Are you taking a much deserved trip? Trying to beat the cold? Maybe it's just time to explore? Here's a handy traveler checklist from Travel.gc.ca:
- Carry a Canadian passport that is valid well beyond the date of your planned return to Canada; keep a copy of the identification page separate from the original.
- Leave copies of your passport identification page, itinerary and insurance policy with friends or family.
- Obtain any required visas well in advance.
- If traveling with children, carry documentation proving your right to accompany them (e.g. a consent letter or court order).
- Arrange for travel health insurance and take care of health needs, such as eyeglasses, prescriptions, vaccinations and medical certificates and supplies.
- Anticipate financial needs, such as local currency and departure tax.
- Check whether dual citizenship is an issue for you.
- Obtain an International Driving Permit, if required.
- Visit travel.gc.ca for essential Country Travel Advice, emergency contacts, a directory of Canadian embassies and consulates, safe-travel publications and information on traveling with children, living abroad and returning to Canada.
- Download their Travel Smart mobile app at travel.gc.ca/mobile for essential travel information on the go.
- Sign up for Registration of Canadians Abroad service at travel.gc.ca/register.
And our biggest tip: Travel Insurance is for everyone! Whether you're 25 or 75, make sure to inquire about what options are available to you before your departure to make sure your trip is one to remember.
We strive at Al Hattie Insurance is to ensure that as a policy holder at our office you are properly covered under your insurance to cover modern claims scenarios in Saskatchewan. In years past, $1 million in liability coverage to a home, tenant, condo, or auto policy may have seemed more than enough. Unfortunately, this year has seen several claims rising not only above the $1 million but $2 million mark. Due to this trend, we are making sure that our customers are aware of the rising cost of fire and other claims to make sure they are fully covered in case of an accident.
A major fire claim in May this year was one of several incidents that show that rising cost of living and growing density in the city and province inevitably are leading to higher and higher claims. As people's busy lives don't always leave them enough time to or to study the claims market, we strive to make sure that you as the insured are provided with coverage that will do what it is supposed to in case of an emergency; make sure you are going to be covered in case of incident.
As of Jan. 1st 2014 all home, condo, tenant, and auto policies are going to be automatically renewed with $2 million liability coverage. We have unfortunately seen claims in the province that are well exceeding the previous standard of $1 million liability coverage and we don't want you to be paying for insurance and still end up with an enormous bill at the end of the day when an accident occurs. On most policies, to raise liability coverage from $1 million to $2 million will only see an increase of $1-$2 per month per unit on your current policy. $2 million liability coverage won't be mandatory, but will now be recommended for all policies as a minimum limit. If you feel like you are at risk of needing higher coverage, it is possible to also purchase up to $10 million liability coverage when you add an 'Umbrella' liability policy.
If you have questions regarding your policy, getting your coverage changed or increased, or don't know what coverage is best for your needs, please call us (306-955-2700 or toll free 1-888-450-2700) or stop by our office at 3020C Arlington Ave and talk to one of us.
Vehicle accidents can be anywhere from annoying to expensive to deadly, and winter driving conditions only ramp up the odds of having a collision. To help protect you, your family, your neighbourhood and your pocketbook here are some essential winter driving tips from SGI. Even if you've been driving icy Saskatchewan roads for decades there is no better time for a refresher than now!
- Be sure to wipe loose snow off the hood of your vehicle so that it doesn't blow onto your windshield and obstruct your vision while you drive.
- Ensure that your headlights, taillights and licence plates are visible, and that your windows are completely defrosted before you hit the road.
- If possible, switch to winter tires. Their deep treads are ideal for clearing away snow, giving you maximum traction and control.
- Studded tires are a good choice on wet roads when the temperature is near zero. However, they don't outperform winter tires in freezing conditions.
- Check the tire pressure often to help prevent a blowout. Your owner's manual or the tire's sidewall will indicate the proper pressure - usually between 30 and 33 lb/in2 for an average passenger car. Just don't forget that tires lose pressure at the rate of 1 lb/in2 for every 5° C drop in temperature.
Winter driving guidelines
With so much attention paid to winter driving preparations, it's easy to forget about the driving itself.
- When you're on the road, remember to give yourself more time to reach your destination. Start your trip slowly, testing your braking and steering to 'get a feel' for the road.
- Once you've reached a level of comfort, you can gradually increase your speed. The key is to maintain control of your vehicle at all times, even if that means driving under the posted speed limit.
- Stay alert as you approach intersections. Scan the road for traction, such as sand or bare pavement, and always accelerate and decelerate gradually.
- If you do find your vehicle skidding, remain calm and take your foot off the accelerator. Don't lock the brakes. Instead, brake steadily, look where you want to go and steer in that direction.
- Try to avoid using cruise control on the highway during the winter. Icy sections on otherwise dry surfaces can cause your wheels to spin, compromising your control of the vehicle and putting you at risk of a collision.
- Leave at least a 3-second following distance between your vehicle and the 1 in front of you. If the driver ahead of you suddenly brakes, you'll have the time and space needed to stop safely, ensuring that you and everyone on the road arrives at their destination safely.
Here is a practice test offered by SGI that every driver young and old should be able to pass. This test is mainly used as a study tool for young or new drivers, but see if you can pass it yoursef and maybe brush up on a couple rules of the road.
SGI Written Exam (Practice Test):
Brooks shaved his head at the C95 Radio Marathon today and raised over $2000 for Breast Cancer Research! We want to truly thank everyone on his behalf who donated and donated through our office. He's still going to be sporting that fantastic facial hair through 'Movember' trying to raise money for Prostate Cancer Research, so if you haven't had a chance to donate you still can through our office.
Here are some photos from today!