Tips, strategies, and advice to help you choose the right insurance coverage from your insurance broker
4 Surefire Ways TO MAINTAIN YOUR ROOF THIS WINTER
As a Canadian homeowner, you know all too well the damage harsh weather can have on the exterior of your home.
More often than not, however, you focus your snow and ice removal efforts on the areas of your home that are at eyesight level–like your driveway, porch and windows. But, have you ever thought to look up and see how your roof is faring under the weight of all that snow and ice?
If you are like the average homeowner, you may not think of your roof as vulnerable to cold weather conditions. However, even the best roofing materials have a load capacity that can be compromised by the weight of heavy snow and ice. Left to linger on your shingles, heavy snow and ice can take years off the life of your roof, create damaging leaks, and in the worst case, collapse your roof.
By following these surefire winter maintenance tips, you can avoid costly roof repairs:
- Assess the situation using binoculars:Climbing up onto your roof after a heavy snowfall or ice storm is not in your best interest. To get a good look at what is going on up there, pull out your binoculars instead. More than likely, you will be able to see any issues and address them before they become problems.
- Take out your rake: In most single and 1 ½ story homes, a long-handled rake is effective in removing snow and ice from the shingles along the perimeter of your
- Call a professional when necessary: If you live in a two-story home, clearing heavy snow from your roof will require skills and tools the average homeowner does not have. Be safe and smart by hiring a company that specializes in snow removal.
- Install a radiant heat system before winter arrives: Installing an ice melting system beneath the shingles of your roof is a smart way to keep your roof from freezing and accumulating heavy snow loads.Armed with these winter savvy tips, you are in the best position to help your roof survive winter in tiptop shape.
Logistics Insurance Outlook: THE HIGH COST OF DISTRACTED DRIVING
Most fleet owners are aware that distracted driving is the primary cause of accidents involving commercial truck drivers. Despite high fines of up to $1,000 for distracted driving, commercial drivers continue to pay attention to their gadgets–whether cellphone, GPS, or the radio–while on the road. To turn up the heat on this potentially life-threatening behavior, in recent years, Saskatchewan authorities have resorted to impounding vehicles for a week to help drivers feel the gravity of their actions. This precedent has left some trucking industry insiders wondering if Ontario will follow suit.
In Saskatchewan, the controversial impoundment law gives authorities the right to hold a vehicle for a week no matter who owns it. While the loss of one truck for a week may not be catastrophic for logistics companies with large fleets, it can be extremely problematic for small companies that rely on every truck being operational.
Educating Your Drivers About Distracted Driving
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driving while distracted increases the risk of an auto accident or other road hazard by 23.2 times. That alarming statistic reveals why it is critical for logistics companies to continually stress to their truck drivers the importance of not using banned devices while on the road. Check the Ontario Government Highway Traffic Act for a complete listing of the display screens and hand-held devices that should never be used while driving and make sure your drivers know the latest rules in Ontario and the other areas they travel through.
Are Tougher Laws on the Horizon in Ontario?
For now, logistics companies in Ontario are not subject to impoundment. However, the fact that the Ministry of Transportation nearly doubled the fines for distracted driving in 2015 is a sign that officials are looking to impose tougher penalties. It is best not to wait for stiffer penalties to launch an internal campaign against using cellphones or other devices while driving. Consistently communicating the dangers with your drivers is a smart risk aversion plan year round.
Know the Rules Beyond Your Borders
If you cross into other provinces or into the United States, it is important to educate your drivers about the distracted driving regulations and unique issues they may encounter there. Several areas still have not banned the use of devices while driving, which means even though your drivers may not be distracting themselves with devices they will be on the road with other drivers who are. Training drivers to be on alert for distracted drivers in other areas can help keep them and your cargo safe.
For more tips on implementing a strong campaign against distracted driving, talk to your Merit Insurance broker.