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Wedding Insurance

Even when love is in the air, accidents can still happen. Learn how purchasing wedding insurance helps you to eliminate wedding day worries!

Plan Ahead for Peace of Mind

Though you may not want to think that disaster could strike on your wedding day, there is always the chance of a mishap or two. From a sudden vendor cancellation or damage to your treasured white gown, wedding insurance can protect against unforeseen problems, while also giving loving couples peace of mind.

Other Considerations

In addition to purchasing a wedding insurance policy, remember these precautions to avoid a wedding-day mishap:

  • Do extensive research on the vendors you select.
  • Keep your deposits small as most are non-refundable. By limiting your deposit amounts, you will protect against a large loss if you need to reschedule or cancel your wedding.
  • Use a credit card versus a personal check to pay for services, as it is easier to dispute charges when using a credit card.

What Does a Typical Policy Cover?

Wedding insurance protects an engaged couple’s investment in the event of circumstances out of their control and provides reimbursement for incurred expenses. 

  • Commercial General Liability: including Host Liquor Liability for three (3) 24-hour periods.  Includes coverage for rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception and gift opening.
    Extra 24-hour periods available upon request.
  • Wedding Cancellation: Reimbursement of deposits paid, or contracted to be paid, because of an unexpected cancellation of the wedding.
  • Honeymoon Cancellation: Will reimburse if the insured suffers a loss of pre-paid, non-refundable cost of travel due to the cancellation of the wedding.
  • Loss deposits: Will pay for non-refundable deposits made to providers of any booked goods or services if they suffer financial failure.
  • Wedding photos and video: Payment of the extra expenses necessary to retake the photos if they cannot be reproduced for any reason including non-appearance of the photographer. 
  • Bridal attire: Coverage for physical loss or damage to the bridal attire once the property is in the care of the insured. 
  • Wedding Gifts: Insurance for direct physical loss of or damage to wedding presents (24 hours prior to and after the wedding) while the property is at the couples’ home or reception location or in transit between the two. 
  • Rings: Covers physical loss or damage to wedding bands. Coverage starts 7 days prior to wedding.
  • Wedding Cake and Flowers: Direct physical damage or loss to the wedding cake or flowers seven days prior to the wedding.
  • Wedding Stationery: Physical damage or loss of the wedding stationery prior to the wedding; this includes invitations, RSVP cards, menus and name cards.
  • Rented Property: Reimbursement of direct and physical damage to rented property used during the wedding reception. It includes, but is not limited to, temporary outdoor shelters, such as tents or marquees, tables and chairs, stages, audio and visual equipment.

Examples of Damages Covered Under a Typical Policy

  • A limo driver does not show up on the day of the wedding, forcing the couple to hire a different company in a crunch for double the price.
  • The bride’s custom-made veil is lost in the airport so she must purchase a new one the day before the wedding.
  • The reception hall goes out of business a month before the wedding, causing the couple to lose their deposit and book a new venue last-minute.

Count on Us!

Contact Access Insurance Group Ltd at (780) 435-2400 to learn more about how this coverage can help you to eliminate one less wedding day worry!

Firework Safety

Summer is the season of exciting events and celebrations and, with these festivities, come fireworks and sparklers!

While the excitement and spectacle of fiery summer displays is common enough, it’s also important to remember that they can be dangerous if not treated with care. Even something as harmless as a sparkler can get hot enough to burn through clothing. So, to prevent burn injuries, exercise extreme caution when lighting and holding fireworks, and be sure to monitor your children closely while celebrating.

Safety Recommendations:

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions and warnings.
  • Do not try to make your own fireworks; use only those that are commercially manufactured.
  • Only light fireworks outside in an open space.
  • Obey local ordinances regarding private fireworks usage.
  • Have a bucket of water handy in case of emergencies.
  • If a firework does not go off, do not try to relight it. Instead, wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Never light a firework in a glass or metal container.
  • Do not drink alcohol while lighting fireworks—they can pose burning hazards if you are not careful.

