From dorm rooms to driving, it's important for university students going back to school to be protected. Most parents want to know if they need tenant insurance for their children when they move away to attend university. Tenant Insurance is important to protect the student's valuables like laptops and televisions in dorm rooms or apartments, but most importantly liability coverage should be considered. It is important to protect your family in case of accidental damage to a building or other residents belongings. Check out this interview our insurance specialist Scott Conrad did with CTV Atlantic News for some helpful tips and to know the questions to ask your insurance broker to ensure you are covered.
March is Fraud Awareness Month, a month dedicated to preventing consumers from becoming victims of fraud. There are many types of fraud that occur each and every day in Canada. It can affect businesses, organizations and individuals. This year, the focus of Fraud Awareness Month is online safety.
It’s important to be proactive about keeping your personal and financial information safe. Follow these tips to ensure your information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Change your passwords regularly and avoid using passwords that can be easily guessed, such as birthdays, addresses, or phone numbers. Be sure not to reuse passwords across multiple accounts, especially for your accounts with financial institutions.
Install anti-virus and anti-spyware tools purchased from trusted sources, and ensure your computer programs and browser is up to date with the latest software.
Avoid downloading free programs or files from untrusted sources, such as from spam e-mails, pop-ups, or untrusted websites.
Do not click the ‘unsubscribe’ links on unsolicited email from spammers. Doing so will only ensure you are kept on fraudsters' contact lists. Instead of opening the email, simply delete it.
Replace paper financial statements with electronic versions when possible. Be sure to regularly monitor statements to ensure all purchases made are legitimate.
Be cautious when using public computers and only use online banking on a computer you know to be secure and protected. Join Wi-Fi accounts that are set up by trusted sources, such as airports, hotels, and coffee shops. Always confirm with staff to sure you are connecting to their own wireless network.
Look for the two hallmarks of a secure and encrypted website: a ‘padlock’ icon at the top of your browser screen and ‘https’ in the URL bar. These ensure a website has a safe and secure connection for conducting online banking or shopping.
Be suspicious of any email from a financial institution that requests your personal information. Never send any personal or financial information over email.
Taking time to prepare your home for the Nova Scotia winter ahead will help ensure you avoid costly damages that can come from low temperatures, heavy snowfalls, and high winds. By having home insurance and performing these simple maintenance tips, you’ll be better able to ensure that Old Man Winter stays out and you and your family stay safe and toasty warm inside your home.
1. Yard Clean-UpTrim back any dead branches that could break off under the weight of snow and ice. These can damage your home or injure someone if they fall. Clear your gutters of leaves and other debris to make sure melted snow can drain properly. Ensure that water can flow freely through the downspouts and that they are directed away from the foundation of your home to avoid damage.
2. Organize Your GarageJust as you would conduct a spring cleaning, consider scheduling a traditional 'fall cleaning' of your garage. Sort through the remains of summer projects and clean and store away gardening tools. Things like the lawn-mower, rakes and summer toys can be put away, and any winter necessities like shovels, snow blowers, skis and snowshoes can be brought to the front. Set out salt and gravel containers, and you'll thank yourself the first time the ice hits.
3. Cover Up Exposed Water PipesNothing makes water pipes more vulnerable to damage quite like freezing temperatures do. Make sure your pipes are prepared to withstand the cold by fitting bare piping with insulation sleeves. Exposed pipes can be found in garages, crawl spaces, and attics. Be sure to take extra precautions (such as shutting off your water), if you are going to be leaving your home for an extended period of time.
4. Schedule Maintenance for Your Heating SystemWhether you have a heat pump, furnace, boiler or a wood stove, don’t wait for the temperature to drop to discover your system needs repairs. Now is the time to schedule a furnace inspection to ensure everything is working properly throughout the cold winter months.
5. Check Insulation and Seal WindowsTake time to inspect and upgrade insulation and weather stripping. Attics tend to have the least insulation, making them more susceptible to damage from low temperatures. Check for signs of moisture or wetness and replace insulation where needed. To further protect your home, consider sealing the windows to keep the warmth in and lower your energy bills, as even double and triple paned glass can let a draft in. Purchase a film sealing kit and caulk the cracks and apply the plastic film around the inside of each window.
6. Prepare the FireplaceIf your home has a fireplace, now is the time to get it ready for winter use. Inspect the outside of the chimney for cracks or gaps in the bricks. Use a flashlight and check the inside for signs of animal infestation or cracked bricks. Consider having your chimney checked and serviced by a licensed contractor to ensure a fire can be safely lit in the fireplace.
7. Check the Fire AlarmFires in the home occur most frequently in the winter time. Be sure to replace the alarms every 10 years and replace batteries regularly. Remember that you need working smoke alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas.
Do you have plans to enjoy time on the water this season? The key to a great day out at sea is keeping safe while having fun. Follow these tips to help prevent accidents and enjoy boating safely with your friends and family.
- PFD’s and Lifejackets
Everyone on board must be wearing a Canadian-approved PFD or Lifejacket. And remember, they only work when they are worn! Having one close by won’t protect you in the event of accident or injury on the water.
- Check your safety gear
Be sure your safety gear is in good working order before you head out. You are required by law to carry safety equipment in your boat, ensure your equipment complies with the national standards so that you’ll be well prepared on the water.
- Be mindful of changes in weather
A change in weather such as the clouds darkening, the temperature dropping, or a change in wind speed can be a sign that extreme or unsafe weather may be approaching. Monitor the local weather forecast before going out on the water to ensure you’re not at risk. Always ensure that you have someone at home who knows your planned route for the day.
You can learn more about boating safety and national standards from The Canadian Red Cross.