Guy R Day Insurance Group Blog
The home of the future is no longer a dream. Today, there are countless products on the market with wireless capabilities, allowing you to control the lighting, music or heat in your home with a single touch or simple voice command. You can even wake up every morning to the sweet smell of a latte prepared just the way you like it! In fact, Marty McFly’s futuristic home in Back to the Future Part II is closer than you might think.
But did you know that beyond enhancing your comfort, domotics can also improve your home’s security—and even save you money?
What is domotics?
Domotics (or smart home technology) is a contraction of the Latin word for home, “domus,” and “robotics.” It connects devices to the Internet so that they can interact, which allows us to control them using a smartphone, tablet, or virtual assistant.
Detect and prevent damage
How many cases of water damage might have been avoided had the leak been detected sooner? Leak sensors installed in strategic locations can alert you when water infiltrates your home from outside or through a floor drain. If the leak is from your plumbing or an appliance, sensors can even shut off your main water supply automatically and send you an alert by email or on your phone—which means you can go about your day with peace of mind.
The same logic applies to smart smoke detectors. They quickly alert you to the presence of smoke, flames or carbon monoxide before it’s too late. These devices are a must for anyone with a wood or gas fireplace.
Reduce the risk of burglary
Do you often forget to lock your doors when you leave the house? Not to worry—with a smart lock, you can use your phone to lock up remotely. This device also comes in handy when friends or family are visiting. What’s more, smart sensors and Internet-connected cameras installed at your home’s entry points can alert you when someone tries to break in.
Lower your electricity bill
Smart thermostats and lighting timers help you take charge of your heating and lighting and allow you control them remotely. They let you easily adjust the temperature and turn off the lights after you’ve left the house—a great way to reduce your energy consumption and save money!
Speaking of saving money, a smart home could help lower your home insurance premium. We offer discounts when you outfit your home with certain smart objects such as an intrusion alarm system or water leak sensors. For more information, talk to your broker.
Welcome to the smart home era
Of course, we’re only scratching the surface. Today, almost every device in your home can be connected to the Internet and controlled remotely, from fridges and curtains to robotic vacuums and garage doors. If domotics intrigues you, there are tons of options to explore.
It’s inevitable. Your kids are going to want your car keys. It’s rare that your teen is going to fully appreciate the minutia of your car insurance policy (which you may also pay for), so it’s crucial to have a few quick conversations with them to get on the same page, especially once they can drive solo.
What safe driving looks like
We’ve all seen it – people casually multitasking while driving down the freeway in rush hour: applying makeup, eating breakfast, making phone calls, changing the song on their playlist, and – the big one – texting. Inform your teens about the distracted driving laws in your province or territory, and paint a vivid picture for them.
What identification is mandatory and why
Remind your teen to carry their driver’s, vehicle registration, and insurance information at all times in the car. They’ll need it if they get pulled over or are involved in a collision. It also doesn’t hurt to carry their health card, emergency contact information, and charged cell phone (stowed away in the glove compartment, of course) on hand just in case.
Why boring cars make for safer drivers
Sure, it doesn’t do much for their “cool” reputation at school, but there’s a good reason why the reliable family sedan may be the perfect choice to be his/her first car. A newer, more expensive vehicle may drive up your premiums because they can cost more to repair or replace. It may not seem like a big deal now, but driving a “boring” vehicle instead of a fast sports car can indirectly remove the temptation to indulge an inner speed demon. Promoting safer driving habits early on can improve their driver safety rating over time and potentially save them money once they move out and start buying their own insurance.
Why insurance is important
Auto insurance helps pay for any costs associated with injuries, property damage, and even casualties. If you or your teen are involved in an accident, your insurance policy really is worth every penny because any compensation allocated after you make a claim helps you recover or get the treatments that you – or the person you hurt – need. One exception is the province of Québec, where bodily injuries are not covered by private insurance policies, but by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ). This is why you need insurance before you can legally drive (getting added to a parent’s insurance policy also counts). It’s one of those things you hope you never have to use, but it gives you peace of mind knowing you’re covered.