Protection for Your Pets:

Like thunderstorms or the vacuum cleaner, fireworks may frighten your family pets. To protect your pets from the stresses resulting from the loud noises of fireworks:

  • Keep pets indoors, away from loud noises, in a place that is comfortable to them.
  • Allow pets to go to the bathroom before beginning your fireworks show to prevent accidents.

And Remember: Sparkler fireworks are especially fun for children. Once children are old enough, allow them to hold a sparkler under your guidance. Those who are younger than 12 years old should not hold sparklers and should remain spectators only.

To learn more, contact Access Insurance Group Ltd today.

Cyber Risks & Liabilities

Cyber attacks are a major issue for businesses and organizations that can lead to millions of dollars in lost sales or damages. At Access Insurance Group Ltd, we offer the proper coverage to protect your company against losses from computer intrusions. But just how serious is the problem? And what can you do to protect your digital assets?  

Last year, an alarming majority of Canadian organizations reported falling victim to multiple cyber attacks, according to a recent report by cyber security company Carbon Black. These breaches are not only incredibly costly to these organizations and encouraging to their perpetrators, but are, in many cases, preventable through basic diligence of cyber security maintenance.

Increased Frequency and Complexity

The report found that a staggering 83% of surveyed organizations reported suffering a cyber security breach in the last year, with 22% reporting five or more breaches in that time. This high number of breaches per organization is also supported by the 76% of Canadian organizations that reported an increase in cyber attacks in the last year. Furthermore, 25% of organizations reported that the number of attacks had increased by half since the previous year.

Cyber attacks on Canadian businesses haven’t only grown in frequency, but they’ve also grown in complexity, with 81% of surveyed organizations reporting that the attacks they had experienced in the last year were more complex than those of previous years.

Who Is Affected

While no organization is completely immune to cyber attacks, the survey showed that 83% of larger organizations (over 5,000 employees) reported increased attacks, while only 65% of small businesses (under 250 employees) reported an increase in cyber attacks.

Understanding and Preparing for the Threat

Of the different types of cyber attacks, malware is the most prolific, with 30% of people surveyed reporting that malware was the most commonly encountered attack. However, phishing was the cause of successful breaches at 20% of organizations, and “watering hole” tactics were reported to be the most effective and destructive of cyber attacks by 30% of respondents.

Outdated security technology and processes accounted for 20% of breaches, indicating that routine maintenance and updating of cyber security technology and policies could greatly benefit many organizations. In fact, 86% of respondents reported that threat-hunting strengthened their defence.

In response to the destructive nature and increasing prevalence of threats, 85% of surveyed organizations reported plans to increase their cyber defence budgets.

Now that you know the facts about the frequency, complexity and severity of cyber attacks, how can you protect yourself, your business or your organization?

Cyber Security Tools for Your Business

If your organization falls victim to a cyber attack, your valuable digital assets could be compromised. There are several precautions you can take to limit the possibility for criminals to break into your organization’s systems and wreak havoc.

Firewalls—Firewalls are software that control the incoming and outgoing network traffic on a computer system and determine what should and should not be allowed through. Most computer operating systems now come with a pre-installed firewall for basic but reliable security; however, it may be beneficial to compare alternatives in order to find a firewall that fits your organization’s unique needs.

Routers—Routers are hardware that keep unwanted traffic out of a computer system. They differ from firewalls in that they are stand-alone devices that must be bought separately—they are not included in an operating system. Look for routers with advanced security protocols.

Antivirus programs—As their name implies, antivirus programs are designed to catch and eliminate or quarantine viruses before they can harm a computer system. Antivirus programs run in the background to ensure your computer is protected at all times. While they are updated frequently, they may not catch the newest viruses that are floating around.

Cloud—A cloud is a data centre available to many users that is hosted in a centralized, often off-site server that is accessible via an internet connection. Clouds are especially beneficial for cyber security simply because it is much easier to secure a single cloud structure than to secure hundreds of individual employee computers.

Education—Every company, no matter its size, should educate employees on the dangers of computer intrusions and how to prevent them. For example, make sure your employees know not to open, click on or download anything inside emails from untrusted sources, and to disregard emails with subject lines and attachments that seem bogus or too good to be true. Employees with an intimate knowledge of the company’s computer network should also be alerted of the potential consequences of hacking into the system.

