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Recent Blog Posts

Spring Car Maintenance Best Practices

Spring Car Maintenance

Winter slowly but surely is leaving us here in Ontario. Icy roads, adverse weather conditions, freezing temperatures… your car works harder during the colder months. With warmer temps just around the corner, as well as, for many, more road travel and car trips, spring is an important time to take care of your vehicle and give it a little TLC. Help it shake off those winter cobwebs (or should we say icicles) and get ready to say hello to the spring!

Car maintenance best practices for the spring

Check your oil and filter. Generally it is recommend to do an oil change 2-3 times a year or every 5,000 -7,500 km, although some suggest that every 12,000 km is enough. There is a lot of debate on this topic. Newer vehicles tend to last longer between oil changes and many even have build in monitoring systems. Your car’s owner’s manual will have the specific recommendations for your vehicle. Stick with what’s recommended for your car.

Check your wiper blades. How did they fare during winter’s beating? If they got trashed or just don’t work as well any more, time for replacement.

Check the battery. Cold temperatures can be particularly hard on car batteries. Test your battery, make sure its connections are clean (including no corrosion) and tight. Has it been 5 years since you last bought a battery? It’s probably time for a replacement.

Check your fluids (power steering, transmission, brakes, coolant, windshield wiper) as well as your filters (cabin, engine air, fuel). It’s a good idea to be regularly checking these fluids and filters and doing so now in the Spring after the wear and tear of winter is a good idea.

Check hoses and belts. Did you know that rubber is sensitive to colder temperature and can harden or otherwise be damaged (think fraying, cracking or blistering for example) when it’s chilly out?

Check your tires. Keeping them at the proper pressure is important for your safety out on the road. Replace those that are worn out or damaged and get a rotation done if it’s been 10,000 km since your last one. Did you switch to winter tires to take advantage of the special car insurance discount in Ontario? When you should take them off depends on the weather and the temperature. Usually in Ontario you’ll be looking at around mid-April, when the temps are consistently around 7C. The Toronto Star  in a recent article recommends waiting until at least Apr 15th, with a friendly reminder that snow in April is common in our province.

We’ve got car maintenance tips for you all year long! Check out our seasonal posts from the archives…

You can also find more handy tips and recommendations for all the seasons over on the Be Car Aware site.

Have any questions for us, or want to get more information on car insurance in Ontario? Get in touch with us today, or click here for our online system for getting a car insurance quote 24/7.

Disclosure: This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace the advice or expertise of a certified auto mechanic or qualified technician.

 

Image source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net  | panuruangjan

 

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8 Tips for Preventing Losses as a Contractor

Contractor insurance

As a contractor, your business model is different from other commercial enterprises. You’re often on the road and most of your time is spent on site, not in a physical office location. As such, your approach to loss prevention revolves around the specific way that you run your operations.

Here are our top 8 tips for preventing losses (and the need to make an insurance claim) in your contracting business…

1- Your tools and equipment are often the lifeblood of your business. Protect them! Whenever they are not in use, they should be locked away. When you are on site, you need to have a secure storage area for your tools. While top quality lock boxes can be expensive, they are well worth the investment!

2- For any pieces of equipment that you would consider to be particularly valuable or high target, they should be kept in a building, or only brought and kept on-site when needed.

3- Stamp all your tools with an ID number to help with recovery in the event they do go missing or are stolen. You can also paint your tools in a bright colour or use other markings to make them uniquely yours and again make them easier to identify.

4- If your work involves some temporary encroachment onto public land, take the steps to ensure safety. For example, if you have electrical cords running on sidewalks or other pedestrian areas, make sure they are secured so that no one would trip over them. If what you’re doing results in mud or water on the road, clean up regularly so as not to adversely affect traffic.

5- Are you doing any excavation or underground work? Before you do any digging, contact the local utilities so that you know exactly what is where, preventing any accidental damage to water works or other underground services.

6- Things heating up on site? All flammable materials must be stored in approved safety containers. And if you’re doing any hot work (defined as any activity that would create heat, sparks, flames or smoke, such as welding for example), make sure that all combustibles are at least 11 meters away. Combustible garbage should be dealt with promptly and any oily rags kicking around should be store away in metal containers with tight fitting lids. Finally, make sure there is always a fire extinguisher on hand.

7- Bringing subcontractors on board for your project? Get their certificates of liability to be sure they have proper coverage while working for you.

8- And finally, make sure that you’re working in a legit fashion. Follow all codes, standards and permit directives. Keep a record of all important documentation related to your project, such as plans, permits, and any official documents related to your work, such as tests completed or any approvals obtained.

 

Want more advice and recommendations? Click here for more commercial insurance and business protection tips.

Have some questions about your business insurance? Want to learn more about insurance specific to working as a contractor? Click here to get a quote or zip over here to contact us directly and chat about your particular needs.

 

Image source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net | digitalart

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Weather Forecast

Special Weather Statement

Issued:
9:58 AM EDT on March 30, 2017
Expires:
1:58 AM EDT on March 31, 2017
Snow
Currently
Snow
Tomorrow is forecast to be nearly the same temperature as today. Cloudy with rain.
Snow
Thursday 03/30 90%
Snow
Rain and snow. Low 0C.
Rain
Tomorrow 03/31 90%
Rain
Periods of rain. High 4C. Winds E at 15 to 30 km/h. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall around 6mm.
Overcast
Saturday 04/01 10%
Overcast
Cloudy. High 8C. Winds NNW at 15 to 25 km/h.

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