Sunday, 28 February 2016

How Can Small Calgary Businesses Avoid Lawsuits?

We live in a very litigious world. In Canada, it costs very little to file a claim in a small claim court. If you own a small business in Calgary, then avoiding lawsuits should be high on your list of priorities. Here is how you can do it:

  • Treat your employees with respect. And know the laws regarding unfair and wrongful terminations in Canada. Also remember that Canada is very strict when it comes to discrimination in the workplace. Always hire someone based on their skills and experience.
  • Define work expectations. Lawsuits are less prone to happen if everyone is on the same page. Also remember that communication is key. When an employee comes to you with a problem, fix it as soon as possible.
  • Keep your business premises safe and clean. Failure to do so can lead to lawsuits. A common scenario involves a customer slipping on a wet floor and injuring themselves. If it happens on your business premises, nothing prevents the customer from suing you. 
  • Follow the regulations to a t. No exception.
  • Know the laws regarding intellectual property laws. It is not uncommon to see small businesses being brought to court by a party claiming that they have violated their patent or trademark. To make sure that this does not happen to you, familiarize yourself with the laws regarding intellectual property and review your existing logos and designs to make sure they do not violate those laws.
  • Document everything. And ensure that your business premises are under the constant scrutiny of surveillance cameras.
  • Be properly insured. While this won't do much to prevent someone from suing you, it will at least provide with peace of mind should the worst-scenario strike. For your commercial insurance coverage needs, trust Sharp Insurance.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Does My Edmonton Insurance Cover Roof Replacement?

A common mistake that new homers make when they purchase home coverage is failing to realize that their home insurance policy does not cover everything. This is why here at Sharp Insurance we always recommend that customers read through their policy carefully before purchasing it. Being aware of the smallest detail can go a long way towards saving you money down the road.

If you own a house in Edmonton, then you might have wondered at some point whether your policy extends to cover roof replacement. While there is no "one-size-fits-all" answer to that question, generally speaking you can expect your Edmonton insurance company to cover the costs related to roof replacement only if it is the result of an act of nature. This is because roofs that have exceeded their lifespan fall under your general maintenance responsibility. Also keep in mind that while most policies will cover damage caused by leaking roofs, they won't actually cover the repairs.

So what exactly is considered an "act of nature"? In Edmonton, ice storms and damage resulting from heavy snow all fall under the category of acts of nature. Remember that these are only two examples. Many other things can easily fall under this category, but these are the most common ones. If your your roof damage can be traced back to an act of nature, then you are most likely eligible to file a claim.

To request a free Edmonton home insurance quote, visit

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Does My Fort McMurray Car Insurance Policy Cover Acts of Vandalism?

If you own a car in Fort McMurray and a car insurance policy to go along with it, then you might have wondered at some point whether your policy also extends to cover acts of vandalism.

Unfortunately, there is no "one-size-fits-all" answer to that question because it depends on what type of policy you are covered under. Generally speaking though, if you own a comprehensive car insurance policy then yes, you can can expect your policy to cover acts of vandalism.

This is because this type of policy helps you pay for damages that aren't caused by a collision. Vandalism is one of them.

But what exactly classifies as "vandalism"? Once again, this is a grey area because what one company in Alberta might consider vandalism might be different from what another company considers vandalism. The best way to find out what your insurance company considers to be "vandalism" is beforehand -- so be sure to read through your policy carefully or to give your insurance company a call this week. This will also ensure that you are properly covered and will give you an idea of whether you need to purchase additional coverage or not. Please remember that car theft does not fall under the vandalism category and requires a totally different kind of claim.

If your car has been vandalized, the best thing that you can do is file a claim after reporting the incident to the police. Keep in mind, however, that vandalized claims might differ from other type of claims. Make sure to have evidences ready, to document the damages and to be as helpful and cooperative as you can possibly be.

