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Insurance Tips from All Insurance Ontario in Orleans & Stittsville

All Insurance Ontario has assembled some handy insurance tips for your convenience. As always, our staff will be happy to provide you with all of the information you need about the coverage we provide – contact us today.
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Auto

How to Prevent Vehicle Theft
Although you cannot ensure your vehicle will not be stolen, you can take a few easy steps to prevent the likelihood of it happening by making it more difficult for a thief to steal your vehicle and its contents.

• Always lock your vehicle
• Never leave your keys in the vehicle
• Turn off your ignition whenever you leave your car
• Avoid parking on the street
• Conceal items left in your car, keep things in the trunk and never
  leave money or compact discs in the open


• Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a well-lit, well-guarded,
  highly visible area
• Ask your neighbours to watch out for your vehicle and do the
  same for them
• Install an anti-theft deterrent such as car alarms or an ignition
  disabler.

For tips and more information to help you avoid having your car broken into or stolen please contact the appropriate industry organization in your area.
Vehicle Safety & Maintenance
• Read your vehicle owner's manual to understand its maintenance
  needs.
• Maintaining your vehicle according to the manufacturers
  recommended maintenance schedule will go a long way in extending
  the life of your vehicle and spotting minor problems before they

  become major repairs.
• Have your vehicle checked by a qualified mechanic whenever you
  notice a change in braking or handling.
• Consider taking a recognized driver safety course.
Brakes
Your brakes are obviously one of the most important components on your automobile. Proper care and regular maintenance is essential to protect both yourself and others from the potential harm caused by faulty brakes. Some signs that your brakes may be failing or require maintenance include:

• The brakes squeal, grind or bang when applied. If this occurs you
  should immediately have your brakes checked
• The car pulls to one side when you apply the brakes
• The brakes stick or a loss of engine power when you are driving.

  Your brakes may not be releasing properly which can lead to total
  brake loss.
• The brakes grab when lightly applied. This could be caused by
  loose or broken brake parts
• The brakes need a lot of pressure to work or the pedal needs to
  be near the floor before it works. This may be a sign that your
  brakes are worn and replacement is necessary
• The brake pedal, steering wheel or entire car vibrates when you
  step on the brakes
Child Restraint Safety
• It is important to install a child's restraint seat properly in order for it
  to be effective.
• Read the manufacturer's installation instructions thoroughly
• Many police departments have programs to help with proper
  installation

For tips and information regarding child seat safety please contact the following organizations:

Road Safety
Road safety is an important issue on today's crowded roadways. For statistics and information regarding road safety and its impact on social and medical costs please contact Transport Canada.
Airbags & Seatbelts
Airbags have been the topic of much discussion since they have become a standard feature with newer automobiles. For information and guidelines pertaining to use and safety issues of air bags please contact the following organizations:
Drinking & Driving
Drinking and driving has been the cause of many unfortunate accidents resulting in serious injuries and loss of life on our roadways. The following organizations can provide statistics and information pertaining to drinking and driving:
Cell Phones & Safety
Cell phones can be valuable equipment in a car when you need to call for assistance. However, they can also be a distraction if they are used while driving, and many jurisdictions are considering restrictions on cell phone use while driving.

For safety's sake, don't use your cell phone while driving. If you need to
 
make a call, stop your car safely away from traffic before picking up the phone.

Preparing for Winter Driving
Canadians know that winter driving can be treacherous at the best of times. The following organizations can provide tips and information to help you prepare yourself and your vehicle for safe winter driving:

What to Do When You Are Involved in an Accident
Being involved in an accident can be a very stressful event. To help you protect both yourself and your interests, we have provided some basic hints:

• Call the police immediately, and an ambulance if necessary.
• Do not admit liability.
• Record details of the accident including date, time, location, a
  description of the accident, any injuries, and any charges laid.
• Record details concerning the other party and vehicle such as
  owner's name and address, phone number, and vehicle year,
  make and model.
                                                                          
• It is very important to obtain the insurance information of the other
  driver. This includes the name of the insurance company and
  the policy number and the name of the broker or agent.
• Obtain a copy of the police report from the attending officer as this will
  have the accident report number for future reference.

