Creston Valley Insurance winterize your home properly

Winter is Here – It’s Not Too Late to Winterize Your Home!

Prevent possible cold weather disasters – protect and properly winterize your home to stay warm, comfortable, and safe all season long.

Disaster often strikes at the most inopportune time (as if there’s ever a good time for a crisis?!) but winter is perhaps the worst time of year to encounter issues with your home. It’s also one of the most common.

Certainly, the best time to take winter precautions is before the weather gets cold, but for the procrastinators out there, we call on the old adage, “better late than never”.

So, before it gets too cold, be proactive and take care of things before a winter-related disaster strikes. Ensure you’ve taken the proper precautions to help your home be ready for the cold.

Here are 10 must-do essentials to properly winterize the home that will provide you not only with peace of mind but more comfort and energy savings, too boot, no matter how far the mercury drops.

  1. No matter your source of heat – furnace, wood stove, electric baseboard heaters, etc. – check them over to be sure they are in good operating condition. Have them maintained, inspected, and cleaned on a regular basis. You may have to clean, or even replace, furnace air filters more frequently through the cold winter months.
  2. Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors frequently and keep them well maintained.
  3. Broken water pipes due to freezing is no fun! Keep water running through them. It’s not unusual to have several plumbing fixtures and taps in our home, even some that don’t get much use. Be sure to turn them on regularly and allow water to run through. Also, test the shut-off valves.
  4. The attic can be a place where frost accumulates. Inspect your attic for any air leaks and any accumulation of frost. Proper insulation will prevent cold air settling in. Boost your insulation power easily – lay batts of fibreglass insulation or mineral wool on top of what you already have there; tighly fit them side by side to help prevent any gaps for air.
  5. Check your roof and eavestrough for icicles and possible ice dams.
  6. Fill in the gaps! Small openings and cracks around your windows can let in a surprising amount of cold air. Caulk the exterior of your windows. It’s a fast and easy way to keep more warm air indoors.
  7. Prevent exposed pipes from freezing. Cover or wrap with insulation or insulating sleeves.
  8. Keep your sidewalk and steps clear of snow and ice.
  9. Don’t allow snow to collect and block gas meters and appliance vents, exhaust vents, or basement windows.
  10. Keep your outdoor electrical wires clear of nearby branches – trim your trees and shrubs.

An important note to anyone planning a winter vacation (even just a few days): leave your heat on and entrust a friend or neighbour to make regular checks of your home while you’re away.

Questions about how to best protect your home from seasonal disaster or damage? Talk to us!

Creston Valley Insurance home checklist

Vacation Time! Your Handy Home Checklist

Protect your home when you’re away on vacation. Follow this handy home checklist to leave, stress-free, with everything in order before you leave.

We all put a lot of time and money into planning the ultimate vacation. For many of us, more attention than we put into preparing and protecting our home and valuables in our absence.  Taking a lot for granted, we rush out the door in excited anticipation, neglecting to take the proper precautions that the place we live will be safe and ready for our return.

Creating a home checklist to keep track of your to-do list in preparation for departure is a great idea to help not only keep you organized, but also ensure you’ve taken the necessary precautions as you leave your home sit empty during your travels.

According to Steve Kee, spokesperson for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, “People spend a lot of time planning their vacation, but they don’t plan as much around their house. When you’re rushing to get out the door, you’re bound to forget to do things around the house.”

Here are some expert suggestions to help you prepare your home before you leave on vacation – stress-free and with peace of mind.

Touch base with your home insurance agent

As you’re making calls to your creditors to let them know you’ll be making charges abroad, check in with your insurance broker to let them know you’ll be away and that your home is going to be vacant.

It’s not unusual for insurance policies to contain clauses that may void coverage if your residence is unoccupied for extended blocks of time.

Call your broker and take the opportunity to double-check that you’re covered in the event of the unexpected.

Ask someone you trust – or hire someone – to check your home

As you chat with your insurance broker, you can confirm if you need someone checking in on your home in your absence. Your policy may have distinct language outlining what’s required.

