National Insurance Awareness Day

Insurance Awareness Day Gibb InsuranceJune 28th is National Insurance Awareness Day, and although insurance likely isn’t something you think about often; when you need it, it can suddenly become the most important thing in your world.

And while you might not think of insurance every day… we certainly do!

We want to ensure that you are fully aware of what your policies entail as well as the limitations; to help protect you and manage expectations in the event of a claim.

Please take a few minutes to review your policies. Review the amount of your coverage, limitations and take note of your deductible. It’s important to us that you are informed and educated.

If you believe you may qualify for a discount on your premiums, would like a quote from another carrier, or have any questions at all, please gather your insurance documents and give us a call: 519-736-8228

Travelling This Summer? Quick Tips

Summer Travel Tips Insurance Windsor Essex On Taking the time to be prepared for a summer getaway can save you time, money and frustration. If you’re lucky enough to be planning a vacation, here are a few helpful tips for you:

  • Renting a car? Be sure to speak to your insurance professional to determine if you require the extra insurance offered by the rental agency.
  • Don’t post your travel plans or picture updates on social media sites. Wait to post your photos and adventures upon your return.
  • Ask a trusted neighbour or relative to pick up your mail and newspaper, take out and bring in trash and recycle while you’re away. It only takes a few days for a home to appear empty.
  • Hire a lawn service to maintain your yard. Not only will your home look well cared for, you’ll have less yard work to do upon your return.
  • Unplug computers and other devices before leaving in case of electrical surges.
  • Before leaving, the heating cooling experts at Fahrhall recommend setting your home’s thermostat to 76 – 78 degrees to keep humidity in the home low and the home cool enough for house plants.
  • Check that your sump pump is working and the battery backup is charged in event of a power outage.
  • If driving on your vacation getaway, have your car serviced well in advance of your departure date – just in case there is a serious problem, you’ll have time to fix it or make other arrangements.
  • If you’re travelling out of province, even the government of Ontario strongly recommends travel insurance – be sure your travel medical insurance is up to date.

We wish you many memories and safe travels – enjoy!

The Importance of an Emergency Fund

Preparing for a financial emergencyWe believe the more you’re prepared for an emergency, the less likely it will happen and even in an emergency situation, you’ll be better equipped to manage it because of your preparation.

Why create an emergency fund? Unexpected expenses are a part of life and relying on credit cards to help you manage unanticipated costs can accumulate significant interest charges. Tapping into your retirement fund can have expensive tax consequences and relying on friends or family can cause personal stress.

How much do you need to save? Experts recommend stashing away 6 months of living expenses in your emergency fund.

There are many situations when you may be required to access these available funds:

  • Job loss or layoff
  • Out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Unexpected pet care costs
  • Exterior home maintenance repairs
  • Appliance repair or replacement
  • Car repair
  • Unexpected travel expenses
  • Paying for a loved one’s funeral

Finally, we’d like to leave you with a few other considerations when preparing for a financial emergency.

Be sure you’re aware of your insurance policies coverage and limitations.

Learn when it’s right for you to make an insurance claim; home or auto.

If you find it difficult to save money, here are some great tips.

We wish you all the best. If we can help you, please reach out to us: 519-736-8228

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.

Purchasing a Car: What’s Important to You?

Important Factors when purchasing a vehicleThere are many factors to consider when buying either a brand new, or a used car.

What’s important to you?

In the 2016 JD Power and Associates Initial Quality Study, “expected reliability” tops the list (and has for many years), as the most important factor when buying a new vehicle.

Expected reliability is related to the vehicle performing well and not requiring repairs. Purchasers expect a new vehicle to be problem-free for 3 years. The reliability of a car also affects the resale value.

Other factors important to the vehicle purchase decision:

  • Exterior styling
  • Previous brand model and experience
  • Reputation and reviews
  • Ride and handling
  • Price or payment
  • Safety
  • Fuel economy/range
  • Quality of workmanship

It is however noteworthy that not many people would purchase a very reliable vehicle, with a great reputation, reviews, ride and handling if they find the exterior unattractive!