Review your risks and coverage options—A computer intrusion could cripple your company, costing you thousands or millions of dollars in lost sales and/or damages. Contact Access Insurance Group Ltd today. We have the tools necessary to ensure you have the proper coverage to protect your company against losses from computer intrusions.

Contact Access Insurance

Make sure that your company is properly protected. Review insurance coverages with a specialist at Access Insurance Group. Get advice, a quote or make a change from anywhere or in person at one of our locations in Edmonton, Lacombe, Lloydminster, Red Deer, and Stony Plain. Get a quote today. 

 

 

Landscaping Insurance

Landscaping can be a competitive and rewarding field, and years of hard work can help businesses establish a strong customer base and reputation. However, many business owners don’t realize how many insurance exposures they must address to keep their business operating smoothly.

Depending on the complexity of your landscaping company, there are a number of exposures to consider, including risks related to property, worker injuries and even the environment. The list below provides an overview of these industry risks—helping you identify potential blind spots in your risk management and insurance programs.

Property

Property—including your tools, equipment, supplies, signage and similar items—plays a key role for your organization. And, in the event of a loss caused by fires, theft or vandalism, your landscaping firm can suffer major financial damages. For instance, should a fire break out in your storage area, your firm could lose thousands of dollars’ worth of lawn care equipment in an instant. What’s more, a single incident can affect multiple aspects of your property, compounding costs and downtime for your business.

Equipment

Landscapers depend on functioning equipment to service their customers effectively. In the face of an equipment breakdown (e.g., a lawnmower stops working), landscaping operations can experience business interruptions or even prolonged closures. Specifically, a business owner’s mowers, blowers, chainsaws and tillers all have the potential to break down, causing major disruptions that can impact your reputation and bottom line.

Automobile Exposure

Depending on the services your landscaping company provides, employees may be required to operate a vehicle on behalf of your business, creating automobile exposures in the process. While important for daily operations (e.g., driving from job site to job site or transporting tools), the use of a vehicle can lead to potential accidents and major insurance claims. Also, if you allow employees to use their own vehicles for work, standard commercial auto policies are often not enough.

Environment Liability 

During the course of their work, landscapers also open themselves up to serious environmental liability. Specifically, pesticides, herbicides and other fertilizers have the potential to pollute the environment. Environmental incidents are particularly concerning for businesses because they can cause harm to the surrounding community, involve costly cleanup and often cause damage to a business’s reputation.

Crime

Crime can be a challenge for landscapers as well. Not only do they have to worry about expensive equipment and materials stored on the job site, but employee dishonesty is a primary concern. Your business can become the victim of crime in a variety of scenarios, including when making orders, billing customers and leaving job sites unattended.

While the proper risk management practices can reduce certain exposures, no system is 100 per cent effective in ensuring an incident-free workplace. As a result, it’s all the more crucial to work with a qualified insurance broker to not only assess your exposures but secure the appropriate coverage as well. To learn more, contact Access Insurance Group Ltd today.

Being an Uber Driver in Edmonton

While becoming an Uber driver may seem like a simple way to gain some cash, there are a number of requirements and considerations that need to be taken into account before signing up. On top of that, personal auto insurance policies typically don’t cover ride-share driving. While the process to becoming an Uber driver may seem daunting at first, it can still be a rewarding experience for those willing and able to meet the requirements.

Vehicle Requirements

Uber vehicles in Edmonton must meet the following requirements:

  • Four independently opening doors
  • Five seatbelts
  • No more than 10 years old
  • Not salvaged or rebuilt
  • Doesn’t have commercial branding
  • Passes a vehicle inspection

Additionally, to qualify for a specific type of Uber service, such as UberXL, the vehicle must meet certain requirements specific to that service. All Uber drivers in Edmonton must have two Uber stickers displayed on their vehicle when it is online—one on the front windshield, passenger side, and one on the rear windshield, driver side.

