Insurance Simplified: Smith Petrie Carr & Scott Answers Your FAQs

Since insurance can be complicated at times, it doesn’t hurt to get a helping hand. As some of the best professionals in the industry who pride ourselves in a team-based approach to insurance, Smith Petrie Carr & Scott is happy to pick up the phone to answer any of your questions.

Click the following links for product specific FAQs:

Why Smith Petrie Carr & Scott?

As one of the largest locally owned and operated brokerages in the province of Ontario, Smith Petrie Carr & Scott is confident in its abilities to help you. Staffed with some of the best insurance professionals in the industry, we are happy to help you with any of your insurance-related issues. We offer:

  • Claims representation is offered 24/7 to those who need it most.
  • We offer a team-based approach to insurance so that you have help from a wide array of professional individuals, well-versed in insurance.
  • Personal representation to speak out for you if you need a claim dispute settled.
  • A team of dedicated and determined professionals who are always updating you on new items, products and changes in the insurance sphere so all the decisions you make are backed up.

No time to give us a call? You might find the answer you’re looking for in the following FAQs.

Please refer to the contacts page for the name of your account manager. In personal lines the alpha split is based on the first letter of your last name. Our staff are at your service and will respond quickly to your inquiry.

Most of our companies operate a 24 hour North America wide claims service. You can find this number by clicking on the emergency claims service button on our title page. These people are here to serve your needs when we are not.

Yes, we offer affordable payment options and in many cases credit cards can be used.

Please call your customer service representative as soon as you know there may be a problem. We can help if it is caught early enough.

Yes, all policies have special limits depending on the insurance company and the type of policy. The most common limits relate to unscheduled jewelry, watercraft, cash and business property kept at home. The special limits are listed within your policy wordings. If you have any questions please feel free to contact your customer service representative.

As insurance professionals we always recommend the best form of coverage possible.
When it comes to property insurance we recommend the Comprehensive or Gold form policies. These policies give you the widest possible coverage and the additional premium is relatively small. If you have any questions please feel free to contact your customer service representative.

Yes. In many cases your property policy limits the coverage to goods and tools pertaining to business. There are special riders to pick up the coverage on contents, equipment and liability that comes with running a business in your residence. If you have any questions please feel free to contact your customer service representative.

This mainly relates to water damage coverage. When leaving your home for more than 96 consecutive hours (4days) during the normal heating season, you must arrange for a competent person to enter your home daily. The alternative is to shut off your water supply and drain your plumbing system. If you have any questions please feel free to contact your customer service representative.

The simple answer is “Do not have any at fault losses or convictions”. Keeping a clear driving record will go a long way to save you money. With most companies, getting two or more tickets will cost you on renewal. Most preferred driving classes will only accept drivers with one ticket at the most. Any type of ticket, other than parking tickets, will affect your driving record and could cost you dearly. Visit our Insurance Tips page for more info.

Under Ontario law, the owner of the vehicle must carry the following;

  • A minimum limit of liability coverage $ 200,000.00. As insurance professionals, we recommend that you spend a few extra dollars and insure your vehicle to a minimum $ 2,000,000.00
  • Basic accident benefits. This coverage provides protection should you be injured in an accident. This section can pay for rehabilitation and extra medical expenses. Higher limits are available. If you have any questions please feel free to contact your customer service representative.
  • Direct compensation/property damage is the section of your policy that responds to repairing your vehicle when someone else is responsible for the accident.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage is self-explanatory
  • Physical damage coverage (collision and comprehensive) may be required if you have a lien or loan registered against your vehicle or if you drive a leased vehicle

In many cases collision, comprehensive and most of the endorsements are considered to be optional. As insurance professionals we recommend you carry a minimum $ 500.00 collision deductible, $ 300.00 comprehensive deductible and the following endorsements,

  • Loss of use (OPCF 20)
  • Physical damage for short term hired automobiles (OPCF 27)
  • Family protection (OPCF 44)
  • Limited waiver of depreciation (OPCF 43) for those vehicles that qualify.
  • Accident waiver endorsement (AWE) for those that qualify. If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our account managers.

Any qualified, licensed operator, with your permission, can drive your vehicle and be insured under your policy. We wish to point out that this person will be driving with your insurance and your good driving record. If they have an accident it could seriously affect you.

Yes, in many cases the changes can save you money. For example if you stop driving your vehicle to work and take alternative transport, the change in class can save you premium dollars. The reverse is also true . Let’s say your vehicle was originally insured as not driving to work but you start a new job as a sale representative. A claim could be denied as a material change in risk. Also, changes in ownership should be brought to our attention. If we are to insure any vehicle properly we must have the correct owner listed. If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our account managers.