“Reputation” is a factor in some purchases when the vehicle is viewed as a symbol of status for the owner. For many years (and to this day) the brand of Cadillac was synonymous with luxury, but according to the latest Consumer Reports Guide, the Cadillac Escalade is the least reliable of all vehicles in the study!

When purchasing a new car, only you can decide what’s important. There’s a wealth of information available online to help you make an informed decision. Speaking with family members and friends about their experience is helpful as is incentives offered by the dealer (such as low cost, long-term maintenance packages to help keep your vehicle running well).

Helpful resources:

Consumer Reports – 7 Cars Owners Regret Buying

Top-Ranked Cars, Trucks, and SUVs in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Initial Quality Study

Consumer Reports – The Least and Most Dependable Vehicles by Class

Speak to your insurance professional before making a purchase

Why?

Your insurance premium will be affected by the type and make of the vehicle you choose. Either higher or lower insurance premiums may be a factor when budgeting for a new vehicle.

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle and have narrowed your choice down to a few, please give us a call for a friendly, free, no-obligation quote; we’re here to help. 519-736-8228

Drone Insurance

Drone UAV Insurance Windsor Essex OntarioThe use of drones for photography and video purposes has grown dramatically in the last few years, as the technology has decreased in price.

Drones have been used in Windsor and Essex County to survey properties and farms, capture beautiful images of our waterfront, parks, golf courses, wineries and real estate. Drones have become a popular method to record festivals, charitable and community events, weddings and sporting events.

For business or an evolving hobby that may become a business, commercial operators of drones need to purchase a commercial drone insurance package, known as UAV insurance (unmanned aerial vehicle).

If a drone malfunctions, damage to the drone and/or its parts, a vehicle or property may be minimal – perhaps amounting to only a few thousand dollars; but injury to a person may be significant and financially devastating to the operator.

Liability insurance not only protects your company, it’s a requirement of Transport Canada. It’s also important to be familiar with the limitations of UAV insurance, such as fines relating to provincial, federal or municipal laws.

UAV insurance coverage options include:

  • Damage, loss or vandalism related to the drone.
  • Liability in the event your drone causes damage to a property or vehicle
  • Liability for bodily injury
  • Packages can be tailored to meet your specific business needs including coverage for employees and equipment related to the operation of a drone.

Read drone safety and policies here. To learn more about commercial drone insurance, please reach out to us: 519-736-8228.

Do This One Thing

Documenting your personal details - Insurance advice Gibb Insurance BrokersLikely there are “things” that you know you should do, but for a variety of reasons you haven’t done… yet… home maintenance to-do’s, maybe updating your will, getting an oil change… when we take the time to perform these pesky tasks, we feel better.

Here’s one thing we recommend adding to your to-do list: documenting and storing your personal details and financial information.

No one expects something bad to happen to them, but being prepared can save your loved ones considerable time and grief. What if you were unable to preform your normal day to day routine? Would your loved ones know who to contact for your insurance? Investments? Banking?

Here are some suggestions of what to include in your personal file:

  • Will (Power of Attorney, living will and funeral arrangements)
  • Personal medical information and history (doctor’s names and contact information, prescriptions, allergies, etc.)
  • All banking information (location, account numbers and passwords)
  • Insurance information (contact name and details, travel medical insurance and all policy numbers)
  • Investment details (contact name and details)
  • Mortgage, lease, credit card, line of credit and/or loan details
  • Vehicle information (copy of the ownership, insurance and loans)
  • Home inventory 
  • Copies of your passport, health card and driver’s license
  • If you have minor children, record all their information as well: doctor’s name, medical histories, insurance, investments, bank accounts, etc.