Vehicle Inspections

Uber vehicles in Edmonton must pass an annual inspection, and the completed form must be kept inside the vehicle at all times. To apply, simply download the inspection form from the Uber website, bring it to a preferred partner mechanic, and upload a photo of the completed inspection form to your profile once the inspection is complete. Keep the original form in your vehicle at all times.

License Requirements

Uber drivers in Edmonton must have a valid Class 1, 2 or 4 licence. Obtaining a Class 4 licence requires a complete background screen, medical exam, and completion of a knowledge and road test.

Vehicle Registration

Uber drivers in Edmonton must carry a Class 1-55 vehicle registration, which is a type of registration distributed by the province to individuals providing ride-share services. This will require a visit to a registry in Alberta, a small fee and a new licence plate (included in the fee).

Driver Abstract

Uber drivers in Edmonton need to add their three-year driver abstract to their Uber profile, which is a driving record summary that includes merit and demerit points, convictions and suspensions. Requirements for the abstract are as follows:

  • The driver abstract must be approved for a minimum three-year period and must be obtained within the last 30 days.
  • Drivers cannot have a single major conviction on their abstract (four or more demerit points), and no more than two minor convictions (three demerit points or fewer).
  • Drivers cannot have any licence suspensions or “driving without insurance” convictions.
  • Merit courses have no impact on abstract eligibility.
  • Driver abstracts are obtained at Service Alberta registries. Simply bring an accepted form of ID to a Service Alberta registry, fill out an application and bring the driver abstract to the Uber Greenlight Hub in Edmonton once you receive it.

Background Check

Uber drivers in Edmonton must complete an in-person background screening at the Edmonton Greenlight Hub. To complete this background check, drivers must bring their driver’s licence, driver abstract and a secondary form of identification. Drivers must also reside in Edmonton or the following surrounding areas:

  • Beaumont
  • Sherwood Park
  • St. Albert
  • Morinville
  • Fort Saskatchewan
  • Leduc
  • Spruce Grove
  • Stony Plain

Under most standard personal auto policies in Canada, drivers are prohibited from engaging in commercial activities (e.g., renting or leasing out a vehicle, or transporting passengers for pay). For those considering becoming an Uber driver, let your insurer know of any changes in how you use your personal vehicle to avoid gaps in insurance coverage. While Uber may provide some coverage in the event of an accident, you need to consider specialized insurance to ensure you are fully insured.

Contact Access Insurance

For more information about becoming an Uber driver, to make sure your vehicles are properly protected, or to review insurance coverages with a specialist—contact Access Insurance Group Ltd. to talk about your insurance options today.

Get advice, a quote or make a change from anywhere or in person at one of our locations in Edmonton, Lacombe, Lloydminster, Red Deer, and Stony Plain.

General Liability Insurance

ERRORS & OMISSIONS (E&O) INSURANCE FOR CONTRACTORS

As a contractor, you work hard to create a quality product and satisfy customer expectations while building a profitable business. However, no matter how careful you and your employees are while working, mistakes do happen. In today’s business environment, small disputes with customers can quickly escalate into costly legal disputes.

Almost every contractor carries some form of general liability coverage. While these policies provide contractors much-needed protection for bodily injury and property damage claims, they typically don’t account for all forms of negligence.

That’s where Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, specifically designed for contractors, comes into play. This Coverage Insight provides a brief overview of E&O insurance and outlines why it is a critical component to a contractor’s overall risk management program.

Why E&O?

Simply put, general liability policies aren’t adequate to protect against E&O claims, necessitating additional coverage. In fact, most general liability policies exclude claims related to your work, your products and impaired property, creating significant insurance gaps.

Contractors are particularly vulnerable to claims of negligence following unintentional damage to an insured party, impairment of property, damage to products or similar, unexpected incidents. This makes E&O insurance even more crucial as simple complaints have the potential to escalate into costly legal disputes.

What’s more, courts often rule against contractors in claims related to errors and omissions and, without the proper protection, general contractors would have to cover the damages out of pocket.

