Cyber Insurance

overland water portection

What you need to know:

Hacking/data breach/identity theft/email scams/bitcoin ransom—it seems that events big and small are in the news daily. However, did you know that many insurance solutions exist to protect individuals as well as business?

Cyber insurance can protect you from loss due to any type of cyber event such as a hack/malware/ransom attack. Coverage and be extended to protect not just yourself but as well from 3rd parties making claim against you. . If you pass on an email scam/virus to a customer, vendor or any 3rd party you can be held responsible. Yet virtually all policies severely limit or exclude any type of Cyber loss.

Cyber can also include clean up costs (for such things as notifying all affected clients, for necessary credit protection and often includes 24 hour emergency support just when you need it the most).

Phishing or Social Engineering refers to email scam that are all too often. No-you did not inherit $1M from a long lost relative and don’t click on the attachment. The CRA does not email or txt you demanding payment………these are all types of social engineering scams, and again a Cyber policy can be acquired to protect an individual or a corporation of any size. Once you email the money to the wrong person, you have no guarantee of recovery.

Ransomware refers to the practice of hackers literally taking over business and holding it hostage. Hackers can shut systems off, release sensitive data to the public or a competitor or even redirect sales elsewhere. Don’t worry though—they will share with you precise instruction how to purchase Bit-Coin to pay the ransom as well as how to send payment. Only then are systems restored to normal (until the next time)

With estimated costs of Cyber related claims hitting nearly $500billion annually (2017 stat courtesy of Canadian Chamber of Commerce April 2017) everyone needs to be aware of the risks and how to deal with them. Part of a robust insurance program includes a careful review of Cyber coverage, limits and what you can do to better protect yourself or your business.

Overland Water Protection

Overland Water Protection: What it is and why you should have it.

Did you realize that water damage has now surpassed fire as the leading cause of personal property insurance claims in Canada? According to Environment Canada, they predict the trend of increasing severe weather events will continue. Where severe weather event in Canada used to occur every 40 years, they are now expected every 6 years and the amount of precipitation has increased by 12% over the last 50 years. We think It’s time you thought about Overland Water Protection.

overland water portection

What is it and what is covered?

One of the newer coverages that has been created over the past year or two by insurance companies across Canada is called “Overland Water Protection”, or “Overland Water Coverage”. This coverage was designed to protect homeowners from damage that is caused by ground water entering your home through the foundation, basement floors, walls or sewer line. This would be damage caused by fresh water flooding such as the overflow of a body of water such as a river or lake, but also covers in the event of the sudden accumulation of water from a heavy rainfall, spring run-off or the natural overflow of a dam, dike or levee. This coverage is not to be confused with “Flood coverage” as in general terms, flood coverage usually refers to flooding from salt water waves, tides, tsunamis and storms and these perils are not covered by overland water protection. Also, just because you do not live near water or at the bottom of a hill, you should still have this protection as overland water damage can be caused by many other things, such as spring ground thaw, heavy rain and snow melt runoffs. Your downspouts, gutters and drains can overflow resulting in water entering your home through your foundation, under ground level doors and other entry points.

What isn’t covered under this extension?

As mentioned above, this is not to be confused with Flood coverage. This extension only covers damage that was caused by a sudden weather related event, and does not cover slow, continuous or repeated seepage of water into your home that happens over a period of time. This kind of damage would be considered a home maintenance issue such as a cracked foundation or slow, leaking pipes. Also not covered is the intentional release of a dam, dike or levee unless it was due to an official flood control measure. Storm surges and salt water flood are not covered.

Doesn’t your sewer back-up coverage look after this?

In short, no. Although sewer back up does cover damage in the event of the backing up of the sewer line, it does not cover if the sewer backs up in the time preceding, during or after a flood, or if the overland water enters your home from any other entry point. Insurance companies now exclude coverage sewer backup coverage when it occurs before, during or after a flood. This is why it is vital you have both sewer backup AND overland water protection to be adequately covered.

Is Overland Water Protection available on your policy?

Unfortunately, not every home policy is eligible, however, most homes, seasonal dwellings, condos and rental properties are eligible, but there are some zones in Ontario that are considered to be high risk for flooding, and these zones are excluded and coverage cannot be purchased. Homes or dwellings that are within 100 metres of a river or other flowing body of water also do not qualify. Waterfront lake properties, however, may qualify if they are located on a completely enclosed lake and the 100 metre rule does not apply in this case.
As you can see there are so many scenarios, rules, conditions and qualifications for this new coverage it can be very confusing to know if you have the coverage, or, if it is available to you. What we do know is that you should have this coverage to adequately protect your property.
Call us today to discuss this coverage.

Keep burglars out! (Part 2)

Burglar breaking into house

photo credit: Eastlaketimes via photopin cc

Did you know that a burglary takes place every 3 minutes in Canada? *

Is there anything you could be doing to help combat this alarming statistic? Of course, you could (and should) install a security system in your home, which can be very effective, but isn’t always an option financially, and even with a system installed, there is no guarantee that it will stop intruders when they know that no one is home.  For those of you without a security system, here’s some more free or very inexpensive ways to help burglar proof your house without breaking the bank, and if you do have a system, these ideas can also help increase the security of your home.

