Comprehensive Guide to Insurance
Comprehensive Guide to Insurance for Your Home, Car and Business
Insurance is complicated — but it’s something that everyone has to deal with. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to insure your car, your home, or your business — unless you want to take on a lot of risk (not to mention potential legal trouble), you’ve got to figure out what insurance plan is best for you.
We know that can be daunting, which is why we put together this guide. Here’s everything you need to know about insurance for your home, car, and business — and how to get quick (and affordable) car and home insurance quotes.
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Insurance for Your Home
As you might expect, homeowners insurance protects against accidents or disasters that occur inside and around your home. In most cases, insurance companies cover both property damage, such as damage that occurs due to a fire. Homeowner insurance also covers a homeowner’s personal liability, which applies in cases involving injuries, such as a neighbour falling down your front steps, slipping on wet concrete around your swimming pool or suffering a dog bite on your property.
You can also purchase insurance to cover your personal belongings if you rent an apartment, and many insurance companies offer specific coverage for individuals who live in condominiums.
When you purchase homeowners insurance, it’s important to know what’s covered and what is not covered by your policy. You don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised to learn that your policy doesn’t cover a specific type of claim. While homeowners insurance policies vary from insurer to insurer, most standard homeowners insurance policies don’t extend coverage for earthquakes or floods.
Water vs. Flood Damage
It’s also important to distinguish between “water” damage and “flood” damage, as these usually mean two different things in the context of homeowners insurance. For example, most policies will cover water damage caused by frozen pipes that burst, or a water heater that breaks. By contrast, a standard homeowners insurance policy will not protect against water damage caused by melting snow jams or inland flooding caused by heavy rain. It’s also worth noting that many homeowners policies contain exclusions for water damage caused by poor or insufficient maintenance. For example, if you live in a Victorian-era home with ancient wiring, your insurer may reject your claim if it determines a fire was caused by an outdated electrical system that failed to meet local building standards. The same is true for plumbing and nearly every major system in your home.
Many homeowners ask if they should purchase a separate policy to protect against flood damage. Surprisingly, even homeowners who live in coastal areas tend to decide against buying it. Tobie Stanger at Consumer Reports states that just 20 percent of residents in Florida, Texas and Louisiana — areas frequently hit by hurricanes — have flood insurance. Going without flood insurance is a gamble, and probably not one worth taking.
Whether you’re a Canadian snowbird with a winter home south of the border, or a homeowner concerned about flooding from extreme weather, it’s worth getting the extra protection for your home. Contact My Insurance Broker to learn more about an affordable flood insurance policy for your property.
Insurance for Your Car
In Canada, every driver is required to purchase a minimum amount of car insurance. Each province has its own rules for required coverage, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the rules if you move or often cross the border for work or social reasons.
In Ontario, all drivers are required to buy a car insurance policy that includes:
- Third Party Liability Coverage - Third party liability coverage protects against injuries to others or damage to their vehicle. The minimum amount of required coverage is $200,000, however, most people choose to purchase more.
- Statutory Accident Benefits Coverage - Statutory accident benefits coverage gives you financial compensation for injuries and related expenses you suffer in a car accident. For example, this coverage will pay for your out of pocket medical costs, as well as lost wages you incur because your injuries forced you to take time off work. Many people also purchase additional coverage beyond the minimum requirements.
- Direct Compensation Property Damage Coverage - Often abbreviated DC-PD, this coverage pays for damage to your vehicle and the things inside it. The damage must occur within a specific set of circumstances.
- Uninsured Automobile Coverage - Unfortunately, not everyone follows the mandatory car insurance requirements. This is why Ontario residents are required to carry uninsured automobile coverage.
If you’re looking for car insurance, or you’d like to switch insurers, you can receive free quotes from the top 15 car insurance companies in Canada in just two minutes. Just put your information in our online auto quote tool, and we’ll deliver quotes so you can compare prices and coverage.
If you drive for Uber, you also qualify to receive free rideshare coverage through Intact. Call My Insurance Broker at 1 (855) 482-5001 to learn more.
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Insurance for Your Business
If you own a business, you already know what it means to work hard. Most business owners perform a number of crucial roles within their organization, including sales, accounting, human resources, recruiting and customer service. Business owners work long hours, take risks and make a lot of sacrifices to meet their goals. This is why it’s so important to protect your hard work with a business insurance policy.
Also known as commercial insurance or commercial general liability (CGL) insurance, business insurance protects you against a wide range of losses, including fires and other disasters, an employee who crashes a company car and even slips and falls on your property. As Gregory Boop at The Balance states, “Businesses buy insurance to protect themselves against financial losses resulting from lawsuits or physical damage to company-owned property. Insurances helps ensure that a business can continue to operate after a loss occurs.”
