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Financial Relief Measures. What insurance companies are doing to support customers.

Financial Relief Measures | Munn Insurance

Are you looking for financial relief and help understanding what insurance companies are doing to support customers during COVID-19 crisis?  We have the answers.

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, many insurance companies such as Aviva, Intact¸ Travelers, Economical, Pembridge, Pafco, Wawanesa, RSA, and CAA (members of the Insurance Bureau of Canada) have stated their willingness to help consumers at this difficult time.  These are the companies that set the rates and define the insurance products that brokers like Munn can provide to customers.

On April 8th, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) announced that the industry was making changes to help Canadians cope with the financial impact of COVID-19 including substantial financial relief measures. There are many different solutions being discussed and some differ from one insurance provider to another.  That can be confusing.  But we can help.

We have reviewed the programs and promises from each insurance company and have had discussions with our many insurance markets to understand how they are stepping up to help consumers at this time.

Here is a summary of the programs that are in place to help you currently:

  1. Lower premium if you are driving less: For some consumers whose driving habits have changed significantly, certain insurance companies are offering reductions in auto insurance premiums to reflect this reduced risk.  If you had indicated having a low annual driving usage and had to drive short distances to work when you originally purchased your policy, you may not benefit from this change.
  2. Lower premium if you have stopped driving: Customers who have stopped driving entirely can reduce their auto insurance premiums with some insurance companies. This is an example of reducing coverage on your policy and this could help you reduce your premium.
  3. Deferred premiums: Customers who are experiencing financial stress due to COVID-19 can call their broker to defer their insurance premium for up to 90 days without additional fee or penalty with certain insurance markets. Payment of the deferred premiums will be required following the deferral period.
  4. Freezing premium increases at renewal: While several insurance markets have filed for and have been permitted rate increases in 2020, some insurance markets are freezing any additional and future premium increases after a certain date. If applicable, this would apply to renewals processed after a certain date upon approval from the regulator in each province.  Customers who have had significant claims losses or traffic violations may not be eligible for this benefit.
  5. Flexible payment options: Certain insurance companies have committed to explore flexible payment options on renewals for consumers who are in a vulnerable position or facing financial hardship because of COVID-19. Insurance companies may not apply these payment options on new business sales.
  6. Waiving fees: Several insurance companies have agreed to waive certain fees and charges (i.e. non-sufficient funds also known as an NSF fee). Customers would however remain responsible for any NSF fees your bank may charge you.
  7. Flexible coverage: If you are temporarily using your car or home differently (for example, you may be using your car to commute to work instead of taking public transit, or you may be working from home) it will not affect your premium or your ability to make a claim.

We understand this is a difficult time for individuals, families and businesses. Our priority is to be here to help you in this time of uncertainty. The options provided by each insurance company are slightly different. If you need help understanding how to take advantage of the programs being offered or would like a quote to compare with your current policy, please contact Munn Insurance at 855-726-8627 We’re here to help!

http://www.ibc.ca/on/resources/media-centre/media-releases/insurers-reducing-insurance-costs-for-canadians-ibc-member-companies-offer-substantial-consumer-relief-measures

https://www.aviva.ca/en/press-releases/2020/covid-19-helping-drivers/

https://www.intact.ca/on/en/covid19.html

https://www.travelers.com/about-travelers/covid-19-coronavirus-update

https://www.pembridge.com/

Working from Home Tips

Working from Home - Munn Insurance

The outbreak of the Coronavirus has more people working from home. In fact, most of our office is now set up to work from home. If you’re new to working remotely, these tips can help you stay productive and maintain balance in your life.

If you’re new to the work-from-home lifestyle, you’ll likely need to adjust. You will need to change some of your habits and routines to make working from home a success. Everyone who works remotely has to figure out when to work, where to work, and how to create boundaries between work and personal life. Working remotely, especially when working from home most of the time, means figuring out these issues and others.

Here are 10 tips for leading a better and more productive working from home life:

  1. Maintain regular hours – Set a schedule, and stick to it… as much as you can. Having a schedule for when to work and when to call it a day will help you maintain work-life balance. That said, one of the benefits of remote work is flexibility. So if your role will allow it, sometimes you need to extend your day or start early to accommodate someone else’s time zone. Make sure you work that into your schedule and take some time for yourself later when things are slower.
  2. Create a morning/end of day routine – Deciding on the time that you will sit down to begin your day is one thing. Creating a routine that gets you into that chair is something else completely. Identify some triggers that signify the start to your day. It might be your cup of coffee. It might be getting dressed. It might be logging in. Whatever your routine, get one and follow it. Just as you should start your day with a routine, create a routine that signals the end of the workday as well. It might be logging out of an application. It could be an evening walk. Whatever you choose, do it routinely to mark the end of your workday.
  3. Set ground rules for others at home – Set ground rules with other people in your home. If you have children at home, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during your work day. Similarly if your spouse or partner is working from home the same idea, set some ground rules.
  4. Schedule and take breaks – Whatever the policies are at the office, follow them at home. So, know your company’s policy on break times and take them. If you’re self-employed, give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen and phone. Generally it’s a one hour lunch break and two 15-minute breaks during the day.
  5. Get some fresh air throughout the day – You don’t have to be locked in the house 24 hours a day. Get some fresh air. Get out in the morning before you start or in the evening when you are done. Eat your lunch on the deck. Take a 10 minute walk around the neighborhood during your break. There are options. Your body needs to move. And the fresh air and natural light will do you a world of good, but remember to maintain social distancing.
  6. Maintain a dedicated office space – In a perfect world, you can work from home in a dedicated home office. But this is not always possible. If necessary, dedicate some space or a desk for work use. Ideally, in a quiet less frequented part of the house if others are home at the same time. When you are there, people know you are working.
  7. Socialize with colleagues (virtually) – Working from home can become lonely. You can feel disconnected from the office and your colleagues. This is particularly problematic for extroverts. You need to find ways to socialize. Chat, text and email colleagues. Coordinate your breaks so you can catch up and truly feel connected and included.
  8. “Show up” to meetings and be heard – If meetings are part of your regular work life, make sure that you are actively engaged even if you are taking the meeting from home; a meeting after all are is not a spectator sport! Be sure to introduce yourself at the start so everyone knows you are present. Be sure to speak up during the meeting so everyone knows you’re on the call and contributing. Signal your presence by agreeing or reiterating points that are being made. Or make your own. And make sure to signal when you are dropping off. A simple, “Thanks, everyone. Bye!” at the close of a meeting will go a long way toward making your presence known.
  9. Over-communicate – When you work from home, over-communicating is critical. Make sure you tell everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability. Don’t assume they know. When you finish a project or important task, say so. This doesn’t mean you need to write a ten page summary when you complete a task or need to write an essay to explain your every move, but it does mean that you must keep people, like your boss and colleagues informed and up to date. Don’t have them wondering if you are delivering. Make sure they know.
  10. Be positive; overly positive – Often, things get lost in translation; particularly when we rely on the written word and when people are not together. Often our writing does not convey the full story. Our tone of voice and other cues are missing. So people interpret the written word literally. When you work from home, you must be positive, to the point where it may feel like you’re being overly positive. Otherwise, you risk sounding upset, disinterested or unhappy. It’s unfortunate, but true. So embrace the exclamation point! Find your favorite emoji :D. You will need them.  That said, if you are upset, or unhappy, reach out and let someone know. There is a solution.

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.