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!

Keep Travel Plans Off Social Media

As reported by The Windsor Star, a robbery and acts of serious vandalism at an  Essex home in early June, is a sad reminder to keep your travel plans off social media. Also vandalized in this incident was a new vehicle, which was accessed with keys from within the home.

Unless the thieves are caught, the break-in and destruction cannot be entirely blamed on social media, however, the home owner did admit to socially posting the family’s travel intentions multiple times, and was regularly posting about their trip while away.

While you might be diligent with your privacy settings on your social accounts, the actual privacy is limited to only your account; If your friend’s social accounts are vulnerable, your social postings may be seen by those with bad intentions.

Yes, it’s fun to “check in” to places and share your vacation with friends and family. It’s great to look back over time to see the places you’ve been and pictures you took – but consider the risks and potential implications.

Travel plans and social mediaKeep your travel plans and time away off social media

  • If you’re away with other people, ask them to not post photos of you or ‘tag’ you or your location on social media.
  • If you’d like to keep your vacation memories on social media then (on Facebook, as example) post to ‘Only Me’ while away. When you arrive safely home, you can change the settings and then share with friends and family.
  • Change your social media passwords monthly to help keep your account secure.

Have you ever had a bad experience due to posting on social media while away? Do you have any tips to share? Please leave a comment below.

Know Before You Go – Motorhome Insurance

Boat, Camper, Motorcyle, RV Insurance Gibb Insurance BrokersHit the road this spring and summer with confidence, knowing that you’re protected!

Before you pack up to enjoy the great outdoors and start travelling in your motorhome, be sure you’re covered.

Know the limitations of your insurance coverage:

  • Does your coverage include contents? How much is covered?
  • Will your insurance cover a full replacement cost or an actual cash value?
  • Does your policy cover expenses in the incident of an emergency? (ex: hotel costs)
  • Is there roadside assistance offered in your policy?

Before your vacation:

  • Talk to your insurance broker about potential gaps in your coverage.
  • Share the details of your planned getaways with your insurance broker – there might be limitations when travelling out of province for extended periods.
  • Have your motorhome’s appliances inspected and serviced.
  • Create an inventory of your motorhome’s contents, particularly noting expensive items (such as electronics or bicycles).
  • Travelling out of province? Yes, you need travel medical insurance.

You’ll be better able to enjoy the freedom of your motorhome lifestyle if you know you’re protected. Please feel free to give us a call to review your policy today: 519-736-8228

Quick Travel Tip

Quick travel tips by Gibb Insurance Brokers Amherstburg OntarioWhen travelling keeping your travel documents organized can be a challenge. With many paperless options today such as a smart phone app which you scan as your flight boarding pass, car rental and hotel confirmations via email; travel today often relies on your smart phone.

But what if you can’t find the email? What if you can’t get an internet connection when you need to access these documents? What if you misplace the traditional paper confirmations?

Here are a couple of tips:

  • Immediately print a paper version of all travel confirmations and while travelling keep this paperwork with your passport.
  • Take ‘screen capture’ shots with your smart phone of all your email correspondence regarding hotel, car and flight confirmations. That way if you misplace your travel documents or are unable to access your email, you’ll have the images saved in your smart phone’s camera.

Taking a little extra time to be redundant with your travel plans can save you time and help you avoid stressful travel situations.

Also – always remember when travelling outside of Ontario to have travel medical insurance. Even the Government of Ontario strongly recommends this supplemental insurance. Print a blank copy of the claim form with related phone numbers with your travel documents (it may need to be signed by the doctor your see out of province), and save a copy in your email to be accessed if needed.

Need a quote on travel medical insurance options? We’d be pleased to help you find the right coverage at a price you can afford – please give us a call 519-736-8228 or send us an email: chris@gibbinsurance.ca

Summer Vacation? Tips for You and Your Home

Summer Travel Tips Gibb Insurance BrokersMany of us are lucky to be planning for a summer getaway!

Here are a few quick helpful tips:

  • Don’t post your travel plans or picture updates on social media sites
  • Ask a neighbour or relative to pick up your mail and newspaper while you’re away
  • Hire a lawn service to maintain your yard
  • Unplug computers and other devices
  • Before leaving, the heating cooling experts at Fahrhall recommend setting your home’s thermostat to 76 – 78 degrees to keep the humidity in check and cool enough for house plants
  • If driving, be sure to have your car serviced well in advance of your departure date – just in case something major comes up
  • If you’re traveling out of province, be sure your travel medical insurance is up to date

We wish you wonderful memories and safe travels – enjoy!

Summer Travel Plans? Yes, You Need Travel Insurance

Windsor Essex Travel Medical Insurance Gibb Insurance AmherstburgWindsor and Essex County residents are getting ready to hit the road this spring and summer. Day trips to the Detroit Zoo, Cedar Point or golfing… week-ends at a cabin in Michigan, camping, boating or fishing.

We’re ready to hit the road and enjoy the freedom of travel!

It’s important to know that when travelling out of our province, we are not covered by our health insurance.

You are strongly advised to purchase additional health insurance every time you leave Canada and ensure that the supplementary insurance you have purchased provides adequate coverage. – Ontario Ministry of Health

Even a day trip to the States can be financially devastating if a health emergency occurs. At Gibb Insurance we believe the more you prepare for an unlikely emergency, the less likely it will occur. For this reason, please call us for a quote for travel insurance today – 519-736-8228.

Protect Your Home While on Vacation

Vacation planning home safety tips Gibb InsuranceAre you planning a vacation this winter? Then you know there are a lot of details involved: airline tickets, hotel and rental car reservations, packing and fun activities to schedule. With so much preparation to be done, it’s easy to overlook protecting your home while away.

We’d like to offer you some reminders to help you feel secure that your home is safe while you’re away. We’ve also included helpful links to expand on advice below.

Do you know that many home insurance policies contain language that makes it mandatory for you to have a responsible person checking on your home while you’re away? Consider:

Arranging for assistance:

  • A house/pet/plant sitter.
  • Someone to shovel your sidewalks and drive.
  • Someone to pick up your mail, newspaper and flyers.
  • Someone to check on the inside of your home if there is a heavy rain, fast thaw, windstorm or extremely cold weather. Be certain to leave them your contact information.
  • Someone to put out and bring in garbage cans and recycling bins.

A week before you leave:

  • Store valuable documents and jewelry in a safe deposit box.
  • Add and test timers on a few lamps and a radio. Does it appear and sound from the outside of your home that someone may be inside?
  • Make a video of everything you’re taking on your vacation.
  • Let your alarm company and trustworthy neighbours know that you’ll be away and to report and suspicious activity.
  • Purchase travel medical insurance if you’re going to be out the province.

Just before you leave:

  • Turn off or unplug electrical appliances, especially those prone to electrical surges.
  • Turn the ringer and answering machine down on your phone. Burglars have been known to call a home they’re standing outside to help determine if anyone is home.
  • Double check that all doors and windows are locked. If you leave a key hidden outside your home, bring it in – burglars look for those too!
  • Empty your fridge and pantry of perishable items. Take out the garbage or leave it in the garage or shed.
  • Turn down your thermostat.
  • Shut off your water.

A little extra effort can go a long way to providing you peace of mind while you’re enjoying your getaway.

Remember to never post your vacation plans on social media, and refrain from posting pictures or updates until you return.

Have fun, be safe and most all… enjoy!

Hotel Safety Reminders and Tips

Hotel safety tips and reminders Gibb Insurance BrokersMany lucky people are booking a warm weather getaway to escape the cold that has descended upon us in Windsor and Essex County. Before you book your hotel, please review our safety reminders and tips.

Before you book

Booking the hotel

  • Request that your room is not on the first floor. First floor rooms in general are easier to access than higher up floors.
  • If you’re staying in a motel, request that your room is in view of the check-in lobby.

Before you go

  • Make a short video of everything you’re bringing on trip.
  • Bring just the basics – Ask yourself if you really need to bring expensive jewelry.

Checking in

  • Ask the desk clerk to write the number of room down and paper, rather than saying it aloud.
  • Don’t flaunt cash, credit cards or valuables.
  • Park in a well-lit area, in view of your room and remove all visible valuables from your vehicle.
  • Ask the desk clerk or concierge of dangerous nearby areas to avoid.
  • Instruct the staff to not give out your name, room number or extra keys to anyone.

At the hotel

  • Review the in-room safety placard and familiarize yourself and family with alternate exits in case of fire.
  • Always keep your door locked and the safety latch engaged. Double check that the windows and adjoining doors are locked.
  • Keep your valuables in the in-room safe. If your room doesn’t have a safe, ask if your valuables can be stored in the hotel safe.
  • Never leave children or pets unattended in any area of the hotel at any time.
  • Always use the peep hole when someone is at the door, and never open the door to a stranger. Always call the front desk to confirm that it is indeed a hotel staff member at your door.
  • When leaving your room, put up the ‘do not disturb’ sign.
  • If possible, board elevators last when you feel comfortable with the appearance of all the passengers. Always select your floor number last. If at any time you feel unsafe, exit immediately.

We all want a relaxing, carefree time away. A little prevention and precaution can go a long way to creating a happy and memorable vacation. Please share these hotel safety tips with young or inexperienced travelers… and enjoy your time away!

Travel Tips for Snowbirds

Travel Tips for Snowbirds Gibb Insurance BrokersFall is in the air and Snowbirds across Windsor and Essex County are starting to plan their extended winter getaways. These long term trips are what many of us look forward to in retirement, but the preparation can be quite stressful.

There’s an incredible organization to help Snowbirds travel with confidence – The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA). Whether you’re travelling for a few weeks or for the entire winter, they have many resources to help make your trip easier.

The CSA offers support and advice on healthcare, documentation, duration advice, organizing finances, home security tips and more.

There are two factors we at Gibb Insurance Brokers would like you to consider while travelling for an extended time this winter:

Car Insurance

It’s very important to advise your insurance broker if you are spending an extended amount of time with your vehicle south of the border.  You do not want to find out after an accident that you are not fully covered, as some insurance companies have rules about being the U.S. for an extended period of time.

Another important consideration is increased liability coverage.  In general, Americans are more likely to proceed with a lawsuit and their courts generally deliver higher awards than Canadian courts.  Unfortunately, there also seems to be a bias in American courts against ‘foreign’ defendants, resulting in higher judgments against non-American defendants.

If you plan on leaving a Canadian registered vehicle in the U.S. for more than a year, you will require proper U.S. vehicle registration. Canadian auto insurance is not applicable on vehicles left in the U.S. for an ongoing basis, so you’ll need separate coverage from a U.S. based insurance broker.

Travel Medical Insurance

It’s so very important to fully understand your provincial health plan’s limits and your travel insurance’s benefits before purchasing travel medical insurance and leaving on vacation. The average cost of a medical emergency for Canadians in the U.S. is $26,000 while the cost of six months of insurance is typically less than $1000, so good coverage is an absolute necessary part of extended travel for seniors.

It’s also important to know your options for extending, cancelling or refunding travel medical insurance policies. Travel can be unpredictable; if you want to extend your trip, cancel or return early, you need insurance coverage that is flexible.

There are many options of travel medical coverage available, and it’s essential to be fully confident and informed. We advise sitting down with an experienced broker to discuss your options.

For more information on car or travel medical insurance for senior ‘Snowbirds’, please do not hesitate to call our office. We’d be pleased to help you. 519-736-8228.

Traveling Abroad This Winter?

It’s the time of year when many of us in Windsor and Essex County are planning a warm weather getaway. Do you have travel insurance? Even a quick trip stateside can end up costing you thousands if you have a medical emergency.

Do I need travel insurance Windsor Essex County Travel InsuranceMYTH – My provincial health plan covers me when traveling, so I don’t need travel insurance.

FACT – Your provincial health plan does not fully cover you when travelling out of the province or outside of Canada.

FACT – If you’re sick or injured outside of Canada, your provincial insurance plan covers only about 7% of your possible expenses. Emergency dental treatments, prescription drugs, and ambulatory services are not covered at all while abroad.

A quote from the Government of Canada:

Do not rely on your provincial or territorial health plan to cover costs if you get sick or are injured while abroad. Out-of-country health care can be costly, and your health plan may not cover any medical expenses abroad. It is your responsibility to seek information from your provincial or territorial health authority and to obtain supplementary travel insurance and understand the terms of your policy.

MYTH – My employee health plan covers me for when traveling, so I don’t need travel insurance.

FACT – Employee benefits usually do not extend to travel. Carefully check your policy or contract your insurance provider.

Experiencing a medical emergency can be a scary life occurrence, but while on vacation it can result in a financial disaster. We can help you protect yourself and your family in the event of medical emergency – affordably. Please give us a call to discuss pricing and packages – 519-736-8228