© Herald file photo
Prince Albert Daily Herald
As summer vacation season dawns on us, local insurance broker Kale Harnett is reminding residents to play it safe and to get insurance.
Harnett is branch manager at Prince Albert’s Western Financial Group. Backed by 15 years in the insurance game he’s keen on sharing insurance advice with the public.
Key to leaving one’s home country is getting travel insurance, he said -- a perhaps obvious piece of advice, but one still overlooked from time to time.
“You hear horror stories of people going in and getting charged hundreds of dollars for an aspirin in the States and that sort of thing,” he said.
“I have seen case files where it’s been worse – where it’s been a heart attack and it’s costing insurance companies, when they release it, more than $100,000 in some cases, depending on what’s happened. It can add up very, very quickly.”
Even those leaving one’s home province should check into the ins and outs of health care and insurance coverage, Harnett suggested, noting that health coverage is different from province to province.
“It’s not an expensive policy to take out before you go, that’s for sure,” he concluded.
Leaving one’s house behind while out-and-about on vacation can be another concern, he said.
During the “normal heating season,” one must either have someone check in on the house every day or so (varies from policy to policy), shut off the water and drain all appliances or monitor temperature change with something.
Although pipes freezing at this time of year isn’t likely to happen, Harnett said that it’s still a good idea to have someone check on your home.
“Other things can happen,” he said. “Leaks can happen or ruptures can happen. Water heaters can go -- even in the summer -- and stuff like that.”
You hear horror stories of people going in and getting charged hundreds of dollars for an aspirin in the States and that sort of thing. Karle Harnett
A seasonal misconception some people still have is that normal home insurance policies cover flooding, be it man-made or otherwise.
This is not true, Harnett said, noting that coverage comes through Saskatchewan’s Provincial Disaster Assistance Plan, which helps people recover from the effects of natural disasters.
“It has been something that I think most people understand -- that when there’s a flood it’s not covered by regular home insurance, but it’s also a misconception in a lot of people’s minds.”
Tips for rental property tenants
While most landlords request references, how often do renters request references of landlords?
Finding a good landlord is key to finding a hassle-free rental situation, Western Financial Group Prince Albert branch manager Kale Harnett said.
On top of knowing one’s rental rights and documenting existing damage with photos to ensure your damage deposit is protected, Harnett reminds people of the merits of renter’s insurance.
Noting Prince Albert’s growing rental market, Harnett cautions renters that their landlord’s building insurance covers the building – not them or their belongings.
That’s where renter’s insurance comes into play -- an area of insurance that 37 per cent of Canadian renters do not employ.
In addition to one’s household belongings, renter’s insurance covers items stored in one’s vehicle, among other things an insurance broker can hash out with clients.