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Pembridge and Pafco Partner with CANATICS to Fight Auto Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud affects all Canadians. Organized fraud schemes can put people at risk while driving up the cost of insurance for all consumers. In Ontario alone, fraud costs consumers as much as $1.6 billion every year.

Recently, the Ontario government’s Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force supported the establishment of the Canadian National Insurance Crime Services (CANATICS) - to identify potential cases of organized and premeditated fraud.

Pembridge and Pafco along with other insurance companies have partnered with CANATICS to discover new ways to fight fraud as part of our ongoing commitment to protect Canadian consumers.

Learn more about insurance fraud, what it looks like, and how you can help prevent it.

You can also find out how CANATICS works  and other details about this new initiative.


Help protect your home from flooding with these tips

The excessive snowfalls this winter in Atlantic Canada has been nothing less than extreme. And while dealing with the barrage of snow can be exhausting, it’s important to make sure the onslaught doesn’t create additional issues in the present and near future when the snow finally starts to melt.  Varying temperatures can result in possible moisture intrusion, water damage, sewer backup and other related events around your home.

Protect your largest asset by making sure you manage the snow on your property, while preparing for the coming thaw with the following tips:

  • Snow can be heavy. To prevent roof collapse, if it is safe to do so, try to remove some of the snow. Better yet, hire a professional.
  • Snow removal can also help prevent ice dams from forming.  
  • Clear gutters and eaves troughs of ice, leaves and any debris to keep melt water flowing away from your home.  
  • Remove snow from basement stairwells, window wells and around foundation walls and clear a path for water to reach storm drains and catch basins.
  • Look for cracks in your foundation or basement walls and seal them.


Vehicle Theft Prevention Tips

  • Put vehicles in garages whenever possible (many thefts from driveways).
  • Don’t leave vehicles warming up in the driveway in winter (many thefts also in this manner).
  • Don’t leave extra keys in vehicles. Vehicle door locks are easily defeated and leaving an extra key in the vehicle ensures it is easy to steal.   
  • Toyota vehicles have been especially targeted in the last year with $1.4M worth stolen.


Increase to Québec Auto Insurance Premium Sales Tax

Effective January 1, 2015, the Québec government will be increasing the tax applied to all auto insurance premium payments that are made in 2015 from 5% to 9%, regardless of when the policy was purchased. New policies purchased in 2015 will have the new tax rate applied and outstanding balances on existing polices due in 2015 will be taxed at the new rate when payments are collected. 

The announcement was made as part of the Québec government’s economic announcements in November 2014. On average, this additional 4% tax on premiums will increase the tax payment for passenger vehicles by $2 to $4 per month.

This change applies to all automobile and recreational vehicles insured in the province.  Changes will be reflected on the first payment customers make in 2015, regardless of their billing plan. Customers will be taxed on amounts due in 2015, but not on amounts already paid in 2014.

For customers who have paid in full in 2014 and make no changes to their policy until renewal, the new tax will be applied at renewal. For customers who have tax-exempt status, we will be required to collect the tax and then remit it back, consistent with the current process.

Rest assured, the quality coverage Pafco customers currently enjoy will remain the same. This is our commitment to provide the best protection for you and your family.

If you still have questions regarding your premium, please do not hesitate to contact your broker. If you have any specific questions regarding this recent tax increase, we encourage you to visit the Québec government website or contact your local government representative for more information.


Holiday Forecast: Wet, Windy and Messy

Environment Canada is predicting rising temperatures, heavy rain (with intermittent ice rain) and heavy winds for Eastern Canada over the next couple days. These conditions could cause rapid snow melt, leading to moisture intrusion, water damage and even localized flooding. Here are a few tips to help protect you and your family:


  • Remove snow from basement stairwells, window wells and around walls.
  • Uncover and clear a path to storm drains on the street.
  • Clear eavestroughs and downspouts of leaves and debris.
  • Check walls, floors, windows and foundations for cracks or leaks and arrange for necessary repairs immediately.
  • If it looks like water intrusion may occur, shut off electricity and outside gas valve immediately and move important documents and expensive items, such as electronics, out of the basement to a higher floor.

If flooding occurs:

  • Go to upper floors and keep out of standing water. Hazards from floating debris, sewer contamination, live electrical wires and slippery footing can make flood waters dangerous.
  • Listen for the latest emergency information. If told to leave your area, grab your emergency kit and go to your designated shelter. Be sure to follow recommended evacuation routes.
  • Never go near or touch fallen power lines or downed trees that may have power lines tangled in them. Stay at least ten metres away and call your local energy utility to alert them to damage.
  • If outdoors, climb to high ground in a highly visible and safe area.
  • If while in your vehicle you come to a flooded area, turn around, head for elevated ground and park.  As little as 60 centimetres of water can carry a car away.

After the storm:

  • Keep the power off and ask your hydro company for assistance.
  • If possible, record details of any damage before you clean up. Take photos or video to help with your insurance company’s assessment.
  • Once you’ve assessed damage as best you can, contact your insurance company and Broker.


Tips to Prepare for High Winds, Heavy Rains and Floods

  • Contact your municipal offices to inquire about disaster relief programs in your community
  • Keep the area around your home clear of garbage and recycling bins, patio furniture, yard debris and other objects that heavy winds could pick up and blow around
  • Clear eaves troughs and downspouts of leaves and debris and ensure downspouts drain properly - ideally six feet away from your home
  • Get a licensed professional to: install an anti-backflow valve; install a sump pump with a reliable power backup; inspect your current equipment; clear drains of roots or obstructions; and ensure drain systems are working properly
  • If it looks like water intrusion may occur, shut off the electricity and outside gas valve immediately. Move important personal documents and expensive items out of the basement to a higher floor to keep them safe from water damage
  • Never go near or touch fallen power lines. Call your local energy utility company to alert them to damage.


Tips to Protect Your Home in the Cold Weather

The following tips will help you protect your home and property during cold weather:

  • Keep the house heated to a minimum of 18 degrees Celsius. The temperature inside the walls where pipes are located can be substantially colder than the walls themselves. A temperature lower than 18 degrees will not keep the inside walls from freezing.
  • Identify the location for the main water shutoff in your home. Find out how it works in case you have to use it.
  • Open hot and cold faucets enough to let them drip slowly. Keeping water moving within the pipes will prevent freezing.
  • If you are going to be away, drain the pipes. This can be done by first shutting off the main water line and then draining all lines by opening the taps and closing them once the water runs out. Also flush toilets to remove water from tanks. Be sure to have someone check on your home while your away to ensure heat is being maintained as well.
  • Make sure all hoses are disconnected from outside spigots.
  • If you discover that pipes are frozen, don't wait for them to burst. Take measures to safely thaw them immediately (such as wrapping pipes in towels soaked in water heated on the stove, or using hot air from a hair dryer, while being careful to stay away from standing water to avoid the risk of shock), or call a plumber for assistance.
  • If your pipes burst, first turn off the water and then mop up spills to prevent the water from doing more damage than it already has.
  • Make temporary repairs and take other steps to protect your property from further damage, such as remove any carpet or furniture that can be further damaged from seepage.


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