Five Insurance Resources You Should Be Following Online (And Why)

Looking for insurance information? Here are five resources you should be following online to make sure you are getting the best deal.

 

Are you looking for the right insurance provider for your insurance needs? It may seem an impossible job, but it really isn’t. There are a number of resources out there that can help you find the information you need to make the right insurance decisions. Here are five insurance resources you should be following online.

 

  • Consumer Reports

 

Consumer Reports is an independent, non-profit organization that dedicates itself to keeping consumers informed. The organization provides evidence-based product testing and ratings, but it also conducts investigative research and offers public education in order to ensure consumers have access to the knowledge and insights they need to make informed decisions about their insurance needs.

Why follow consumer reports? Because first-hand reviews and third-party research is the best way to find out the unbiased information you need to know about the company you are considering purchasing your insurance from. If there have been negative experiences in the past, or if a particular insurer has great reviews from certain individuals, but negative reviews from others who are more similarly circumstanced to you, then you may be better off looking for a different provider.

 

  •  The NAIC

 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Research & Actuarial Department provides insurance regulators, consumers, academics, industry and government entities, and other interested parties with the insurance information necessary to keep track of the insurance marketplace.

Why follow the NAIC? Because keeping track of the statistical, actuarial, financial, and market conduct information can help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing insurance for yourself or your business. The NAIC also provides insight into regulation, which means you can keep better aware of insurance regulatory requirements—both on your part and on the part of your provider.

 

  • Insurance Dictionaries

 

Dictionaries of insurance terms and definitions, like the one offered by www.insurancejobs.com, offer an important breakdown of the different terms and insurance jargon you are likely to encounter when choosing an insurance provider.

Why follow resources like this? Because being able to consult a reliable and professional source for terms that may seem vague—or for terms that seem clear but may actually refer to something that resembles but doesn’t quite match what you are looking for—can help you avoid making mistakes when selecting insurance that could prove costly in the long run—especially if you end up being denied a claim as a result.

 

  • The Insurance Journal

 

Insurance news sites like http://www.insurancejournal.com/ offer up-to-date information on what’s new in the insurance industry, as well as the latest news reports involving insurance and insurance claims.

Why follow this resource online? Because staying in the know about updates to the insurance industry could mean savings for you—if you are aware of them in time to act. It is also important to keep an eye on the news reports on denied insurance claims, insurance fraud, etc. If something pops up in the news that bears a bit too much similarity to your circumstances, you may want to look into it with your provider. Alternatively, if your provider is suddenly making the news in a less-than-positive way, hearing about it may give you time to switch before it’s too late.

 

  • Last but not least: insurance blogs

 

Insurance blogs offer either first-hand accounts by consumers or insights by insurance professionals on certain insurance-related topics.

Why follow this resource online? Whether you are in the market for a new provider or are simply wanting to stay informed, reading up on insurance blogs that are posted by various insurance companies is a good way to go about it. You can learn a lot about the company by the type of content it posts: if they are often posting blogs that speak to your insurance needs in an approachable way, then they might be the insurance company for you. If their blogs seem to relate to businesses more often than individuals, then you may want to look elsewhere for your personal insurance needs.

 

You can always learn a lot from the professionals—no matter the reason you are looking to learn more.

Why Life Insurance Is So Important for New Parents

Your whole world has changed, your insurance should too

 

Becoming a parent for the first time is unlike any other experience life has to offer. Suddenly, all of your priorities shift to make room for the tiny little human being that’s cradled in your arms.

 

There’s so much to consider in your first few months of parenthood. You have to apply for a social insurance number for your child, start a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), perfect your parenting skills, practice crib safety, and develop a sleeping and eating routine.

 

The craziest part? That’s just the beginning!

 

As you transition into your role as a parent, one of the most important steps you can take is making sure your child is protected in the event that something happens to you. It’s not exactly the type of thing you want to think about during the exciting first days of your role as Mom or Dad, but it’s essential that you do.

 

Things New Parents Should Consider:

 

  1. Both parents should be insured
    It is a common misconception that only the money-maker of a family needs to be insured. However, this is not the case. Even if one parent stays at home, they provide care and services that the remaining parent would have to pay to replace in the event that they passed away. It’s important to determine how extra expenses such as these will be taken care of in the event of a death.

 

  1. Good timing can save you money
    The older you get, the more expensive life insurance policies become. By starting yours now, you can save yourself money in the long run.

