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Birkett-Hassard Insurance Brokers Ltd
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RV & Boat Insurance available at Birkett-Hassard Insurance.  Get ready for the season ahead! #boating   #rving  
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Winter Driving Quiz 
Try this winter driving quiz and be safe out there.  The snow and rain is falling... #beprepared   #winterdriving  
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Ice Damming 
Be sure you have taken care of your home this winter 
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Why Pay more for your Insurance? 
Call us today to be sure you have proper coverage and are getting the best rates! 
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Ice and Your Safety

Ontario’s frozen lakes, ponds and rivers make a wonderful winter playground for many people. From skating to snowmobiling to a simple stroll across the ice, these winter activities are part of our heritage and part of what makes living in this Province great. Unfortunately, deaths occur ever year as people fall through the ice. With common sense, a little preparation and some safety equipment, many of these fatalities could have been prevented. 

Here’s how you can make your outdoor adventures a little safer. 

Never assume the ice you are about to venture out on is safe simply because of sub-zero temperatures and snow accumulation. There are many factors that determine the thickness and density of ice, most of which are not visible to the eye. Water depth, fluctuating water levels, currents and rapidly changing weather patterns are just a few factors that dramatically affect ice conditions.

General Safety Tips

• Never go out on the ice alone – always travel with at least one other friend.
• Visually inspect the ice conditions from shore. Look for signs of unsafe conditions such as open water or large pressure cracks.
• Check with the local authorities to see what the ice conditions are like.
• Before venturing onto unknown waterways, make a hole with an auger or an axe reasonably close to shore, to get a clearer picture.
• Always tell someone exactly where you are going and when you expect to be home.

Safety Equipment

• Pack a 50-foot length of rope in case someone in your party falls through. Never run close to the ice edge to pull someone out – use the rope.
• Whenever possible, wear a flotation suit. If you do fall in, this will keep you near the surface and slow the effects of hypothermia.
• Always take a set of picks with you. These are basically two handles with nails in the ends that are attached to one another with a length of string. They can be purchased at most outdoor stores for approximately $15 and will make it easier for you get out of the water if you fall in.

Ice Thickness

Remember no ice is 100% safe. However, as a general guideline the minimum ice thickness to support an adult is 4 inches, snowmobiles require 6 inches and cars at least 12 inches. If you’re not sure, err on the side of caution and don’t go on the ice. It’s amazing how quickly accidents happen. Be aware and be prepared to make your ice adventures safe and enjoyable.

Compliments of IBC
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Top Ten Tips to Prepare for Winter Driving
Great tips from the MTO on winter driving.
#snowtires   #safetytips  
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Insurance Coverage & Wind Storm Tips

With our recent wind storm of 70 -100 km/h winds bringing down trees and creating power outages we all need to prepare and know what to do during these times.

In the event of power outage

If safe to do so, turn off all tools, appliances and electronic equipment, and turn the thermostat(s) for the home heating system down to minimum to prevent damage from a power surge when power is restored.
Don’t open the freezer or fridge unless it is absolutely necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours if the door remains closed.

Insurance coverage

Most home and business insurance policies will cover damage caused by wind, including broken windows and removal of debris.
Auto policies cover wind damage if comprehensive coverage has been purchased.
Homeowner’s and tenant’s policies usually provide coverage for additional living expenses if a home is uninhabitable resulting from an insured peril.

After a wind storm

Secure openings to prevent further damage: board up broken windows, make any temporary repairs and place plastic sheeting to cover open gaps in walls and roofs.
If your basement has been damaged by water or is flooded, do not enter unless it is absolutely safe to do so.
Avoid direct contact with human waste, dirty water and electrical lines
Turn off electrical power to the affected area if safe to do so
Flooded appliances, electrical outlets, switch boxes or fuse-breaker panels should not be used until they have been checked by an electrician.
To prevent a power surge, turn the thermostats up, wait a few minutes, then plug in the fridge and freezer back in. Wait 10-15 minutes before plugging other appliances back in.  
Check the food in your fridge and freezer for signs of spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out. Check the Food Safety website http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html for details about specific foods
 

 

*tips compliments of Intact Insurance
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For those of you voting for Million Dollar Smiles. Get your votes in over the weekend and Monday morning. 3rd round closes Monday pm. Aviva Community Fund http://ow.ly/EINUc
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Home and Business Inventory

When it comes to insurance, there are many details and requirements that are not often thought of until you are faced with a crisis situation, at which point it is often too late. One such detail is that you are required to provide a schedule of contents lost or damaged as part of a claim.

This schedule requires information such as:

 A description of the item(s);
 Date purchased and where the item(s) were purchased;
 Purchase price;
 Current replacement cost;
On the surface, this seems like a pretty straightforward and simple task, but disasters always have a tendency to strike when least expected. Imagine coming back from vacation to your home or business and finding nothing but a pile of burnt rubble. Once the initial steps in the claim process have been taken care of, you will now be required to provide a list of items lost in the claim. Where do you begin and how are you going to ensure that you are fully indemnified for your loss? Will you remember every single item that was inside your home or business? Not likely.

A great preventative measure to help ensure an accurate and prompt claim settlement prior to making a claim is to complete a home or business inventory. Although initially an inventory does require some work, it is an invaluable tool in the event of a crisis. In addition to ensuring that all contents can be listed and included in a claim, an inventory will ensure that you are carrying an appropriate amount of coverage on your personal property or business contents.

Some quick tips with respect to inventories:

To save time, use digital photos or video if available. Something is better than nothing.
Make sure you update the inventory from time to time, perhaps at renewal time. A 5 year old inventory is not likely to be accurate.
Keep a duplicate copy offsite. Your broker would be happy to keep a copy in your file.
Don’t risk financial loss or down time. Complete an inventory for peace of mind.

 

 

 

 

 

*Thank you to IBC Canada for the great info
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Check your Smoke & CO Detectors

Between 2008 and 2012, smoke alarms operated in only 44% of home loss fires. 56% of alarms either failed or were not present. We need to do better.

Today, with hard wired smoke alarms, we can forget that these alarms do need maintenance and replacement. Keep ventilation holes clean by vacuuming regularly. Ensure the alarm is unobstructed from air flow (install in open spaces away from ceiling fans). Test alarms and replace batteries annually or according to manufacturers recommendations. Remember, alarms have expiry dates. Know when yours expire and replace accordingly.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors became mandatory in Ontario in 2013 for all residential homes and apartments in which a fuel burning appliance is installed. (e.g. gas, wood, oil, propane)
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