These tips are general rules of thumb only, and may not fit all situations. For the definitive word, contact your insurance broker for more information.
Safe Driving Quiz
Are you a safe driver? Why not test your skill and knowledge by taking one of the Safe Driving Quizzes provided by the Canada
Safety Council.

Business

General Commercial Crime Prevention
• Ensure that all exterior doors have deadbolt locks with a minimum one
  inch bolt into the strike plate.
• Secure exposed exterior door hinge pins to prevent their removal.
• Protect all grade floor glass through the use of bars, metal screens or
  burglary resistant glazing materials.
• Install a burglar alarm system which is monitored offsite.
                                              
  We recommend that the system be certified by Underwriters
  Laboratories of Canada (ULC).
• Continually check for unsafe work conditions and practices, and
  take prompt corrective action.
• Provide a complement of serviced, multi-purpose fire extinguishers
  in your premises and instruct all staff in their use.
Protecting Your Computer Equipment
• Clamp or lock PCs to desks/work stations. Security kits are available
  at nominal cost.
• Backup data and programs on a regular basis and store them offsite
  in a secure location.

• Laptop computers are portable and easy targets for theft. Do not
  leave them unsecured or unattended.
• Maintain records of serial numbers for all of your computer
  equipment.                                      
Business Interruption Prevention
• Employ the services of a professional accountant to:
  - Prepare financial statements.
  - Perform an annual audit of your books.
• Maintain a list of secondary suppliers of materials in the event your
  primary supplier suffers a loss.
• Be prepared with a plan of action as to how you will continue to
  service your customers while your premises are being repaired after a
                      
  loss. This will help you to avoid losing your customer base. Consider
  availability of temporary premises where you can resume operations
  immediately.
• Reduce the physical and moral hazards of your business.
• Duplicate your business records and store them off-site; in the event
  that your premises are damaged, you will have documents to
  substantiate any business interruption loss
Contractors' Loss Prevention Tips
• Focus on pre-job and pre-task planning. The principle of planning the
  work and working the plan should be followed.
• All tools and equipment should be kept in a locked area at all times
  when not in use.
• All tools should be stamped with an identification number to assist in
  recovery. Tools should be painted with bright, easily recognizable
  colours to ease in their identification.
• Any onsite storage of materials should be in a secure storage area.
  Where the materials are considered a high target, they should be kept
  inside a building in a locked area or brought to the site only when they
  are needed.
• Warning signs should be posted limiting access and indicating the
  safety equipment required to gain entry.
• All electrical cords that pass through pedestrian areas should be
  secured so that tripping is avoided.
• All mud or water on public traffic areas should be cleaned regularly.
• The local utilities should be contacted to locate underground services
  in the event that any excavations are to be performed.
• All flammable liquids used should be stored in approved safety
  containers.

                                
• All hotwork should be controlled. Combustibles should be removed at
  least 11 metres from the hotwork. If this is not possible non-
  combustible shields should be used. A fire watch should be
  provided for at least a half-hour after the hotwork is completed. All
  hotwork permit regulations must be followed.
• All combustible refuse created during the work should be cleaned up
  regularly. Oily rags should be separated and stored in metal
  containers with tight fitting lids.
• Fire extinguishers of the appropriate type should be available at
  all times.
• Certificates of liability should be obtained from all subcontractors to
  ensure they are maintaining adequate liability coverage.
• All new equipment should be tested and inspected when the work is
  completed. Customers should sign off the job once complete.
• Ensure that the project complies with all applicable codes and
  standards.
• Records of all jobs including plans, testing documents and approvals
  should be maintained.
Office Loss Prevention Tips
• Avoid overloading of electrical outlets, particularly in older buildings
  equipped with fuses instead of circuit breakers.
• If existing electrical service is inadequate, ensure that any required
  electrical modifications are done by a professional electrician.
• Ensure that life and safety features such as fire alarms, exit signs and
                                