 

  1. Your workplace policy may not be enough
    While having insurance through your employer is undoubtedly a good thing, the amount you’ll get paid out isn’t always equal to the amount your family will need. Typically, you get paid twice your base salary. When you factor in funeral expenses, paying off debts, bills, etc. that sum doesn’t stretch as far as you might think. Also, when you leave your job, your policy is no longer in place. This leaves you vulnerable in-between jobs and you’re always starting a new policy, at new rates, at your next place of employment. You’d likely save money by going with your own insurance policy and locking into a consistent rate.

 

  1. Your baby is cute, but also expensive
    The average parent spends nearly $250,000 to raise their child. Do you think your spouse could handle that financial responsibility on their own? Most parents couldn’t. And while it isn’t necessarily pleasant to think about, accidents can happen at any time. The sooner you have a policy in place, the less either of you have to worry about becoming a single parent and footing the financial costs all alone.

 

  1. It’s worth it
    What else can we say? Your child’s future and well-being is always worth the investment. Knowing that they are protected no matter what life throws your way is a peace of mind that cannot be compared to any other kind. In an ideal world, your child will never need to take advantage of your policy. But without it, your family could face twice as much anguish in your absence.

 

Are you ready to put a policy in place that protects your child’s future? Give us a call today!

 

Our insurance brokers will get you the best available price and aren’t satisfied until you have coverage that works for your family.

Most Costly Auto Insurance Mistake

When it comes to auto insurance, there are some mistakes that can mean the difference between an affordable policy and an unaffordable one. This article will go over some of the most costly mistakes you can make when it comes to your insurance.

Keeping Your Auto Insurance Affordable

We all know that auto insurance, costly though it may be, is not something we want to do without. Accidents can happen to the most careful of drivers, and it’s never worth it to risk more than necessary. But not all insurance is created equal, and there are mistakes you can make that drive up the cost of your insurance exponentially. While there’s no such thing as a good car accident, there’s nothing worse than being in an accident you’re completely unprepared for, which is why insurance is so important. In order to keep those premiums as low as possible, avoid these costly mistakes.

Getting a Traffic Ticket

While no one wants to get a traffic ticket, the consequences of getting one go far beyond the ticket itself; getting a ticket is one of the most common ways to increase your insurance, and can easily be avoided. As tempting as it might be to speed or to glide by a stop sign without coming to a full stop, don’t do it. Not only are you putting other drivers and pedestrians at risk, but you also stand a chance of driving up your insurance prices by getting a ticket you could have avoided with ease – and spending years kicking yourself for not following the rules of the road.

Not Preparing For Your Teen

If you have a child who’s coming up of driving age, you have more to think about more than just teaching them to pump gas: your young, inexperienced driver is going to be expensive to insure. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce these prices if you plan ahead of time. There are discounts available for insuring your teen based on things like driver’s education and their grades. While their insurance is going to cost you more no matter what, if you prepare ahead of time you can save yourself a lot of money once your child is ready to get behind the wheel.

Causing an Accident

Yes, there it is – being at-fault in an accident is a sure way to drive up your insurance rates, if not have your policy canceled altogether. While on some policies you may be eligible for accident forgiveness, this only applies to your first accident, and it is a far cry from a get-out-of-jail-free card. Take every precaution while driving to make sure you’re never responsible for an accident. Since most accidents are caused by a driver violating traffic regulations, this means sticking to the law, and not putting your insurance prices – or your life – in danger.

Lying to Your Insurance Company

Think you can trick your way into lower insurance rates by failing to mention a traffic ticket or keeping quiet about the new driver in your family? Think again. The chances that your insurance company will never find out about your little white lie are very low, and once they do, the consequences will cost you more than your dishonesty ever saved you. Your insurance company could back-rate you or even cancel your insurance policy, making the chances of finding affordable insurance somewhere else next to impossible. Always be honest with your insurance company.

Could Your Insurance Be Canceled due to Facebook Photos?

Female friends taking selfie during vacation

It happened to a woman in North Carolina. She registered her three dogs under her umbrella liability insurance but did not hear anything back from her insurance company. When she inquired, she was told one of her dogs was not eligible to be covered.

 

Understandably, the woman was confused. That’s when the insurance company sent her a photo of her dogs that they’d taken from her Facebook page. They had inserted an arrow onto the photo, pointing towards her largest dog – a hound and lab mix. The email stated that the dog resembled a Rottweiler, a breed the business excluded from its insurance policy due to the breed’s reputation for being aggressive.

 

This is just one of many stories that have circulated the internet recently, all involving insurance claims that have been denied or canceled, with Facebook photos being a factor. Here in Canada, a woman who was on medical leave from her job due to depression was informed her policy was canceled when pictures of her enjoying vacations and appearing happy were found on Facebook.

 

So, what are the legalities of an insurance company using information found on your Facebook profile?

