Planning A Home Renovation Project?

Home Renovation Project Contact your Insurance ProfessionalWhen updating your home or property, it is important to be in contact with your insurance professional.

Why? 

  • Home improvements may increase the value of your home, creating gaps in your coverage.
  • You may be eligible for savings on your home insurance premiums with some types of improvements.
  • You’ll want to ensure that you have the proper liability coverage, in the case of accident or injury during construction.
  • If you need to vacate your home during renovations, you’ll want to be confident that your home is covered while vacant and more vulnerable.
  • You or your contractor may want to consider a Builder’s Risk Policy for the duration of your project, to help insure against theft or damage to building materials during construction.

Be sure that any contractors working on your home are fully insured, and keep copies of contracts, warranties and guarantees in a safe place. If your project is of the do-it-yourself variety, or you’re enlisting the help of friends of family members, you’ll want to ensure your liability coverage is adequate. It’s also a good idea to perform a complete home inventory before the start of the project, to help protect yourself from potential theft or damage.

Renovations which may affect your insurance premiums:

  • Additions
  • New Roof
  • Pool and outdoor living areas
  • Addition of home office or at home business
  • Improvements which increase the home’s value, such as kitchen or bath upgrades
  • Upgrades to the value of contents, such as new appliances
  • Updates to home systems, such as plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling or basement waterproofing/finishing
  • The addition or removal of a woodstove or interior or exterior fireplaces

Home renovations can be stressful! Regardless of the type of renovation you’re planning, knowing that your property, home, contents and workers are covered will give you peace of mind, while avoiding a potential financial problem.

Please call us if we can help you prepare for your home renovation project: 519-736-8228

Home Security Basics

Home Security Advice Gibb Insurance Brokers While home security is thought to be a top priority for most homeowners, a recent American study shows results that may indicate otherwise. There are two basic ways to protect your home and valuables:

Locking doors

Nearly 1 in 5 people reported to rarely lock their doors and especially not when they are at home.

  • 63% of those surveyed stated that they know people who rarely lock their doors.
  • These statistics are surprising, particularly when considering that 30% of all burglaries have gained access via an unlocked door.

While only 18% of respondents in this survey hide a key outside, those who do hide it in obvious spots, such as a fake rock, under a doormat or in a barbecue.

Social media

The ever-increasing use of social media has become a common method for savvy burglars to target vulnerable homes.

  • Approximately 1 in 3 respondents reported to posting vacation photos and other related information to social media while away from their homes.

Through location data and open posting, thieves are not only to determine where you are but also where you live and how long you’ll be away; allowing them lots of time to find and burglarize your property.

It’s important to not by lulled into a false sense of security simply because a burglary hasn’t happened to you yet because you live in a safe area or a have security lights or cameras.

Talk to your family today about the importance of a secure home.

  • Always lock your doors when you are away and even when you are at home.
  • Never post vacation plans or daily routines on social media.

Remember to also be a good neighbour by reporting any suspicious activity in your area.

Welcome to Road Construction Season!

Drive safe in road construction adviceWhile most of us are looking forward to warmer weather, the warmer weather also means that road crews will be out improving our travel routes.

We would like to remind all drivers to slow down, drive with caution, increased awareness and share the road with work crews.

  • Observe the lower speed limit.
  • Watch for workers and obey their directives.
  • Merge when appropriate and be a courteous driver.
  • Leave earlier, assuming delays, to allow for ample time for you to arrive at your destination.
  • Be aware of uneven road surfaces and changes in traffic patterns
  • Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, as sudden stops are common in construction zones.

Remember, speeding fines are doubled in construction zones when workers are present and may also result in demerit points; both which affect your insurance premiums.

Drive safe!

 

A Safe and Enjoyable Easter Week-end

Easter week-end holds different traditions and memories for Canadians. Whether you celebrate the religious aspect of Easter, or just enjoy the extra day off work to spend with family and friends; we’d like to wish all our families, friends and valued customers a very Happy Easter!

Happy Easter Gibb Insurance Brokers Amherstburg

Have a safe and enjoyable Easter week-end from Gibb Insurance Brokers Inc.

Fatigued Driving is Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is any condition which affects your driving performance. Impaired driving is not only alcohol and drug related; it’s also physical and mental fatigue.

Our lives are demanding, and often one area we neglect is proper rest and sleep.

Driver fatigue is a factor in up to 21 percent of vehicular collisions, according to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators. For Canadians, this translates into approximately 400 deaths and 2,100 serious injuries every year.

Fatigued drivers put themselves and others at risk: and it’s simply not worth the potential outcome.

Fatigued Driving

Infogrraphic: National Sleep Foundation

Talk to your young drivers, loved ones and friends about the dangers of drowsy driving.

Think Motorcycles First

Before DVD players, Wi-Fi or really anything else to do in car ride aside from look out the window, kids (and some adults) used to wind up and punch one another at the sight of a VW Beetle.

“Punch-Buggy!”

This little game created a habit of always being on the look-out for VW Beetles.

While the original Beetles aren’t very common on roadways today (and we don’t recommend physical violence), a new game can help the next generation of drivers be more aware of motorcycles.

Encourage your children to be on the look-out for motorcycles, and give them a point for each one spotted. The reward could be as simple as being the winner, getting to ride “shot-gun” next car ride, or not having to do the dishes!

When children are motivated to “think motorcycles first”, you’ll create a life-long good driving habit.

Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

Look for motorcycles first game

Crime Prevention Starts at Home

Crime Prevention Tips Gibb Insurance BrokersProtect your home and neighbourhood

Just as Canadians are outdoors and more active in the warm weather months, so are vandals and thieves. There are actions we can take to help protect ourselves, our homes and our neighbourhoods.

Be observant and aware: report suspicious behavior as it occurs.