The term “no-fault” refers to the settlement of accident benefit claims. The basic accident benefits and any optional benefits purchased will apply, whether you are responsible for the accident or not. As before, there will be fault associated with any accident with regards to the rating upon renewal. If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our personal account managers.

Insurance Tips

Smith Petrie Carr & Scott’s Insurance 101: Helping You Make Good Decisions

Insurance is rarely straightforward and can seem like an endless maze. Luckily, Smith Petrie Carr & Scott offers a team-based approach to insurance and is staffed with some of the best in the industry. We pride ourselves in maintaining long-term relationships with our clients and are always ready to pick up the phone to answer any questions you may have.

The Benefits of Smith Petrie Carr & Scott

Smith Petrie Carr & Scott are some of the best insurance brokers around and we pride ourselves in being qualified, approachable, professional, and always ready to help. Here are some of the benefits to choosing us:

We offer 24/7 claims representatives who can help you when you need it most.

  • Comprehensive insurance packages that are designed to check every box.
  • A team-based approach to insurance so that you always receive consistent personal service.
  • A dedicated team of insurance professionals who will keep you in the loop on all the new things going on in the insurance sphere so the decisions you make are well-informed.
  • Personal representation if a claim you make ever needs disputing.

If you don’t have time to give us a call, you may find an answer to one of your insurance questions listed among some of the most commonly asked insurance questions, answered below:

Insurance FAQs – Property, Auto, Commercial & Life


Most Frequently Asked Questions About Property Insurance:

In general, there are two basic policy types. Firstly, there is the ‘Broad form’ policy that provides good solid coverage. This form provides open perils (‘all risk’ with some exclusions) coverage on the building and named perils on the contents. Secondly, the ‘Comprehensive form’ or gold policy will provide even broader coverage for your home and contents. This form also has higher limits for certain items within the policy.

We suggest that our clients carry the ‘Comprehensive’ or ‘gold’ form of property policy. The annual additional premium is minimal, and the coverage is broader. We feel this is money well spent.

Most people believe everything in the car is covered through automobile insurance. Comprehensive coverage on automobile policies is one of the most frequently carried optional coverages, but it is limited and coverage only applies to such items specific to that vehicle such as the radio, stereo, CD, cassette player and one tape/CD. Items commonly stolen and not covered include briefcases, purses, coats, sunglasses, presents, laptop computers, tools, cell phones, sports equipment (e.g. golf clubs or skates)

Home, tenant, condo, business insurance can provide theft coverage but this may be very limited also and if not insured through the same insurance company, a separate deductible will apply.

  • FREEZING of plumbing, heating or air conditioning system when you have been away from dwelling four or more consecutive days is not covered. However, if you arrange for a competent person to check dwelling daily or shut off water and drain pipes, you would still have coverage.
  • VACANT AND UNOCCUPIED dwellings are not covered for vandalism, glass breakage, freezing and water damage losses. After 30 days of vacancy, no coverage exists for ALL other losses unless you inform broker and coverage is extended by insurance company.
  • EARTHQUAKE is excluded under most standard policy wordings. Coverage can be added by endorsement.
  • BUSINESS PROPERTY and BUSINESS PURSUITS are generally excluded on your personal property policy. The situation should be reviewed with your insurance broker if you conduct business from your home.
  • MATERIAL CHANGE to the risk requires immediate notification to avoid discontinuance of coverage or denial of a claim. An example of a situation would be renting out your cottage and not informing your broker or insurance company of the change in occupancy.

Did you know that you are liable for anything that happens in your apartment? If you have unsafe conditions in your own living area, you are responsible if someone hurts themselves and you could be sued.

The owner of the building you live in does not insure your contents. Are you prepared to lose all of your belongings if there is a fire?

Did you also know that your Automobile Insurance does not insure against stolen property left in your car? CDs, golf clubs etc…, all of it is considered ‘contents’ in the eyes of an insurance company, and would only be replaced if you had a property insurance policy.

Property policies separate losses into various types, each with its own conditions and limitations.

  • Personal Property – most of the normal contents of your home, from linens to electronics, are considered Personal Property.
  • Real Property – buildings and land are considered Real Property. A fire in your home can damage both the structure (Real Property) and the contents of your home (Personal Property)
  • Liability – your responsibility to other people when they suffer loss or injury due to your negligence. Liability coverage extends to most everyday life situations but does not include, for example, liability resulting from the use of an automobile.