Good luck!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Top 10 ways to save money on your Home Insurance

Your house is your largest investment that's why you want to be sure it’s properly protected without compromising your monthly budget. As both insurance brokers and homeowners, we understand the importance of transparency and clarity in insurance. Knowing exactly what you are covered for and how much you’re paying can seem just as difficult as solving a Rubik’s cube. It doesn’t have to be that way. We polled our most experienced brokers to find out the best and most effective way of bringing down your home insurance premiums. Here's their best advice to save money on your insurance:

1. Understand the difference between rebuild value and market value

Homeowner’s insurance premium is largely based on your home’s rebuild value. Insurance actuarialists and industry experts have spent years and a lot of resources developing rebuild calculators that pull information based on your postal code,  and a myriad of other factors in order to calculate your home’s rebuild value, which is 98% accurate. Often times though, clients will gasp at the rebuild value, stating that it will not be enough to cover the home, and will then proceed to increase it, and as a result, premiums go up. Rebuild value is how much it would cost to rebuild your home if it burned down or was totally destroyed. This does not include any contents, you have separate coverage for this. Keep in mind, you already own the lot your house is on, and this is not subject to market inflation. The cost to rebuild your home are things such as clearing debris, construction materials, labour, etc. The market value of the house is the amount you paid for the house, and is based on market re-sale price. The latter is often much more in cost.

Call your broker or insurance provider and ask them to recalculate your home’s value. You may be surprised over how much money you could save on your annual insurance premium.

 2. Roof updates

Did you know the older your roof is, the more you’re paying for insurance? That’s because the risk of environmental damages increases substantially when your roof ages. The chances of water damage, ice damning, hail damage and other weather related events are greater when your roof shows signs of wear and tear. If you have recently updated your roof, let your broker or insurance provider know. You could save hundreds on your insurance premium.

3. Update Fire Protection 

Calgary and other towns and cities in Alberta are expansive with new neighbourhoods popping up everywhere. When you first purchased your home, you may have been in a new area that did not yet have either a fire hydrant nearby or its own local fire station. Let your broker or insurance agent know if you have either of these, and you could see significant savings on your insurance policy. 

4. Alarm Systems

Alarm systems such as monitored security alarms, sump pump alarms or water detection alarms will help you save money on your insurance because you are minimizing your home’s risk of damage or theft.

5. Upgrades on plumbing, heating, hot water tanks, and electricity

The more up-to-date your home is in terms of plumbing material, electrical wiring (safety) and the age of your heating tanks, the more you will save on your insurance. If you are renovating and updating any of the following, you may qualify for better rates on your insurance. 

6. Claims free discount

If you’ve never made a claim on you house, you may qualify for a claims free discount. Be sure to ask your broker or your insurance representative to see if they have this discount.

7. Mortgage free discount

Paying off your mortgage is a huge achievement, but did you know you could get a better rate for being mortgage free? Depending on your insurance provider, you can get significant discounts if you do not have a mortgage on the house.

8. Check your deductibles 

The higher your deductibles, the less you have to pay in insurance premiums. Be realistic about choosing your deductible. Make sure that you are able to pay that deductible at any time if there is a loss on your home.

9. Lifestyle discount

Did you know that if you are a non-smoker you qualify for better rates? Ask your broker or insurance agent if they provide this discount.

10. Shop around for rates

It’s not a bad idea to shop around with other insurance companies to see if there are better rates available. Before you spend the time shopping around, make sure you have a copy of your policy with you so you can compare apples to apples with other quotes. Sometimes important coverage may be missing from your new quote which may make it appear less in cost. 

Sharp Insurance is Canada’s number one insurance brokerage; we work with the largest insurance companies to provide our clients with price comparisons.
For your free home insurance quote comparison, give us a call at 1-877-218-2008 or submit your quote online here

Buying Edmonton Motorcycle Insurance Coverage: 3 Things to Know

Are you thinking about buying a motorcycle in the near future? Then buying an Edmonton motorcycle insurance policy to go along with it would certainly benefit you in many ways. But as is often the case with insurance coverage, you might not know where to start from. This is why Sharp Insurance has compiled a short list of the most important things to know.