 

There are three things you should be aware of:

 

1. If Your Profile Isn’t Set to Private, It’s Fair Game

 

When you make a post or photo “public,” it means exactly what it sounds like: any member of the general public can view it, save it, or access the information. So if an insurance company finds these public posts or images, they can legally use them to make decisions about your coverage.

 

2. Your Settings Make a Difference

If you are someone who has their profile set so that only friends can see your photos and information, you have already avoided a lot of issues. It’s illegal for investigators or insurance companies to “friend” you on Facebook to gain access to your information. It’s much harder for an insurer to access your information if you only share your posts with friends. However, if a lawyer can prove that there are Facebook pictures on your account that can be connected to your claim, a judge may grant a warrant for access to those particular photos. For example, if you are receiving sickness insurance coverage, but there are photos on your Facebook profile of you sky-diving or participating in activities that require you to be healthy, these photos would directly relate to the validity of your claim.

 

3. Large Claims Make Investigation More Likely

If you have nothing to hide, the chances of your insurance company randomly looking into your profile are slim to none. But if you have a major active claim, the odds increase. For example: if you have a large injury claim open after a car accident, based on the fact that your neck was injured, but then post photos to your social media showing you playing beach volleyball without a neck brace, your insurance company may be looking into you and will use that information if it’s there.

Ultimately, the best practice is to keep your posting to a minimum and to always be conscious of what you are sharing on the internet. It may not seem like a big deal as you are posting it, but the ramifications can be huge.

 

If there’s any doubt at all about whether a post could interfere with your insurance coverage, it’s best not to post!

 

Have questions about this subject? We’re happy to help! Contact us today.

Drinking Alcohol While on Vacation Could Cost You Your Coverage

 

Nothing goes together quite like warm sand between your toes, a view of the beach, and a Pina Colada in your hand. But while a refreshing beverage is often a staple in most vacations, it can also be a strike against you when it comes to your insurance policy.

 

Many travel insurance policies have clauses that exclude coverage if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs when an accident occurs. This may not seem likely, but 39 percent of Canadians report being intoxicated at some point during their latest vacation. And it’s no secret that accidents happen. A couple drinks too many and suddenly slipping by the pool and breaking a bone isn’t a stretch of the imagination.

 

But did you know you can be denied for more than just health insurance? If you miss your flight due to being intoxicated, your insurance company can reject any coverage for expenses you incur as a result.

 

It’s also well known that alcohol can lower one’s inhibitions. So, if you decide to get a large neck tattoo or go base-jumping for the first time while intoxicated, those activities and any misfortunes caused by them will likely be at your expense.

 

Of course, it will be up to the insurance company to prove that you weren’t sober at the time of an accident. However, if your blood is taken or if there are witnesses that state seeing signs of intoxication from you, these things can work against you.

 

Ultimately, it is always wisest to drink in moderation while vacationing and to read the fine print of your travel insurance coverage before visiting another country. Each policy is different and being familiar with yours ahead of time gives you the opportunity to clarify any questions or concerns before you find yourself in a predicament.

 

Looking for a travel insurance policy that meets your needs? We can get you a policy that provides peace of mind so you can relax, unwind, and enjoy your fun in the sun.

 

Contact us today!

3 Travel Insurance Questions to Ask Yourself Before Heading South

 

With the holidays behind us, many Canadians are already thinking about palm trees and powder sand beaches. Winter just doesn’t have the same appeal when you don’t have festive gatherings and stuffed turkey to look forward to.

 

But before you book your flights and decide on your destination, there are a few questions you may want to ask about your travel coverage. We’ve put them together for you:

 

  1. Will someone be available around the clock to help me?

Not all travel insurance companies offer 24-7 assistance, but it is highly recommended that travelers take advantage of policies that do. There are many emergency situations that could come up while you are out of the country, and being able to reach someone immediately, no matter the time, is essential to be sure the situation is resolved as quickly as possible.

 

  1. Will I be engaging in “risky activities”?

A lot of insurance policies do not cover “risky activities”, and you don’t have to be bungee jumping for this to apply. Activities like water skiing, motor scooter riding, horseback riding and scuba diving are all subject to limitations by some insurance companies. In some cases, you will have to pay an additional premium on your travel insurance for these types of experiences. If you’re planning to enjoy any of these, you’ll want to double-check with your provider to find out exactly what is and isn’t covered.

 

  1. I know I have medical coverage, but what if my belongings are lost or stolen?

Some insurance providers do offer coverage for items like cameras, phones, computers, jewelry and important documents. This type of insurance isn’t more valuable then medical insurance (things can be replaced, lives cannot), but if you have the ability to cover both, it’s a great addition. No one expects to have their valuables taken while on a trip, but it can happen. This type of coverage provides extra peace of mind.