Passengers can be a distraction
All drivers with underage passengers need to understand that they’re responsible for everyone’s well-being – not just putting on a good playlist. If a passenger’s behaviour is distracting, it’s the driver’s responsibility to tell them what’s acceptable so that they can drive everyone safely to their destination.
Allowing your teen to drive can free up a lot of your time and energy while giving them the freedom, independence, and real-world experience they both crave and need. Driver safety is an ongoing conversation but getting off to a solid start can create a strong driver for life.
One of the most common myths about insurance is that renters just don’t need it, plain and simple. Your landlord has insurance, so you’re covered, too…aren’t you?
Not to burst your bubble, but whoever started that rumor was terribly misinformed. In the event of a fire or extensive damage to your building, your landlord’s insurance would likely cover the walls around you and any major appliances that came with your unit, but everything else is on you. This is where tenant insurance comes in.
Tenant insurance, sometimes referred to as renter’s insurance, doesn’t just cover the items inside your rented space — it can protect you in ways you never even knew you needed. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest perks.
Sometimes accidents just happen, despite our best efforts to prevent them. Sometimes your puppy chews a slobbery hole in your best friend’s leather backpack while she’s supposed to be asleep in her crate. And sometimes you accidentally hit your teammate in the face with a baseball and break his nose…not to mention his designer sunglasses. With liability coverage, you won’t be stuck paying to replace Lena’s leather backpack or Shane’s shades, and Shane’s medical bills could even be covered, too. Thankfully, third-party liability coverage is a component of many tenant insurance policies, and it tags along with you wherever you go.
Everything you own — even outside of your home
You’re always on the go, and that’s why tenant insurance protects your stuff, wherever you may take it. When your designer gym bag is stolen from your locker — along with your new iPhone, your laptop, and all of your basketball gear — tenant insurance could have you covered. Without tenant insurance, you’d be stuck replacing it yourself. You may think you don’t own anything worth insuring, but your stuff might be worth more than you think.
When your gym bag is stolen from your locker — along with your new iPhone, your laptop, and your basketball gear — tenant insurance could have you covered.
Additional living expenses
If you need a place to stay while your landlord gets your apartment back in order (following a fire or water damage, for example), tenant insurance can put a roof over your head. Plus, you’ll probably be a little hungry after dealing with the stress of leaving your home in a hurry, and your renter’s insurance can even cover the costs of keeping you well fed until you can get back in the kitchen. Learn more about other expenses that may be covered under this section of your tenant insurance policy.
Have you ever come home after a weekend getaway to find that your freezer has broken down and everything inside is rotten, including those steaks you were planning to cook up for that special someone? Without tenant insurance, you’d have to bite the bullet and replace those filets mignons — not to mention the rest of your groceries — on your own dime. But with tenant insurance, a foul smell will be your only worry. Learn more about replacement cost coverage and how it could affect you.
Identity theft is also covered under many tenant insurance policies. Your insurer could reimburse you for things like legal fees, the cost of sending certified mail, and the wages you lost when you had to miss work to resolve the issue. Identity theft coverage is just another way that tenant insurance protects you — the real you, that is.
Whether you’re a recent grad getting ready to rent your first apartment or a long-time renter who has never considered the value of having tenant insurance, talk to a licensed insurance broker to learn more about your options.
Tenant insurance doesn’t just cover the items inside your rented space — it can protect you in ways you never even knew you needed.
With housing prices on the rise, many Canadians are choosing to renovate their homes instead of moving. If you love your location and get along with your neighbours, updating your current space might be the right move. Remodeling your home will also allow you to customize your space to suit your needs and likely increase the value of your home.