E&O policies can help contractors close the gaps in their insurance coverages, providing coverage for claims related to the following:

  • Failing to complete projects according to specifications
  • Negligence in providing professional services
  • Poor, incorrect or incomplete work
  • Errors and oversights

Strong E&O policies can protect you and your business following a claim, helping you cover expenses related to court costs, lawyer fees and settlements. It should be noted that E&O insurance may not extend to your subcontractors, and you should encourage them to secure their own policies.

Securing the Policy That’s Right for You

As a contractor, there are a variety of insurance products to consider. To ensure you are accounting for all of your unique risks—and to secure a policy that is tailored to meet your specific business needs—it’s important to work with a qualified insurance broker.

Make sure that your business is properly protected. Review your insurance coverages with a specialist at Access Insurance Group. Get advice, a quote or make a change from anywhere online or in person at one of our locations in Edmonton, Lacombe, Lloydminster, Red Deer, and Stony Plain.

Spring Allergies – And How to Treat Them

As the seasons change, so will your allergy symptoms. Allergy symptoms make you feel simply awful. Congestion, post-nasal drip, itchy eyes and sneezing wear your body down. Chances are if you have seasonal allergies, the symptoms impact your day-to-day life. You can combat your allergic reactions with these seasonal tips.

Spring

Mould growth blooms indoors and outdoors with spring rains. As flowers, trees, weeds and grasses begin to blossom, allergies will follow. Spring-cleaning activities can stir up dust mites, so be sure to:

  • Wash your bedding every week in hot water to help keep pollen under control.
  • Wash your hair before going to bed, since pollen can accumulate in your hair.
  • Wear an inexpensive painter’s mask and gloves when cleaning, vacuuming or painting to limit dust and chemical inhalation and skin exposure.
  • Vacuum twice a week.
  • Limit the number of throw rugs in your home to reduce dust and mould.
  • Make sure the rugs you do have are washable.
  • Change air conditioning and heating air filters often
  • Antihistamines, corticosteroids and decongestants, as well as other OTC allergy medications, counteract the effect of the histamine produced by the body. 

Summer

Warm temperatures and high humidity can put a strain on seasonal allergy and asthma sufferers. Summer is the peak time for some types of pollen, smog and even mould:

  • Stay indoors between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., when outdoor pollen counts tend to be highest.
  • Be careful when going from extreme outdoor heat to air conditioning. The temperature change can trigger an asthma attack.
  • Wear a mask when you mow the lawn or when around freshly cut grass. Afterward, take a shower, wash your hair and change clothes.
  • Dry laundry inside instead of on an outside clothesline.
  • Check your yard for allergens, as well as other irritants such as oak, birch, cedar and cottonwood trees; weeds such as nettle or ragweed can also trigger allergies.
  • Wear shoes, long pants and long sleeves if allergic to bee stings.

Best Natural Supplements for Allergy Symptoms

  1. Spirulina
  2. Quercetin
  3. Butterbur
  4. Probiotics
  5. Vitamin A
  6. Zinc
  7. Bromelain
  8. Stinging Nettles

Always Stay Hydrated! Drink 8 to 10 glasses of fresh water each day! If you get dehydrated, any mucus you have will become much more difficult to expel.

Protect Your Restaurant

Those who run restaurants are often some of the most passionate business owners, investing time and money to deliver a high-quality experience to their customers. In the hospitality industry, it can be a constant challenge for owners to deliver exceptional food and service while maintaining profitability, which is why protecting your business from risks is essential. The list below provides an overview of the restaurant industries risks—helping you identify potential blind spots in your risk management and insurance programs. 

  • Property
  • Equipment Breakdown
  • Crime
  • Premises Liability Food And Product Liability
  • Liquor Liability
  • Business Interruption
  • Cyber
  • Automobile Exposures

While the proper risk management practices can reduce certain exposures, no system is 100 per cent effective in ensuring an accident-free workplace. As a result, it’s all the more critical to work with a qualified insurance broker to not only assess your exposures but also secure the appropriate coverage. To learn more, contact us today.

Make sure that your property and automobiles are insured properly. Review the coverages with a specialist at Access Insurance Group. Get advice, a quote or make a change anywhere in Alberta or in person at one of our locations in Edmonton, Stony Plain, Red Deer, Lacombe and Lloydminster.