Have this trusted individual check for water leaks – outdoor spigots, basement, ceilings, etc. This should absolutely be on their respective check-list during your winter absence, when pipes can be known to burst with sudden drops in temperature, but leaks and flooding are also possibilities during the summer, too.

Make sure your home looks lived-in

Be sure to set at least some of your indoor lighting on a timer so they switch on and off throughout the day. Don’t forget to install fresh bulbs so they don’t burn out during your trip. For additional protection, install motion-detecting outdoor lights to deter potential prowlers. If you receive a newspaper, put it on hold. Either have your mail put on hold as well, or ask a neighbour to collect it.

Set your thermostat to an appropriate temperature, depending the season

Whether for heat or for cool, be sure to set your thermostat accordingly. A safe bet is to set it four degrees above the temperature you’d normally keep your home. Avoid the possibility of mildew and mould taking hold and save energy as well.

Modern tech has some innovative solutions when it comes to modulating the temperature of your home with the touch of a finger while you’re away. There are a variety of products with corresponding apps available. Just be sure to take the time to become very familiar and take it for some test runs in advance of your travels.

Unplug the toaster, the microwave, and all other non-essential appliances

Unplugging is a huge energy-saver and protection, as well. “This will help you save on energy and protect from power surges,” Kee says.

Those appliances that ought to be unplugged while you’re away should include your televisions, power strips, computer chargers, coffee makers, and those lamps that aren’t included on the timer.

Empty the trash

This may seem so simple as not to be a necessary addition to the list. But, you’d be surprised how many people have returned home to the foul smell of trash infusing their indoor air. Be sure to empty all garbage, recycling, and compost containers as you’re heading out the door.

But, if you leave your bins out for trash day, don’t forget to ask a neighbour to put them back.

“Ask someone to take the trash to the curb on collection day and be sure that they come back to put the bins away,” Kee recommends. “All you have to do is drive down a street a see one house with an empty bin in the driveway to know that those people are very likely out of town.”

Safe-deposit box for valuables.

Most of what you have in your home is likely covered by your home insurance. However, consider those items that hold sentimental worth that can’t be covered by an insurance policy. Certainly, though, ensure that valuables such as important documents or precious jewelry are stored safely away.

A car in your driveway

If you’re in the habit of keeping your car in the driveway, be sure this is continued while you’re away. If you don’t, perhaps ask a family member, friend, or neighbour to park their car in front of your home.

If you’re traveling during winter months, keeping your car and driveway free of snow and ice helps to convey that someone is, in fact, at home.

 

Creston Valley Insurance - Don't Forget Travel Coverage

Traveling This Winter? Why You Need Travel Insurance

Don’t think it’s important to purchase travel insurance before you travel? Think again!

Travel coverage protects you and your loved ones from a costly consequence if an accident occurs while you’re out of the country or out of province.

With fall – and, in some communities, winter! – in the air, British Columbians are starting to make plans for their seasonal escape. As you plan for your flights, cruises, accommodations, rental cars, and other important elements of travel, there’s one thing you MUST be sure not to leave home without – travel insurance.

It’s important to understand that your provincial health insurance only covers expenses WITHIN British Columbia. With travel insurance, you’re protected no matter where you go.

Get coverage well beyond your provincial medical plan

Whether you’re taking a quick trip across the border, or planning an extended stay to escape the cold winter months, buying travel insurance is an essential part of planning your trip.

It’s important that you understand how British Columbia’s provincial health plan may only cover a fraction of healthcare expenses incurred outside Canada and limits coverage wtravellingling to another province. These expenses have the potential to be seriously overwhelming financially overwhelming.

Other types of coverages include Emergency Hospital and Medical Single trip Insurance, Snowbird coverage, Family Plans, Visitor’s to Canada, and non-medical plans including Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption, Flight Accident, Baggage coverage and more.

No matter how long your travels, you have to be prepared for the unexpected – including those quick weekend trips to the USA!

A new report from Allianz Global Assistance Canada (AGAC) suggests that Canadians are choosing to forgo travel insurance when they embark on quick getaways. For the small savings, the risks can be huge!