  emergency lights are operational and serviced as per applicable fire
  code specifications.
• Clean all spills or wet floors immediately, post signs warning of wet or
  damp floors and check floor surfaces for potential hazards on a
  regular basis. Non-slip rugs should be used during the winter months.
Commercial Vehicles Loss Prevention Tips
• Be SELECTIVE when hiring drivers for your vehicles by obtaining pre-
  employment checks on all employees. Your vehicles should be
  suitable for the type of work you do and the relative experience of
  your drivers. A safety conscious driver, with a clean driving and
  operating record, is the key to reducing the risk of personal injury to
  the driver and passengers as well as any damage or injury to others.
• Drivers should NEVER pick up hitchhikers or allow anyone who is not
  authorized by the OWNER, to ride in the vehicle.
• Proper MAINTENANCE improves road safety and should be
  completed by experienced and qualified mechanics. Regular
  maintenance schedules and records should be kept to prevent
  accidents caused by unexpected mechanical failures.
• Inspect your vehicle every day against a standardized checklist. Keep
  your vehicle equipped with a flashlight, good spare tire, jack and
  flares in case of emergencies.
• Proper USE of vehicles extends the life of your vehicle as well as
  preventing damage to the property of others. Drive on well-maintained
  and well-travelled roads. Travel at speeds that are not in excess of
  the posted speed limit. Properly secured loads prevent your load from
  spilling on the roadways causing damage to others. Improper loading
  or overloading leads to load shift and/or upset or rollover.
                                
  Vehicles should only be used for their intended purpose.
• Always lock your vehicle and take the keys with you, even if it is only
  for a few minutes.
• Never leave the engine running while your vehicle is unattended.
• Safeguard your keys – NEVER keep your vehicle keys or business
  keys on the same key ring and NEVER attach identification tags to
  them.
• Valuable items exposed to view are an invitation to thieves, e.g. log
  books, delivery schedules, cash, cheques. Drivers should NEVER
  reveal the contents of their vehicles, their loads, and their destination
  or leave their loads unattended.
• Deliveries should not be made unless the receiving party signs
  them for.
• Parking in well-lit areas is important for personal safety and for the
  protection of your vehicle and cargo. Keep your vehicle in a locked
  garage or protected location when not in use.
• Choose your anti-theft devices carefully. There are many types of
  anti-theft devices available to protect your vehicle and cargo. Choose
  the mechanical device, alarm or electronic immobilizer that is best
  suited to protect your vehicle and cargo.
Repair Garage Loss Prevention Tips
• Establish, post and strictly enforce a rule forbidding customers from
  entering the service bay area. By establishing a clean, safe waiting
  area for customers, you will significantly reduce the possibility of
  "slip-and-fall" types of losses. An added benefit is that customers
  will not disturb your mechanics while they are working on vehicles.
• Ensure that you always get signed customer work orders that outline
  the authorized repairs. This will eliminate any disputes as to the work
  that was authorized by the customer.
• When preparing a customer's work order, all completed repairs
  should be listed along with all recommended repairs declined by the
  customer; the customer should sign-off the work order. Including
  declined recommendations in the work order could protect you from
  a potential liability loss.
• Make sure that the front, rear and interior of your business premises
  are well lit, particularly when closed for business.
• When overnight storage of customers' vehicles is necessary, they
  should be stored inside if possible. If outside storage of vehicles is
  required on a regular basis, the area should be well lit, adequately
  fenced and padlocked overnight.
• Establish a key control procedure with employees to limit access to
                                                   
  customers' keys. Keys should be kept under lock and key, within your
  office premises. This will reduce the accessibility of keys to potential
  thieves and vandals, reducing the possibility of customers' vehicles
  being stolen or vandalized.
• Limit the amount of cash in the till by using a safe or money-limiting
  device. Make regular bank deposits, varying the time of deposits and
  the route taken.
• Ensure that you maintain accurate inventory records for all stock,
  including tools, automobile parts and miscellaneous retail items. In
  the event of a theft loss, accurate records will make it easier for the
  insurance adjuster to settle your claim fairly, quickly and equitably.
• Obtain driver abstracts for all employees on a regular basis. This
  will help you to determine which employees should be test-driving
  customers' vehicles.
• Establish guidelines for employees as to when and who is
  permitted to test drive customers' vehicles.
• Ensure that test drives follow a predetermined route, in areas that
  have relatively light vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This can
  significantly reduce your chance of suffering a loss with a
  customer's vehicle.
Retail Loss Prevention Tips
• Never store combustible material, such as cardboard or paper, near
  heaters or electrical equipment and remove combustible waste on a
  regular basis.
• In buildings with sprinkler systems, keep stock more than 18 inches
  below the sprinkler heads, so as not to interfere with the system's
  effectiveness in the event of a fire.
• Avoid overloading of electrical outlets, particularly in older buildings
  equipped with fuses instead of circuit breakers.
• Keep all of your stock off the floor, stored on skids, shelves, or racks.
• Make sure the front, rear and interior of your business premises are
  well lit, particularly when closed for business.
• Arrange the interior layout of the store so that the till area is clearly
  visible from the exterior of the building.
                                 
• Limit the amount of cash in the till by using a safe or money-limiting
  device.
• If your store is open long hours, consider the installation of closed
  circuit television cameras and hold-up alarms.
• Make regular bank deposits, but vary the timing of the deposits and
  the route taken.
• Install anti-shoplifting devices and surveillance equipment or keep
  high priced merchandise under lock and key in display cases.
• Ensure that life and safety features such as fire alarms, exit signs
  and emergency lights are operational and serviced as per applicable
  fire code specifications.
• Do not block exits with stock or equipment. Ensure that all exit doors
  are unlocked during store hours.
Slip & Fall Loss Prevention Tips
• Inspect the interior of your premises on a regular basis for unsafe
  conditions that could lead to a slip & fall loss. Maintain a daily log
  of when the inspection was done, what conditions were noted
  and what corrective action was taken.
• Floors should be kept clean and in good repair at all times, with
  loose or defective flooring being replaced immediately.
• Ensure that aisles are kept clear and free of fallen merchandise
  or stock. (e.g. fruit, vegetables, clothes, etc.)
• During periods of inclement weather, all entrances should have
  mats or rugs to help keep the floor clean and dry. Damaged mats
  should be replaced as soon as possible.
• Non-slip wax should be used on floor surfaces, where required.
• Water and other spills should be mopped up immediately and a
  Caution-Wet Floor sign should be posted.
• For surfaces that are consistently slippery, specialized non-slip
  epoxy coatings or non-skid flooring materials may be used.
• For spills involving oil or other industrial materials, absorbent
  non-combustible cleaning materials should be used.
• Ensure that all entranceways and aisles are clear of obstructions
  and/or promotional displays.
• Inspect the exterior of your premises on a regular basis for unsafe
  conditions that could lead to a slip & fall loss. Maintain a daily log of
                                              
  when the inspection was done, what conditions were noted and
  what corrective action was taken.
• Any damage to stairs, sidewalks and pavement should be repaired
  as soon as possible, with signs and barriers posted, until such
  time as repairs are completed.
• A snow and ice removal program should be implemented and
  adhered to, with a single individual having responsibility for the
  program.
• Have the appropriate equipment, tools and materials available for
  use by your staff in the case of a weather-related emergency, e.g.
  shovels, salt, sand, etc.
• Professional snow removal contractors should be contracted to
  plow, sand and salt your parking and walkway facilities. Ensure
  that the contractor keeps a comprehensive log of the work
  performed.
• Clean gutters and downspouts and ensure that melt water is directed
  away from sidewalks and walkways. Check that exterior lighting is
  adequate and check on a regular basis for malfunctioning light
  fixtures.
• Establish and maintain a daily garbage removal program, whereby the
  walkways and sidewalks are swept and the debris removed on a
  regular basis.

Home

Crime Prevention Tips
Burglary is always a crime of opportunity. Here are some interesting facts you should know about burglary:

• Studies show that most burglars attack during the daytime when
  dense bushes and trees protect them from view, and the building
  appears unoccupied
• One-third of burglars enter from the basement
• One-third of burglars force entry through a window or door
• One-third of burglars gain access from an unlocked/open door
  or window
                                  
To best protect your home, look at it from a burglar's perspective. What are the vulnerable parts? If you take a few simple and inexpensive steps to make sure your home is not an attractive target, you'll greatly reduce your chances of becoming a victim.

