Home-Based Business Coverage

What Protection Does it Offer

Common coverages for home-based businesses include personal business property, professional liability, business income, personal and advertising injury, loss of business data, crime, theft, and auto coverage. Depending on the type of home-based business you have, not all coverages apply, and other coverage options may be available.

Coverage Options

Based on your business needs, you have three basic coverage options to choose from, depending on your level of risk:

Homeowners Policy Endorsement

This provides the least amount of coverage and, therefore, is not ideal for most home-based businesses (depending on the level of risk). While it may provide enough coverage for a freelance writer with one computer and no business foot traffic, it’s not enough for someone who employs others, has clients visiting his or her home or has valuable business equipment and/or inventory.

In-Home Business Policy

More comprehensive than a homeowners policy endorsement, in-home business coverage is a stand-alone policy that provides higher amounts of coverage for business equipment and liability.

Business Owners Policy (or BOP)

A BOP bundles property and liability insurance into one policy. Created specifically for the small- to mid-size business, a BOP covers your business property and equipment, loss of income, extra expense, and liability. It is the most comprehensive property and liability option. It does not include health or disability insurance, which are available as separate policies.

What’s Your Risk?

While most homeowners insurance policies do cover a limited amount of business equipment – computers, copiers, and printers, to name a few – it’s likely that what you own is worth more than your policy’s limits. Also, your homeowners liability insurance probably won’t cover any injuries that may occur to the employees or clients that you have on your premises. What’s a home-based businessperson to do?

Scrivens is Here to Help!

Properly insuring your home-based business is crucial to protecting both your business and your home. At Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions, we understand the small business owner’s personal and business needs, and can help you tailor coverage that’s as unique as the products and services you provide. Contact us today at 613-236-9101 to learn more about how we can help you insure your livelihood.

The 10 Most Common Life Insurance Myths

Life Insurance. Just the term itself can put people on edge. You might think you are wasting time and money if you sign up for life insurance if you don’t consider it necessary.

However, you should purchase life insurance because it will be essential sometime in the future. Life insurance protects your loved ones in case something happens to you by designating beneficiaries who will collect financial benefits upon your death.

Term life insurance is generally the simplest and cheapest form – you buy coverage for a specific time period, and it can usually be renewed, but premiums will increase based on age and health factors. All other types of life insurance are permanent, but there are a few varieties – whole life, universal life, and variable life. Each type is slightly different, making each one ideal for certain types of people.

The ten myths listed below are some of the largest misconceptions individuals have regarding the necessity of life insurance. Read on to learn why life insurance is important to purchase.

Myth 1: I just simply don’t see the need for life insurance.

No on is immune to having to pay back his or her financial obligations after death. If you have a vehicle to pay off, or credit card or student loan debt that has accumulated, life insurance is a very beneficial option for you. If you die unexpectedly, no one waves a magic wand and makes those responsibilities disappear – you have to make the preparations to take care of them, or your family members will be stuck with the bills.

Myth 2: I’m young. Why would I start spending my money on life insurance now?

Being young also usually means you’re more active and probably putting yourself at risk more often than the older generation by travelling, clubbing, hiking, boating, driving longer distances, and staying out later. Your body may be younger and less likely to break down on you, but your high-risk activities put you in the same boat as older, less healthy people.

Myth 3: I’m a stay-at-home parent. There isn’t a need to replace my income, since there isn’t an income to replace.

If you’re a stay-at-home parent and you pass away, your spouse may not be able to afford childcare for your kids. Or, if there is no partner in the picture, your relatives or friends might not be able to take care of your children in a way that allows them to attend the same school, with the same parenting style you used, etc. Also, when the time comes for college, you will want your children to have the option of affording the education they desire.

Not having an income and staying at home means you are saving money you would be spending from a spouse’s income (or from any other source of income) on childcare and even on tending to your home. When you’re gone, those things still need to be covered, and life insurance can do that for you.

Myth 4: My kids are all adults and my house has been paid off, so what do I need life insurance for?

Everyone has daily living expenses. Just because the home is paid off doesn’t mean there aren’t other financial obligations for which your spouse would be responsible, such as owning multiple cars, a boat, an RV, or another large purchase you both made later on in your lives.

Also, consider this: if your spouse outlives you by 10, 20, or even 30 years, he or she might not be able to afford to stay in an assisted living centre when he or she can no longer take care of him- or herself.

You need to ensure that your spouse continues living with the same financial security he or she has with you now. You don’t want your spouse to fear having to take care of daily expenses with only half the income.

Myth 5: I’m a smoker. Insurance companies won’t even consider me.

Being a smoker doesn’t mean you can’t get coverage. Your premium will be a bit higher than the premium for someone who doesn’t smoke, but it is more affordable than you may think.