The amount of coverage available depends on the type of policy, the insurance purchased and the nature of the loss. Please consult your policy and/or contact us.

Check that you have safety equipment installed and in working order. Fire and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, escape plans, deadbolts on doors and locked windows help to protect both your family and your property.

It also helps to know what you have in your home. Make a list of personal belongings in each room. Consider taking photographs or a video tape to keep with the list. If you’d like to assure yourself you have enough insurance coverage, consider totaling the values of all listed items and comparing the result to your “Contents” coverage limit. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or wish to revise your coverages.

Information taken from “Property Claims” – The Dominion of Canada.

All property policies incorporate a deductible of some description. Insurance is designed to protect people from losses they cannot afford. Adjusting many very small losses would be very expensive and would unnecessarily increase premiums. Therefore, when you buy a policy, you agree to pay the first portion of any loss. This deductible applies only once per occurrence, regardless of how many items are claimed. For example, if our deductible is $500 and your total covered claim is $2,000, your insurance company would pay you $1,500.

  • Deductibles: Did you know that higher deductibles will reduce your premiums?
  • Dual Policy: Save if you insure both your home & auto with the same company.
  • New Home Discount: If your home is less than 10 years old you could be eligible for a discount.
  • Security Alarm: A centrally monitored burglar and fire alarm system will not only improve security but also provide a discount.
  • Age Discount: If you’re over 45 years old you could be eligible for savings.
  • Claims Free Discount: If you have not had a property insurance claim for three or more years a discount is available.
  • Mortgage Free Discount: Receive another discount if you have no mortgage.

You too can take some simple steps to help fight debit card fraud:

  • Select less obvious numbers for your PIN. Memorize it. Never share it, and change it every few months.
  • Monitor your accounts for any activity that appears unusual and report it to your bank immediately.
  • Never let your debit card out of sight when making a purchase.
  • Shield the keypad when entering your PIN at terminals or ABMs.
  • Only conduct transactions where you feel secure.

If you do suspect debit card fraud, you need to contact your bank immediately so they can take appropriate action. Typically your back will cancel the debit card and issue a new one with a new PIN.

Depending on the circumstances you may be asked to fill out an affidavit stating you had no knowledge of the questionable transaction. The Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Debit Card Services guarantees that proven victims of debit card fraud, when circumstances were beyond their control, will have their money returned.

Property Claims and Storms

Common Questions About Property Insurance Claims and Storm Damage Related to Trees and Wind:

Trees are not insured against wind damage, nor is the cost to cut them up, unless the tree or its branches have fallen on (and damaged) insured property, such as your roof, deck or fence.  In these cases, most insurance carriers will pay for the cost to get the tree or branches off of the damaged property in order to commence repairs.

Ownership of a tree does not necessarily make you legally liable for the damage caused unless the tree was clearly dead or dying, dropping large branches and your neighbour had put you on notice requesting the tree be removed.  If a healthy looking tree blows over in high winds, the insurance carrier for the property it lands on and damages should respond.

Regardless of who owns the tree, both insurance carriers would each respond for 50% of the total damage to the fence, and each of you would be responsible for your full deductible.

It is your responsibility as an insured person and homeowner to take steps to protect your property and others from injury or damage.  Your insurance carrier does not pay for preventative tree or branch removal.


FAQs About Auto Insurance & How to Save

Here are some suggestions:

  • Dual Policy Discount: Save money if you insure both home & auto with the same company.
  • Multi Vehicle Discount: Did you know that if all your vehicles are insured with the same company it will allow you to receive a multi-vehicle discount?
  • Deductibles: Did you know that higher deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverages will lower your premiums?
  • Waiver of Depreciation: If you have purchased a new car recently, do you know if you have the waiver of depreciation endorsement on that vehicle?
  • Loss of Use: Do you know if your policy has this optional endorsement which guarantees a rental car in the case of an accident?
  • Collision Coverage: If you have an older vehicle have you considered deleting collision coverage?
  • University Discount: Is your son or daughter away at university and only home on holidays?
  • Alarm Discount: If your vehicle has an ignition disabling alarm you could be eligible for a discount.
  • Driver Training: A driver training certificate from a certified driving school will save new drivers money.
  • Age Discount: If you are over 45 years of age you could be eligible for savings.
  • Claims Free Discount: Drivers with six or more years of accident-free driving will be entitled to a reduced premium.
  • Insurance Record: Always remain listed on an insurance policy to maintain your insurance record.

