Winter driving can sometimes be a daunting task, especially when conditions are snowy or icy. Follow these steps to keep yourself safe and collision free during the next few blustery winter months.
Step 1: Make sure that your vehicle is prepared for winter driving.
- Winter tires are a good option, as they will provide greater traction under snowy or icy conditions.
- Keep a snow brush/scraper in your car, along with possible emergency items such as a lightweight shovel, battery jumper cables, and a flashlight.
- Make sure that mirrors, all windows, and the top of your vehicle, are free of snow or frost before getting onto the road.
Step 2: Drive smoothly and slowly.
- Don’t make any abrupt turns or stops when driving; doing so will often cause your vehicle to lose control and skid.
- Driving too quickly is the main cause of winter collisions. Be sure to drive slowly and carefully on snow and ice covered roads.
Step 3: Don’t tailgate.
- Tailgating becomes much worse in winter weather. Stopping takes much longer on snowy and icy roads than on dry pavement, so be sure to leave enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
Step 4: Brake before making turns.
- Brake slowly to reduce speed before entering turns. Once you have rounded the corner you can accelerate again.
Step 5: Learn how to control skids.
- When skidding, you actually need to go against your natural instincts and turn into the skid and accelerate. Doing so transfers your vehicle’s weight from the front to the rear and often helps vehicles to regain control.
Step 6: Lights On.
- Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
Step 7: No Cruise Control.
- Never use cruise control if conditions are snowy, icy, or wet, because if your car hydroplanes, your car will try to accelerate and you may lose control of your vehicle.
Step 8: Don’t “pump” the brakes.
- If your vehicle is equipped with an anti-lock breaking system (ABS), do not “pump” the brakes. Apply constant pressure and let the system do its work.
Step 9: Pay attention.
- Maneuvers are more difficult to make in the snow. Be sure to anticipate what your next move is going to be to give yourself lots of room for turns and stopping.
There are many preventative measures that a client can do to their home to help prevent water damage claims.
- Downspouts connected to weeping tiles are disconnected and are extended 6 feet or more away from the house.
- The sump pump discharge pipe extends more than 6 feet from the house.
- A water proof membrane is applied under the roof shingles.
- Lawn graded to drain water away from all exterior walls.
- Install a tank-less hot water heater on a exterior wall.
- Install a rain barrel on exterior downspouts.
- Replace rubber hoses connected to household appliances with steel braided varieties.
Be Safe, Avoid Floods!
What is Sewer Back-Up?
Sewer back-up occurs when the city or municipal drainage system overflows and sends water back through the pipes and into your home. This may happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common is a great deal of water from rainfall or snow melt overwhelming the system. It can also be a result of a failure on the part of a sump pump or other system designed to deal with excess water. The water and sewage can come from various sources including a septic tank, sewer or storm drain.
Sewer back-up can result in a great deal of damage to homes, including the development of mold problems and of course bacteria from sewage that has entered the home. It requires immediate proper clean-up that can be very expensive as well as can result in damage to carpets, walls, furniture and other personal property that will be costly to replace.
Sewer Back-Up Coverage
Sewer back-up coverage is available to Ontario homeowners as an optional coverage that can be added to a standard homeowner’s policy. Some areas are more likely to need this optional coverage as they are located in places more prone to flooding and sewer back-up. These areas are those most likely to have this optional coverage offered to homeowners.
Without this coverage added to your policy, you could discover that you have little to no coverage available in the event of a serious flood or even a local problem that results in a sewer back-up. Without the coverage, the cost of repairs can easily reach into the tens of thousands, and for the average homeowner this is an amount not readily available. The cost of adding the coverage to your policy is minimal in comparison to this and is a wise decision especially if you live in a location where sewer back-up is an issue..
Avoiding Sewer Back-Up
Prevention is always better than dealing with damage even if you do have the coverage in place to pay the claim. There are several things you can do to prevent sewer back-up from destroying your home and property:
- Install sump pumps and check regularly to ensure they are in good working order
- Have backflow valves installed in your home
- Ensure that your property has good drainage – a slope that moves away from your home is best
- Have plugs ready for all drains and toilets
- Keep all of your eaves troughs and downspouts clean and clear to allow proper drainage
- Keep sewer caps on all basement sewer outlets (including your floor drain, washer stack, sump hole, etc.) during rainstorms.
- Discharge drainage onto your lawn or driveway.
- Ensure the flow of surface water is directed away from the foundation of your home and the foundations of your neighbours’ homes.
- Avoid using water during heavy downpours.
In some cases, especially extreme ones, back-up might not be preventable, but the damage can at the very least be minimized with these precautions.
A surprising number of homeowners are not aware that sewer back-up is not a standard part of a homeowner’s insurance policy. It’s vital that you verify whether or not you have coverage right away, before finding out you do not have it when your home is filled with sewer water. You should also find out whether or not you live in a high-risk area, making this coverage even more vital.
Sewer back up results when the volume of water and sewage flowing into a sewer system exceeds its capacity. Other causes of sewer back up include blocked sewer connections caused by tree roots, collapsed sewer pipes or improper use of the sewer system.
Below are some things you can do to help prevent a sewer back up in your home:
What to do if a sewer back up occurs
- During a rainstorm, check your basement frequently. If it begins to flood, move your belongings upstairs or to a dry area to keep them safe.
- Contact your broker as soon as possible and they will arrange for an adjuster to contact you.
- Don’t throw anything out. Store damaged items in a reasonably safe place so the adjuster can see them when they arrive.
- Prepare an itemized account of all damaged items and their value. Include receipts or proof of purchase for larger items.
Cleaning up after a sewer back up
- Clean up as soon as possible. Seek professional advice on how to clean up and take whatever steps you can to minimize the extent of your loss.
- Don’t touch electrical systems or panels until you know it is safe to do so, especially in wet or damp conditions.
- Move damaged belongings to a dry area with good ventilation.
- Dispose of anything that has been contaminated by sewer back up that might be a health hazard. Make a detailed list of everything and take several photographs, or make a videotape, to assist in the settlement of your claim.
- Have any appliances (including furnaces) that have come in contact with water checked by a qualified electrician, dealer or serviceman before you use them.
- Disinfect all articles that have come in contact with flood or sewer water.
- visit www.insuranceisevolving.com
At a ceremony on March 17 at Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference in Toronto, Ives Insurance Brokers Ltd, took the top prize in the Distributor category with the successful implementation of a consumer portal , allowing consumers secure 24/7 access to information in the broker’s management system. Keal Technology and Quindell were recognized as Ives’ partners in the implementation.
“We are extremely proud to be chosen as the winner of this prestigious award. This is game changing technology that will allow insurance brokers to continue to be competitive in today’s ever changing marketplace. Working with the great talent at Quindell and Keal, both leaders in their respective fields and all of our dedicated, professional staff Ives has and will continue to be a leader in our respective industry. Ease of business for our customers along with providing them with access to the best products and services available today is our commitment to our customers. Our customers want immediate access to our services on a 24/7 basis and this will open those doors. It is a first for the broker distribution network and is a game changer for our industry.” Say’s Jeff Ives, President of Ives Insurance Brokers Limited.
Insurance-Canada.ca sponsors the Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Awards to highlight and reward organizations for innovative implementation of technology that shows a significant impact on the sale, processing and servicing of property & casualty insurance in Canada.
Ives Insurance Brokers Ltd. and President Jeff Ives are honoured and proud to be nominated as being “instrumental in an application in the P&C Distributors and Suppliers of insurance products and services”. We look forward to the ceremony and reception on March 14, 2014!
If you’re caught operating hand-held communication and electronic entertainment devices or viewing display screens unrelated to your driving, fines are rising to a set fine of $490 and three demerit points upon conviction. Novice drivers will receive a minimum 30-day suspension for the first conviction and longer suspensions for subsequent convictions.
You will need to pay closer attention when you open your car door. The “dooring” of cyclists will carry an increased set fine of $365 and three demerit points upon conviction.
New rules will also require drivers to leave a one-metre distance where possible when passing cyclists, or they may face the penalty of a $110 set fine and two demerit points.
Cyclists who don’t use the required bicycle lights and reflectors face a higher set fine of $110. A bike must have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector if you ride between ½ hour before sunset and ½ hour after sunrise, and white reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on rear forks.
Staying Alert Around Tow Trucks
Drivers must now leave a safe passing distance between themselves and tow trucks stopped on the roadside to provide assistance. Failing to slow down and move over for a tow truck can result in a set fine of $490.
School buses will be more recognizable, as they will now be the only buses permitted to be chrome yellow.
Read more at: http://windsorite.ca/2015/08/are-you-ready-for-these-new-traffic-fines-they-come-into-effect-tuesday/
What you need to know
March is Fraud Prevention Month, and Aviva is making headlines on fighting fraud!
This past weekend, you may have seen CTV media reports on an Aviva fraud investigation. Hours of video footage collected through our investigation clearly demonstrates that a chiropractor, clinic employee and paralegal sought to counsel undercover investigators to sign forms that would falsely indicate that they were receiving treatment/services and missing time from work.
These professionals, whose job it is to help accident victims, encouraged the role players to lie so they could submit phony forms and collect insurance payments for services never supplied.
The video footage obtained from this investigation underscores the need to get to the root cause of insurance fraud and why the Ontario auto insurance system requires further reform.
CTV News – March 11, 2016
Paul Bliss, news reporter covers why Aviva pursued this investigation.
CTV’s W5 Program – March 14, 2016
A 24 minute feature report on Aviva’s investigation.
Please direct any questions regarding this investigation to:
Karin Ots Glenn Cooper Liz Wood
SVP, Regulatory and Sr. Mgr., Public Relations Government Relations
Government Relations and Social Media and Communications Specialist
416-701-4792 416-288-2685 416-288-5091
In light of the recent tragedy in Fort McMurray, Ives Insurance was compelled to aid our fellow Canadians. Staff in all offices held charity BBQs and the funds we raised were donated to the Red Cross fire relief efforts. We challenge our fellow local brokerages and brokers across Ontario to make a contribution to this worthy cause. It is with these efforts that our thoughts and prayers go out to the residents of Fort McMurray.
Donate Here: http://www.redcross.ca/