Further advice:

This information needs to be accessible to a spouse, a child, a trusted person or your lawyer in the event something unexpected happens to you. It should be stored in a secure location, such as a fire-proof safe, a safe deposit box or at a lawyer’s office which your trusted person can access.

The documentation can be stored electronically on a USB flash drive or on paper. Discuss with your trusted person the best format for them.

Your personal file should be updated anytime there is a change.

Documenting and sharing your personal details will make the lives of your loved ones easier in the event of a significant life change. Do it today and feel assured that your family is prepared and protected.

Lending/Borrowing a Car & Insurance

Man driving a carOne of the most commonly asked questions to insurance professionals is regarding lending and/or borrowing a vehicle.

It’s important to note that every situation is different when lending or borrowing a car, so be sure to talk to your insurance provider if any of the examples and questions below seem to apply to you…. And if your insurance provider is difficult to contact, then maybe it’s time for a change and you should be dealing with Gibb Insurance!

I’m thrilled my grandson found a part time after school job delivering pizzas. Usually he borrows his mom’s car for work, which he is insured on as a secondary driver, but occasionally his schedule conflicts with hers and I let him borrow my car a couple times a month. Should I have him insured on my car as well?

My brother has never owned a car or had car insurance, although he does have a driver’s license. When I travel for work, I usually leave my car with to him to use. I travel every three months for 4 to 5 days at a time. Is my brother covered under my insurance policy?

My nephew’s pickup truck breaks down often – about 3 times a month, so I lend him my car to get to work. He has his own policy on his pick-up, but should I add him as a secondary driver on my car?

My friend is visiting from England for a month. He has an international driver’s license and would like to borrow my car while I’m at work. Is he automatically insured under my policy?

My friend is afraid to drive in the States. When we shop stateside I usually drive her car. I have a good driving record, my own car and my own insurance – am I okay to drive her car in the States occasionally?

My son has own business and a commercial vehicle (he delivers auto-parts locally). Sometimes he’s so busy that his wife helps out and she uses his truck while he borrows my SUV. Is he insured while driving my vehicle?

If we can help you answer any of your insurance questions, please reach out to us: 519-736-8228

Buying a New Car? Insurance Considerations

Shiny new Ford MustangIt’s likely an important decision. You’ve considered the make and model. You’ve looked at performance, upgrades and prices. You’ve considered safety features, read reviews and taken test drives… what about insuring your new car?

Before making the final decision, we recommend you speak with an insurance professional. The cost of insuring your new vehicle may impact your purchase decision and having all the information before buying will help you be a more confident consumer.

For insurance purposes, every vehicle is rated according to the Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR) system. This system assesses and compares each and every vehicle based on the individual expected claims frequency and cost.

Factors that affect insuring your new vehicle

  • Type of vehicle (SUV, sports car)
  • Make, model and year
  • Advanced safety features
  • Cost to repair
  • Whether it’s a commonly stolen vehicle

Your personal driving record and habits will also affect your car insurance premiums. We know that changes happen in life and it’s important to discuss these changes with your insurance professional.

  • The amount you drive
  • Your past driving record and experience
  • Where you live
  • If you can bundle insurance (ex: insuring a second car or a home)

Before you make the decision to buy your new car, take a few minutes and to call us for an insurance quote. We’re here to help you protect what matters most! 519-736-8228

Has Your Vehicle Been Recalled?

The importance of vehicle recallsWhether your vehicle is brand new or years old; no one likes to receive notices of recall about their cars.

Even if the recall doesn’t “seem” to affect your vehicle; getting the necessary updates done is essential. Recalls can not only affect the resale value of your vehicle, but also personal, passenger and general road safety.

Not sure if you’re vehicle’s been recalled? Check out this easy to use Motor Vehicle Safety Recalls Database.

Consider as well that if you purchased your car used, you may not have received the recall notice.

Be proactive about your vehicular maintenance. Taking care of all recalls will help provide you with peace of mind when your family is on the road.

Safety first!