  • If there is an injury or a crime in process, call 911.
  • Report a crime to your local police department or anonymously to Crime Stoppers.

Have you become a little relaxed about home and neighbourhood security over time? While many of these tips are common sense, it’s better to be proactive to help prevent crime than reactive once it has occurred.

  • Don’t hide spare house keys outdoors, instead, leave a set with a trusted neighbour.
  • If you’re going to be away, set times on your interior and exterior lights to give the illusion that someone is home.
  • Never share your travel plans on social media.
  • Be sure your landscaping doesn’t provide a place for a burglar to hide.
  • Ask a trusted friend or neighbour to house-sit when you are away, and ask that they don’t share your travel plans with anyone.
  • Keep your garage door closed and sheds or outbuildings locked up.
  • Always lock your vehicle and never leave valuables in it.
  • Be out and visible in your neighbourhood. Check in and visit neighbours. Encourage them to be proactive with crime prevention.
  • Learn more about creating a Neighbourhood Watch in your area.

For a thorough review of your home and business, please check out this link.

Have a great crime prevention tip? Please leave a comment below.

Recognizing and Preventing Fraud

Recognizing and Preventing FraudOnly we as consumers can protect ourselves from fraudulent scams. Thousands of Canadians are victims of fraud each year, costing an estimated 10 billion dollars annually.

The impact of fraud can be significant and devastating: loss of retirement savings, homes and even businesses. While we’d all like to believe that fraud couldn’t happen to us, however, victims vary greatly in age and economic backgrounds. Fraudsters are relentless and savvy.

The best way to protect yourself from fraud:

  • Awareness and recognition of fraud
  • Discuss fraudulent scams with everyone in your life
  • Report fraud when it is suspected or occurs

From the Competition Bureau of Canada:

Thousands of Canadians of all ages and from all walks of life are defrauded each year. There is no typical fraud victim in Canada. Fraud targets Canadians of all ages and from all walks of life. Recognizing fraud is the first step to better protecting yourself.

Fraudsters are professional criminals that know what they are doing. Fraudsters rely on some basic techniques to be successful. These include:

  • Developing professional-looking marketing materials
  • Providing believable answers for your tough questions
  • Impersonating government agencies, legitimate businesses, websites, charities, and causes
  • Pretending to be your ordinary supplier
  • Hiding the true details in the fine print
  • Preying on areas of vulnerability, including those needing help with loans or finding employment
  • Asking for fees in advance of promised services
  • Threatening legal action to collect on alleged contracts
  • Falsely claiming affiliation with reliable sources, such as legitimate news sites to support their products or services
  • and exchanging victim lists with other fraudsters.

Think you’re fraud savvy? Take this quiz.

When it comes to fraud: recognize, reject and report.

Please share this article with your loved ones.

Spring Forward – Family Safety Actions

Fire safety tips Windsor Essex Ontario GIbb Insurance BrokersWhen changing the clocks for Daylight’s Savings Time, we are reminded to change the batteries in our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Below are four additional recommendations, which only take minutes to perform and could save a life.

  1. Safely dispose of used batteries. 9-volt batteries (commonly used in smoke and CO2 detectors) need to have their posts covered with a piece of non-conductive tape (such as electrical or duct tape) as they are a fire hazard.
  2. Check the date on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Most models only have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years and may fail completely even if the battery is operational. If you do not remember the last time you replaced these detectors, then it’s best to purchase new ones.
  3. Review your home’s fire safety plan with your family. Springing forward is the perfect time to ensure all your family members know what to do in case of fire. Remember to teach children not to be afraid of the alarm’s sound if/when they hear it.
  4. Check that your fire extinguishers are in the proper location and are in good working order. Bring it in for testing or schedule a recharge.

At Gibb Insurance we believe:

The better you prepare for a disaster, the less likely it will happen.

Please share these recommendations with your family and friends.

Avoiding Rear End Collisions

Avoiding a rear end collisionAccording to recent statistics, read end accidents account for 26% of all collisions. These accidents can significantly vary in severity from a scratched bumper to death. In nearly all cases of rear end collisions, it’s the driver who is following too closely who is at fault except when the first vehicle makes a sudden and unexpected stop.

The best way to avoid rear-end collisions is to leave some space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. It’s recommended to leave three to five seconds, (depending on speed and road conditions) so you have enough time to react.

To give yourself a two-second space, follow these steps:

Pick a marker on the road ahead, such as a road sign or telephone pole.

When the rear of the vehicle ahead passes the marker, count “one thousand and one, one thousand and two”.

When the front of your vehicle reaches the marker, stop counting. If you reach the marker before you count “one thousand and two,” you are following too closely.

Remember that the two-second rule gives a minimum following distance. It applies only to ideal driving conditions. You will need extra space in certain situations, such as inclement weather, when following motorcycles or large trucks, or when carrying a heavy load. [1]

Tailgating

We can’t govern the actions of others on roadways, but we can control how we conduct ourselves and react to poor drivers.

What to do if you’re being tailgated:

  • Change lanes if possible and signal your intentions well in advance, but avoid pulling onto the shoulder of the road.
  • Don’t pump the brakes – the tailgater likely knows they are following too closely and may not have the time to react properly.
  • Don’t be too distracted by the driver behind you. Keep your focus on the road ahead.
  • Don’t wave at the tailgater to pass you as your gesture may be misunderstood, or it may be dangerous for them to pass with oncoming traffic.
  • Keep your cool. It’s better to assume the driver is just having a bad day, rather than being an all-around jerk.
  • If you feel unsafe and are concerned about road rage, take the first available right turn, and then again if they are still behind you. If the driver is still following you, drive directly to the closest police station.

Be alert and drive safe.

[1] http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/driver/handbook/section2.2.6.shtml