Large, small, or somewhere in between, any business is vulnerable to disaster. In fact, 40 per cent of businesses close their doors after a flood, cyber attack or other major loss. With insurance, business owners can file a claim and quickly get back on their feet.
If you run your own company, business insurance is mandatory — and often expensive. Want to know how you can cut down on how much you’re spending on your insurance plan? Click here to read our quick guide on how to get the right policy for you (and your business).
Business Insurance vs. Cyber Insurance
It’s important to note that most business insurance policies don’t cover claims related to cyber crimes or data loss. Because most businesses today rely on computers to manage inventory, customer data, sales, accounting and more, few businesses can justify skipping cyber insurance.
Think you’re safe without a cyber policy? Consider that businesses are hit with cyber attacks 4,000 times per day. And reports show that small businesses increasingly find themselves in the crosshairs of cyber criminals. In 2016, small businesses made up 61 per cent of all cyber attacks — up from 53 per cent the previous year. Worse, the financial toll of cyber attacks on small businesses is between $84,000 and $148,000.
Could your business take a $150,000 hit? If your customers’ data is compromised, can you defend your business and your brand against multiple lawsuits? If you run a business today, you simply can’t afford to pass on cyber insurance.
What About Home-Based Businesses?
If you operate a business out of your home, you’re in good company. According to the CBC, 2.7 million Canadians were self-employed in 2010 — a number that’s likely to increase with the next Census.
Home-based businesses have unique insurance needs, as they typically require a combination of business insurance and additional homeowners insurance coverage. The majority of homeowners insurance policies will cover the loss of business-related tools, instruments and books, but won’t cover damage or losses related to bodily injury, legal defence or damage to office machines or equipment.
If you need coverage for your home-based business, My Insurance Broker can help you find an affordable plan that protects your work and your home.
Why Work with a Broker for Business, Car and Home Insurance?
Let’s face it: Shopping for insurance isn’t something most people consider fun or exciting. On the other hand, getting a great deal — and seeing how much money you saved — is a pretty rewarding thing. As a consumer, you already know how to comparison shop for most of the things you buy. Whether it’s clothes, food or furniture, you probably know a good deal when you see one.
But insurance is different. Most people don’t buy it very often, and many people are a bit mystified as to the details behind how it works — and what it covers. While you undoubtedly know what car insurance is and what it’s for, do you really understand exactly what types of accidents and damage your policy protects?
This is where an experienced insurance broker can be a lifesaver. Whether you need a policy for your business, car or home, here are five advantages of working with an insurance broker.
Unlike insurance agents, which work for just one insurer, brokers can offer policies from multiple insurance companies. At My Insurance Broker, we partner with 28 of the top insurance companies in Canada, which means we can match you with the best coverage at the most affordable price. Whether you’re interested in controlling your insurance costs, or you want to know how you get the most discounts for bundled coverage, we can match you with an insurer that offers the best policy at the most competitive price.
You may not understand the ins and outs of the insurance industry, but your broker does. As licensed insurance brokers, everyone on our team cares passionately about helping our clients protect the things that matter most in their lives. Whether it’s life insurance that takes care of a loved one, business insurance that safeguards your life’s work or a car insurance policy for your teen driver, we’re here to answer your questions and give you the advice you need to make an informed decision about your policy.
We also attend ongoing training and continuing education seminars to stay up to date on emerging trends in the insurance industry. This is knowledge we put to work for our clients.
Are you a face to face communicator? Or does your busy lifestyle make email a must? Is your only available phone time when you’re running the kids to practice or driving your evening commute after work? However you prefer to stay in touch, we’re available when you have questions. You can contact us online or schedule a sit-down appointment at one of our several locations throughout Ontario.
An insurance broker works for you — not the insurance company. We want to make sure you receive the best coverage, as well as a policy that fits your budget. This means putting your best interests above everything else. At My Insurance Broker, our brokers are members of the communities they serve. We live and work in the same neighbourhoods as our clients, and we’re committed to helping our friends and neighbours succeed and thrive.
For most people, filing an insurance claim is an overwhelming and even scary process. When you need to file a claim, it’s usually because the worst has happened — a car accident, fire, flood or some other devastating event. The last thing you need during this harrowing time is to be brushed aside or told to call back at a better time. As insurance brokers who work with dozens of insurance companies, we regularly help our clients navigate the claims process. We’re on your side every step of the way, and we’ll help you receive the coverage you need to get back on your feet.
Contact My Insurance Broker for a Quote on Insurance for Your Home, Car and Business
Find out how much you can save on an insurance policy for your home, car and business. Get in touch by calling 1 (855) 482-5001, or use our contact form to request a call.