Let's quickly go over them:

  1. Many things will affect your monthly premiums, among them what type of motorcycle you are driving. In many ways, motorcycle insurance coverage is similar to Edmonton car insurance coverage. Newer bike models will always be more expensive to insure than older ones. Likewise, how secure your bike is, how experienced you are and even how old you are can also affect how much money you end up paying each month.
  2. You might be able to bundle up your motorcycle insurance policy with your car insurance policy. In Edmonton, many insurance companies even offer discounts to people who decide to bundle up their policies. If you own a car this might be worth looking into!
  3. In Alberta, owning a motorcycle means that you are legally obligated to insure it. Just like you are legally obligated to insure your car. So if you thought that you could get away without being properly insured, think twice about it. The good news, however, is that plenty of Edmonton insurance companies offer free motorcycle insurance quotes. Sharp Insurance is among them... so let the shopping begin!
Good luck!

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Where to Request a Free High-Risk Driver Insurance Quote in Edmonton

Have you been labelled as a high-risk driver in Edmonton? While things may seem hopeless right now, the truth is that they probably aren't bad as you think they are. Sure, being a high-risk driver comes with many downsides. You will have to pay more to be insured, for one. You will also come across many companies that show some reticence in insuring you.
But know that the label of high-risk driver is not forever, and that being labelled is good in a way. It gives you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes and better yourself as a driver.

With that being said, just because you have to pay more each month than the "average" Edmonton driver doesn't mean that you have to pay so much more than them either. Finding a good, trustworthy and affordable high-risk driving policy is the first step towards taking care of this. The second step is to actually do something about lowering your premiums. This can take the form of:
  1. Bundling up your policies.
  2. Making sure that your car is secured.
  3. Making sure that your car is safe from thieves and vandals.
  4. Driving a less expensive car.
  5. Raising your deductible.
  6. Requesting a free Edmonton high-risk driver insurance quote.
For the latter, Sharp Insurance has you covered. Our policies are affordable and can be customized to meet your specific needs. To enjoy lower monthly premiums, request your free high-risk driver insurance quote from Sharp Insurance today.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

4 things you need to know before becoming an AirBnB Host

Airbnb is an international 10-billion dollar tourism enterprise that can offer people pretty decent additional income for renting out their home or a room in their home. This home-sharing endeavor appeals to travellers who are either on a budget or want that feeling of being at home rather than living out of a hotel room. For hosts, Airbnb affords additional income that could help pay off mortgages or offset monthly expenses. It’s a great way to make a little extra cash. But before you take the plunge and become a host yourself, we have compiled a list of important topics to consider.

      1) Are you actually allowed to host your property on Airbnb?

If you own your home, then the answer is yes. It’s your property; you can do what you wish to it. However, if you own a Condo, you may actually be restricted as many condo boards have explicit exclusions on subletting your condo out to others. If you are renting your property, then most likely the answer is no. Even so, check with your condo board or your landlord before you decide to share your home. It’s best to keep your home-sharing venture on legal terms to avoid any issues down the road.

2) How much work is really involved?

Consider what type of amenities you would expect if you were paying to be a guest at someone’s home: You would want clean, fresh linens and towels, a clean room and bathroom, and possibly a kitchen to make meals in. Although many amenities you offer your visitor can be determined by yourself ahead of time, remember how valuable a good review can be to get you more guests and ultimately more money in your pocket. Do you want to do the pre-cleaning and post-cleaning yourself? Or would you want to hire a cleaning service? Are there any alterations or renovations you need to do with the space before you host? Try to weigh out the pros and cons of becoming a host and the work involved versus the income you could potentially gain.

3) What kind of insurance do you need?

What happens if the property was damaged or vandalized? Who covers that type of loss? The answer is, Airbnb covers it. They have their own insurance liability coverage called the Host Guarantee which covers up to $1,000,000 in damage. Even so, you should still check with your home insurance policy and let your broker know that you will be renting out your home to Airbnb guests. If you are gone most of the year, and using your home primarily for renting out to Airbnb guests, then contact your insurance broker as soon as possible, as you will need special coverage for this. If anything was to happen to your home, and you did not have the right coverage, you could be denied the claim. 

4) Do you need to claim your Airbnb income on your taxes?