Motorcycle Month

Peace of Mind on the Open Road

There’s nothing like the freedom you feel when riding. However, if you’re on the road, you’re at risk. To ensure you have the coverage and financial protection you need, consider the following motorcycle insurance coverage options from Access Insurance.

Liability Insurance Coverage
Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage that you may cause to other people involved in an accident.

Collision Insurance Coverage
Collision insurance covers damage, minus your deductible, to your motorcycle if you are involved in an accident. Keep in mind, collision insurance usually covers the book value of the motorcycle before the loss occurred.

Comprehensive Insurance Coverage
Comprehensive coverage pays for damages caused by an event other than a collision, such as fire, theft or vandalism. However, just like collision insurance coverage, your policy will pay for damages, minus your deductible, and will cover only the book value of the motorcycle.

Optional Equipment Coverage
If you decide to customize your motorcycle, you should look into obtaining additional or optional equipment coverage. Most comprehensive and collision insurance coverage will only insure the factory standard parts on your motorcycle.

Enjoy more worry-free driving with our Motorcycle Insurance options.

Contact us at Access Insurance. We’re Here to Help!
Contact our office today to learn more about our affordable vehicle insurance and personal risk management solutions.

Get a quote!

Travel Insurance Tips

Looking to get away for spring break? To enjoy traveling, you need to anticipate all the fun, and that starts with planning. Your vacation may have taken months to plan. Insure your investment for non-refundable losses with a travel insurance policy. Let us know if your travel plans are domestic or international!

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance can protect against the loss of non-refundable travel costs such as airfare, hotel and tour expenses. Some types of travel insurance offer protection against losses that may occur due to medical emergencies, damage to personal property and even death.

Why do you need it?

As easy as it is to pretend everything will always go as planned, that is just not reality. Buying travel insurance covers us for those unfortunate mishaps that can potentially ruin a vacation. Some of the most common issues covered include:

  • Trip Cancellation – One of the most common reasons for canceling a trip is unexpected illness. It can happen to any of us. If you pre-booked hotels, rental cars, or excursions it can be very hard to get your money back when cancelling at the last minute. That is where travel insurance comes in. You can get reimbursed for pre-paid expenses if you aren’t able to take your trip because of a travel delay, such as a flight delay or cancellation.
  • Trip Interruption – Covers you for pre-paid expenses if your trip is cut short because you or a family member becomes ill or dies, or because of any other misfortune listed in the policy. Covered reasons might include bad weather, airline strikes, terrorism, jury duty or fire or flood damage to your home.
  • Health Coverage – I know you’re thinking “I already have health insurance. I’m good!” Unfortunately, many health care plans do not cover medical emergencies that happen internationally.  You can be reimbursed for medical and emergency expenses that you have because of an illness or injury while you’re travelling. Something as normal as food poisoning could land you in the hospital with multiple medical bills.
  • Lost (or just delayed) Luggage – Do you say a little prayer after tossing luggage on the belt, hoping to see it again on the other side? Travel insurance has you covered if you never see each other again.
  • Medical Evacuation – provides emergency transportation to take you either to a hospital in the geographic region where you are or for transportation back to the hospital near your home.

What are the benefits?

Includes licensed ambulance, emergency dental expenses, prescription drug reimbursement, emergency medical transport, family transportation expenses, board and lodging for the insured person(s) or the travelling companion while confined to the hospital, escort home of insured children and more.

Coverage for unexpected sickness, injury and/or death of the insured traveller or travelling companion, the insured traveller’s immediate family or the travelling companion’s immediate family, natural disaster, travel advisory, missed connection, the non-issuance of a travel visa.

Hopefully the tips you learned here can help create the perfect plan to make your travel dream a reality!

Make sure that your vacations are properly protected. Review insurance coverages with a specialist at Access Insurance Group. Get advice, a quote or make a change from anywhere or in person at one of our locations in Edmonton, Lacombe, Lloydminster, Red Deer, and Stony Plain.

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