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  1. Seasons Greetings

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    Happy Holidays

    The team at Safeway Insurance would like to wish
    you and yours a joyous holiday season and a
    peaceful and prosperous new year!

    Safeway Holiday Hours

    Tuesday December 24th     –    Open 8:30am – 12:00pm (noon)
    Wednesday December 25th     –    Closed
    Thursday December 26th     –    Closed
    Tuesday December 31st     –    Open 8:30am – 12:00pm (noon)
    Wednesday January 1st     –     Closed

  2. The Impacts of Distracted Driving

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    When you aren’t focused on the road things can happen fast. Too often we hear of pedestrians being struck by a car, the fortunate ones being able to walk away. Most of these incidents have one thing in common, distracted driving. The government is listening and has taken serious necessary action.

    What is Distracted Driving? Using your phone to talk, text, check maps and depending on the circumstances, can also include eating, grooming or even drinking beverages.

    Effective January 1, 2019, distracted driving charges are changing. The new penalties are as follows:

    Drivers with A to G licenses

    First Conviction

    Second Conviction

    Third Conviction

    -A fine of up to $1,000
    -Three demerit points
    -A three-day day driver’s licence suspension
    -A fine of up to $2,000
    -Six demerit points
    -A seven-day driver’s licence suspension
    -A fine of up to $3,000
    -Six demerit points
    -A 30-day driver’s licence suspension

    Drivers with G1, G2, M1 or M2 licenses

    First Conviction

    Second Conviction

    Third Conviction

    -A fine of up to $1,000
    -A 30-day licence suspension
    -A fine of up to $2,000
    -A 90-day licence suspension
    -A fine of up to $3,000
    -Cancellation of your licence and removal from the Graduated Licensing System (GLS)

     Along with these increased penalties, one of the biggest financial costs could be your insurance rates.

    Insurance companies are now beginning to treat distracted driving just as they would impaired driving, careless driving and racing.

    This means that a first offence could lead to your insurance being non-renewed, forcing you into a high risk market, with significantly higher insurance costs. In addition, you could be subjected to a 50% surcharge on top of these higher base rates.

    This ticket impacts your record for three years, so the costs for this infraction could end up costing you thousands of dollars over that time.

    For more information on these changes, please give us a call or visit:

  3. Emergency Contact List

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    Creating a Comprehensive Emergency Contact List for Your Business

    Knowing who to call when an emergency arises at your business puts you in the best position to handle the crisis in a manner that protects you, your employees, your patrons and your business. That’s why it’s smart to think through the emergency contacts that should be on your list before the crisis strikes.

    Since we have assisted numerous businesses during their most critical moments, we’ve put together a list of recommended items you’ll want to include on your emergency contact list.

    1. Start With the Basics: At the top of your contact list, you should have your key business information including the business name, address, location, and phone number. Emergency services will immediately ask for this information, and you don’t want you or your employees to have to search for it and delay help arriving quickly.

    2. Facility Manager/Landlord: For emergencies involving your facility, like a fire or water leak, you’ll want to contact your facility manager or landlord without delay. They know your building better than anyone and may offer solutions that help prevent or minimize property damage.

    3. Employee Emergency Contacts: Should a medical emergency arise involving one of your employees, you need to be able to quickly contact whomever they have identified as their emergency contact.

    4. First Responders & More: This section of your list should include more than just 9-1-1. Also include the contact information for your security alarm company, poison control, and animal control.

    5. Utility Companies: For emergency incidents involving burst pipes, gas leaks, or a power outage, the utility company should be one of your first calls. Be sure to include numbers for your gas, electricity and water service providers.

    6. Odds & Ends: It’s also worth adding contact information for helpful services like a trusted locksmith or roadside assistance. That way if you need to have your locks replaced or help a customer or employee who is stuck in a ditch, you have those numbers at your fingertips.

    Remember, quick access to these emergency contacts ensures that you will be able to respond quickly and effectively when a crisis arises. So, post these numbers where you and your employees can get to them at a moment’s notice.

    Finally, as your insurance broker, we’re always here to help you navigate emergency situations, explain your coverage, and help you file a claim if necessary.

  4. Insuring Timeshares

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    Should You Insure Your Timeshare?

    If you own a timeshare or are considering buying one, you may be wondering about the best way to protect your investment in the event something happens on the property.

    First, it’s important to understand how owning a timeshare is different from owning a second home. With a timeshare, you “share” ownership with several parties. Along with your co-owners, you agree to a specific arrangement regarding when you can use the property for vacations.

    How you go about protecting your shared property depends on whether the property is deeded or undeeded. If your timeshare is undeeded—meaning you did not receive a deed at the time of purchase—you don’t own actual property. In this case, it’s a good idea to call your insurance broker and simply add the address of the timeshare as an insured location on your existing homeowner’s insurance policy. That will ensure your belongings are covered while vacationing at the property.

    If, however, your timeshare is deeded, you are a partial owner of the property and could be financially exposed if something happened at the property. For example, if the guest of a fellow co-owner had a slip-and-fall accident at the timeshare property and incurred costly medical bills as a result, he or she could hold all the owners liable. Even if you did not know the other timeshare co-owner or his guest, and were not present at the time of the accident, you could be held partially responsible in a lawsuit filed to collect damages for the injury.

    By adding an endorsement to your primary homeowner’s coverage, you can ensure that the money you need to pay legal fees and other medical expenses (up to the limits of your policy) will be there if the court finds you partially at fault for the accident.

    Keep in mind that with some insurers, you may need a separate policy to cover your deeded timeshare. Talk to your insurance broker to find out for sure and to explore all your timeshare coverage options.

  5. Understanding the Difference Between a ‘Vacant’ and ‘Unoccupied’ Dwelling

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    Did you know that informing your broker about the changing occupancy status of your home could save you a future headache and possibly save you money on your insurance? That’s why it is always a good idea to keep your broker in the loop when life changes take you away from your home for an extended period.

    If you fall into one of the following three categories, keep reading and let your broker know right away:

    • Snowbird that lives in another state part of the year
    • Military personnel or another employee whose work takes you away from home for long periods
    • Your home is on the market but you have already moved to a new place

    Unoccupied Dwellings

    For insurance purposes, your home is classified as unoccupied if you leave for a period longer than 96 hours but intend to return.

    Whenever your home is unoccupied you should take the following precautions to protect your property:

    • Let your broker know about your travel plans
    • Shut off your water and drain the pipes
    • Make your home look like someone is there (automatic lights, stop your mail, schedule yard care, etc.)

    If you travel frequently for work, it is also a good idea to install a monitored home alarm system that is equipped with temperature and water sensors. Be sure to list a local contact in case you are traveling and an emergency arises at your home.

    Taking these precautions will not only give you peace of mind when you are away, but it will also let your insurance company know you have taken care to protect your property in your absence.

    Vacant Dwellings

    Whether your home has furniture or not, insurance companies will classify it as vacant if you leave the home and do not plan to live there anymore. Some homeowners mistakenly think staging the home while it is on the market excludes it from being classified as a vacant dwelling, but the term is based on occupancy, not furnishings.

    Whenever your home is vacant you should take the following precautions to protect your property:

    • Get a vacancy permit from your insurer
    • Check the vacant property at least 3 times per week

    Vacant properties often receive minimal coverage with items like vandalism, sewer backup and water damage excluded from coverage. In some cases, where the home is vacant for six months or longer, the insurance company may decide to discontinue coverage altogether.

    To learn more about how to protect your unoccupied or vacant dwelling, contact your insurance broker.

  6. Canada’s Top 10 Stolen Vehicles of 2017

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    Coming outside to discover your vehicle is not where you left it is a frustrating experience no vehicle owner should have to face. Yet, the fact remains that more than 78,000 Canadian drivers had such an experience between 2015 and 2016 according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). To help minimize the number of auto theft cases and put certain vehicle owners on high alert, the IBC publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Most Frequently Stolen Vehicles.

    Here are the vehicles that made the list for 2017.

    1. 2015 Lexus GX460 4-Door AWD SUV
    2. 2007 Ford F-350 Super Duty 4WD Pickup
    3. 2006 Ford F-350 Super Duty 4WD Pickup
    4. 2005 Ford F-350 Super Duty 4WD Pickup
    5. 2001 Ford F-350 Super Duty 4WD Pickup
    6. 2003 Ford F-350 Super Duty 4WD Pickup
    7. 2004 Ford F-350 Super Duty 4WD Pickup
    8. 2016 Toyota 4Runner 4-Door 4WD SUV
    9. 2002 Ford F-350 Super Duty 4WD Pickup
    10. 2006 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4WD Pickup

    If your vehicle is on this top 10 list, there are steps you can take to make it less of a target for thieves. The IBC recommends that you:

    – Never leave your vehicle running while it’s unattended.
    – Always park in places that are well lit.
    – Close your sunroof and windows and lock your doors whenever you park your vehicle.
    – Store valuables and packages out of plain sight, preferably in the trunk.
    – Keep your car in the garage at night.
    – Don’t leave personal information in the glove box. Take your insurance and ownership documents with you when you park your vehicle.

    Keep in mind that it takes less than one minute to steal the average vehicle. Thieves are looking for easy targets, so following these tips will go a long way in making your vehicle a less attractive option.

    In the unfortunate incident that your vehicle is stolen despite your best efforts to keep it safe, call the police immediately. To make it easier for the police to recover your vehicle, you should be able to provide your vehicle identification number (VIN), registration, license plate number and driver’s license information. Tip: Keep this information in your smartphone so you can access it quickly.

    After you file a police report, don’t forget to contact your insurance broker to let them know your vehicle has been stolen. Informing your broker can help protect you in case your vehicle is used to cause harm or damage after the theft.

  7. Starting A Business In Ontario

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    6 Steps For Starting a Business In Ontario


    If you have the perfect idea for a new business but are not quite sure how to get it up and running, this helpful quick start guide includes six steps that will help set you on the road to success.

    1. Take a Personal Inventory

    The most important thing you should consider before starting a new business is whether you are ready to be your own boss. The benefits of being in charge are obvious, but have you considered the risks? By taking a personal inventory, you can figure out whether you are ready to start a business. A few of the questions you should ask yourself include:

    – Do you have time to commit to the business?

    – Are you confident that you have a good product, service or business model?

    – Do you have the management, accounting, and marketing skills to run a business?

    While you do not have to do everything yourself, you need to be aware of the responsibilities you will have as a business owner and have an idea of how you will get the support you need for areas where you lack the time, skill or resources to manage.

    2. Decide How You Will Structure Your Company

    You can elect to organize your company in 4 different ways:

    – Sole proprietorship

    – Partnership

    – Corporation

    – Cooperative

    You are the sole owner of the company in an unincorporated sole proprietorship. In this business type, you assume all the risks as well as all the benefits of the business.

    In a partnership, you and a partner share both the expenses and profits of the business. The exact terms of the partnership should be outlined in writing in a formal partnership agreement.

    A corporation is legally recognized as an individual or entity that is separate from its stockholders or owners. Cooperatives are comprised of individuals who run a business together according to cooperative principles in order to achieve the same economic or social need.

    3. Expand on Your Business Idea

    In order to create a budget and develop a business plan, you will need to expand on your business idea by deciding the following:

    – What products or service will you offer?

    – Who is your target demographic?

    – Who are your competitors?

    – How many competitors do you have?

    – What differentiates you from your competitors?

    – How much market share do you think your company will be able to capture?

    Being as specific as possible with your answers to these questions will help you create a more effective business plan.

    4. Create a Budget

    Even if you have a shoestring budget, you can make your dream of owning a business reality with proper planning and support. To determine your start-up costs, price the items you will need to run your business along with working capital for the first few years. Deduct any personal investment you will be able to make in the business to determine what your financing needs will be. Take the time to make your budget as accurate as possible to avoid financial shortages down the road.

    5. Understand Business Regulations and Liability Risks

    Depending on the products or services you will be offering, you may need to obtain a government-granted license or permit. Complying with all business regulations for your business type will ensure that you can do business with major suppliers and customers. It will also help you avoid costly fines or even the threat of being shut down for non-compliance.

    Your business may need to acquire government granted licenses and permits. This will not only help you avoid fines or avoid being shut down, but major suppliers and customers will then be able to do business with you.

    During this step, you should also consult with your insurance broker about the cost of business insurance. Business insurance can ensure that your business continues to thrive even if you face unforeseen challenges. By talking with your insurance broker about your business needs you can determine the best type of plan. Coverage can protect your business from devastating lawsuits, loss of business property, and even the loss of a business partner.

    6. Develop a Business Plan

    A good business plan will serve as your company’s roadmap to success. You will refer to your business plan many times as it should include your short and long-term goals as well as the steps you plan to take to achieve them.

    While starting a business will not be without its challenges – no matter how prepared you are – by taking the time to complete each of these six steps, you will boost your confidence and ensure that your business gets off to a successful start.


  8. September Newsletter

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    5 Weekend Tasks to Get Your Home Ready for Fall

    As summer comes to an end, it’s important for homeowners to begin thinking about getting their house ready for the cooler temperatures that come with fall. These 10 tasks will help you make sure everything is in working order.

    1.Schedule Furnace Maintenance

    Don’t wait for a chilly fall night to discover your HVAC system is not operating efficiently. Schedule an appointment now with a professional for a thorough inspection of your system’s switches, burners, motor, blower, and safety controls. Also, put a new air filter on your shopping list. It’s important to change the filter every 1 to 3 months.

    2.Check Your Windows & Doors

    As you consider ways to keep your house warm, remember that precious heat can escape from your doors and windows if they aren’t properly sealed. Check for cracks of daylight that need caulk or weatherstripping.

    3.Clean Out Your Fireplace & Chimney

    Get out your flashlight and check the chimney for any blockages that may have accumulated during the warmer months. Clear away any leaves, ash debris, or even animal nests you encounter.

    4.Inspect the Roof & Gutters

    Well before the first snowfall hits, make sure your roof and gutters are in good condition. When you inspect your roof, look for shingles that are missing, broken, loose or beginning to curl. Replacing worn or missing shingles right away can help extend the life of your roof and prevent a small problem from becoming more serious. While you’re on the ladder, use your garden hose to flush away any debris that may be clogging your gutters and downspouts.

    5.Cover Your Air Conditioner

    Your A/C unit served you well all summer, but as it goes into hibernation for fall and winter, give it the protect it needs. An A/C cover provides the perfect shield against snow, hail, wind, rain, and ice. It also keeps critters from taking up residence for the winter in your unit.

    It only takes a weekend or two to prep your home for cooler weather, but completing these important tasks now will help you save money on your heating bills and protect your home’s exterior from harsh weather when it arrives.


    Gone In 60 Seconds… 

    The Statistics are staggering. A vehicle is stolen every three minutes in Canada… That’s over 170,000 vehicles each year!

    Auto theft is a global problem. Organized criminals have established theft rings in major Canadian cities, stealing and smuggling vehicles into foreign markets.  Car thieves know how to disable most vehicle alarm systems in a matter of minutes, and they know exactly what markets will buy the type of vehicles they steal.  This has proven to be not only a problem for high-end and rare automobiles, but also for expensive contractor’s equipment.


    First, never leave your keys in the ignition.  Almost 20% of all stolen cars have keys in them.  Always lock your car (even in your own garage), park in well-lit and busy areas and keep your vehicle registration certificate and proof of insurance on you at all times – not in the glove box.

    Some newer cars use coded keys that make it impossible for thieves to start your vehicle without the key. Known as immobilizers, these electronic devices interrupt the power to the starter, ignition and fuel pump until the correctly coded key is used. Other anti-theft measures include steering wheel locks, alarms, parts marking and vehicle tracking systems.

    Tracking systems, either GPS, GPS-cellular or wireless-based systems, are becoming popular. When a vehicle is stolen, the system is activated and a monitoring centre is notified of the location of the stolen vehicle. The tracking company then dispatches their recovery team to the vehicle. GPS and GPS-cellular  systems typically use satellites to alert officials to the location of the stolen vehicle. Not all systems can track vehicles underground, in parking lots, or in shipping containers. Wireless-based systems boast that their coverage is broader and their signal is stronger so they can track vehicles where others cannot.

    Whatever you do to make a thief’s life harder is one step closer to preventing a loss.


    Has your E-Commerce hobby turned into a business? Do you run a business out of your house? Are you sure you have the right insurance coverage?

    Whether you run a daycare, a computer repair business, an office from your home, or sell fresh produce at a roadside stand, you should talk to us. Your home or farm policy may not automatically cover you. A special policy, a rider to your current policy, or additional liability coverage may be required to protect your home-based business.

    While a home-based business can provide freedom, wealth and personal satisfaction, it could also expose you to situations where your policy may not respond. Enjoy your hobby or home-based business, but remember to stay in touch with us to make sure your insurance coverage is always up-to-date.

  9. Red Light Cameras

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    The goal of the Red Light Camera Enforcement Program is to improve driver and pedestrian safety by reducing the number of right angle collisions at intersections. The Red Light Program is expected to change driver behaviour and reduce the number and severity of these collisions across York Region.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. What is red light running?
    It is a violation that occurs when a driver enters an intersection after the signal light has turned red.

    Q. What if I am making a left turn and the light turns red when my vehicle is still in the intersection?
      Drivers already at an intersection when the signal changes to red (when waiting to turn, for example) are not considered red light runners.

    Q. Do red light cameras replace police officers at intersections?
     No. Red light cameras do not replace police officers. The red light cameras are being used to help police efforts in discouraging motorists from running red lights. Police enforcement is a substantial component of the program.

    Q. Do the cameras photograph every vehicle passing through an intersection?
     The cameras are set to photograph vehicles that enter an intersection after the light has turned red. Vehicles that enter yellow and are within the intersection when the light changes to red, are not photographed. The program photographs vehicles that enter an intersection only after the signal has turned red.

    Q. Who reviews the photographs before motorists are ticketed?
     Trained officers review every picture to verify information and ensure that the vehicle is in violation. Tickets are mailed to vehicle owners only in cases where it is clear that the vehicle ran the red light.

    Q. Who receives a ticket for running a red light detected by a camera system?
     The registered license plate holder receives the ticket, regardless of who was driving the vehicle.

    Q. What is the penalty for running a red light based on evidence obtained by a camera system?
     As of January 1, 2010 the set fine for running a red light detected by a camera system was increased to $260 plus a $60 victim surcharge and a $5 court cost. The total payable is now $325. Demerit points are not issued with violations detected by the red light camera system.

    Q. What is the penalty for running a red light if caught by a police officer?
     The set fine for running a red light when caught by a police officer is $325. Failure to stop for a red light where a police officer issues a ticket results in three demerit points.

    Q. Where do the fines go?
     $265 goes to York Region and the Province of Ontario collects $60 as a Victim Fine Surcharge.

    Q. Do red light cameras violate privacy?
     In consultation with the Privacy Commissioner, every attempt has been made to minimize capturing members of the public in the photos. In the event that members of the public are inadvertently captured on film, it will not be possible to identity them from the photos included on the tickets.

    Q. What is the cost of a red light camera?
     A red light camera system costs approximately $100,000.

    Q. Who supplies the cameras? How big are the cameras? What is their location relative to the intersection?
     The system supplier is Traffipax. The camera is an industrial digital camera, manufactured for unattended operation in an outdoor environment. The cameras are housed in a one half metre by one half metre by one half metre enclosure. The cameras are mounted on a pole, approximately 20 metres in advance of the intersection and are mounted approximately 3.6 metres above the ground.

    Q. What other countries use red light cameras?
     Photographic detection devices are used extensively in many other countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Cameras are also used in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec.