads to a lack of awareness or judgment of just what they are driving and driving on. Just like you try to drive to road condition in a car you must also do so in a snow mobile. I personally studded my track and used the appropriate carbides to control my machine. Many people did not like the studs and more aggressive carbides but I had ridden a great deal on ice and it was a much safer start, drive and more importantly STOP.

Regardless of what you do to your Sled you also have to be aware of the “other guy” stay to the right as much as possible going up hill, head the signs as they will let you know what is coming. Alcohol is best consumed when you are not going to ride and extreme speed is something we can all live without but if you must become a sanctioned racer and leave it all on the track.

What is the answer I’m not sure, but I think if everyone to rethink what is happening. For a great number of reasons I believe the day of the volunteer on the trail is coming to an end. I believe that it is time for the Province to step in and create a sustainable safe shared environment for not just the snow machine but the ATV and other out door enthusiasts.

People being people will not conform properly otherwise and odds are there will be more unnecessary tragedies in the headlines every winter without proper legislation, management and compliance.

Have a Safe Winter.

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Sudbury Insurance Brokers

860 LaSalle Blvd.
2nd Floor Sudbury, Ontario P3A 1X5

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