 

By asking these three simple questions, you can avoid a world of headache later. Don’t wait until it’s too late to get the answers. Do it now so you can focus on what matters most while you’re away: rest, relaxation, and fun in the sun!

How to Handle an Accident: What to Do If You Get Into a Collision

Nobody expects to get into a car accident when they embark on a trip, whether it’s across the street or across the country. Unfortunately, as the saying goes: “accidents happen”. They’re shocking and frightening and they can make it very difficult to think clearly on the spot, so it’s vital to have a plan in place for what you will do if you get into a car accident. This can prevent you from freezing up and missing out on vital actions that could save your life, or at the very least, make the situation less difficult down the road. Here are some ideas.

Don’t Leave the Scene

If you are involved in an automobile collision, it is extremely important that you remain on the scene of the accident until the police arrive. Firstly, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident, and performing a hit-and-run can get you in serious trouble with the law. But beyond that, you should stay to make certain you’re there to help anyone who needs it, and so that you can be treated if you are injured. Move to a safe distance if you are concerned about remaining too close to the vehicle, and wait for the police to arrive.

Be Prepared

Although nobody expects emergency situations to happen, most people recognize the value of being ready in case one does come up. Carry a first aid kit in your car so that you can help treat minor injuries in case of a collision. Have emergency contact numbers programmed into your cell phone. Keep some cash on hand for a bus or cab ride if you have no other way of getting home. Knowing how to respond in the moments following a car accident can save lives and minimize the risk of criminal charges being pressed.

Exchange Insurance Information

Once you’ve ensured that everyone is present and accounted for and any minor injuries have been treated, it’s time to exchange insurance information with the driver of the other vehicle. Following a collision, emotions can run high and fear and anger are often at the forefront. Try to take a few calming breaths and treat the other driver with respect, even if they were at fault. Exchange contact information and insurance information. Make certain that all information is correct in order to avoid confusion. Exchanging info can feel difficult and awkward but it is absolutely vital.

Your Insurance Policy Is Your Best Friend

If you do have the bad fortune to get involved in a collision, having an insurance policy will take a lot of the weight of worry off of your mind. Sadler Insurance specializes in car insurance and can help you to get an insurance policy that will protect you in case of an accident.

At Sadler, we want you to be safe, protected, and have the time and peace of mind to take care of yourself and your family in the days following your accident. Give us a call at 780-433-4426 and see how we can help!

Contact us today for more information on insurance policies.

Are you SURE you have the commercial insurance you need?

There may be gaps in your coverage you don’t know about!

When it comes to commercial property insurance, the first question to ask is always “What do I need to protect myself from?”. The answer can vary depending on the type of business you own.

For example, here are three types of damages that businesses should be (but often aren’t) covered for by their insurance plan. They are:

  • Physical Damage
    Whether your business in a small nail salon or a multi-location corporation, you have property that has value. You may not even realize just how much you have! That ergonomic chair that you are sitting on? Yup, that’s insurable property! That inventory of baking ingredients for your bakery? Yup, that’s insurable too! Even things like computer files, your print materials, and your business cell phones are considered physical property that you can insure.

  • Theft
    Coverage that protects a business against theft, fraud or incompetence is often called “bonding insurance”. Did you know that 8 out of 10 cases of business fraud or embezzlement are committed by an employee? These types of crimes can have a serious impact on the stability and future of your company. Don’t wait to consider this kind of coverage!
  • Loss of useconference-room-768441_960_720
    Sometimes referred to as “business revenue insurance”, this type of coverage simply means that you are not only insured for the damages to your business in the event of an accident (for example a fire destroys your auto parts store), you are also ensured for the loss of income you will experience until your business is up and running again. There are different types of insurance plans that are available for this, all with different kinds of benefits.

At Sadler Insurance, we are well-versed in identifying client needs and creating custom policies that cover all of the key areas their businesses require. We create custom policies that leave NO gaps, so you can focus on the day-to-day grind without worrying about what would happen in the event that something goes wrong.

Did you know that we also keep detailed records of your coverage, claims and losses so that all of your information is in one place, ready and available to you? With Sadler, you won’t have to go searching for papers in the middle of a crisis. We’ve got you covered!

And lastly, we do all of this at a competitive price with paramount customer service.

If you’re a business owner in the Edmonton area and want to be sure there are no gaps in your coverage, give us a call today! 780-433-4426!

You can also visit us online at: www.sadlerin.com.

We look forward to providing you with a product that fits your needs!

