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10 Steps to Take to Protect your Business

HURRICANE RESPONSE 101

1. Contact Us: Long before signs of a hurricane, you should talk to your broker about your insurance coverage in the event of a storm.

2. Refer to Your Emergency Action Plan: Include key contacts and details such as evacuation routes. Communicate the plan with employees early. When an emergency, like a hurricane, occurs, it is essential to have a plan in place to ensure everyone is informed and knows what to do.

3. Protect Yourself and Employees: Your safety is more important than property. In the chaos of worrying about your business, give yourself enough time to get out of harm’s way.

4. Communicate with Suppliers, Vendors, and Partners: Give critical contact info and directions to temporary work sites if needed. If you are expecting to receive a delivery during a hurricane, you may want to consider connecting with your vendors. The health and safety of your staff and those you work with should be your top priority.

5. Determine if a Temporary Facility is Needed: If your facility is critical for your business operations, you should have a backup location. This can help limit business interruption after the storm if a flood or damage occurs.

6. Identify Power Requirements for Buildings: If you anticipate a loss of power, you should prepare in advance, getting flashlights and generators, and if needed, contact your local power company.

7. Determine Security Needs: If you need to leave your business or job site, you need to have a plan in place to ensure it is secure. Camera monitoring, physical security, fencing, or boarding-up windows and doors can protect assets, people, and property.

8. Prepare Your Property: Ensure emergency supplies are in place and fuel tanks are full, cover equipment, protect critical documents, safeguard data systems, and do what you can to secure your property.

9. Update Your Community: Have an external communications plan in place.

10. Track the Weather and Stay Alert: Storms can move fast. Stay updated and stay safe.

In addition to insuring your business, we are committed to helping you stay safe when disaster strikes. Our claims department is open to serve you when you need us the most. To make an emergency insurance claim, please call us at 1-855-726-8627.

 

Be ready, Hurricane Fiona is Coming

Munn Insurance Hurricane Florence Tips

Hurricane Fiona is still on track to impact the region from Friday to Sunday.

The most severe impacts will be felt across portions of NS, PEI, and NB. However, southern, southwestern, and western parts of Newfoundland and Labrador will also see high winds and heavy rainfall.

Here are our top 10 tips for making sure you and your loved ones are safe during this hurricane:

  1. Emergency safety kit. Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. Click here to view an emergency kit checklist.
  2. Secure your property. Make plans to secure your property. Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well-trimmed so they are more wind resistant. Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts. Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down. Determine how and where to secure your boat or other recreational vehicles stored on or near your property. Turn off propane tanks.
  3. Food and water supply. Arrange for a supply of drinking water and food.; enough for three or four days.  Keep a supply of water for sanitary purposes, such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
  4. Prepare for power failure. Install or purchase a portable generator for emergencies. Keep a supply of batteries and flashlights.  Make sure your electronics are charged.
  5. Stay safe during the hurricane. Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors. Close all interior doors, and secure and brace external doors. Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm and winds will pick up again. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level. Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object. Avoid elevators.
  6. NEVER use a generator inside. This includes homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
  7. Stay safe after the hurricane. Continue listening to a radio or the local news for the latest updates. If you were evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
  8. Be careful when you go out after the hurricane. If you must go out, watch for fallen objects including downed electrical wires, weakened walls, bridges, roads and sidewalks. Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
  9. Stay off the roads until it is safe. After the Hurricane, drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges. Stay off the streets.
  10. Post hurricane check. Walk carefully around the outside of your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering. Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both the building and contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.

Before the Hurricane hits, examine your home insurance or rental insurance policy to learn the details of how you will be covered (and what is excluded) in the event of a flood (click here for more information on overland water coverage)…

In addition to insuring your home, we are committed to helping you and your loved ones stay safe when disaster strikes. If you would like more information on developing a family emergency plan or building a disaster supply kit, please contact Munn Insurance at 855-726-8627 today.

5 Steps To Take If Your Basement Floods

Basement floods cause chaos and devastation in your home. Aside from making your basement unusable, a flood can ruin your belongings and create severe health and safety hazards. When your basement floods, there’s no time to waste! Here are the first steps to minimize risk and damage to your home.

Step 1: Turn Off The Electricity

For your safety, do not enter a basement that has been flooded – at least not right away. Electrical wiring may be compromised. You should call a licensed electrician if you cannot access your electrical panel to turn off the electricity.

Once the area is safe and free from live electricity, you can enter the basement and begin cleaning up the mess.

Step 2: Remove The Water

First, determine the water source; once there is no more water coming in, it’s time to remove the water so you can assess the damage done to your basement. This will likely require using a pump in addition to mops and towels.

If your sump pump is working correctly, it can be used to help drain the water from your basement. If there are more than two feet of standing water, you may need the help of a professional to remove the water and dry out your basement.

You must remove the water as quickly as possible. The damp environment gives mold a chance to grow, which will only compound your property damage costs.

Step 3: Remove Any Wet Items

After the standing water is removed from your basement, it’s time to remove everything that got wet, from couches to bookshelves, and place them in an area where they can dry out, like the garage.

At this point, take inventory of any items damaged by the flood.

Step 4: Call Your Insurance 

Call your insurance company and document the damage with photographs and a log of the events. Your broker will help you assess the damage and get a claim started.

Our claims number is 1-855-726-8627.

Step 5: Dry The Basement

Unfortunately, a basement will not dry on its own, and you may need industrial fans and blowers to ensure the entire area dries properly. A dehumidifier will help eliminate excess moisture in the flooring and drywall, allowing your basement to dry faster and prevent mold from growing.

If you don’t have these pieces of equipment kicking around (most homeowners don’t!), you can always reach out to local restoration companies and hardware stores to see if they offer rental units.

Basement floods can be an absolute nightmare, but the quicker you deal with the problem, the less devastation you will face in the end. Following these steps can help mitigate costly issues.

In addition to insuring your home, we are committed to helping you and your loved ones stay safe when disaster strikes. Our claims department is open to serve you when you need us the most. To make an emergency insurance claim, please call us at 1-855-726-8627.

Schools Out for the Summer!

Schools out!

This is the best day of the year for students, parents, teachers, and school administrative staff! But, we want to remind drivers and parents about the importance of keeping children safe throughout the summer months. Kids will be excited and may not be thinking about their personal safety, so drivers need to be extra cautious in looking for child pedestrians and bicyclists during the summer months.

We have compiled a list of tips for drivers to follow this summer.
• Be alert, especially in residential areas.
• Expect the unexpected. Children may cross the street at the wrong place or suddenly run or ride in front of you.
• Obey all laws. Slow down if there are children along the road or crossing the street. Come to a complete stop at intersections.
• Double-check behind you and around you when backing out of a driveway or parking space.
• Observe carefully when driving around playgrounds and parks.
• Watch for clues; a hockey net or ball in the road or on the sidewalk can mean kids are playing nearby.
• Don’t block crosswalks when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn forcing pedestrians to go around you: this could put them in the path of moving traffic.
• Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.

Parents, please talk to your children about the dangers of being on the road and ways they can protect themselves: for example, tell your children to make eye contact with the driver before they cross, even if the walk signal is on, make sure they always stop, look and listen before crossing the street. And, teach your children to watch out for cars that are backing up; even the most cautious driver may not be able to spot a small child running behind them.

Together, we can all make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer.

What factors are included in home insurance premium calculations

What factors are included in home insurance premium calculations

Insurance companies take a variety of factors into consideration when determining the cost of your home insurance. These factors will help the company estimate how likely you are to make a claim and how much that potential claim will cost.

Here are the top 5 factors insurance companies use to determine your home insurance premium.

  • The location of your home. Your address can significantly impact the cost of your home insurance. Insurance companies use your postal code to identify the type and frequency of claims made in the area to determine how likely you are to make a similar claim. For example, if you live in an area where flooding often occurs, your insurance could cost more than if you lived in a place where flooding occurs less frequently.
  • The age of your home. As your home ages, there is an increased risk of issues like faulty pipes, older wiring, leaky roofs, and cracked foundations, which could increase the likelihood that you’ll have a claim for damage caused by water or fire. As a result, owners of newer homes often pay lower premiums, and premiums tend to increase as homes age.
  • The heating system in your home. Homes with oil heating typically cost more to insure than homes with electric heat or gas furnaces, as oil tank leaks can damage your property and the surrounding environment. If you heat your home with a wood stove, which can increase your chances of having a house fire, your premium will also likely be higher.
  • The type of basement in your home. Today, many homes have finished basements that are used for extra living space, at-home gyms, media rooms, offices, and more. Not only do finished basements tend to contain more furniture and valuables than unfinished basements, but they also cost more to repair because of the types of building materials used. A claim for damages to a finished basement and its contents would likely be higher than a claim for damages to an unfinished basement. This can result in higher premiums for homes with finished basements.
  • The distance between your home and a fire station or hydrant. If your home is close to a fire station or hydrant, there’s a better chance of saving more of your property if a fire occurs. This usually isn’t a problem in urban areas and doesn’t affect premiums, but if you live in a rural area that’s farther away from a fire station or hydrant, your home insurance could be more expensive.

If you have any questions about your current home insurance policy or would like a free no obligation quote, please contact Munn Insurance toll-free at 1-855-726-8627 today.

Top 11 Auto Insurance Discounts

There are many ways to obtain car insurance discounts, from choosing the right car (one that is less likely to be involved in an accident or stolen – yes, that matters!) to reducing the amount that you drive (the less you drive, the better). But if you’re looking for more ways to save, here is a list of car insurance discounts that you can discuss with your broker at your next renewal:

  1. Multi-policy discount. For drivers who buy their car and home insurance policies from the same company.
  2. Multi-vehicle discount. For drivers who insure more than one vehicle with the same company.
  3. Conviction-free discount. For drivers who maintain clean driving records for a set amount of time (usually 3-5 years).
  4.  Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) discount. For vehicles with an AEB system that acts independently of the driver to help avoid or mitigate accidents.
  5. Short commute discount. For drivers who commute a short distance to and from work daily.
  6.  Loyalty discount. For customers who have remained with the same insurance company for a set amount of time (usually over four years).
  7. Full coverage discount. For customers who have both liability and physical damage coverage on their vehicle.
  8. Away at school discount. For parents with kids living away from home to attend school and don’t have regular access to the insured vehicle.
  9. Green discount for hybrid vehicles. For eco-friendly vehicles that help the environment by reducing smog and greenhouse gas emissions.
  10. Single pay discount. For customers who pay their entire annual premium in one payment.
  11. Group discounts. Group home and auto premiums offered through group plans are lower than the marketplace average.

Based on our experience, these are 11 of the most valuable car insurance discounts available — but the specific discounts offered may vary by provider. Be sure to ask your broker to find out if they can offer these discounts and whether you qualify. You’ll be amazed by just how much you can save and what you can do with all those savings!

If you would like more information on your home or auto policy (and about the many discounts available), please contact Munn Insurance at 1-855-726-8627 today.

Top 6 Ways To Save On Rental Property Insurance

Owning a home or property that you rent on a short or long-term basis is a great way to earn additional income. However, there is a lot of responsibility and costs associated with owning a rental property, which is why we want to provide you with 6 easy tips and tricks to save on rental property insurance.

  1. Increase your deductibles

The quickest and easiest way to save money on rental property insurance is by increasing your deductible.

The most common deductible for any building or property is $1,000. A landlord can reduce insurance premiums by 6% – 10% immediately by increasing the deductible to $2,500.

If a rental property owner increased the deductible from $1,000 to $5,000, the insurance premium would be reduced by 8% – 14%.

Choosing the right deductible is a personal decision. A large deductible may be the right move for one landlord but wrong for another. Consider picking a deductible that would “hurt” a little to come up within an emergency, but not so high that you would be unable to pay it.

  1. Make sure your property is updated and well maintained

Having an updated and well-maintained property is vital when looking to get a competitive insurance rate. Paying close attention to the following aspects of your property can help in its evaluation:

  • Having a roof age of 20 years or less
  • HVAC updates were performed within the last 15 years
  • Electrical updates occurred within the last 20 years (no Fuses)
  • No plumbing issues (Watch out for Kitex branded PEX)
  • Well maintained exterior & interior
  1. Avoid using your insurance for small claims

Statistics show that rental properties have more claims when compared to homeowners properties. In order to save money on rental property insurance, it is imperative that the owner has made no previous claims, or at the least minimal claims.

While insurance carriers understand that insurance claims will occur, it is crucial to use your insurance coverage as it is intended to be used; for major incidents.

Too often, property owners use insurance more as a maintenance plan, which drives the loss experience up while simultaneously driving carrier choice down and premiums up.

Landlords should only file claims when it is worth doing so. Call one of our customer service representatives if you have any questions regarding a potential claim or if you would like specific advice.

  1. Decide what type of insurance you want

A critical step in evaluating rental property insurance is to decide what types of coverage you want and need. An easy way to lower your insurance premium is to remove coverage that does not fit your needs or wants. Alternatively, not having the right coverage in the first place could cost you in the long run. For example, your list of required coverage may resemble the following:

  • Replacement cost-coverage on all residences and other structures
  • Coverage for fire and smoke damage, lightning, ice damage, hail, wind, and water damage from burst pipes
  • $1 million in landlord liability
  • $5,000 for medical payments coverage
  • Loss of rent coverage
  • Contents protection for any furnishings you provide

All to often insurance policies are complex, and difficult to understand, so as a broker, working for you, our job is to help provide clarity, while identifying your insurance needs, to provide the right protection and peace of mind.

  1. Group insurance

Group insurance is a program often offered by an employer or association that allows its members and employees greater access to more competitive insurance; including enhanced coverages, policy benefits, and huge discounts on premiums.

It’s simply a way of harnessing the bulk buying power of a group and spreading the savings in the shape of reduced premiums for all the participants.

Group home and auto premiums offered through group plans are lower than the marketplace average.

It’s a win-win for all involved; the insurance company can offer its services to an exclusive audience it might not have had access to otherwise; Since the likelihood of multiple members of the group purchasing policies is high, those who sign up get exclusive access to savings.

  1. Shop your insurance with an insurance broker

Why should you use Insurance Brokers? Simply put, insurance brokers work for you and not the insurance company. They shop the market to find you low insurance premiums while not sacrificing your insurance coverage. Be it better coverage or lower premiums, you will save money and have the coverage you need.

 

If you have any questions about an existing rental property policy or would like a free quote please call us today 1-855-726-8627.

 

 

Federal government announces expanded support for businesses.

Covid-19 has surged once again, causing stricter restrictions for businesses.

We want to make sure that our commercial insurance customers and business owners across the province are aware that the federal government temporarily expanded the lockdown supports from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022, for businesses facing a 50% capacity restriction to assist with wage and rent payments.  This is great news for businesses who are still feeling the pressure and impacts of COVID related restrictions. We encourage our customers and business owners to explore their options and how they can take advantage of this expanded support.

Critical emergency lockdown support will help workers and businesses that work or do business in sectors effected by COVID-19, should the public health situation necessitate future lockdowns. This financial support is designed to help businesses who are facing these challenges:

  • employers subject to capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 percent or more will be eligible for CEWS and CERS;
  • the CEWS and CERS current-month revenue decline threshold requirement is reduced to 25 percent compared to 2019 revenue numbers,
  • workers experiencing capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 percent or more will be eligible for the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit.

These new changes are a welcomed relief to many of our hardest-hit businesses and those who they employ. These benefits will also provide:

  • Expanded Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit to include workers where capacity restriction of 50% or more has been imposed.
  • Workers are eligible if they are directly affected by COVID-19 capacity restrictions and have lost 50% or more of their income as a result.
  •  The benefit provides $300 per week in income support.

For more information, please visit the Canadian Federation of Independent Business by clicking https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/covid-19-faq-financial-support or visit the Government of Canada at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html.

Our Claims Team Is Ready To Help.

The southwest coast of NL received a total of 165.1 mm of rain over the past two days, setting an all time record for the area. Sadly, with that much rain comes water damage.

Here at Munn Insurance, we are ready to take care of you. Our staff is on call to provide assistance should you need it, and our claims staff have been mobilized to guide you completely through the process if you need to make a claim.

Reporting Claims

To report a claim, please call 1-855-726-8627. One of our local claims adjusters will provide emergency support, advice and start the claims process. We recommend that you document as much of your personal damage as possible so that we can share that with the insurance company.

We’re Ready

We are ready to respond to your needs. We are in close contact with contractors and suppliers to ensure they are available when needed, while we have also increased the number of employees available to take calls. These measures will ensure you get the help you need as soon as possible.

Claims

Our claims team is right here. So when you need us, we will be ready with fast, expert and local service. If you have a claim, please stay safe and contact us as soon as you can. We will guide you through the claims process, and as your broker, we will help ensure a swift and fair settlement by the insurance company as soon as possible.

Please stay safe and pay close attention to weather alerts for your area of the province. As always, Munn Insurance will be here for you.

Protecting Your Home Before, During and After a Flood.

With a wreckhouse warning, a wind warning and a rainfall warning, all in effect, the weather on the southwest coast of Newfoundland is looking less and less favourable. According to Eddy Sheerr, the area between Burgeo and Channel-Port aux Basques may see upwards of 200 mm of rain by Wednesday evening. This means the chances of flooding are very likely. But, we are here to help you prepare. As property owners, you can take steps to reduce the likelihood of water getting inside your home during serve rain or floods.

Before the Flood:

  • Inspect drains regularly to ensure proper operation.
  • Keep sandbags on hand to help divert unusually high water away from your foundation.
  • Learn the flood alert signals of your community and keep updated on the alert level at all times.
  • Clean your eaves-trough or gutters. If your gutters are not cleared properly, rainfall will begin to pool in troubled areas.
  • Check your sump pump, if you have one, to ensure it is working and give it a quick test.
  • Make sure your downspouts are pointing away from your foundation. If water pools against the foundation, it can seep into your basements or cracks in the foundation.
  • Clear debris from street grates to ensure no debris is blocking them.
  • Store or cover valuable items that you have outside in a safe place.
  • Review with family members how to shut off utilities in an emergency.
  • Plan a survival kit with important documents, including insurance documents, medications and critical items if you need to leave your home.

During the Flood:

  • Listen for alerts via radio, television or text for the latest storm information. Be sure to keep your smartphone charged if you lose power so you can still receive alerts or call for help.
  • If advised to evacuate, shut off all utilities and evacuate immediately.
  • Move to high ground, avoid rising waters and do not walk or drive through any floodwaters.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires.

After the Flood:

  • Avoid moving water.
  • If you had to evacuate, do not return home until authorities indicate it is safe to do so.
  • Once allowed back into your home, inspect it for damage. If your property has been damaged, promptly report the loss.
  • Do not enter an area that has flooded.
  • Throw away all food that has come into contact with floodwaters.

 

Please stay safe and pay close attention to weather alerts for your area of the province. As always, Munn Insurance will be here for you. Our claims department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-855-726-8627.