home insurance roberts-mcclure edmonton

Home Insurance

Protecting your property

Home Insurance Discounts

$avings – Are you getting yours?

Are you paying more than you should for your Home insurance? Here are some of the discounts you may qualify for.

  • Alarm Discount – Earn 10-15% for helping to protect your home.
  • Claims Free Discount – if you maintain Claim Free status, enjoy the benefit of lower premiums.
  • Mortgage Free Discount – applies to homes that are mortgage free.
  • New Home – tiered to the age of your dwelling.
  • Package Discount – save by bundling your home and Auto insurance together.
  • Renewal Discount- Get your reward for being a loyal client.
  • Seniors or Mature Discount – starting as low as age 50!
  • Superior Construction Discount – for homes of fire resistive, sprinklered or clay tile roof.
home insurance discounts roberts-mcclure edmonton
Homeowners Insurance

Summer scene of homes on a residential street

Broad Coverage – Obtain the broadest coverage to suit your needs. Not all policies are created equal. Some insurance companies or agents sell policies that offer limited protection. We take pride in ensuring that we arrange the best possible program to fit your individual circumstances.

Insure to Value – Homeowner’s policies are designed to replace your home and belongings as a result of loss or damage. When setting up your insurance program we will complete a survey of the features of your home. This is normally done during a telephone or personal interview. From these features, we will determine a rebuilding cost for your home. As a result of completing this process, in most instances our insurance companies agree to provide you with Guaranteed Replacement Cost to rebuild your home. Guaranteed Replacement Cost will pay for the full cost to rebuild your home even if it is more than the amount of insurance shown on the policy.

Personal Effects – From the costing process on your home, insurance companies typically suggest a set percentage (70%) as an estimate of the value of your personal effects. You will need to confirm this limit is adequate if you had to go out and buy them tomorrow. Insurance companies will only pay up to the amount of insurance you purchase. So it is up to you to make sure you have sufficient insurance. We have inventory booklets to assist you with determining your proper limit of insurance.

By-Laws Protection –  Some municipalities have regulations that govern how high you can build a house, what materials you have to use, or even where you can build it. These are known as by-laws. If the insurance company has to rebuild your home to different standards, this can increase the amount of your claim significantly. Most insurance policies do not automatically cover this increased cost. However, coverage can be purchased. If you are aware of any, please let us know.

Sewer Backup Protection – One of the most unpleasant losses to your home may involve the backing up of water (and other things) from your sewer drain. Coverage is available to protect you from the cost of repairing your home and replacing your personal property from Sewer Backup Damage. This is one of the most frequent and most expensive losses to suffer.

Replacement Cost For Your Personal Property – In most instances “New for old” coverage is available for your personal property. Most of the policies we arrange include Replacement Cost protection. All you have to do is make sure that your amounts of insurance are sufficient to replace your property at today’s prices.

Identity Theft – This additional protection provides assistance with legal expenses resulting from the cost or restoring you identity if you are a victim of Identity Theft or Fraud.

Protecting You From Legal Actions

All residential policies include coverage for Personal Liability protection. You may unintentionally injury someone or their property as a result of your actions. Personal Liability coverage will protect you if it is determined you were responsible. In addition, even in the event of false accusations, the policy will provide for the cost of legal expenses in raising your defense. Of course the policy contains limitations and conditions as to the types of acts it will protect you for. For example, intentional or criminal acts are not covered.

Typically, Homeowner’s Insurance is one of the most inexpensive forms of insurance. Coverage can be obtained for as little as $75 per month.

Condominium Insurance

Summer view of a condominium building

Condominium owners have special insurance needs. At first appearance the condominium concept is fairly simple – numerous owners sharing in common property. Unfortunately, your unit ownership and insurance requirements are impacted upon by at least three legal documents:

  1. The Condominium Act of Alberta
  2. A document called the Declaration. (A Declaration is originally filed by the builder and can be likened to a charter a corporation files for incorporation. It describes the legal entity created by incorporation)
  3. Your Condominium Corporation Bylaws

Each legal document may modify what you are responsible to insure as a unit owner. It may be that you need to insure a portion of the condominium structure. This is best determined from a thorough review of the legal documents surrounding your ownership of the Condominium. Here are some things you should consider in choosing a condominium insurance program. Your Condominium Insurance is designed to do two basic things: 1) Protect Your Property and 2) Protect You From Legal Actions.

Protecting Your Property

Broad Coverage – Obtain the broadest coverage. Not all policies are created equal. Some insurance companies or agents sell policies that offer limited protection. We take pride in ensuring that we arrange the best possible program to fit your individual circumstances.

Insure to Value – Condominium Insurance policies are designed to replace your belongings as a result of loss or damage. Accordingly, you need to determine the cost of your personal effects as if you had to go out and buy them tomorrow. Insurance companies will only pay up to the amount of insurance you purchase. It is up to you to make sure you have sufficient insurance. We have inventory booklets to assist you with determining your proper limit of insurance.

Replacement Cost For Your Personal Property – In most instances “New for old” coverage is available for your personal property. Most of the policies we arrange include Replacement Cost protection. All you have to do is make sure that your amounts of insurance are sufficient to replace your property at today’s prices.

Sewer Backup Protection – One of the most unpleasant losses to your residence may involve the backing up of water (among other things!) from your sewer main. Coverage is available to protect you from the cost of repairing the damage and replacing your personal property from Sewer Backup. Sewer Backup is one of the most frequent and expensive claims our clients suffer.

Unit Owners Additional Protection – This is “just in case” coverage to assist in protecting you in the event the insurance your Condominium Corporation has arranged on the structure is inadequate.

Improvements and Betterment Insurance – It is quite likely the policy the Condominium Corporation arranged on the structure does not cover any improvements or betterments made by unit owners after original construction. (New carpet, laminate, fireplace, finished basement or kitchen cupboards. ) If you are not the first owner of the unit you may be unaware of any improvements made by a previous owner. Also, some Condo corporations make the unit owner responsible to insure the portion of the entire structure they occupy. In some cases these are referred to as Bareland Condominiums.

Loss Assessment Coverage – Provides protection from special assessments arising from damage to the common property owned by the Condominium Corporation.

Difference in Deductibles Coverage – Many Condominium boards arrange higher deductibles in an effort to save premiums. These deductibles range from $5,000 to $50,000. In addition, they modify the bylaws to make each individual unit owner responsible for damage to their unit. We can arrange coverage to protect you from this exposure.

Identity Theft – This additional protection provides assistance with legal expenses resulting from the cost or restoring you identity if you are a victim of Identity Theft or Fraud.

Protecting You From Legal Actions

All residential policies include coverage for Personal Liability protection. You may unintentionally injury someone or their property as a result of your actions. Personal Liability coverage will protect you if it is determined you were responsible. In addition, even in the event of false accusations, the policy will provide for the cost of legal expenses in raising your defence. Of course the policy contains limitations and conditions as to the types of acts it will protect you for. For example, intentional or criminal acts are not covered.

Typically, Condominium Insurance is one of the more inexpensive forms of insurance. Coverage can be obtained for as little as $10-25 per month.

Tenant Insurance

A basement suite with tenants insurance

You rent a house, condo or apartment. It’s the place that you call home. Just because you do not own a house does not mean your belongings should not be protected. A lot of nasty things can happen to your personal belongings . Unfortunately, Tenant Insurance is often an overlooked necessity. For very little money tenant insurance is designed to do two basic things: Protect Your Property, Protect You From Legal Actions

Here are a few things you should consider in choosing a tenant’s insurance program.

Protecting Your Property

Insure To Value – Tenant policies are designed to replace your belongings from loss or damage. Accordingly, you need to purchase sufficient limits that represent the cost of your personal effects if you had to go out and buy them tomorrow. Insurance companies will only pay up to the amount of insurance you purchase. So it is up to you to make sure you have sufficient insurance. We have inventory booklets to assist you with determining your proper limit of insurance.

Replacement Cost For Your Personal Property – In most instances “New for old” coverage is available for your personal property. Most of the policies we arrange include Replacement Cost protection. All you have to do is make sure that your amounts of insurance are sufficient to replace your property at today’s prices.

Sewer Backup Protection – One of the most unpleasant losses to your home may involve the backing up of water (and other things) from your sewer main. Coverage is available to protect you from the cost of repairing your home and replacing your personal property from Sewer Backup Damage. Also remember, even though you live in a high rise apartment, you still need Sewer Backup protection.

Identity Theft – This additional protection provides assistance with legal expenses resulting from the cost or restoring you identity if you are a victim of Identity Theft or Fraud.

Protecting You From Legal Actions

All residential policies include coverage for Personal Liability protection. You may unintentionally injury someone or their property as a result of your actions. Personal Liability coverage will protect you if it is determined you were responsible. In addition, even in the event of false accusations, the policy will provide for the cost of legal expenses in raising your defense. Of course the policy contains limitations and conditions as to the types of acts it will protect you for. For example, intentional or criminal acts are not covered.

Typically, Tenant Insurance is one of the most inexpensive forms of insurance. Coverage can be obtained for as little as $15 -20 per month.

Personal Umbrella Liablity Insurance

umbrella graphic filled with words about personal umbrella liability insurance

Accidents can happen at any time.

If you are ever sued as a result of an accident, your standard Home or Auto policy will provide you with some liability protection. It will pay for insured judgements against you up to the limit set in the policy as well as legal fees. However, in our litigious society, you should consider higher limits of liability protection. This additional protection is what a Personal Umbrella Liability policy provides.

Typically Home and Auto policies come with a $1,000,000 limit. However, legal awards in Alberta frequently exceed  $2,000,000. An Umbrella policy steps in when you exhaust the limit on the primary liability coverage provided by your Homeowners, Tenants, Condo or Auto policy.

Do you travel to the United States? Many American States only require their citizens to carry nominal amounts of liability insurance.Some states are as low as $10,000. Your Auto policy contains a provision that if you or your passengers are injured by someone carrying insufficient limits, you can use the limits of your own policy to assist. You can appreciate how fast the medical system can chew through $10,000.

Personal Umbrella policies are one of the most important and least expensive insurance policies available, yet they are also one of the most neglected. Prices start at approximately $125 per year for each additional $1 million tier of protection.

As the value of your estate increases and you mature you should definitely consider higher limits of Personal Liability protection. They are extremely valuable portion of an estate preservation program. Sooner or later we all hope to reach retirement. This is not the time to begin rebuilding the value of our estate.

Please contact us if you would like more information on this product.

Home Based Businesses

A couple laughing and discussing insurance in their home office

As a small business owner you wear many hats. You may represent the entire marketing, production and finance positions of your organization. Often less glamorous tasks are left on the back burner until you get a “round-to-it”. One of these critical but often ignored tasks is the financial protection of your business.

The need for business insurance is perhaps more important for a small company than a large one. Small businesses are frequently capitalized with the hard earned savings of the owners. New businesses frequently do not earn a profit in their first five years. A large capital reserve is not sitting awaiting future opportunities. Additional capital may not be available to buy replacements if a loss was to occur.

Imagining the uncomfortable consequences of attempting to explain an uninsured loss to a partner, investor or spouse, should be motivation enough for all of us to find one of those “round-to-its”. Consider the investment of an hour of your time to obtain the financial protection your business requires as time well spent. The objective of your business insurance program should be to enable your business to continue, without financial stress, through interruption of operations as a result of an accident. The development of your insurance program should consist of three phases:

1. Risk Management

Risk Management is the identification and minimization of the potential causes of loss to your business. There are four basic steps to reduce the chance your business will suffer a setback from a loss.

Step 1 – Assess Exposures

As the owner you are in the best position to know the loss potential of your business. Essentially, you are asking yourself what could go wrong? Best of all it costs you nothing to do! Several questions you should ask are:

  • How hard would it be to obtain replacements?
  • How long would it take? What would it cost?
  • What would the result of those delays be?
  • Would your clients still be there or would they find your competitors in the interim?
  • What would you do for income?
  • How attractive is your stock to thieves? How secure are your premises?
  • How much of a fire hazard do your commodities, premises or operations present?
  • What are the liability hazards of your products or what could go wrong with your work?
  • Does your lease impose specific responsibilities upon you? Have you met those requirements?
  • What would the likely outcome be of any of the above?

Step 2 – Minimize Loss Potential
Once you have assessed the exposures you are in a better position to minimize them. Often simply taking the time to review how a potential loss could occur provides the solution of how to minimize it. Police, firefighters and insurers do a great job after the fact. Your role should be preventative.

  • Develop an action plan for restoration in advance. It does not have to be an elaborate manual. Simple forethought will do. Where will you operate? How will you get critical equipment? Collect together important contacts, suppliers, telephone numbers and other data.
  • Maintain off-site information backup. A relative or friend would be happy to keep a computer disk for you. Update it regularly! It will not do well to lose all your critical restoration information in case of a fire. Worse to realize the backup data on the disk you left with Uncle Joe is two years old.
  • Reduce or eliminate fire hazards and install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
  • Upgrade premises security – dead-bolt locks, window bars, lighting and alarm systems.
  • Consult with your local police departments. Most have inpiduals assigned to assist with your loss prevention measures.
  • Review your operations with your insurance broker. They have access to insurance company personnel trained to assess your exposures and provide suggestions.

Step 3 – Self Insure
Assume as much of the loss as you comfortably can. Insurance companies provide discounts for the use of larger deductibles. Choose as large a deductible your business can comfortably afford. Limiting the number of small claims you submit helps to keep your premiums low. Select only the degree of coverage you truly need.
Step 4 – Insurance
With the assistance of a knowledgeable broker, select the insurance products tailored to meet your needs. Purchase sufficient coverage to meet your insurance needs.

2. Choosing A Broker

The investment of an hour of your time with a knowledgeable insurance broker may prove to be the key to whether your business survives. Find a broker who has the interest and time to help you with a thorough review. A good place to start is here at Roberts-McClure Insurance. We will take the time to explain coverage choices and options to you.

We also represent a large number of insurance companies that write Commercial Insurance. We will assist you in obtaining good insurance value, not necessarily just the cheapest price. As with any other professional service, often there are reasons for price differences.

In addition, most insurance companies have a variety of payment financing options so you should be able to find one that suits your needs.

3. Coverage Selection

As your broker we will be able to recommend the type of coverage that affords you the degree of protection you require. The basic areas of protection are:

  • Business Property – Stock, Equipment, Computers and other property. Remember to mention equipment you take with you to trade shows, client’s offices or places of business.
  • Crime – Coverage for money loss and employee theft.
  • Income – Business income and disability protection. Your business likely has expenses that would continue even in case of a loss. Also, you are likely relying on your business for personal income. Payments will need to continue on leased equipment. All of these factors point to a need for income protection. As well several options are available to assist independent small business owners with disability protection in the event they are unable to operate their business due to injury.
  • Liability – Protection against bodily injury or property damage you may do to others in the course of your business. Even something as simple as having someone slip and fall at your premises can result in an expensive lawsuit. This coverage includes provision for payment of legal defence fees. Your homeowners or tenants policy does not cover your business operations, even at your home.
  • Automobile – Ensure your vehicle is insured for commercial use.

Often we can offer a broad package of coverages to meet your needs at affordable premiums. Traditionally, insurance companies have ignored the Home Based Business (HBB) segment. Specific policy restrictions or exclusions are in place in most Homeowner’s Insurance or Tenant Insurance policies. Your personal homeowners policy does not insure business property or liability exposures. New HBB products are available tailored to meet the needs of the HBB segment.

So here is the plan to find one of those “round-to-its” you need to get your financial protection program in place.

First, make that telephone call to us right now! Make the appointment to discuss your business insurance needs. This will provide the incentive to do the balance of the preparation in advance of our meeting.

Next, take the time to answer the questions in the Risk Management section. You will be well prepared to discuss your business with your broker.

Finally, remember we are here to place insurance on your behalf – we work for you. Take the time to review the alternatives and make your coverage choice. It’s time well spent!

Watercraft Insurance

a man in his boat on the water who has watercraft insurance

If you’re a watercraft owner, like us you’d rather be on the water than reading about insurance, so we’ll try to make this brief:

Here are some things you should consider in choosing watercraft insurance. Your Watercraft insurance is designed to do two basic things: 1) Protect Your Property and  2) Protect You From Legal Actions.

Protecting Your Property

Insure To Value – It’s important to protect your investment. Although power craft (“Pot Stinkers”) and sailboats (“Rag Hangers”) don’t depreciate as fast as cars do, they do depreciate.

Broad Coverage – Obtain the broadest coverage. Not all policies are created equal. Some insurance companies policies offer limited protection. We take pride in ensuring that we arrange the best possible program to fit your individual circumstances.

Replacement Cost For Your Personal Property – Watercraft Insurance policies are designed to replace your property as a result of loss or damage. The question is: if you’re involved in an insurance claim, will you want your settlement based on the depreciated value, or the full replacement value? “New for old” coverage may be available for your watercraft.

Navigation/Territorial Limits – Many insurers restrict the geographic area of watercraft coverage. For example, many insurance companies will not insure boats for losses that occur in open water on the west coast of Vancouver island. Make sure you let your broker know if you plan to use you boat in areas other than Alberta.

Protecting You From Legal Actions

While operating your watercraft you need coverage for Personal Liability protection. You may unintentionally injury someone or their property as a result of your actions. Personal Liability coverage will protect you if it is determined you were responsible. In addition, even in the event of false accusations, the policy will provide for the cost of legal expenses in raising your defense. Of course the policy contains limitations and conditions as to the types of acts it will protect you for. For example, intentional or criminal acts are not covered.

Watercraft policies may be either written as additional coverages under your residence policy or on a stand-alone policy. In either event, we will make arrangements to provide for Personal Liability protection.

Home insurance tips to lower premiums

More Tips to Lower Your Premiums

Select Higher Deductibles

The easiest way to lower your premiums is through the use of deductibles. A key to maintaining low insurance premiums is to ensure you only claim under your policy for significant losses. Insurance companies offer sizable discounts for increasing your deductible above $1,000.

Good Home Maintenance

Water damage is now the leading cause of home insurance losses. A sewer backup, broken pipe, or cracked toilet can quickly cause thousands of dollars damage to your home. Typically flooring, walls and contents have to be replaced. Make sure your backwater valves, sump pumps, eavestrough and other plumbing connections are clean and operational.

The following link to a free service offered by the City of Edmonton to its residents. http://www.edmonton.ca/programs_services/flooding/flood-checkup.aspx

Whether you live in a House, a Condominium or are Tenant, we want to make sure your insurance policy is used for catastrophes. Proper home maintenance is one of the best ways to control your insurance costs.

We're ready to work for you.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line or call for a quote.
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