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Hurricane Dorian Moves Towards Atlantic Canada.

Hurricane Dorian Nova Scotia Newfoundland Labrador

Hurricane Dorian is now over Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and is moving towards Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and the Atlantic Provinces. Residents in the Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic have endured destructive winds, storm surge, and flash flooding. And as we know, the Bahamas have been ravaged by this same hurricane.

We should be prepared as Hurricane Dorian is anticipated to reach us this weekend with strong tropical storm force winds and rain. Here are our top 10 tips for making sure we are safe this hurricane season:

  1. Emergency safety kit. Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. Contact Munn’s Insurance if you would like us to provide you with an emergency kit checklist or sample family communications plan.
  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.

Maryann Saved $1,100 on Her Insurance. A Customer Switch Story.

insurance savings switch

My name is Maryann and I’m a customer who switched to Munn Insurance for my home and cabin insurance and saved $1,100. I know, that sounds too good to be true. But it happened for me just last week. Here is my switch and save story…

I was with Anthony for a long time. I had been renewing my policy year after year. Never paid it much attention. When I looked this year, my insurance went up; again! I took a closer look at my policy and realized that my property was valued at over $450,000. Now I love my home. It’s nice. It’s comfortable. But it won’t cost $450,000 to replace. It’s not a big home. It’s just me; except Thursdays when I have the grand kids and their dog. I tell them I don’t like him. But when nobody is looking I sneak him some treats and get a snuggle too. He’s actually great company.

But anyway, $450,000 seemed like a lot. Too much actually. I was afraid I was over insured and that’s why I was paying too much. So I called Munn and spoke to a lovely girl there named Lacey. She did a complete review of my policy. She reviewed my policy line by line and explained everything. She asked me some questions about my house and my cabin. Nothing too complicated. Things like square footage, whether I had an alarm, proximity to a fire hydrant. Stuff like that. She updated everything in just a few minutes and found me some extra discounts that I don’t think were included on my old policy. She plugged all that information into some calculator that they have and confirmed that to replace my house they estimated less than $300,000. That seemed about right to me. Turns out the other guys were putting a few percent on the value of my house every year. Over 10 years that added up. And the premium kept going up too.

Lacey also told me about a partnership Munn has with CAA that provides extra discounts off both my home and cabin insurance premiums. She explained that by buying a membership from CAA for less than $100 a year I could save over $500 on my insurance. Lacey asked if I would be interested. Who wouldn’t pay $100 to save $500? I signed up right then and there. Did it in two minutes on line. Lacey guided me right through the process. Easy peasy. And now I have extra coverage and benefits from being a CAA member and more savings on insurance too. I knew about the CAA roadside assistance but had no idea you also can get discounts off some clothing stores and many restaurants. So now I am a CAA member. I can use my card to save at some of my favourite restaurants and have no worries if the car breaks down or I get a flat. My son-in-law is happy too as I won’t have to call him to change a flat tire!

So I switched and now I am a brand-new Munn Customer and a CAA member. I finally understand my insurance and feel really good about my policy. And I saved $1,100. I’m adding that right into the Vegas slush fund for my next trip!

Auto Insurance Tax Changes in Newfoundland.

Insurance Tax Changes in Newfoundland - Munn Insurance

On April 15th, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced that the tax on auto insurance is being removed effective immediately. Here are the 5 most important points to help you understand what this means:

  1. The tax on auto insurance has NOT been removed. Insurers are still required by law collect the tax on auto insurance until the legislation is amended.
  2. The removal of the auto insurance tax was included in the recent budget that was presented in the House of Assembly. The budget will be debated and voted on after the election. Only then can the removal of the tax on auto insurance be written into legislation.
  3. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador hopes to pass a legislative amendment by early July 2019 to eliminate the tax on insurance retroactive to April 15, 2019.
  4. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is NOT removing the tax on property insurance nor commercial insurance.
  5. Details have not yet been provided ion how insurers are to manage the process nor how to handle any tax rebates that might be owned. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador have stated that they will be consulting with the insurance industry to determine how to provide any tax rebates to customers who purchase insurance between April 15 and whenever the tax is officially eliminated.

Looking to get some further information about the auto insurance tax changes or any other insurance-related topics? Contact us at 1-855-726-8627 or message us directly on Facebook!

Car flies through my garage. Now what?

Quiet night at home when suddenly there is a loud, and I mean loud, crashing sound and the entire house starts to shake. Scary.  That’s what happens when a car comes crashing into your garage at the front of your home.  It happens.  More often than you think.  Just Google “car crashes into garage.”  Hundreds of pictures.

It happened on a quiet neighborhood in St. John’s just a couple of days ago.  Several people have asked us, so how does this all work from an insurance perspective?   Does the driver’s insurance company pay?  Does the homeowner’s policy apply? Who pays for what?  Shouldn’t the driver be responsible? All good questions, and helping you understand all this is where your insurance broker can really help.

If we received a panicked call from a homeowner who had an extra car in their garage, the first thing we would ask is, “Is everyone ok?”  Hopefully nobody is hurt.  So, when the shock of what has happened begins to fade, the big question becomes, “so what do I do now?”

From a strictly insurance perspective, there are a few things that you need to know.  When a vehicle (driverless or otherwise) strikes a home and causes damage, the homeowner has some options in terms of managing the claim.  For starters, they can access their own home policy for the repairs, or they can go through the driver’s auto policy.

If the homeowner goes through their own home policy they would likely have the benefit of a guaranteed replacement clause.  If so, the repairs are managed by the homeowner’s insurance and completely covered; all the costs of putting everything back to the way it was before the accident would be covered.  All associated costs for the repair are guaranteed.   This would include fixing or replacing the damaged structure, siding, windows, doors, furniture, drapes, carpet, floors, damaged contents. Everything.

In all likelihood, estimates would be required and the homeowner and the insurance company would agree on the amount for the repairs and replacement based on the estimates provided.  A preferred restoration contractor would be selected to do the work or the homeowner might agree to take a cash settlement and coordinate/complete the repairs on their own.  The home is then returned to its original condition. As noted, in this scenario all costs would be covered.

If this were a Munn customer, we would engage in this process and help the policyholder manage the claim, holding their hand so to speak throughout the entire process with the insurance company (i.e. Aviva, Intact, RSA or Travelers).  Munn would provide advice and make sure that our customer was taken care of at every stage; ensuring the repairs were being completed to the highest standard.  There would be regular dialogue and support throughout provided by Munn.

It is important to note, if this was the route taken, there would now be a claim on this home policy.  Because a claim could impact the policy in the future, it is important to discuss this with your broker who can advise you of the potential impacts and options available.  In this scenario, the homeowner could be responsible for paying the deductible on the policy which would typically be $500 or $1000; but in all likelihood, this would be reimbursed by the auto policy of the car that crashed into the house. But the key here is that the full cost of all the repairs would be completely covered.

The homeowner does have an option to put through a claim directly with the auto insurance company of the driver of the vehicle that caused the damage.  However, it is important to note that the coverage available to repair the home in an auto policy may not be the same as the coverage purchased on a homeowner’s policy.  If the homeowner elected to go through the drivers auto policy to cover the repairs to the home, the claim settlement would be reviewed under the third party liability coverage of the auto policy.  As such, the claim settlement would be the cost of the repairs less the depreciation on things such as windows, doors, siding, etc.  For example, if siding has a life expectancy of 20 years and the house is 10 years old, the settlement for the siding would cover just 50% of the cost for the siding.  Same applies to windows and doors.  In most cases, the impact of the depreciation would be such that going through the driver’s auto policy would not make financial sense.  But best to get advice from your broker.

Munn is an insurance broker, and we are your advocate.  A broker will provide advice and a choice of policies from several insurance companies; working with you to find the one that is best for you.  The insurance company (i.e. Aviva, Intact, RSA, or Travelers) manufactures the policy, defines the coverage and sets the price.  It is also the insurance company that oversees the claims process, setting terms, defining the process and making the decisions on the settlement.  If you are not working with a broker, you should.

A good broker will help you understand these terms and policies and provide advice on how best to proceed; even help you throughout a claim.  So make sure you call your broker and get the advice and support you need to make the best decisions; before a car flies through your garage!

If you would like more information or if you have any questions on your home or auto insurance, please contact Munn Insurance at 855-726-8627 today.

New CEO and Executive Team Announced.

Munn Insurance Announce New Leadership Roles

Munn Insurance, one of the largest insurance brokers in Atlantic Canada, today announced a series of appointments to form a new Executive Team that will support CJ Nolan, the newly appointed CEO and President.

John Nolan, former CEO and President, will be stepping away from the day to day running of the business and has assembled an Executive Team that has a proven record of success, an unwavering commitment to delivering for customers, and a clear focus on making Munn a fun and exciting place to work. John will continue with Munn in the capacity of Chairman and will provide support to the new Executive Team.

In making these announcements John said, “We are at a pivotal moment in Munn’s history. I believe that we have positioned the company for success with a clear strategy to continue delivering for our customers and our people. To realize our potential as an innovative and progressive broker focused on digital expertise and revolutionizing the customer experience in our industry, I have decided to pass the reins over to the next generation; an eager and very capable group of smart young minds.”

Effective January 01, 2019, Munn’s new Executive Team will be comprised of the following:

CJ Nolan, CEO and President — A 20-year veteran of the insurance industry, CJ has worked at Munn his entire career and is perfectly positioned to take on this new role as CEO and President of Munn Insurance. CJ has held progressively senior roles at Munn in both personal and commercial lines and most recently held the role of VP Customer Care and Growth; progressing the customer agenda within the business, spearheading our sales efforts and leading Munn’s digital evolution. As CEO, CJ will oversee the entire operation and will be responsible for creating, planning, implementing and integrating the overall strategic direction for the business. CJ will continue to drive the customer experience agenda for both personal and commercial lines and will retain oversight on the sales and growth within Munn.

Adam Nolan, COO and Vice President — Adam has 15 years’ experience in the insurance industry; having held a number of senior roles within Munn. He is the ideal candidate for the newly created COO role, having led the IT team, Claims and Adjusting functions, Underwriting unit and HR teams; consistently delivering industry leading results and developing impactful strategies that helped drive the business forward. In his new role, Adam will be focused on maintaining operational performance; providing leadership and direction to management and fostering a success-oriented, accountable environment. Adam will also take on added responsibility for leading the customer service and retention strategies and will continue to lead the many people strategies and culture initiatives; helping make Munn an exciting and rewarding place to work.

Carla Warren, Chief Financial Officer — Carla joined Munn in 2017 as CFO after working 12 years with PWC. In her short time with Munn, Carla has built a strong team and has significantly enhanced the contribution finance has on measurement and insights to guide strategy development for the business. She is an experienced CPA, and a high performer in every sense. Over her career, Carla has earned a reputation for financial and operational excellence, having provided accounting and assurances services to leading businesses throughout Atlantic Canada. Carla joins the Executive Team and will continue to manage the company’s finances, including financial planning, management of financial risk and financial reporting. As a member of the Executive Team, Carla will also play a significant role in managing the overall business and assisting with strategy development.

Brian King, Chief Marketing Officer — Brian joined Munn in 2016 to lead the marketing function, accelerate the digital evolution at Munn and help develop the overall strategic direction for the business. Brian has helped Munn evolve into one of the most progressive and innovative digital brokers in Canada and helped deliver sustainable improvements in lead generation and sales performance. He is a veteran marketing executive having over 20 years’ experience as a marketer and customer strategist. He is known for his strategic thinking and customer focused approach to marketing. Brian will join the Executive Team at Munn and will oversee the brand and marketing strategies; working with the team on corporate strategy and managing the overall operation.

“I am very excited about this new team and where they can take the business,” said John Nolan.  “I am confident that the team in place is the right one to take us on an exciting new journey, and I am looking forward to working with this team and helping them direct the future of our business.”

Auto Insurance Tax to be Reduced in 2019.

Munn Insurance - Tax Cuts on Insurance coming in new year.

The tax reduction on automobile insurance that the government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced when they tabled their budget in May of 2018 takes effect in the new year.  This will result in a reduction on your auto insurance premiums!

Currently, there is a 15% RST on insurance premiums and related transaction costs for property and casualty policies; for home, auto and commercial policies. As part of their budget, the government announced in May that it will gradually decrease the RST on automobile insurance premiums.

At this time the government promised to cut the tax on auto policies by 5% over four years, starting with a 2% reduction on January 1, 2019.  This reduction will be followed by one per cent reductions on January 1 in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Government has no plans to change the tax rate on commercial policies and home policies.  These will continue to be subject to the 15% RST.

Here is a summary of the changes for RST on insurance premiums:

The reduction in taxes on auto policies applies to commercial auto as well.  All other commercial policies will remain taxed at 15%  Please note that these tax rate reductions are based on the effective date of coverage. Automobile insurance contracts that have an effective date prior to January 1st, 2019 will continue to be taxed at 15 per cent while contracts effective after December 31st, 2018 will be taxed at 13 per cent.

If you would like more information or if you have any questions on your home or auto insurance, please contact Munn Insurance at 855-726-8627 today.

Wouldn’t You Rather Have a Choice?

Munn Insurance - You Deserve Choice

Let us imagine a world without choice.  What I am talking about is a world where there are no options; products we need are made, often in a mass production facility.  And they are all the same.  An assembly line of the same things rolling out day after day.  Customized and personalized are not available.  What would that world look like?  Everything the same.  How would that feel?  People telling you what you can and can’t have. Take this and move along.

Not that long ago, this was a reality for consumers.  They didn’t have much choice.  Henry Ford once said you can have whatever color you want as long as it’s black.  He wasn’t joking.  You could get the Model T in black or not at all.  Customers had but one choice; take it or leave it.   Today, there are many colors to choose from.  Many styles.  There are options and extras. We have choices.  And for customers that’s just amazing.  Lets call that progress.

Let’s take this example into another product category.  Let’s just say that you were going out looking to buy a new smart phone.  Would you go to a store with just one style to pick from?  Imagine if all they had was the iPhone 7; in rose gold.  Nothing else.  One style.  One color.  All the same.  No options.  Here it is.  Take it or leave it.  Now image there was another store that also had the iPhone 7 in rose gold but also had many more brands and styles to pick from.  Displays full of iPhones, Samsungs, Huaweis, LGs.  Everything there.  Each brand with multiple models and styles.  And each with an array of amazing colors.  Lots of options.  Different features.  And yes different prices too.  Where would you go?

Most people would prefer the store where there are options.  Where the shelves are full with choices.  Where the employees were experts on every phone in the store.  Where the customer can select between several styles and brands.  Where the customer could pick and choose; buying the one that is just right for them.

Let’s switch our thinking now to insurance.  Which insurance store would you visit?  The one with the iPhone 7 in rose gold or the one with an array of insurance options; including the iPhone 7?   You see, there are some insurance providers out there that have just one product.  They are captive agents selling for an insurance company.  Or they are called directs that offer just one option.  They can only sell that one type of policy from one insurance company.  And if that insurance company raises rates, they can’t offer you something else.  They try to get you to buy the more expensive policy and hope you don’t go shopping around.

That’s why the savvy insurance buyer visits a trusted and independent broker to get their insurance policy.  These brokers represent multiple insurance companies.  They have options.  They can help you match your needs with the right policy because they choices for the customer.  And if one policy is a little more expensive they have another that they can offer you instead.  If in the next year you need different coverage or would like to change something, a broker can help you get the policy that is now right for you.

So, just ask your current insurance provider if they have multiple insurance markets to offer.  If they don’t have policies from Aviva, Intact, Travelers, and more, call a broker and get the choices you rightfully deserve.

If you would like more information on buying insurance from a broker or if you have any questions on your home or auto insurance, please contact Munn Insurance at 855-726-8627 today.

Fall Lawn Care Tips for a Greener Spring.

Lawn Care Tips from Munn Insurance

Today, marks the first day of fall and soon we will see the tell-tale signs that the seasons are changing.  The leaves will soon start changing colours, hinting that snow is just around the corner.  Frost will soon greet us in the morning (so make sure you have a scraper in the car!).  Summer is regrettably all but over.  At this time of year, it’s typical to forget about lawn care as thoughts turn towards preparing for the long months of winter that lie ahead.  But if you are expecting green grass in the spring there is still work to be done.

Here are eight simple fall lawn care tips (say that ten times fast!) so that you can prepare for the colder months ahead and give your lawn every chance to grow lush and green in the spring.

  • Mow.  One of many helpful fall lawn care tips is to continue mowing, even when it starts to get colder. Keep mowing until you see the growth slow.  Try and keep your grass at 2 to 2 1/2 inches (5 to 6 cm) tall throughout the fall months. If it gets any longer, it can mat and this can damage your lawn. If it is shorter, your lawn’s ability to store food for growth will be limited.
  • Water.  Although the temperatures are cooler, it is important to continue watering. Since grass continues to grow in the fall, it is important to sustain its growth by watering consistently. Water as needed until the ground begins to freeze.
  • Weed.  Take care of those last few weeds. Hopefully you have been keeping up on that all summer and you are winning that never-ending battle.  Deal with the last remaining hold-outs before leaves and snow make it difficult for you to keep up. Not only can it be harder to deal with weeds at that point, some weeds can be particularly aggressive and start to take over your lawn in the fall when your grass is becoming less active.
  • Rake.  Be sure to thoroughly rake your lawn before the snow falls. Over time, grass clippings and leaves will start to decompose, taking important moisture out of your soil and providing a welcome home to insects that may damage your lawn. Decaying leaves may also leave dead spots in your lawn in the spring, which will invite weeds to quickly move in and take over.
  • Aerate.  Over time the soil in your lawn can become hard and compacted, making it more difficult for nutrients and water to reach the grass roots. To help provide the air pockets needed for a healthy lawn, make sure your lawn is aerated annually. Fall is a great time to do this and gives your lawn the best chance to the receive the nutrients and water it needs to grow healthy all season long.
  • Over-seed.  As your lawn gets older, it becomes tired and grass reproduction rates slow down. This is when those weeds can start to take over. To combat this, spread grass seed over your entire lawn before the first snowfall. Apply all grass seed according to package directions and make sure to keep your lawn watered.  This will encourage new grass to pop up and fill in those unhealthy spots and contribute to a beautiful fresh green lawn next spring.
  • Lime. Most soils in the Atlantic region are naturally acidic and liming is essential to keep the soil rich to support a healthy lawn. While lime can be applied to a lawn any time of year that soil isn’t frozen, it is typically done during spring and fall. It is recommended to apply lime twice a year to maintain soil pH and improve fertilizer performance.  Apply all lime according to package directions.
  • Fall fertilizer.  A special fall fertilizer will help your grass get all of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy in the fall, and come back vigorously in the spring. Fertilize early in the fall season to keep your lawn beautiful and healthy throughout the autumn months, letting you enjoy it just a little longer before the snow comes. Apply all fertilizers according to package directions to avoid burning the lawn.

Follow these simple lawn care tips and you are sure to have a greener lawn when the snow melts.  Good luck!  Can’t wait for Spring!

If you would like more information on lawn care tips and how to keep your lawn greener, or if you have any questions on your home or auto insurance, please contact Munn Insurance at 855-726-8627 today.

Tenants Insurance and How to Get it For FREE.

Tenants Insurance from Munn

Not everyone wants to own a home these days.  A lot of people are choosing instead to rent.  And while these renters don’t own a home, they do own a lot of stuff.  Furniture.  Laptops.  Appliances.  Clothes.  Shoes.  Sports equipment.  It’s an endless list of things.  Add it all up and it’s worth a lot.  It’s probably worth thousands of dollars.  Could you afford to go out and replace it all if it suddenly disappeared? Tenants insurance should be a consideration.

As a renter, you want to make sure your belongings are protected. Replacing all your belongings could be expensive, especially if you need to replace everything you own at the same time. And if you think that won’t happen, we know that it does. Too often.

Someone breaks into your apartment and takes all your most cherished possessions. Everything all gone.  Or there is a fire or severe weather and all your belongings are destroyed. You now need to replace all this stuff or go without.

It’s quite a mess you’re in. But it could get messier, and financially crippling, if you don’t have a renters insurance policy (also called a tenants policy). Most tenants insurance policies will cover your property at its full replacement cost; whether you rent a house, condo or an apartment.  With this simple and very inexpensive coverage (in some cases basically free – see below), you could end up saving thousands in the event of a claim.

Yet despite the affordability of such policies, in comparison to the staggering costs that would be incurred in a worst-case scenario, many renters don’t think they need it, decide that they don’t want it or don’t really know that it’s available. That’s unfortunate. After all, for less than a dollar a day (for a typical policy) you can have peace of mind knowing that if something bad happens and all your belongings were gone, you can get them back; and get back on your feet again.

Some people think that the landlord’s policy will cover their loss. Landlords have property insurance for the building itself, but, as the renter, this doesn’t extend to the contents of your place. Nor does the landlord’s coverage cover your personal liability if, for example, a visitor is injured at your place or you damage someone else’s property in the building; when the dishwasher overflows and floods the unit under you. The landlord’s coverage probably only covers the building where you live; not your belongings or your liability for accidents.

This is why you need renters insurance. A renters insurance policy covers your belongings; basically, everything you own.  This type of policy would cover things like water damage, fire, smoke, theft, vandalism and lightning and wind damage. And if someone is injured during an accident in your home, tenants insurance can help protect you in the case of a liability lawsuit.

And the good news, you could get tenants coverage basically for free. Sound interesting?  If you get a tenants policy along with an auto policy, you can often get a multi-policy discount from some carriers. The discount on your auto policy can, in many cases, cover the cost of the tenants policy.  That’s a pretty good deal!  All that coverage and at no extra cost!

If you would like more information on Tenants Insurance (and how you can bundle this coverage with auto and get it basically for free), or if you have any questions on your home or auto insurance, please contact Munn Insurance at 855-726-8627 today.

Be Safe. Move Over. It’s the Law.

Insurance Move Over Law NL

You’re driving down a multi-lane highway and you see a car pulled off to the side of the road. You notice that there is a police officer speaking with the driver. Or there is a tow truck operator helping someone with a flat. Or a firefighter and paramedic tending to an accident. It’s a common occurrence. We see this every day.

Far too often what you will also notice is how the other drivers are speeding by these vehicles within inches of those first responders. There are many stories of these people having to jump out of the way of an approaching vehicle speeding along at 100+ kms per hour.  This is a far too common occurrence that these folks face each day while out doing their job and helping in the community.

When approaching any of these vehicles stopped by the side of the roadway, slow down or stop, and where possible, move over into a different lane if it is safe to do so.  The general rule is to create a buffer lane by slowing down and putting as much distance as possible between you and the emergency vehicle. Not only is it the smart and safe choice, but it is also the law throughout Atlantic Canada.

To help protect these people, legislation is in place.  It is commonly known as the “Move Over” Law and is designed to protect those who drive emergency and other designated vehicles.  It requires drivers to slow down and move over when approaching a designated vehicle that is stopped in a lane or on the shoulder of a roadway. By slowing down and moving over, motorists will increase the safety of those workers as they perform their duties and reduce their risk of being struck by an approaching vehicle.

The “Move Over” law applies when a designated vehicle is stopped and operating its red, blue or amber lights or has other traffic warning signals displayed.  These designated vehicles include:

  • police
  • fire
  • ambulance
  • search and rescue
  • tow truck/roadside assistance
  • municipal, provincial or federal enforcement
  • public utility vehicles and/or
  • service vehicles

The consequences vary by province, but in all cases, not following these laws will result in changes in demerit points and fines. Here is a summary of the laws in each province:

  • Newfoundland & Labrador: Upon approaching an emergency vehicle, including a tow truck, that is stopped on a highway with its emergency lights on, drivers must slow down and proceed with caution, and move to another lane if it is safe to do so. (Highway Traffic Act 121.1)
  • Nova Scotia: Drivers passing an emergency vehicle with flashing lights must slow down to 60 km/h or follow the posted speed limit (whichever is less) and must vacate the lane closest to the stopped vehicle, if it’s safe to do so. (Motor Vehicle Act 106E)
  • New Brunswick:  Drivers approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with at least one flashing light, must slow down, proceed with caution and move to a non-adjacent lane, if possible. (Motor Vehicle Act 168.1)
  • Prince Edward Island: Drivers passing a stopped vehicle with flashing lights must decrease their speed to at least half the posted speed limit and must vacate the lane closest to the stopped vehicle, if it’s safe to do so. (Highway Traffic Act 115.1)

While the ‘Move Over’ law has been in place in some provinces since 2010, there are still drivers that are failing to slow down and move over. If you don’t slow down and move over when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle, it could result in serious injury or death. We are joining First Responders everywhere asking motorists to slow down, obey the laws and help keep these people safe.

If you would like more information on the Move Over legislation in your province, or if you have any questions on how to stay safe on our highways, please contact Munn Insurance at 855-726-8627 today.