Things to consider when planning a home renovation:
Investing in a home makeover doesn’t have to be stressful if you build a plan for a smart renovation:
Five most popular renovations for Canadian homeowners in 2017
(According to a recent survey)
Whether you decide to finish your basement, update your kitchen or bathroom, it’s a good idea to let your insurance provider know about your plans. Your house insurance covers your home and its contents in the event of a loss, but your new renovations could increase the overall value of your home – therefore, affecting the replacement value and premiums of your current policy.
It’s also important to remember that some renovations may not be covered under your current home insurance policy and a surcharge or restrictions may apply to your existing policy due to the risks involved during construction.
Understanding your policy and available add-ons to your coverage will ensure you’re covered for the cost to rebuild your home (including all the new renovations) in the event of a loss.
Every situation is different, contact your insurance broker or Aviva to learn more about the implications of home renovations.
As a homeowner you may not realize you’re responsible for underground service lines that run from city/town property lines to your home. The cost of repairing or replacing piping and wiring on your property can be costly and usually isn’t covered by standard home insurance policies. Service Line Coverage is an optional type of coverage that you can add to your home insurance policy to protect you from losses due to failure of these lines.
Add Service Line Coverage to your home insurance policy to avoid the high costs associated with repairing or replacing failed service lines located on your property.
What's covered in the event of a loss
While hotels may have been the accommodation of choice in the past, the home sharing community is becoming an increasingly popular option with travellers and those looking for interim rental options.
What is home sharing?
Home sharing is also an excellent way to bring in extra income by renting out a portion, or the entirety, of your home, condo or seasonal property. Recognized home rental networks like Airbnb, HomeAway and VBRO offer a secure way to list your property and assess perspective tenants, but are your new guests covered under your homeowners policy? Chances are, they probably aren’t.
Our Short Term Rental insurance is an easy option to give you piece of mind that your belongings and property will be protected in the event of loss or damage, and can easily be added on to your existing Wawanesa Insurance policy.
What does it cover?
Our Short Term Rental insurance ensures you’re covered in the event of:
I have my Short Term Rental insurance! What else can I do?
Even though insurance can offer you piece of mind, it’s always better to be prepared and take additional steps to make the home sharing experience a good one for you and your guests. Here are a few quick tips to help keep your home and contents safe when renting:
With Winter literally right around the corner, and snow falling all around us, it's long past time to get our homes ready for the coldest seasons of the year.
To reduce drafts or leaks...
1. Check and replace weather stripping on windows and doors
2. Check and replace caulking around windows
3. Check and fix causes of leaks, cracks, or gaps in windows
4. Remove any air conditioners
5. Check and replace missing shingles on your roof
To ensure safety...
6. Check and replace any rotted/decayed wood on the house, porch, deck, etc.
7. Trim any branches away from buildings or electrical wires
8. Ensure any water drains away from the buildings
9. Ensure any gutters are clean and securely attached to the building
10. Remove outdoor hoses, shut off and drain outdoor taps
11. Ensure handrails are secure
12. Get sand, salt, or ice melt ready and accessible
To ensure proper maintenance...
13. Get heat tape for pipes prone to freezing
14. Make easy access to snow blowers, shovels, or plows
15. Perform an oil change and change spark plugs in your snow blower before using it
16. Replace the air filter in your furnace
17. Check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
Other things to consider...
18. Ensure outdoor lighting is working
19. Secure or put into storage any outdoor furniture.
20. Reverse overhead fans to push heat downward
The first stage is a rear facing bucket seat for newborns weighing 4lbs and up. Bucket seats are designed to keep your baby reclined at a 45 degree angle to make it easier for them to breathe. A base is installed in the back seat of the car and the seat itself can be removed. Be sure to follow instructions for proper installations, and if you're not sure if the seat is properly secured, don't hesitate to check with a specialist. The height and weight limitations of bucket seats vary by manufacturer. While regulations vary from province to province, a good practice is to keep your child in a bucket seat until they weigh a minimum of 20lbs, are over 1 year old and can walk unassisted.
At stage two it's typical to move up to a front facing seat with a 5 point harness that keeps your child sitting up properly while snugly strapped in. At this point regulations allow for front facing seats, however many manufacturers go above and beyond the recommendations and design seats that can be installed as front or rear facing. These are known as convertible seats and they make it possible to keep your child in a rear facing seat for longer. While rear facing seats are not mandatory, this design has been proven to reduce child injury and death, and kids as old as 6 can sit in them comfortably.
The purpose of a booster seat is to allow older children to properly use the car seatbelt. Designed for older children, booster seats must still be installed in the back of your vehicles, away from the front airbags that can severely injure or kill a child. Some booster seats will have a full back to protect the neck and head and some will only have a cushion to boost the child so that the seatbelt can lie properly across their hips and shoulder. You should consider opting for the full back booster seat if the headrest in your vehicle cannot be adjusted to support your child's head.
At this stage, children can graduate to using a regular seat and seatbelt. To check if your child is ready, have them sit all the way back and clip in the seat belt. The belt must sit straight across the hips, and the shoulder strap must fit over the top of the shoulder, without touching the neck. Their knees should bend comfortably over the edge of the seat, and they shouldn't have to slide down to get comfortable.
At every stage be mindful of the manufacturer's size and weight limitations and don't use the seat once your child outgrows it. Follow manufacturer's guidelines to ensure proper installation and safe restraint of your child's position in the seat.
Written by Stephanie Fereiro; published to Economical Insurance April 13, 2017
When it comes to shopping for car insurance, there's a lot to think about - and everyone seems to have helpful advice and information to share. But how much of what you hear is actually true? Let us make things a little clearer by breaking down some of the most common myths about car insurance.
1. "Red cars cost more to insure than any other colour of vehicle."
Contrary to popular belief, the colour of your car has no impact on your premium, so driving a red car does not mean you'll pay more for car insurance. There are several factors that go into determining your premium, including things like the make and model of your vehicle, your age, and where you live - but colour doesn't come into the equation.
2. "If my friend gets in an accident when he borrows my car, it won't affect my insurance record."
Unfortunately, this isn't usually true. If you lend your car to a friend and they get in an accident, you insurance company will likely need to pick up the tab, and the claim will probably remain in your file. Accidents happen, and that's why you have car insurance - but remember, when you lend your car to a friend, you're lending them your insurance, too.
3. "Brand new cars are more expensive to insure than older cars because they're more likely to be stolen."
Actually, when it comes to auto theft, the majority of the top 10 most frequently stolen vehicles in Canada in 2016 were at least 10 years old - so if your brand new car costs more to insure than your older car of the same make and model, it is likely because the new car would cost more to repair or replace in the event of a collision.
4. "My car insurance company will cover items stolen from my car."
Your car insurance company is there to protect you, your passengers, and your vehicle when an accident happens - but it won't cover items that are stolen from inside your vehicle. The good news? Your home insurance or tenant insurance policy will likely have your back if your personal belongings are stolen from your car.
5. "Men always pay more for car insurance than women."
The cost of your car insurance is impacted by several factors, including things like your age, your driving record, where you live, how far you drive to work, and your vehicle's make, model, and year - and each car insurance quote is tailored to the individual driver. While it's true that on average, men under the age of 25 generally pay more for car insurance than women of the same age (because they're statistically riskier drivers to insure, men don't always pay more for car insurance.
When you're ready to shop for a car insurance provider, be sure to talk to a licensed broker. Your broker will do the homework for you, comparing products and prices across several insurers to find you the best coverage to suit your needs. They'll be happy to answer any questions you have along the way, too.
Written by Stephanie Fereiro; published to Economical Insurance June 1, 2017
Summer days are just around the corner - those hot, sticky days we love to complain about until it's -35ºC and we'd do anything to bring them back. Whether you've had air conditioning, you're waiting for a pro to come give your unit a tune-up, or you're trying to reduce your energy use, consider these seven tips to keep your home cool this summer without touching the thermostat: