Take back your glovebox in 2019
Stop digging through the pile of napkins and receipts...only to find expired pink cards. Nova Scotia allows drivers to provide digital proof of insurance and it's available now.
and it's excellent.
Brokers who use MyProof can send you a secure email and in a few quick steps you'll have it on you wherever you go.
STEP 1 - Hop on your phone and open up that email.
STEP 2 - "CLICK TO DOWNLOAD AUTO INSURANCE CARD"
Which looks like this:
STEP 3 - "ADD" to wallet.
Adding the Proof of Insurance to your phone's 'digital wallet' let's you access it without an internet connection or cellphone signal.
It works just like a boarding pass...and if you haven't been brave enough to use one of those yet, let me take this moment to FULLY ENDORSE IT. You're missing out.
*For those not familiar a 'Digital Wallet' comes pre-installed on i-phones, and is available for download on your devices specific app store. Once you have a card in your wallet it stays there until you delete it.
The Digital Pink card does still have the year to year limitation, but it's a good reminder to take a look at your renewal with your broker and update it.
HERE'S A VIDEO THAT LETS YOU SEE IT IN ACTION.
The video mentions PRIVACY and LOCKING your phone when presenting your Pink Card. A valid point that needs addressing.
In order to feel comfortable passing your phone to a stranger you should activate what's called "Guided Access" on your device. It allows you to lock your screen within applications and restricts access to other parts of the device. It's handy for this exact reason, and also to let kids handle your phone without calling someone or buying something.
At the risk of becoming a tech-blog, here's a quick map for activating GUIDED ACCESS on i-phone and Android devices.
Believe it or not, allowing Electronic Proof of Auto Insurance was new in 2018.
What's more impressive is that Nova Scotia was the first province in Canada to allow it.
Look at us!
I don't think the paper pink cards are going away anytime soon, but I'd like to think at least once...this comes in handy for someone at a police checkpoint.
In the past 5 years, have you ever been cancelled, declined, or refused coverage?"
Clients that have been cancelled for non payment may find themselves PAYING A LOT MORE for coverage at renewal.
Here's a few reasons to make insurance payments a priority.
Avoid getting picked last for kickball.
Fortunately Auto Insurance is regulated by the province, and if you pay the missing amount before your cancellation date there's a requirement to reinstate your coverage.
Once renewal rolls around though, that's when you'll see the additional costs.
Property on the other hand has NO REGULATION which means insurance companies don't HAVE to do anything... and the market is trending towards insurers NOT REINSTATING HOME POLICIES that have been cancelled for non-payment.
This leads to shopping for coverage elsewhere right away, and your options are often less attractive.
When it Rains, it Pours.
If you're able to get your insurer to reinstate your HOME policy, there's a good chance they may not offer monthly payment anymore.
PAYMENT IN FULL?!
If you decide to go elsewhere "since this is ridiculous" you're likely to have an even higher premium elsewhere since you've been removed from the WANTED list.
Understand What You Signed Up For.
An insurance policy is a 12 month agreement.
Tons of people end up getting cancelled for non-payment simply because they didn't know it was a big deal, or they didn't think it affected them.
I knew a guy who put a 'stop pay' on his payments after he sold his car since he didn't need it anymore.
I'm not kidding.
Rather than calling and cancelling it like most people, he just pushed his future self off an insurance rating cliff.
I guess my takeaway here is:
If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and you sometimes have to ask: "WHICH BILL IS GETTING PAID THIS MONTH?"
You can save FUTURE YOU some money by putting your insurance bill near the top of the pile.
Big day tomorrow as Canada formally legalizes Cannabis!
While you're out celebrating the big change, or hiding from second hand smoke...I'm over here considering the impact on insurance coverage.
*Insurance Nerd Status CONFIRMED if it was ever in question.
Let's bring everyone up to speed on the how this is going to work.
On Wednesday Oct 17th 2018
Canadians over the age of 19 will be allowed to:
*You can possess up to 30 grams, and grow up to 4 plants per household.