The following are some tips to help you prevent a burglar from entering your home:
Tips for Inside your Home
The goal of indoor crime proofing is to secure your premises, and to make them appear occupied at all times. Here are a few simple tips:

• Secure your premises.
   - Close blinds and curtains at night so that a burglar can't scope
   your belongings.
   - Lock all doors and windows before leaving.
   - Lock windows so that they can't be opened from the outside. If they
   can't be locked, you can pin them by drilling a hole through both
   window frames and inserting a bolt or metal pin. The pin must be
   easily removable for emergency situations.
   - Home burglar alarm systems are a great deterrent. Even if you have
   an alarm system, don't neglect the other security measures
   available to you. An alarm provides an extra layer of security, but is
                              
   no replacement for good common sense. Alarm owners should still
   do what they can to make sure their home is not an attractive target
   for thieves.
• Make your home look occupied at all times.
   - Use timers to maintain normal lighting patterns.
   - Leave a radio on when you are away from your home for short
   periods of time.
• Protect your valuables.
   - Consider marking your valuables indelibly (engraved) with your
   driver’s licence or social insurance number.
   - Take an inventory of your home with a videotape and/or
   photographs.
   - Keep jewellery and negotiables in a safety deposit box or an unlikely
   place (i.e., not your bedroom).
Tips for Outside Your Home
There are many things that you can do to the exterior of your house or in the yard to deter burglars and make it more difficult to force entry.

• Keep your shrubbery cut back so that it doesn't block windows
  and doors.
• Secure window air conditioners from the inside.
• Illuminate as much of your property as possible.
• Exterior doors should be solid, not hollow. Metal doors provide the
  best protection against forced entry.
• Use a fencing style that would not conceal a burglar's activities.
  Remember if you can't see out, others can't see in.
• Secure any glass that is less than 40' from a door lock. Either coat
  exterior glass with an acrylic or polycarbonate to strengthen, or
  replace with laminated or tempered glass.
• Door hinges that are on the outside should have a non-removable
                                  
  center pin that can't be tampered with.
• Install deadbolt locks.
• Dogs are great deterrents to burglars. Even a strategically placed
  "Beware of Dog" sticker can make a burglar think twice. Of course,
  vicious dogs are never a good idea. If your dog bites someone,
  you might find yourself in court. A dog that barks is better than one
  that bites.
• Place hinged security bars over basement windows. Remember
  to keep the key nearby for emergency exits.
• Pin sliding patio doors together when closed. Another easy
  security step is to drill a hole in the upper track and insert a
  screw that extends out into the runner to prevent the door from
  being lifted up and out of its track.
• Ensure that a burglar cannot access the roof from high trees or a
  ladder left outside.
What NOT to Do
• Don't put up a nameplate outside of your house with your full name.
   A burglar can use this information to look up your number in the
   phone book and call to see if you are home.
• Don't leave a note on the door or in the mailbox telling a friend/family
   member that you aren't home.
• Don't leave spare keys in an obvious place such as the mailbox or
             
   under the front door mat. This makes it very easy for a burglar to
   rob your house quickly without forcing entry.
• Don't leave cash and handbags in view in your home.
• Don't leave any doors unlocked when you are at the other end of the
   house or in the yard.
Going on Vacation
If you are going on vacation it is especially important to make your home appear inhabited. To fully protect your home you will need to enlist the help of trusted neighbours, family and friends. Here are some things that you can do:

• Stop all mail delivery.
• Arrange for a neighbour to cut the grass or shovel snow.
• Cancel all deliveries during the time you will be away.
• Maintain normal lighting patterns by using electronic timers.
• Ask a neighbour to put one of their garbage bags in front of your
  house on collection day.
• Leave a radio on, with a timer if necessary to simulate normal use.
• Ask a neighbour to park in your driveway.

                                                         
• Arrange for neighbours to pick up flyers.
• Don't talk about your vacation plans with strangers or service people.
• Use your work address on your luggage tags so a potential burglar
  won't know where your empty house is.
• If practical, remove valuables from your home. Small valuables
  should be stored in a safety deposit box.
• Lock garage door.

Note: Before you leave, you should tell someone you trust:
• That you will be away
• How long you will be absent
• Whether or not you will have a house sitter
• The number where you can be reached
What to do if Your House is Broken Into
Despite your best efforts, a burglar may still penetrate your home. If you return to find that your house has been robbed:

• Don't stay – always think of your safety first
                    
• Never confront a burglar or block the exit route
• Go immediately to a neighbour's home or nearby location and phone
  the police