You may repair your vehicle anywhere you choose. However, your insurance broker has a list of preferred shops for auto repairs. When work is completed with them you benefit from the following advantages:

  • The work is warranted for as long as you own the car
  • Faster and more convenient – no multiple estimates required
  • Work can begin immediately – communication channel is already established on repair rates and authorization is pre-arranged between insurance company and repair facility
  • Priority service as volume of work is recognized between insurer and body shop

Find out what you should know when entering a car rental agreement. Download this pdf that explains the ins and outs of car rental insurance.


Breaking Down Commercial Insurance: FAQs, Answered

Are you aware of the various requirements contained within your corporate lease? Ideally, before you sign a lease you should consider:

  • Is there a “hold harmless” agreement in favour of the landlord?
  • Are you required to protect the landlord?
  • Are you required to insure fixtures and improvements which you did not pay for?
  • What limits of liability insurance are you required to purchase?

Some leases have requirements of $5,000,000. Smith Petrie Carr & Scott will review your lease to point out any unusual transfers of risk.

Credit insurance is a useful risk-management tool that protects accounts-receivable assets in the event of the buyer’s bankruptcy or protracted refusal to pay. It protects against unforeseen credit losses and against political events such as unavailability of hard currency, changes in import/export regulations, non-payment by foreign governments, and “contract frustration” arising from acts of war.

Credit insurance is not a substitute for good credit practices and it doesn’t protect against routine bad debts. Nor is it a collection or factoring service.

Give us a call to discuss

  1. The majority of insurance companies recognize the advantages of Boomerang so much that in most cases they offer additional premium discounts, and in many cases are now requiring the installation in high-risk vehicles & heavy equipment.
  2. The Boomerang recovery rate is approximately 95%
  3. The technology employed is not restrictive; stolen assets equipped with a Boomerang can be found even if they are located underground, in a metal container, or in an enclosed area such as a garage.
  4. The Boomerang does not use GPS (Global Positioning System), a satellite-based recovery system, but does use the cellular network, a system that provides a broader geographical scope in terms of locating a stolen asset equipped with the Boomerang.
  5. Over 1,230 vehicles and heavy equipment have been recovered by Boomerang
  6. With its use of the cellular network, stolen property can be located in over 900 cities in North America
  7. Recoveries are quick; on average 1.5 hours. In most cases, the speed of the recovery assures minimal damage to the stolen asset, if any.
  8. For the owner’s protection, the Boomerang is hidden in the vehicle and its location is unknown even to the owner

Life Insurance

Addressing Life Insurance FAQs

  • 48% of mortgage foreclosures are caused by disability…3.9% from death
  • Did you know that you’re 8 times more likely to be disabled than to die during your working life?
  • Deciding between RRSP’s and D.I. is like deciding between your house insurance or your car insurance…why jeopardize your retirement and the time in between?
  • If you don’t come to work, who pays you?
  • Will your business remain profitable if you’re not there for 6 months? 3 years? 20 years? Will this affect the income you can take out of the business?
  • Could your spouse work tomorrow and run your business well enough to keep it profitable?
  • Did you take 6 months vacation this year? Why not?
  • Is there anyone who could replace you? If no, can your business afford to pay you AND someone to take your place at work?
  • Would your business stay healthy if you got sick?
  • Would you consider yourself an independent person? Could you be dependant on someone else for the rest of your life?

Small Business Group Insurance: Why it Helps

Doing business in today’s world demands that employers invest in their employees for businesses with 5 to 35 employees.

Group insurance can help you attract and retain employees, and minimize the costs associated with high employee turnover.

A good employee benefits program can also:

  • Improve morale and contribute to increased productivity by providing added financial security to employees and their dependents.
  • Provide all employees a guaranteed level of coverage without medical evidence (for groups with five or more employees).
  • Allow you to deduct employer-paid premium from your taxes as a business expense.
  • Give you the flexibility to reward key groups of employees with specialized benefits
  • Allow you to show your commitment to employees by providing aid when they need it most.
  • Provide you and your employees with coverage at a reduced cost compared to most individual policies.
  • Give you and your employees peace of mind knowing the cost of coverage is minimal compared to a potentially large payoff.

Rogers Insurance and CapriCMW Merge to Become Acera Insurance.

Smith Petrie Carr & Scott, as part of the Rogers Insurance Group, is now Acera Insurance.

As one unified company, we are now one of Canada's largest independent and employee-controlled brokerages.