Don’t Forget to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

Wouldn’t it be great if summer could last forever? The sunshine, the long daylight hours, the backyard barbecues and trips to the beach? Most people would love to enjoy those summer traditions all year long; however, unless you live in a hot climate, that’s not going to happen. Winter comes whether we like it or not. You might not be able to change it or control it, but you can certainly plan for it. One of the most important steps in getting through those chilly months is to prepare your vehicle for winter. An unprepared vehicle can cause all kinds of trouble and make the season feel more unpleasant than it needs to be.

Change Your Tires

There are a couple of important things to do to prepare your vehicle for winter. The most obvious is changing your tires. In colder climates and especially in areas where the roads tend to get icy or slushy, it’s important to outfit your car with winter tires. Winter tires have better treads that offer heightened traction and grip on slippery roads. Winter tires are also composed of rubber that performs better in cold temperatures. A standard tire will stiffen up, making it difficult to steer and control the vehicle. Winter tires remain flexible in cold temperatures, allowing them to grip the road, providing greater control.

Some people make the mistake of thinking their all-season tires will suffice in winter. All-season tires are not made to withstand very cold winters. They’re fine in warmer climates, but in chillier areas, only a true winter tire or an all-weather tire will suffice.

Keep It Warm

If you park outdoors, you will want to make sure you’re able to plug your car in. Make sure your car is outfitted with a block heater and purchase an extension cord to plug it in. Make sure the extension cord is outdoor quality and an appropriate length to make plugging in as easy as possible.

You will also want to take a look at your wiper fluid and make sure it’s appropriate for the temperature. Some wiper fluids are not designed for cold temperatures and may freeze and crack your reservoir, causing a whole host of problems. Check the bottle to ensure the fluid is functional down to as low a temperature as possible. Your safest bet is to purchase wiper fluid that can withstand down to forty below to be on the safe side.

Prepare for Emergency

Finally, remember to stock your trunk with some essentials in case your vehicle breaks down. Keep warm clothing, extra blankets and booster cables in your trunk in case of an emergency.

Driving in cold weather isn’t always fun, but if you take the time to properly prepare your car for winter, it will be much easier on you. For more advice on how to get your car winter ready or to review your auto insurance policy, feel free to get in touch with us here at Sadler Insurance. We’re happy to help you stay safe on the roads.

Contact us today for more information on getting your car ready for winter!

When and How to Put Your Motorcycle Away for the Winter

There is hardly a place you can go where you do not encounter at least one motorcycle enjoying the fall season. Like all seasons, there comes a time when you need to retire your bike for the winter months ahead.  As motorcycle season is never long enough, riders try to make it last as long as possible. However, there are distinct signs that show when it is time to stow the bike.

Unsafe Road Conditions

Colder weather equates colder roads which means less traction for motorcycle tires.  Riders need to be fully aware of this when cornering and using speeds that require greater traction.  Once the temperature drops below zero, riding risk increases.  A cold but snow-less day can be just as dangerous as riding in snow if you are not experienced or prepared. Black ice is a well-known hazard as well as loose materials. Sand trucks will regularly sand and gravel the roads to combat ice.  Catching your bike on any of the loose grit can easily throw you off your riding game.  When riding close to winter months, be very aware of the road conditions and your own expertise level.

Unpredictable Weather

It is one thing to find yourself suddenly caught in a rainstorm. It is quite another to be out when a sudden snowfall hits.  Riders, especially those that commute to work for long periods of time or long distances, need to be fully aware of the possible weather changes.  Cold crosswinds or sudden snow falls not only put your riding in danger, it can also put you at risk of hypothermia or frostbite if you go off the road and wind up unconscious in the ditch.

You are Simply not Comfortable

While travelling on the open road at highway speeds, you will experience the world at 10 degrees colder than it is.  Let’s say it is a sunny 13 degrees outside, once you hit highway speed, it will feel like 3 degrees.  Every rider has their own degree of comfort. However, riding is also supposed to be fun.  If you are finding that you are cold, uncomfortable or even just worried about sudden weather changes then it might be your sign to retire for the winter.

A good motorcycle rider is a confident one.  Confidence comes with good knowledge and experience.  If you are unsure about your conditions or skills for the current road conditions, you are putting yourself at risk of an accident.

The correct time to retire your motorcycle for the winter depends on where you live, your experience as a rider and your toleration for the current seasonal changes.  A time will come though, when it is time to trade in your leathers for your parka. All is not lost; consider this a good time for a bike tune up to get it ready for the next summer season.  When that time comes, the friendly folks at Sadler Insurance would be happy to review your motorcycle insurance to help give you that peace of mind for the season ahead.

Contact us today with any questions and to review your motorcycle insurance.