The data in AGAC’s report shows that less than 1.4% of single-trip policies purchased by Canadians were for trips lasting a couple of days when Statistics Canada identifies that this year over 12.5 million Canadianstraveledd to the US for at least one night.

That’s a lot of people travelling with inadequate travel coverage, particularly given the costs associated with American medical care.

As Holiday season approaches, and the Black Friday sales beckoning Canadians south of the border, quick trips to the United States will surely be up. Travellers complacency regarding travel insurance for quick cross-border getaways could leave them vulnerable in the event of the unexpected.

Your provincial health care will cover a small percentage of medical expenses in the United States, but it won’t come close to the thousands of dollars that can be incurred. Forget the cost of serious injuries requiring hospital stays, or what might be required in the event of an auto accident, simply a few stitches in a hospital south of the border could cost upwards of $3,000, a sprained ankle around $2000.

To ensure you’re protected from costly medical bills abroad or outside of the province, let us obtain the coverage you need.  As a broker, we have access to many different insurance companies, through whom we can offer different types of coverage options including:

  • Emergency Medical Insurance: Includes licensed ambulance, emergency dental expenses, prescription drug reimbursement, emergency medical transport, family transportation expenses, board and lodging for the insured person(s) or the travelling companion while confined to a hospital, escort home of insured children and more.
  • All-Inclusive Holiday Package: Emergency Medical Insurance – Worldwide, Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance, Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption, Baggage Insurance.
  • Non-Medical Package: Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance, Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance, Baggage Insurance.
  • Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance: Unexpected sickness, injury and/or death of the insured traveller or travelling companion, the insured traveller’s immediate family or the travelling companion’s immediate family; natural disaster, travel advisory, subpoena, involuntary job loss, missed connection, the non-issuance of a travel visa.

Additionally, Emergency Hospital, Annual Multi-trip Insurance, and others, as well as various trip lengths to choose from.

We can also provide coverage that lets you travel around the world as often as you wish, provided that your trip duration does not exceed the maximum number of days selected.

Relying on credit card insurance?

Credit card plans often have limited benefits and coverage. Our travel insurance gives you the best coverage for your needs.

Trips are meant to be enjoyed! It’s impossible to predict what might happen while travelling and it’s important to consider all the potential risks associated with travel, no matter how long or short the trip!

Let us meet your specific needs, provide you with the peace of mind, and an affordable way to protect against the cost of an unexpected emergency medical expense.

Planning a trip, near or far? Contact us or call 250-365-3368 for more information. Or get a FREE QUOTE.

Creston Valley farm Insurance

Protect Your Agricultural Assets: Farm Insurance

Whether yours is a large commercial farm or a small, one-acre hobby farm we have the farm insurance you need. Specialty livestock – ostriches or emus? We’ve got you covered!

As any farmer will tell you, farming is just simply unlike any other business. That’s why it’s important that commercial insurance is specifically designed to meet farmers’ needs.

Your farm is your life’s work and leaving yourself inadequately protected could be the difference between flourishing or floundering.

Basic farm commercial insurance policies offer coverage for:

  • Dwellings
  • Farm Structures
  • Livestock
  • Produce
  • Personal Property
  • Machinery
  • Poultry
  • Farmers General Liability
  • Pollution liability protection

What are the individual needs of your farm? Your Insurance Agent can help create an insurance plan that’s customized just for you.

Coverage that’s uniquely customized

Every farm operation is unique and it’s important that you have options when it comes to protecting your farming enterprise. We can help you build a plan that is the exact fit for your agricultural situation without adding coverage that you don’t need. Depending on your needs, we can offer the following, and more:

  • Comprehensive Water coverage
  • Farm accident insurance
  • Replacement cost coverage
  • Loss of use of farm machinery
  • Sewer backup coverage
  • Power interruption
  • Loss of income protection (business interruption)
  • Increased fire department charges
  • Employer’s liability and voluntary compensation for farm employees (not available in all provinces)

Assessing your farm

To give you the appropriate coverage, we need to take the time to get to know you and your farm operation.