Yes, you do. No matter the amount of income you made on your Airbnb endeavor, you must claim it on your taxes. It is a source of income after all. In fact, these types of online ventures have become so popular that the CRA has been really diligent on tracking online expenses.
Becoming an Airbnb host is not only a great opportunity to increase your income, but it is also a way to meet great, interesting people from all over the world. For more information about home insurance or if you need a home insurance quote, contact us at 1-877-218-2008 and we will be more than happy to help you.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Are Tenants Covered Under My Red Deer Home Insurance Coverage?

As a landlord (or landlady) you have the responsibility to make sure that your tenants are happy and well taken care of. But does your responsibility also extend to make sure that they are properly covered? A common question among home owners in Red Deer is this one:

Are my tenants also covered under my home insurance coverage?

While there is no "one-size-fits-all" answer to that question, we can tell you that in most cases tenants are not covered under the home insurance policy of their landlady or landlord. While it is true that spouses, children and sometimes even employees are covered by this policy, tenants usually have to purchase separate renters insurance policy.

So how do you know whether this also applies to your insurance policy? Reading through it is a good idea, as is giving a call to your insurance company. If you don't currently own a Red Deer home insurance coverage but plan on purchasing one in the near future, then you could always rely on the help of a broker to help you take care of such things.

Also keep in mind that if you own a house and are renting it out, your standard Red Deer home insurance policy might not be enough. You might want to consider purchasing additional coverage such as a liability insurance policy or any other policy that specifically targets rental property.

Of course though, we are only talking from experience so do take our word with a grain of salt. If there is one thing for certain though, it's that research always goes a long way. So don't hesitate to do some before doing anything that could land you in legal trouble!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

What Affects Fort McMurray New Driver Insurance Coverage Rates the Most?

By now it's no secret that new drivers pay more on their monthly insurance premiums. This is because (according to Fort McMurray insurance companies) new drivers lack experience and are more prone to causing or getting into road accidents. As a result, new drivers must pay higher premiums until they have proven that they can be labelled as "regular" driver without costing their insurance company too much money.

Regardless of whether you think this practice is fair or not, knowing what drives up new driver insurance premiums in Fort McMurray the most will always come in handy to new drivers. To make sure that you are enjoying the lowest premiums that you possibly can, let's quickly go over a few of the things that affect your premiums:
  • The car that you drive. Yes, you read that right. Newer cars will always be more expensive to insure than older models. While this is not something that you can change easily, knowing this might still end up being useful for you down the road.
  • How high your deductible is: As you probably know by now, a deductible is a set amount of money that you have to pay before making a claim. The higher your deductible is, the less expensive your premiums are, and vice versa.
  • Courses that you may have taken: Most companies in Fort McMurray like to offer discounts to people who have enrolled into an approved driving course. If you find yourself paying higher than anticipated premiums you might consider this option to save money in the long run.
  • How secure your car is: Lastly, how secure your car is can also drive up your premiums. This is because insurance companies will see your car as more prone to being stolen or vandalized. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars on securing your car, but remember that a security system can often go a long way.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

3 Facts About Edmonton Commercial Liability Insurance Coverage

If you own a small business in Edmonton, chances are that you are already aware of the dangers of not being properly insured. Unfortunately, for most small business owners, insurance policies can be complicated. This is why these people turn to sources like Sharp Insurance to learn more about the type of coverage that they are interested in.

Today, we are going to go over 3 facts concerning Edmonton commercial liability insurance coverage. So without further adore, here they are:
  1. CLI coverage is not mandatory. But just because you are not required to purchase one does not mean that you should not. Being covered under an Edmonton commercial liability insurance policy can save you a LOT of time and money down the road. Never underestimate its importance.
  2. CLI coverage does not cover you from everything. This is a common mistake and one that can prove to be very, very costly. Commercial liability insurance covers you from claims stemming from third party bodily and/or property damage. A common example of this would be a customer slipping and injuring themselves on your premises. So what does this policy not cover you from? Many things! Your own property damage, for one. Maybe even property damage stemming from a road accident, assuming that you (or your employee) were using a company car. Make to read through your policy carefully as policies tend to differ from company to company. Which brings us to our final point...
  3. Many Edmonton insurance companies offer free insurance quotes. As a future insuree, don't settle for the first good policy that you come across. Make sure to study your options carefully and to choose the best one according to both your budget and your needs.