1. Keep Some Lights On

This is not the most energy efficient way to keep burglars away but it has been proven effective. Leave a light on in one or two rooms throughout your house when you go out at night. Make sure that you do not have the blinds open in these rooms showing that they are empty. This gives the illusion that someone is home, even when you’re away. Burglars don’t like risking being caught due to lights being on.

2. Never leave a note
This may seem like common sense to those who live in cities, however in rural areas it is still common to leave a note on the door telling a neighbor or a delivery person who is stopping by that you ran to the store and will be back soon. This is a great way to let a burglars know that you are out and wont be back for a certain amount of time

3. Voice mail messages: Don’t tell people you’re not home!
Sometimes it seems like the easiest solution to just tell all your friends that you are heading out on vacation or to leave it as your voice mail message. However, as mentioned earlier, criminals may call your home to see if you are home before breaking in. If they are get a message saying you are in the Mexico soaking up the sun until next week, you can be sure they will be targeting your house.

4. Leave a radio or TV on
By leaving the Radio or TV on you are creating sound within the house. This can make it difficult for the robber to determine whether or not you are inside. Leaving the TV on can lead to high electric costs, so having a battery operated radio can help conserve energy and will get you the same results.

5. Hire or arrange for a house sitter
Getting a friend to look after your house for you while you are away on a trip or vacation is a great way to keep your house safe from burglars. Keep your fridge stocked with food and they might do it for free. If you will be gone for an extended time and can’t get a house sitter, consider having someone stop by to check on your house and take your mail in. Also, in the winter, or heating months, if you are going away for more than 72 hours you may find that your house insurance dictates that someone check on your house daily to make sure that the furnace is still working properly so pipes don’t freeze and/or burst. It’s a good idea to have your house sitter keep a log of each time they check on your home in case something does happen.

6. Neighborhood watch programs
If your neighborhood has had some break-ins, it might be time to start a neighborhood watch program. Everyone can take turns driving around at night and keeping watch to make sure no one is out prowling the neighborhood.

7. Stop mail and newspaper deliveries
If you are going away for more than a couple of days, it’s a good idea to pause your mail and newspaper delivery. Huge piles of newspapers on your doorstep are an easy way for criminals to determine you are away. If you are unable to stop your paper, ask a neighbor to pick them up for you.

 

Take time to take care.

Ron Lapointe
Registered Broker

 

* Source: cmhc-schl.gc.ca  Some list info supplied by www.mrfreestuff.com

Keep burglars out! (Part 1)

Door Lock

photo credit: AMagill via photopin cc

Did you know that a burglary takes place every 3 minutes in Canada? *

Is there anything you could be doing to help combat this alarming statistic? Of course, you could (and should) install a security system in your home, which can be very effective, but isn’t always an option financially, and even with a system installed, there is no guarantee that it will stop intruders when they know that no one is home. For those of you without a security system, here’s some more free or very inexpensive ways to help burglar proof your house without breaking the bank, and if you do have a system, these ideas can also help increase the security of your home.

1. Take your name off the mailbox
By removing your name off the mailbox, would be thieves can’t call information to get your phone number. Many burglars will call a house they are planning on robbing before hand to make sure that no one is home. Also, bring in your mail as quickly as possible so they can’t get your name off of this as well.

2. Be careful what you put in your trash or recycling
If you just purchased high-end items such as a big screen TV, you shouldn’t just put the box out at the curb. Instead break down the box and when possible, try to fit it inside your recycle box. Other high risk items you might have in your trash/recycling are billing or bank statements. Criminals can steal these and use them to open new accounts in your name. It’s always better to be safe than sorry in these situations so take the time to cut up or shred important documents.

3. Your ringing telephones
Before you go on a trip, it’s best to turn down the volume of your phone, or if you can turn it to silent while you’re away, even better! Criminals have been known to roam the streets listening for loud rings that are not answered, since this is a sure sign that no one is home.

4. Take in your outdoor tools
Don’t leave the ladder outside after cleaning out the gutters. It is really important you bring these items inside, at a minimum to a closed garage when you are done. If you leave a ladder outside, you are giving would be robbers an easy way to climb in through an open upstairs window.

5. Trim your trees and bushes
Hedges and trees commonly line around the house and go right by the front door. Although these look lovely to the homeowner, they are also appealing to criminals. These landscaping beauties work perfectly as hiding places for someone to wait for you to come outside for a second to get your mail or walk the dog. If you keep these items trimmed well enough, no one will be able to successfully hideout in your yard.

6. Lock-up when you go out
Make sure to shut and lock any windows you regularly keep open. Criminals will watch for open windows when cars are leaving the driveway. These are the ideal entry point since they will not have to risk causing a noisy break in. Your safest bet is to keep windows closed as much as possible on the ground levels of your house even when you are at home. This will give the impression to criminals that they will never have a chance to get in.

7. Don’t hide a spare key
Many of us have done this in fear of getting locked out. Whether it’s under a rock a few feet away from the door or somewhere behind a bush in your backyard, desperate criminals are going to be looking. The best idea if you are afraid of being locked out is to leave a key with a trusted neighbor, co-worker, or friend that you would be able to contact quickly if you got locked out.

I’ll have more great ideas to burglar proof your house for you next time, so stay tuned…

 

Take time to take care.

Ron Lapointe
Registered Broker

 

* Source: cmhc-schl.gc.ca   Some info supplied by www.mrfreestuff.com