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Going away for the Holidays?

Going away for the Holidays?

 

Here are a few things that you should keep in mind if you’re planning on being away for the Holidays.


1. Arrange for a relative or neighbour to come into your house every 24hrs in the winter

 

2. Have the person checking your house run the water and flush the toilets

 

3. If you plan on being away for more than a week in the winter, it is recommended that turn off your main water supply. This doesn’t take the place of someone checking on the house, and don’t forget to let them know that you have shut the water off so that they don’t suspect a pipe-freeze

 

4. Ask a neighbour to put some garbage out in front of your house on garbage day

 

5. Have someone bring in flyers, newspaper and mail, or have your mail held for the time you’ll be away

 

6. Set timers to activate lamps in several rooms, especially those that can be seen from the front and back of the house

 

7. Arrange for someone to shovel your sidewalk and driveway if it snows

 

8. Offer your driveway to neighbours to park visiting cars


Remember anything you can do to make your house look occupied will be a deterrent to criminals and offer you peace of mind while you are away.

 

Mark Carruthers is a Registered Insurance Broker with Pioneer Insurance Brokers in Kitchener, Ontario.
mcarruthers@pioneerinsure.com

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Home Based Business

Do you operate a business from your home? Does your insurance company know about it?


Many small businesses are run from a home. As important as it is for a company operating out of a commercial location to have insurance, it is just as important to have your home business properly insured. If you’re running a business form your home and the insurance company is not aware, you could be running the chance of having a claim denied. Home business endorsements are not costly and provide protection for your office equipment, inventory, some tools of the trade, receivables, liability, advertising injury liability, and even business interruption. You will also have coverage for equipment such as laptop computers when used off premises.


Most insurance companies will allow an insured to add an endorsement (additional option) to be added to a policy to allow an insured to operate a home business. There are several restrictions to this kind of endorsement including maximum revenue and types of business that qualify. Most companies will only allow for only one company to be run from the home and have a limit of the number of employees not including family members. The principal use of the home must be residential. If your business will involve customers or clients coming to your home for any reason, the insurance company must be aware.


So if you have a home office where you see clients, or if you have a home based business make sure that you discuss it with your insurance professional.

 

Mark Carruthers is a Registered Insurance Broker with Pioneer Insurance Brokers in Kitchener, Ontario. mcarruthers@pioneerinsure.com

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Heating With Wood

With the kind of winter we’ve been having this year; more and more people are looking into having a woodstove or pellet stove installed. Here are a few things to consider:


If you are purchasing a house with a fireplace or woodstove, you can expect to have your insurance company request a WETT inspection to ensure that the appliance was installed within the manufacturer’s specifications and that the chimney is in good repair. The cost of a WETT inspection will fall on the homebuyer and will cost anywhere from $150 - $300 depending on the unit.


Insurance is concerned about good wood heat safety, and making your system safer ensures you the best possible premium for your insurance. Call your insurance representative to review your coverage and inform him or her when you make any changes. This includes adding or changing a wood stove, modifying a chimney – anything that may influence the safety of your system. Your insurance representative will want to know if your unit is certified by Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada (ULC) or the Canadian Standard Association (CSA). Many insurance companies will refuse to insure your home if the stove is not certified.


Insurance companies will want to make sure that you keep your wood burning system in top shape by having a qualified, preferably WETT certified professional clean and inspect your system each year. Not only will it keep your insurance company satisfied, it will ensure the safety of your system and your family.


Mark Carruthers is a Registered Insurance Broker with Pioneer Insurance Brokers in Kitchener, Ontario. mcarruthers@pioneerinsure.com

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Watch Your Steps...


So you’re always careful and maintain your house in good order to avoid potential insurance claims. Have you considered the fact that if you don’t properly maintain your sidewalks and steps that you could be inviting a claim?
Slip and falls make up one of the biggest reasons for liability insurance claims. Did you know that if someone slips and falls on a sidewalk in front of your house they could sue you for negligence? Injuries could include: fractures, internal injuries, concussions and dislocations, not to mention brain injuries. Damages can be awarded not only for pain and suffering, but could also include negligence and lost wages.


The good news is that your insurance company will defend you against a suit. Most homeowner policies include coverage from one million to two million dollars coverage for liability.


Property owners have a responsibility to ensure their premises, including their sidewalks are well maintained and clear of any slip and fall hazards. City bylaws require that sidewalks are cleared of snow and ice within 24hrs of a snowfall; however the law requires that you provide a “reasonable” standard of care considering the circumstances and conditions. Which basically means that if most of the street has their sidewalks cleared and you don’t you could be opening yourself up to a claim.

 

Mark Carruthers is a Registered Insurance Broker with Pioneer Insurance Brokers in Kitchener, Ontario.
mcarruthers@pioneerinsure.com

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