Your Insurance Advisor will examine your existing insurance coverage to ensure you get a policy that meets all of the specific needs of your farm. What a large commercial farming operation needs are significantly different than that of a hobby farm; and the insurance needs of poultry or dairy farmers are different than the coverage needs of a hog or produce farmer.

Our insurance experts know what to look for, and will review your property thoroughly to make sure you receive a quote for the insurance you need. They’ll also give you suggestions for keeping you and your operation safe – mitigating any potential risk.

Hobby farm coverage

Hobby farms are small, intimate farms operated primarily for pleasure. We can provide an insurance package for hobby farmers that might, depending on your circumstances, be sold simply as an addition to your regular home insurance.

What defines a hobby farm?

A hobby farm is a very small operation. A large produce garden might not be considered a hobby farm, but if the land is rented for farm use or livestock are being kept, it could very well be. Find out exactly what kinds of farms qualify as hobby farms – CONTACT your local insurance agent to determine your eligibility.

Hobby farm insurance

Small though it may be, your hobby farm still represents a significant investment of time and energy. It’s an investment worth protecting – we can ensure it’s properly covered with the following:

  • Dwelling and contents
  • Replacement cost guarantee on your home
  • For produce producers and sellers – coverage due to robbery
  • Extended Water coverage for farm dwellings
  • Dwelling limit for detached structures
  • Farm livestock
  • Farm produce
  • Farm poultry and eggs
  • $1 million liability

Optional coverage

You can also choose to add increased coverage limits, farm outbuildings and farm machinery can be covered through additional insurance. CONTACT your agent to talk about hobby farm insurance options.

Do you want to know if your farming operation – big or small – is adequately covered? Are you looking for a comprehensive farm insurance plan? Talk to us today! 

Creston Valley Insurance RV Insurance

RV and Motorhome Insurance Coverage – Leave Home Prepared!

Hit the road in your RV this fall with Google maps AND peace of mind – inadequate insurance could derail your roadtrip!

As you make your plans to head south in your motorhome, fifth wheel, tent trailer or travel trailer, it’s important that you’ve crossed all of your Ts and dotted all of your Is – adding the purchase of insurance to the top of your todo list!

You’ve invested too significantly in these assets and they should have the appropriate coverage to ensure they’re protected in the event of anything unexpected.

Travel Trailers, Fifth Wheels

Like your car or truck, travel trailers and fifth wheels can be insured through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) or another insurance company. For instance, when you purchase a “Vehicle Travel Protection” package from ICBC for your auto, the camper or trailer that you are towing will also be protected.

But, it’s not uncommon for there to be limits to the protection included under a policy like this. Ask us! 

Whether brand new or a cool, vintage model we’ll customize a package specific to your needs.  Guaranteed replacement cost is available through most insurers for models 10 years or newer. An insured total loss in the first 10 years could be settled with a new current model year unit.

Your home insurance can often cover some of the contents of your trailer or fifth wheel—up to certain limits. Additional coverage may be required if those limits aren’t sufficient to cover the true value of the contents of your trailer including awnings and outbuildings.

Insurance for Your Motorhome

Not so unlike the insurance you would purchase for your car, truck, or van, purchasing insurance for your motorhome includes the standard vehicle insurance elements. It becomes a little different when you start talking about “standard equipment” and “contents”, items not typically covered by the insurance policy for your car.

“Standard equipment” includes particular components that are attached to the motorhome, such as your fridge or stove. “Contents” covered refer to belongings such as linens, pots, pans, dishes, cooking utensils, etc.

Questions? Contact us for a complete list of items considered “standard” and “contents”.

Additional Coverage for Motorhomes and Travel Trailers

There are other coverage options to make sure valuable assets in your RV or trailer are fully covered:

Comprehensive Coverage: For protection from just about any direct, sudden, and accidental loss, including collision, fire, smoke, flood, landslide, hail, windstorm, animals, vandalism, low branches or overhangs, theft, and lightning.

Unit in Storage: Trailers, fifth wheels, tent trailers, and campers require special insurance while in storage. If they are used as living accommodation, they require still another type of coverage.

Attached Accessories: Includes awnings, satellite dishes, and TV antennas.

Emergency Expenses: Pays for lodging or travel home if your rig is damaged or destroyed by a covered loss more than 50 miles from home.

Campsite/Vacation Liability: Provides liability coverage when you are parked and using your motorhome as a residence.

Replacement Cost Policy: This type of policy provides broad coverage, with the standard insurance exclusions, and a replacement cost settlement that is based on the current depreciated value of the motorhome or travel trailers.

Guaranteed Replacement Cost Policy: This policy also provides broad coverage with the standard exclusions, but the replacement costs are calculated based on the value of providing a new, but comparable, motorhome or travel trailer.

Full Timers Coverage: Provides comprehensive personal liability, stored personal contents, and additional living expense coverage if you are living full-time in your motorhome or travel trailer.

Take advantage of our emergency vacation insurance, as most losses occur while away from home. Talk to us!

Creston Valley Insurance- home-based business insurance

When You Need to Insure Your Home-based Business

Do you have a home-based business? There are a few things you need to know about your insurance.

More and more, British Columbians are starting and operating businesses from their homes. This is terrific! However, what they may not know is how this may affect their home insurance.

It’s important to understand what is covered under your homeowner’s policy ensuring that you’re properly covered for your business activity. In fact, it may not be adequate, particularly if employees and clients are regularly coming into your home for business purposes.

Even if you have a part-time home business, you should consider home-based business insurance to make sure you and your business property are covered.

Should I insure my home-based business?

Whether or not you should insure your home-based business depends on what your business activities are. If you have a lot of high-value equipment and no clients or employees coming to your house, it may be less expensive for you to simply add your equipment to your existing home coverage as an additional endorsement.

If you do work for the government or other high-profile agencies such as working as an author, event organizer, HR consultant, marketing consultant, translator or for a non-profit organization, you may want to consider Errors & Omissions coverage, which can be required for some contracts.

Business-coverage is particularly necessary if you have visitors to your home for business purposes. It’s also important if you have to cover business inventory.

If you don’t have the added risks of frequent business-related visitors and inventory, the business coverage probably isn’t necessary. Your Broker will be able to advise you on the best course of action.

How do I insure my home-based business?

Home-based business-coverage is available as an extension of your home insurance. However, if your business is larger than the typical one to two-person home-based business operation, you may need to consider standard business insurance.

Your Broker will be able to advise you as to what you need for your particular situation.

Benefits of a home-based business insurance plan

An insurance plan for your business will cover your office equipment, business inventory on and off-premises, and business interruption insurance if anything were to happen to your home because of an insured loss.

Most importantly, it will cover you for additional liability for clients, delivery personnel and employees.

Do you have questions about home-based insurance coverage? We can help – CONTACT US to learn all you need to know about keeping you and your business protected in the event of a loss.

 

Creston Valley Insurance Loss Prevention and Your Business

Loss Prevention and Your Business: What You Should Do to Limit Risk

Considering worst-case scenarios and an effective loss prevention plan is a necessary evil – saving your business a lot of money in the event of a crisis.

No business person wants to think about costly events that could damage their business, but creating a loss prevention program is an important investment in your business.

Understanding how to prevent loss before the catastrophic is essential and that means understanding the two types of losses your business may incur: insured and uninsured.

Insured losses are covered by your insurance policy. A business that has property insurance will be covered from an unexpected fire, and with business interruption coverage, the store will even be compensated for the income lost while the business is closed for repairs.

Uninsured losses are not covered by your policy. These costs can include replacing equipment that’s been used improperly or replacing sick or injured employees with new hires.

Developing a proper loss prevention plan can help your business profit in the long run.

When it comes to implementing a proper loss control strategy, you can get out ahead of any expensive uninsured losses through proper and thorough employee training and best practices, minimizing any potential downtime of your machinery to keep your business operating smoothly.