Myth 6: Even if I quit smoking, I’ll always be considered a smoker to insurance companies and be stuck paying a higher premium.

Most insurance companies consider you a nonsmoker if you’ve stayed away from cigarettes for at least a year. Even if the first six months were an accident because your spouse hid your cigarette packs, you can most likely get your premium lowered after a year.

Myth 7: Life insurance seems too good to be true.

It can seem that way, but it’s not. Life insurance isn’t like one of those free vacation spam emails – it’s the real deal. As long as you keep paying the premium, you’re covered, whether that is until your kids move out or until your home is paid off.

Myth 8: It is too much of a hassle to obtain life insurance.

Finding life insurance isn’t as hard as you think. Getting a life insurance quote is quick and painless. All you need to do is provide basic information about yourself, including height, weight, age, and gender. Once you have a quote, you can choose the right coverage for you.

Myth 9: I get life insurance through my job. Why would I need more?

The life insurance you get through your job might not be adequate coverage. You should compare your family’s living expenses with your coverage to see if it’s sufficient to cover all of your family’s needs. You should be thinking about future responsibilities as well, like being able to pay for your children’s education after you’re gone.

Also keep in mind, like all good things, your employer-paid coverage ends when the coverage limit is met – which is the maximum amount your employer will pay out upon your death. Most experts suggest obtaining coverage five to eight times your yearly salary. If you are only covered for half of that amount, what will your family do when their living expenses exceed that amount?

Myth 10: My mortgage lender provides me with coverage. Isn’t that enough for me?

Your mortgage isn’t the only expense your spouse or children will have to take care of if you pass away – there are cars, college education, food, medical expenses, funeral costs – the list goes on. Life insurance can cover those for you.

Getting started with life insurance starts with a conversation with a life insurance professional. Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions has dedicated life insurance advisors who advise you on the best life insurance plan for your individual needs. Give us a call at 613-236-9101 or request a life insurance quote.

Earthquake Preparedness Tips

Earthquakes, one of Mother Nature’s most unsettling phenomena, are unpredictable and can strike without warning. That’s why it’s important for you and your family to learn how to prepare for an earthquake, and develop a plan to react quickly and safely if a disaster strikes.

Preparing for an Earthquake

  • Locate and learn how to use the shutoff valves for water, gas, and electricity in your home.
  • Prepare an emergency earthquake kit with warm clothing, non-perishable food items and bottled water to last you and your family for at least 72 hours.
  • Bold down and secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace, and gas appliances to the wall studs.
  • Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover, and hold on!

During an Earthquake

  • Remain inside of your home and seek shelter under a heavy table or desk; brace yourself inside a door-frame or inside wall.
  • Stay at least 2 metres away from windows and out of kitchens and garages, if possible.
  • Stay under the structure that is protecting you. If the shaking causes the table or desk to move, then you should move with it so you remain protected.
  • Do not panic, and anticipate what you should do next to remain safe.

Follow these guidelines to remain safe after the ground stops shaking:

  • Remain in your safe location for several minutes in case there are any aftershocks
  • Do not leave your home unless it is absolutely necessary to do so
  • Check your family members for injuries and administer first aid
  • Establish a temporary shelter area in your home away from areas that have severe damage

Preventing Auto Theft

Cars are a popular target of crime because they are relatively easy to steal. To reduce your risk of becoming a victim, use the following tips:

  • Never leave your car running and unattended.
  • Never leave your keys in the car or ignition, even inside a locked garage.
  • Always roll up your windows and lock the car, even if it is in front of your home.
  • Park in high-trafficked, well-lit areas, if possible.
  • Consider anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks or fuel cut-off switches.
  • Purchase an auto alarm system if you live in a high-theft area or drive a theft-prone vehicle.

For additional protection, a strong auto insurance policy can help you recoup some of the losses associated with a stolen vehicle.

Protecting your Key Assets with “Key Person Life Insurance”

Most organizations employ at least one individual who is essential to the company’s success. This person may be a partner, a majority stockholder, or an individual with expertise that is unmatched throughout the rest of the company.

If this person’s exit from the company is planned, such as retirement or voluntary termination, then you can prepare for the loss and take the necessary precautions to minimize the impact. However, if the departure is unplanned due to a death, disabling accident, or on-the-spot resignation, then the company is exposed to financial risks.

Consider key person life insurance to offset your risk. This insurance solution can protect your organization’s solvency in the event that you lose the key person or people without warning, and also the investments made by lenders and investors to the company.

How Does Key Person Life Insurance Work?

