Vehicle Thefts & Prevention Tips

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What’s the best way to keep my car safe?

This is a question on the mind of every vehicle owner.  Whether it be the vehicle itself or the valuables in it, car theft is a problem associated with most major cities, and one that doesn’t appear to be on the decline anytime soon.  However, by taking a few simple precautions you can limit your exposure to becoming a victim of this crime and an insurance statistic.

Calgary police have offered up the following tips to reduce the risk of vehicle theft:

  • Lock up your vehicle; close the windows and sunroof when the vehicle will be unattended.  If you park you vehicle in a garage, make sure the overhead garage door and pedestrian door are locked as well.  Do not leave a spare key hidden inside the vehicle.
  • Consider installing an aftermarket car alarm if your vehicle is not already equipped with one.
  • Be aware of where you park.  Well lit parking lots and streets with lots of vehicular and pedestrian traffic will help to deter car thefts.
  • Do not leave garage door openers in vehicles.  Thieves can use them to gain entry to a home.
  • Do not leave valuables in plain view in your vehicle.  This includes parcels, cell phones, GPS devices, laptops, clothing or money
  • Avoid parking in unlit areas at night.

 

You may not always be able to prevent theft, but by following these tips and using a little common sense you can certainly make it harder too.

 

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On January 10th, 2017, posted in: Uncategorized by

Happy New Year

2013 Shay Cochrane

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as we prepare to close the chapter on 2016, we want to take this time to thank you our clients for your continued support.   it has been a great year and we can’t wait to see what 2017 will hold.  best wishes for a healthy and happy new year from our family to yours.

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On December 30th, 2016, posted in: Uncategorized by

Happy Holidays

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Best wishes for a happy holiday season & our sincere thanks for your loyalty and goodwill throughout the year.

Sincerely,

Sproule Insurance

 

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On December 14th, 2016, posted in: Uncategorized by

Broker Spotlight: Dennis Tran

Meet Dennis!

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Specializing in business, home & auto insurance, Dennis finds insurance solutions for a wide range of industries.   Officially he became a member of the team in July and his expertise has played a critical role in our success since then.

Click here to learn more about our newest team member.

 

photo credit: toi et moi photography

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On December 1st, 2016, posted in: Uncategorized by

Winterize Your Home | tips for preparing your home for winter

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Colder temperatures, snow and ice are inevitable in the coming months, however, there are some things you can do now to get ready for the frosty winter ahead and reduce your risk of property damage.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada has listed easy maintenance tips to get your home prepared for what mother nature has in store.

 

Inside Your Home

  • Clean or replace furnace air filters each month during the heating season.
  • If you go on vacation, leave the heat on.  Get someone to check on your home while you are away.  Contact your broker to determine the visitation requirements while you are away
  • Test batteries in fire and smoke decttors and vacuum fire and smoke detectors, as dust or spider webs can prevent them from functions
  • If you have a plumbing fixture that is not used frequently, such as a laundry tub or spare bathroom sink, run water through it occasionally to keep water in the trap.
  • Make a note of where your water main is located in case you need to shut it off in an emergency.
  • If away for extended periods, consider fire and low temperature detection off site.
  • Test plumbing shut-off valves to ensure they are working and to prevent them from seizing.
  • Examine your attic for frost accumulation. Check your roof for ice dams or icicles. If you see excessive frost or staining in your attic or if there are ice dams on the roof surface. Damage from ice dams may not be covered under your home insurance policy.

Outside Your Home

  • Keep your sidewalk and the front stairs of your house clear of snow and ice to prevent falls and injuries.
  • Keep snow clear of gas meters, gas appliance vents, exhaust vents and basement windows.
  • Drain your garden hose.
  • Water frozen in pipes can cause your pipes to break at their weakest point. To prevent freezing, fit exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping.
  • Trim tree branches that hang close to the house or electrical wires.

source: Insurance Bureau of Canada

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On September 13th, 2016, posted in: Uncategorized by

Winterize Your Vehicle | a Checklist to Get Your Car Ready for Winter

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With fall around the corner it’s time to once again give thought to winterizing your vehicle and preparing  for the unexpected weather conditions that accompany the colder months.

This checklist from Kal Tire will set your vehicle up for safety in the coming months ahead.

 

Tires

Install winter tires.  Your winter tires can be installed as soon as temperatures hit 7 degrees C.  The special rubber compound in your winter tires allows them to stay flexible and grip snow and ice for optimum traction.

Check your air pressure in all four tires and your spare tire.  Cold air can make the pressure in you tire drop significantly, which can affect your vehicle’s ability to bite ice and snow.  It’s a good idea to check the inflation of your spare as well and ensure you tire changing kit is on board and intact.

 

Fluid, Systems and Hardware

Check, change or top up all fluids.  This includes everything from engine coolant and oil to windshield washer fluid and gas.  You should always have at least half a tank of gas in the winter because you could be idling longer in traffic jams or in the ditch wanting to warm up with the engine running intermittently.  Having a full tank also prevents condensation in your gas tank and lines which can be excessive with winter temperatures.