Local Municipalities like the City of Halifax, or the Town of (insert any town) get the honor of creating and enforcing bylaws to dictate WHERE you can use it or grow it.
*Shout out to Halifax on their VERY popular choices so far on the new bylaws.
Indoor grow ops and smoke filled bus stops are the future.
Now that people can legally possess this stuff, insurance companies need to revisit how they plan to handle claims related to it.
Here's 4 insurance changes to consider about Cannabis
1. Weed just became INSURED CONTENT.
Prior to legalization Mary Jane was always excluded from Property Insurance coverage.
The specific exclusion is often worded something like:
“ILLEGALLY ACQUIRED, KEPT, OR STORED CONTENT”.
Since tomorrow is the big day and it's NOT illegal anymore, insurer's have to switch things up.
Most property policies will see Cannabis moved to the SPECIAL LIMITS section to put a maximum payout on Cannabis at say $500 or $1000.
There is at least ONE insurer who is not limiting Cannabis at all for MEDICINAL users.
Everyone's situation is different, but if you're sitting on a year's supply of the stuff you may want to make sure you're not limited to $250 in coverage.
Another reason why an independent broker is your best option for insurance.
2. Most insurers will be EXCLUDING CANNABIS from Trees, Shrubs, and Plants related coverage.
This isn't exactly a change, but it's worth noting that if you are spending some time and effort growing outdoor plants, it's unlikely that any insurer is extending coverage to those plants.
Worried about Bambi and his crew with the munchies eating your plants?
Maybe put up a fence.
3. Impaired Driving w/Cannabis will be A LOT like Drinking and Driving.
Insurers are rolling these convictions into the same pile as drinking and driving.
If you think Auto Insurance is expensive NOW you won't want to see how one of these on your record jacks up your rate.
In addition to the fine and probable license suspension...whoever is unlucky enough to get the first of these tickets is probably going to make the news.
The money being spent on "don't drive high" ad campaigns is serious, and I think we can all expect a real focus on it from Police.
4. Building/Content damages CAUSED by GROWING.
This one is interesting.
A COMMON EXCLUSION in most homeowner policies talks about damages caused from using the home to grow marijuana. It often looks something like this:
The old exclusion talks about marijuana directly, and also points to the CONTROLLED DRUGS and SUBSTANCES ACT which USED to have Cannabis listed.
But as of tomorrow, Cannabis will be OUT of the CONTROLLED DRUGS and SUBSTANCES ACT and getting into it's own CANNABIS ACT.
Most insurers have made changes to the language in policy to better explain what they're trying to exclude.
Here's an example of a new one:
On all policies, excluding watercraft, loss or damage to buildings or structures or personal property contained in them is excluded when used in whole or in part for the cultivation, harvesting, processing, manufacture, distribution, or sale of cannabis or any product derived from or containing cannabis, except as allowed by law.
Changes like these lead me to believe that the trend will be for insurer's to be OKAY with the risk that people are growing 4 plants inside their home.
That being said, this is only one company. There are all kinds of property insurers out there including a number of direct markets who don't always follow industry standard.
It's very possible some companies will not have any changes ready for tomorrow or they may have no interest in covering loses due to growing plants indoors.
So if you're planning to grow a few plants indoors, you may want to check with your broker to make sure any damages caused by it would in fact have coverage.
Based on how I'm reading some of these these wordings, opting to grow a few more than what's ALLOWED BY LAW could be enough to deny a claim in some situations.
I have NO DOUBT this will be a contentious issue for years to come for insurers and clients who push the envelope on growing one too many plants.
There is a real risk in growing plants indoors if you don't take the proper precautions. A lot of heat comes off these high-powered lights. There are often extension cords and exhaust fans, with containers of water sometimes in tight spaces.
Whether you use it medicinally, or just for recreation make sure you're covering your bases and being responsible. If you're going to take a crack at it, do your homework and treat the process with some respect.
2018 is quite a time to be alive.