515 Niagara St. Welland, ON Tel: 905-732-2418

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

1. When I have a claim on my home or auto insurance policy, who do I deal with?
2. How can I reduce or minimize my insurance costs?
3. Why use an insurance broker to purchase insurance?
4. How can I reduce the effects of insurance fraud and why does it affect me?

1. When I have a claim on my home or auto insurance policy, who do I deal with?

When you have a claim on your policy you may call Reuter & Reilly Insurance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and you will get a live person to help direct you. Once Reuter & Reilly has submitted your claim to your insurer, you are dealing directly with the insurer for your claims settlement. We are here to help move the claim along when snags occur or answer questions you may have. However, your dealings are directly with the insurer. As the broker, we are seldom kept informed of the day-to-day progression of your claim, but we are able to find out where things stand and to get answers.

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2. How can I reduce or minimize my insurance costs?

Brokers can help find ways to control your premiums and still get the coverage you need.

No one likes to pay insurance premiums, so any chance to control or reduce cost is welcome. As brokers, we can help you minimize premiums by helping to define your insurance needs and by shopping around for the best policy.

Don’t over or under-insure

Under-insure and you might be left carrying the cost of damage, theft or loss of property. Over-insure and you will be paying more than you have to. Your broker can help you find the right balance by examining your assets, your risk profile and your insurance history. They can also alert you to choices that could reduce your insurance costs such as installing an alarm system in your home or a backflow valve for your sewer.

Set deductible and liability levels right

One way to control your premiums is to set a higher deductible, which means you accept more risk for covering small losses. Insurers tend to have deductibles ranging from $500 to $2,500. We can explain the cost implications of different deductibles. You may also want to consider higher liability coverage due to the higher levels of personal injury awards that are occurring.

Stay claims-free

One of the best ways to minimize premiums and obtain discounts is to avoid making claims. One of the best ways to do this is to reduce the risk factors that drive claims.

For your vehicle:

  • Avoid car accidents by driving defensively and never while impaired
  • Keep your driving record clean, meaning no tickets, this can be very significant
  • Never leave valuables in the car. Break-ins to cars are at a very high level

In your home:

  • Consider a home security system
  • Install good quality locks on your doors and windows
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Clear the snow and ice off your walkway
  • Make sure your roof is in good condition

These are just a few examples of ways in which lowering the risk can mean lowering the cost to you.

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3. Why use an insurance broker to purchase insurance?

As insurance brokers, we work for you, not the insurance company. We are at your side when you buy or upgrade your insurance or if you have to make a claim.

The value of objective advice

We are business people whose success rests on your satisfaction with your coverage, price and service. It’s in our interest to understand your needs and negotiate on your behalf for competitive premiums-even if it means approaching several companies to find the right solution. Because we don’t work for the insurance company, we can also assist you with objective advice should you have to make a claim.

Get informed help when you need it most

The insurance industry has become more complex with its own language of terms, legal issues and subtle details. You need a knowledgeable expert at every stage of the process to interpret all rules and what they mean for you. As brokers, our advice can also be invaluable as your insurance needs change and your requirements become more complex.

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4. How can I reduce the effects of insurance fraud and why does it affect me?

Insurance fraud drives up premiums for everyone

The insurance industry estimates that 10 to 15 cents of every dollar paid in premiums goes to paying fraudulent claims-totalling more than $1.3 billion each year. This makes insurance fraud second only to the drug trade as a source of illegal profits in North America. Unfortunately, insurers have to pass these costs on to customers in the form of higher premiums.

The industry is fighting the problem

Insurers are doing much more than raising premiums to deal with the costs of fraud. A number of industry associations are working together to fight this problem. The Insurance Bureau of Canada, The Canadian Automobile Association, and The Canadian Coalition Against Insurance Fraud are just a few of the groups helping to promote public awareness, better business practices and improved investigative and enforcement techniques.

You can be part of the solution

It’s easy to sit back and say “There’s nothing I can do to stop fraud,” but there is something you can do. Insurance fraud is often the result of fairly routine manipulations of the system – a tow truck driver who recommends a garage and gets a commission for doing so; a service provider who bumps up a charge because they know the insurer is paying; or a paralegal who asks for a percentage of an insurance award. These may seem harmless to you, but they are part of the web of fraud schemes that are costing you money. When you see fraudulent activity, challenge the service provider directly or report the behaviour to the police. Insurance fraud affects us all.

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