Your Premium News - March 2022
Get Smart: Home Automation Devices Can Make Life a Little Easier and Safer
If you’ve ever dreamed of turning on the coffeemaker while still laying in bed, well, it’s now a reality. From lighting systems, to thermostats, to fridges, smart devices are making homes more customized and convenient, while in some cases also making them safer.
Building a smart home doesn’t have to be daunting. It often just means replacing appliances and accessories with automated versions of a similar thing. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Thermostat: By allowing you to set temperature schedules, smart thermostats offer the perfect combination of comfort and cutting costs - you can save anywhere from 10% to 25% on your heating and cooling bill. Some devices come with sensors that are placed in frequented rooms so the system can “learn” your daily habits and adjust temps accordingly, while also tackling cold/hot spots in your house.
Smoke detector and CO2 alarms: Traditional smoke detectors are only good if you’re home to hear the alarm. Smart smoke and CO2 detectors send alerts directly to your phone and offer up information about where the fire is located. These harried helpers can also notify designated emergency contacts automatically if you don’t respond.
Professionally installed smart fire alarms and other safety devices, like water detection and burglar alarms, could also provide savings on your home insurance if you install a centrally monitored system. Talk to your insurance broker to find out what discounts are available.
Lighting: Swap out your standard incandescent for a smart bulb and you'll never have to manually flick a switch again. Just use your phone or voice command to control brightness and colour to set the right mood in any room. Smart lights also use less energy and last longer, saving you money.
Doorbell camera: Whether you’re avoiding unwanted visitors or ensuring your packages stay put on the porch, doorbell cameras are an easy way to safeguard your home. Along with being able to see and speak to who’s at the door, systems also record visitors while you're away or unable to answer.
Water-sensing devices: In their simplest form, these little sensors can be placed where leaks may occur, such as near sinks, toilets, or washing machines. When moisture is detected, an alert gets sent to your phone, notifying you of a problem, which could save you from needing to make an insurance claim (if damage is minimized). For Manitobans, look for a system that can also monitor freezing temperatures so you’ll be alerted to potentially freezing pipes.
Smart plugs: Turn on anything that plugs into the wall—here’s where you get your automated coffeemaker—into a connected device that you can control from your phone. Plugs can be programmed to automatically turn certain outlets on or off, saving energy.
As you start to map out your smart home also consider incorporating a hub—a singular system that connects to automated devices, regardless of brand, and gives you an easy, user-friendly, way to control them all.
If you are considering a smart home system or device, talk to a CAA Manitoba Insurance Broker to find out what discounts and savings could be available for your home insurance.
Six Autopac Services You Didn’t Know We Offer
CAA Manitoba Insurance Brokers is an authorized full-service Autopac agent with Autopac Specialists available at our stores in Winnipeg and Brandon. While we all know that an Autopac agent can help us insure our vehicles and renew our driver licenses, there are many other services available. Our Autopac Specialists can assist you with these six Autopac services you may not have known about:
Need to schedule a knowledge or road test for an experienced driver who moved to Manitoba or a new driver? We can schedule the test on your behalf. We can also schedule testing for higher licence classes such as Class 1 and Air Brake tests.
- Photo IDs
If you are not a driver, but need photo ID, we can help you apply for and receive a Manitoba Identification Card, an official government issued identity card. Many seniors hold onto their driver’s licenses even though they are no longer driving because they want to have photo ID. Instead of paying for a driver’s licence each year, seniors can exchange their driver’s licence for their first ID card at no charge!
- Extra Insurance for Travel Outside of Manitoba
Heading out of the province? Talk to us. There are different liability concerns when driving in the U.S. or other provinces that are privatized. We recommend increasing your third party liability whenever you take your vehicle out of Manitoba. Our Autopac Specialists can help protect you by increasing your coverage.
