Learn how to file an insurance claim the right way

Accidents and natural disasters can strike without warning!

surprise flood

When this happens, you will have to file an insurance claim in order for your policy to kick in and recoup your losses.

To get the most out of the claims process, consider the following tips:

Call your insurance broker as soon as an incident occurs.

  • The sooner you get the process moving, the better.
  • After you’ve contacted your insurance broker, you can ask the adjuster to come and inspect the damage.

Document your losses before the adjuster comes.

  • Make a thorough list of property that has been impacted by a disaster.
  • Provide purchase receipts, or estimate how much the belongings cost and when you bought them.

Take photographs of the scene.

  • Don’t throw out damaged items before notifying your insurance broker and adjuster.

Above all, it’s important to document the claims process, noting when you speak with your insurance broker and what the conversation entailed.

At Scrivens, we keep detailed notes on every customer interaction.

This helps track the amount of reimbursement you should receive and allows you to keep a record of insurance claims for future use.

Scrivens highly recommends everyone keep a thorough home inventory to help make the claims process run smoothly and quickly. You can download our Home Inventory Checklist in Excel format here.

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Getting New Year’s Resolutions Right: Lifestyle Changes vs. Quick Changes

Historically, one of the top New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Unfortunately, many people look to fad diets and weight-loss products to achieve their goals quickly.

While fad diets may prove effective initially, research shows that many people don’t find long-term success with these types of diets.

Instead of setting a goal to lose weight fast in 2018, set a goal to lead a healthier lifestyle. Common lifestyle New Year’s resolutions include the following:

  • Exercise regularly – Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week and to do strength training exercises of major muscle groups at least twice a week. For example, “I will go for a 30 minute walk every day at lunch.”
  • Maintain a well-balanced, healthy diet – Try to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grain,s protein-rich foods, and healthy fats. Make it a goal to incorporate more fruits and veggies in your diet. For example, “I will eat a piece of fruit at lunch ever day”.
  • Increase the amount of sleep you get – One of the best ways to become healthier is to get enough sleep. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep, the expert-recommended amount, per night. For example, “I will turn off my phone at 10:00 PM every night.”

Regardless of what you choose to make your New Year’s resolution, make sure it is a “SMART” goal – one that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely – to increase the odds that you will stick to it.

How to safely store your leftovers for the best turkey sandwiches

Often, after a holiday feast and all the leftovers get into the fridge, a long period of time has passed. While this may seem harmless, it could put you and your family at risk from food-borne illnesses like salmonella and E. coli.

The following food storage tips can help prevent the growth of such bacteria and keep your food safe for making delicious leftover meals!

  • Never allow meat, poultry, seafood, effs, produce, leftovers, or other foods that require refrigeration to sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours
  • Store meat on the bottom shelf or bottom drawer to prevent it from dripping onto other food
  • Avoid crowding your refrigerator or freezer, as this prevents air flow from circulating
  • Clean the refrigerator weekly for old or expired food items. Toss cooked leftovers such as meat and poultry after 4 days.

Have a safe and happy holidays from everyone at Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions!

Are you prepared for a home break-in?

While it may be difficult to imagine it happening to you, home break-ins are a common occurrence. In the past 6 months there were approximately 959 incidents of breaking and entering in Ottawa.

breaking and entering

If an intruder enters your home, your property and the well-being of your loved ones are at risk. In order to protect your home and family from intruders, consider doing the following:

  • Put an emergency plan in place and discuss it with everyone in your household
  • Never post on social media that you will be away and wait until you return home to post photos from vacations. When on vacation, arrange to have your home appear lived-in by having someone shoveling the driveway, collect the mail, setting lights on timers, etc.
  • Take any measure possible to let the intruder know someone is home and aware of his or her presence
  • Do not assume the intrude is unarmed. He or she may be concealing a knife or gun and could produce ti at a moment’s notice
  • If you have something immediately available you can use for defence, grab it, even if it is just a scare tactic.
  • Remain vigilant. Take note of the intruder’s physical characteristics and provide the most accurate description possible to the police if he or she gets away

In addition to the above, consider arming your home with a security system. A security system may seem expensive, but knowing your family and possessions are safe at all times may make it worth the cost.

get an online home insurance quote

Start Planning Today for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

While the holiday season brings joy and togetherness, it can also bring stress for many individuals and families. Top holiday stressors include staying on a budget, managing multiple commitments, and finding the perfect gift.

Start Planning Today for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

Fortunately, by getting organized and planning out what you can ahead of time, you can reduce your holiday stress. Consider the following stress-management tips:

  • Write down any known commitments. Does your child’s school have a holiday concert? Are you planning on hosting a holiday dinner? Make a list of your commitments will help you plan your time and help you avoid double-booking yourself.
  • Create your budget now. If you’re stressed about how your holiday spending will impact you after the holidays are over, you’re not alone. Remember, the sentiment of a gift is much more important than the cost. Set a realistic budget and do not go over it. Consider giving the gift of an experience by treating a loved one to one of these “Free of Nearly Free” Winter Activities in Ottawa.
  • Start shopping early. Do you already know what you want to get some people on your list? Don’t be afraid to shop early. Sometimes, you can get great deals on presents even before the holiday rush hits. Moreover, you can avoid the scene of not being able to get the gift you want because it’s sold out.

Though these tips won’t prevent all of the holiday stress you may experience, they can definitely help reduce it.

Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions is here to help manage your financial stress, now and in the future. Our team of professionals help guide you through all financial decisions, whether it is budgeting in retirement, providing tips to help protect your privacy online, or making it easy and quick to get a home and auto insurance quote online!

Parking Lot Safety Tips

If you are planning on doing some Black Friday shopping, you should be aware a few dangers in parking lots. Parking lots are a common hazard for drivers and vehicles alike.

Slips, falls, auto accidents, theft, harassment, and assaults are just some of the risks individuals face while using parking lots.

Thankfully, there are a number of precautions drivers can take in order to protect themselves and their vehicles.

  • Park in a well-lit area, preferably one with surveillance cameras and security patrol services.
  • Avoid parking near shrubbery or other areas that could conceal attackers.
  • Park as close to an elevator as possible when using garages.
  • Lock your doors when leaving your vehicle. Have your keys ready when you return to ensure quick entry.
  • Remain vigilant and notify security of the authorities if you notice suspicious behaviour.

Also, you should leave your phone in your pocket so you can fully pay attention to your surroundings.

Preventing Vehicle Rust is a Winter Thing, Too

While dirt on a vehicle is unsightly, it can also wear away your car’s finish and accelerate rusting. This can be expensive, difficult to reverse and even negatively affect your car’s resale value.

Prevent Vehicle Rust
To protect your car against rust, practise the following:

  1. Wash your car often, even during the winter months. Salt that builds up during this time can create holes in the body of your car.
  2. Wax your car from time to time to protect the finish. This can help prevent oxidation that leads to rusting.
  3. Utilize car washes that feature hand-held pressure wands. Pay close attention to the undercarriage during washes, as that’s the primary risk area for rusting.
  4. Address scratches and dents that appear on your vehicle’s body, as they can easily lead to rusting.

Experts recommend that you wash your vehicle at least once a month if possible. Keeping these tips in mind will help preserve the car’s resale value and help you save thousands on body work.