Claims that involve libel, slander, and violation of the right of privacy are known as reputational harm and are the most expensive claims that small businesses can incur. As a small business owner, you can take steps to avoid these claims, including requesting background checks, having someone review your advertising copy, and having an emergency preparedness plan ready.

There are several reasons why you should incorporate a solid loss prevention program for your business:

  • It provides guidance for employees. Employees who are aware of hazards and are properly trained on how to deal with them tend to be more efficient workers.
  • It provides opportunities to identify hazards through regular inspections, quality control programs, and procedures to correct deficiencies, which can help to avoid and reduce losses.
  • It provides direction for emergency procedures. Employees who are properly trained on emergency response are prepared to act quickly and correctly during an emergency. This can help mitigate losses and increase profits.

A culture of safety – regular practice helps prepare your business not just in the case of an emergency, but every day.

An effective business owner should conduct mandatory training sessions and practices. Develop drills, performance reviews, and best practices to help ensure your workforce is less vulnerable to expensive and possibly dangerous mishaps.

Here are some of the ways you can develop an effective loss prevention program for your business:

  • Develop employee safety manuals, policies and guidelines to build a culture of safety
  • Teach staff how to use new equipment to improve efficiency and safety
  • Install monitored burglar alarms and sprinkler systems to protect your assets
  • Make safety training mandatory to actively promote this culture of safety

Empower your employees

If you really want your loss prevention practices to be successful and effective, your employees need to play an active role.

The people who work for you should be required to participate in reducing, controlling, or eliminating workplace hazards, accidents, and injuries. There are a number of ways in which your employees can actively assist in loss prevention:

  • Think “safety” before initiating any work.
  • Follow all loss prevention procedures, regulations, and rules you’ve outlined.
  • Follow inspection guidelines for all equipment, machines, and tools.
  • Utilize proper personal protective equipment where required.
  • Operate all equipment with safety guards in place.
  • Operate only the equipment and machines you’re trained and authorized to operate.
  • Immediately report all unsafe acts, conditions, and accidents to management.
  • Participate actively in loss prevention training.
  • Recommend a specific methodology to control workplace hazards.

An effective loss prevention policy is simply good for business.

Encouraging all employees to participate in the development, maintenance, and enforcement of a loss prevention program will be invaluable in enhancing the safety and efficiency of your business while helping to increase your profits and the overall success of your business.

Do you want to protect your business through a loss prevention program? If you’re looking for comprehensive insurance coverage for your small business, contact us!

Creston Valley Insurance loss prevention

Loss Prevention at Home: What You Can Do!

Insurance and loss prevention work together to help keep you, your family, and your home as safe as possible.

Buying home insurance protects your home and your most valuable assets. By understanding what common risks there are, and taking action to mitigate those risks, you can prevent potential losses.

Unfortunately, the worst-case scenario sometimes occurs, whether it’s a flooded basement, kitchen fire or natural disaster. Home insurance provides the peace of mind, knowing you’re protected in the event of any losses and many potentially costly risks. And there is a lot you can do to prevent damage to your home.

As a homeowner, it’s important to understand what risks you may face. Some risks are obvious, while others only reveal themselves to someone who knows where to look and what questions to ask.

When it comes to loss prevention, know how to reduce your risk:

  1. Know what might go wrong. Is your home surrounded by wild junipers that could provide fuel to the loose spark from your firepit? Learn what you can do, outdoors, around your home to make it fire safe. An uneven step could cause someone to fall on your property. Learn about your slip, trip and fall risks and the value of preventive maintenance.
  2. Plan ahead to reduce your liability risks. Create an emergency kit and plan emergency exit routes with your family members. Limit how much alcohol guests are served when you host a BBQ, dinner or house party. Prevent sewer overflow in your basement by installing a backwater valve. Ensure that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
  3. Know how to handle an emergency or loss situation. Learn what you need to know when making a property claim. And keep calm.
  4. Keep an up-to-date record of your household contents. A current home inventory of your belongings will make it easier to file a claim.
  5. Consider if you have adequate coverage. If you are concerned about natural disasters, you may be able to add coverage to your policy, such as earthquake coverage. Your insurance representative can explain the available options.
  6. Be sure that your home is equipped with approved loss prevention devices:
    fire alarm systems
    fire suppression systems
    security systems
    sump pumps and backwater valves
    automatic water shut-off devices
    reflective tape for heavy/farm equipment
    lightning suppression systems
    back-up power systems
    keep the chimney clean and free of brush and debris
    hail-resistant roofing materials