- Collector Vehicles
Do you own a collector vehicle? If your vehicle or motorcycle is 25 years old or older and meets the required qualifications, you may be eligible for MPI’s Collector Vehicle Program. Our Autopac Specialists can provide you with the application form and get you your collector plates once MAAC (Manitoba Association of Automobile Clubs) approves your application. CAA Stores now have collector plates in stock so you can avoid the wait. Call your nearest CAA Store to learn about the program and confirm plate availability.
- New or Returning Manitobans
If you’ve recently moved to or returned to Manitoba, you need to (re)establish your identity to obtain a Manitoba driver’s licence and register your vehicle within 90 days of arriving. We’ll ensure you get set up with the right coverage for your car.
- Remote Area Registration
Manitoba drivers living in communities not connected to the provincial highway system can register their vehicles at special rates. If your vehicles will not be driven on provincial roads (this includes winter ice roads), talk to one of our Autopac Specialists to find out if you live in an area which qualifies. CAA Stores have these special plates in stock, but it’s good to call ahead to check on availability.
Talk to an Autopac Specialist.
CAA Manitoba Insurance Brokers has a strong history of serving Manitoba motorists. Our Autopac Specialists will get you on the road with the coverage and services you need. Call us at (204) 262-6065 or toll-free at 1-855-779-0677 to book an appointment or for more information on the services above. Or visit us in person at one of our CAA Stores.
Digital Doctor: Accessing In-Home Province Virtual Emergency Medical Assistance
If the past two years has taught us anything, it’s that almost everything can be done online, even medical care. Whether you are travelling in province, or staycationing at home, CAA Travel Insurance2 Multi-Trip Annual Plan policyholders have access to In-home province Virtual Emergency Medical Assistance, a digital service that allows patients to seek the help of a medial professional without leaving home or the hotel.
Existing policyholders and new purchasers of CAA Multi-Trip Annual Plans have access to up to four virtual calls for each person listed on the policy. Policyholders need only to connect with CAA Assistance3 (consult your policy for the number or find it here) and the 24/7 team will triage your situation and put you in touch with a Canadian doctor, helping you avoid trips to a clinic for minor injuries, rashes, or moderate maladies (Remember, always seek immediate medical attention in an emergency situation).
Feeling a little under the weather while at home? Or maybe you got a mysterious bug bite while vacationing at your cottage? The virtual doctor can assess your symptoms without you having to get out of your pyjamas, and provide guidance on the proper self-care steps. They can even fill a prescription for something to make you feel better whether you’re at home or on the road within Manitoba.
Cut your foot while camping in one of our many provincial parks? Access the service and they’ll let you know if the wound can just be wrapped up (and how to avoid infection) or if it requires stitches.
Should you need further medical attention, the service can also address any concerns you may have about finding and accessing health services in unfamiliar communities, help you navigate emergency rooms or urgent care clinic wait times, and any other information you may need to feel better about seeking medical care.
For more information about In-home province Virtual Emergency Medical Assistance, or to learn about the additional benefits of coverage for travelling in Manitoba, talk to a CAA Travel Insurance expert.
The In-Home Province Virtual Emergency Medical Assistance service is not intended as a replacement for primary care, or a replacement of emergency services offered through provincial health programs. For urgent situations, contact your local emergency health provider(s).
The 5 w’s of Term Life Insurance5
Choosing life insurance can seem daunting. By learning some basics about the important considerations, you can more easily understand what coverage is right for your life stage. Our partners at Manulife have explained term life insurance and the ‘who, what, when, where and why’ so you can determine what is right for you and your family.Read More
Senior Pets: Transitioning into the Golden Years
As your furry friend ages, you can help to make the transition more comfortable. Small adjustments such as choosing a diet formulated for senior pets, regular vet visits and staying active while being mindful of any mobility issues can make all the difference.
Our partners at Pets Plus Us have prepared a list of tips to help your pet age gracefully.
Save on Pet Insurance
CAA Members receive a preferred rate of 12% off pet insurance with Pets Plus Us.6