Check your blades, battery, brakes and belts.  Your wiper blades should be changed at least twice a year so they can effectively wipe away blowing snow and rain.  Have your battery checked to see if it’s in good enough shape to get your car started and running through the winter.  Optimum braking is critical in the winter when your car needs to preform on snow and ice so have them checked along with your engine belts and hoses while you’re at the shop.

Check your a/c and your exhaust systems.  Many drivers don’t realize it’s actually your air conditioning system that vehicles use to defrost and dehumidify inside your car.  You’ll also want to make sure your exhaust system is intact to avoid leaking exhaust pipes or mufflers which could cause carbon monoxide poisoning and decrease the efficiency of your vehicle.  While you’re at it, make sure that block heater is still working.

 

Emergency Supplies

Pack an emergency kit.  Your kit should include some supplies for you and your passengers,  including a first aid kit, bottled water, health bars, boots, gloves, and an extra winter coat.  Remember to dress for winter everyday.  Even if it looks sunny and mild when you head out, you could be facing a blizzard on the way back.

Your kit should also contain emergency supplies for your vehicle, including booster cables, extra oil and windshield washer fluid, lock de-icer, flashlight, flares or safety triangles, an ice scraper, a shovel, a bag of salt or gravel and possibly even some chains for your tires.  Did you know if you only have all-season tires, you are required by law to carry chains on certain highways and mountain passes?

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Follow these tips and you’ll be all set for when winter driving season begins, in the meantime lets just enjoy this last few weeks of summer.  Safe travels!

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On September 12th, 2016, posted in: Uncategorized by

iClarify Residential

Streamlining our renewal and quoting process is something we take great value in at Sproule Insurance.  As such we’ve partnered with iClarify Residential,  a cutting-edge property insurance valuation and validation tool that allows us to assess risk with confidence.

iClarify allows us to validate property data instantly, accurately and efficiently.  A value added service that we are excited to share with our clients.

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On September 8th, 2016, posted in: Uncategorized by

Drone Commercial Insurance

more and more businesses are beginning to use drones in their day-to-day operations.  whether its for surveying purposes, aerial photography, inspection, farming, or any other commercial activity, if you fly a drone for commercial purposes you require insurance coverage.

coverage that protects you from damage to and loss of the drone, grand station equipment, drone-mounted devices such as cameras, and spare parts.  helping to meet the evolving  and further needs of your business.

at sproule insurance we offer a broad range of commercial insurance products and brokerage services, including drone insurance.   for further details on choosing the right drone insurance for your business call our office today.

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On August 30th, 2016, posted in: Uncategorized by

Ridesharing Insurance

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effective July 1, 2016 Intact Insurance will now be offering ridesharing insurance coverage to Uber.

this coverage will serve as a tailor-made ridesharing insurance policy to be issued directly to transportation network companies.  the policy will be issued directly to Uber by Intact, and will provide insurance coverage from the moment a ride request is accepted until the moment passengers exit the vehicle.

in addition, those customers who are insured with Intact Insurance can be assured that they have proper coverage for the personal use of their vehicles that will offer protection from using their vehicles ‘off-trip,’ in other words when using their vehicle for personal use or when they are logged into the Uber mobile application and available to accept ride requests.  this affordable insurance option, costs on average $20/month and can easily be added to any existing or new Intact Insurance personal auto policy.

for additional information, or to add this option to your current policy please contact our office.

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On June 30th, 2016, posted in: Uncategorized by

summer vacation | what you need to know before you go

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warmer temperatures and the end of the school year can only mean one thing, summer is officially here.  but before you pack up the family car and hit the road (hopefully destined for sandy beaches and state fairs) it’s important to make sure all your insurance bases are covered.

 

here are a few tips to keep in mind before you leave

  1. hold your mail – this is as simple as putting a hold on newspaper subscriptions or asking a trusted neighbour to pick up any flyers or papers piling up on your doorstep.
  2. alert your alarm company – contacting your provider ahead of time is always smart.  ensure that before you leave, you have all window and door alarms on.
  3. make it look like you are home – set light timers and tv timers, leave a car in the driveway, and depending on season, arrange for someone to shovel the walk or mow the lawn.
  4. keep quiet on social media – announcing vacation on any media platform will alert everyone that you are away.  instead, enjoy your time off grid and share stories upon your return.
  5. lock up your valuables – jewelry, rings, and other important documents should be placed in a fire-proof safe.
  6. turn off main water supply – this will help prevent any catastrophic water damage due to leaky lines or burst pipes.
  7. arrange for someone to come check on your place in compliance with what your insurance policy states, if unsure contact your broker.
  8. rest easy, you’ve taken all the necessary precautions, enjoy yourself.

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have a safe and enjoyable summer vacation from all of us at Sproule Insurance.


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On June 22nd, 2016, posted in: Uncategorized by