To learn more about loss prevention, contact us; we have the knowledge and expertise to advise you on all aspects of Loss Prevention.

CVINS understand insurance

Understanding Insurance – Why It’s Important!

Understanding insurance is important so that, in difficult times, you know you’re covered so you can get back to your normal routine and enjoy peace of mind.

A car collision can happen at any moment. A massive wind storm could bring a tree down on to your home. Your business might be damaged by vandals. Everyday life can change in significant ways after a loss. While it’s impossible to anticipate what might happen, you can be prepared to a large degree. Typically, recovering from a loss situation costs more than most people can manage on their own. That’s where insurance comes in.

Proper insurance protects you from having to pay out a huge amount in the event of the unexpected: that car collision, fallen tree, or wretched vandals.

Understanding the basic elements of insurance can help you make informed decisions to ensure you’re as prepared and protected as possible given the unknown occurrences that can so easily impact our lives.

Without insurance, driving a car, buying a home, or taking that trip abroad would be an unaffordable risk.

What is insurance and How Can It Help?

When someone purchases insurance, that money is put into a premium pool with the many others who’ve purchased. That is the money that’s drawn upon to help those who’ve suffered an unexpected hardship due to loss from a home fire, vehicle collision, or business interruption that year.

The payouts for these losses are referred to as ‘claims’. Insurers are required by law to have sufficient funds to pay out claims.

Why Should I Have Insurance?

Without insurance, driving a vehicle, buying a home, starting a business, or traveling abroad would present an unaffordable risk as losses or mishaps would have to be paid out of pocket in these and other instances.

Why do I Pay for Insurance Annually?

With a few exceptions, an insurance policy is an annual contract. The premium pool operates for only a year at a time. Insurance companies predict how much money they will need to pay the coming year’s claims.

Your premiums do not carry over or build up over time.

Calculating insurance premiums is complicated and involves a process that requires a risk assessment based on actuarial science.

Premiums are based on informed predictions about how much money may be needed to pay future claims. Insurers gather the information that they understand from experience will help them set fair yet accurate premium prices.

What Will Be Covered By My Insurance Policy?

Insurance pays for only the insured losses described in your insurance contract. Read and understand your policy – talk to your insurance representative with any questions!

Talk to her about what you are covered for and, equally importantly, what you are not.

Insurance will not pay for every problem you may encounter, nor is it meant to. For instance, your home insurance will not cover regular home maintenance.

Insurance is generally intended – and priced – to help you cope with the financial impact and consequences of unpredictable events that are sudden and accidental.

If, for example, you live on a floodplain near a river, the seasonal flooding of your property in the spring is neither sudden or accidental; it is an inevitability and, consequently, unable to be insured.

Speaking directly to your insurance agent is always recommended to ensure you have considered all possibilities and any potential inevitabilities, not to mention the variety of questions you may have. You want to understand fully the details of your insurance policy and the coverage you have or are purchasing.

4 Steps in the Insurance Process

  1. Your insurance company estimates an annual cost, or premium, to accept the risk of covering your home, vehicle, travels, or business.
  2. On an annual, or monthly, basis you pay a premium to your insurance provider for assuming the risk on your behalf.
  3. Your insurance company puts all premiums into one large pool, contractually operating only one year at a time.
  4. Your insurance company uses the pool to pay for the losses of the few who make claims that year.

Life and all of its various facets bring risk. Thankfully, insurance can give you the peace of mind you need to take it on!

Have questions about an existing or new policy? We want to help! Contact us today to talk about your insurance needs.