  • Employer purchases life insurance on the key individual(s)
  • Employer is the beneficiary of the life insurance policy and applies for and owns the policy. If the key employee dies prematurely, the policy pays out to the employer
  • Tax-free dollars from the policy can be put toward finding, hiring, and training a replacement employee, compensation for lost business during the transition and/or financing timely business transactions
  • Policy can be transferred to a different key employee as a retirement benefit or to a different key individual, upon the retirement of the original key employee
  • It can be used to buy out the key employee’s shares or interest in the company
  • Premiums are based on several factors, including the key employee’s age, physical conditions, and health history. The amount of coverage also affects the premium.

Advantages of Key Person Life Insurance

  • Can be easily implemented and does not require Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) approval; only requires an annual report to the CRA
  • Life insurance benefits are paid to the company tax-free
  • Customers, creditors, lenders, and stockholders have the assurance that the business has a continuation plan and coverage in place
  • There is flexibility in what the funds can be used for.

Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions understands that your key assets need protecting and we are here to help! Please contact us today to learn more about key person life insurance solutions.

info@scrivens.ca | 613-236-9101

What you should know about maintaining your jewellery

Like any significant investment, you must make an effort to care for the gems and jewels in your collection. They will require cleaning and care on a regular basis to ensure that they sparkle and shine long after you pass them on to your children and grandchildren.

Jewellery Care

To ensure that your jewellery has a long and sparkling life, consider these care recommendations:

  • Always store your jewellery in a jewellery box or trunk when it is not being worn. This will protect it from dust and other particles that will diminish its appearance. When storing jewellery, also remember to refrain from stacking items on top of one another. This is because pieces with stones may scratch other soft metal items if they are touching.
  • Most jewellery can be cleaned simply with water or with mild dish soap. After cleaning, dry your pieces with a lint-free cloth.
  • Do not expose your jewellery to extremely hot temperatures, dry conditions or sudden changes in temperature, as many stones (emeralds, opals, and pearls, for example) are negatively affected by these conditions.
  • Do not wear jewellery while exercising or playing sports, as it can break on impact.

Specific Care Recommendations

Diamonds

  • To maintain a diamond’s brilliance, soak it regularly in a solution of half ammonia and half cold water for 30 minutes. Then dry it with a lint-free cloth. Or, place a diamond in a glass of plain vodka to restore its sparkle.
  • Make sure diamond rings are inspected semi-annually to ensure that stone settings are in place.

Metals:

  • Many durable metals (like tungsten) require minimal care, yet others (like platinum) are more susceptible to scratching. Get a platinum band buffed every six months to remove scratches.
  • Remove excess dirt buildup on metals with a jewellery cleaner or mild soap and water.
  • To help silver retain its shine, polish it regularly with store-bought silver polish.

Gold:

  • Remove gold jewellery before showering or using household cleaners, as soap film builds easily on gold surfaces.
  • To clean gold, place it in a solution of a few drops of ammonia, mild detergent, and warm water.
  • To remove body oil and grease from gold jewellery, use rubbing alcohol.

Coloured stone care:

  • Avoid exposing emeralds to hot water or soap water for a long period of time.
  • Do not engage in vigorous activity while wearing tanzanite, as it is very brittle.
  • Clean opals with baby oil or olive oil to prevent them from drying out.

Need assistance insuring your jewellery? We can help. Call Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions today to learn more about our insurance solutions

The top chimney maintenance tips

Did You Know?

In spite of the ambiance and relaxation that a fireplace provides, there are also inherent fire dangers. To combat the risk of fire or inhalation of dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) gas, it is important for you to make chimney maintenance part of your home loss prevention plan.

chimney-maintenance-tipsChimney Maintenance

Both metal and masonry chimneys require maintenance so that smoke and flue gases are ventilated properly. At the very least, you should have your chimney inspected annually before each heating season. In addition:

  • Have your chimney cleaned on a regular basis to reduce creosote build-up.
  • Make sure your masonry chimney has a flue liner in place to reduce the possibility that the masonry could absorb creosote.
  • Replace cracked or damaged liners, as they will allow creosote to accumulate and heat to escape.
  • When hiring someone to reline your chimney, only allow the contractor to use a product that has been tested and listed by a nationality recognized testing laboratory.

There are two types of chimneys that require specific maintenance to minimize the dangers in your home.

  • Fireplace inserts (hearth stoves):
    • Vent should be connected to the flue of the chimney.
  • Factory-built metal chimneys:
    • Do not use natural gas, fuel oil vents, well casing, stovepipe or other material in the chimney, as they cannot withstand the heat in the wood burner.

Safety First

Do not vent more than one heater or appliance into a single flue, as major complications car arise. If one fuel-burning appliance is connected to a flue and then you attach another appliance, such as a water heater, you are running the risk of the following serious problems:

  • Heavy creosote accumulation
  • Deterioration of the flue
  • Creosote blocking the lower heater vent
  • Carbon monoxide drifting into your home