Easy Ways Keep Your Home Safe While You’re On Vacation

Vacation is meant to be a time when you and your loved ones can get away from everyday worries, have lots of fun and relax. The last thing you want to do on vacation is stress about your home security. And while a comprehensive homeowners insurance policy from The Insurance Services Department of London Drugs can definitely give you peace of mind when you’re away, it’s important to complete a few simple safety tasks as well. Check out a few of our favourite home safety tips below:

Before you head out on your holiday in the sun, you should make an easy-to-follow safety checklist that will allow you to make sure your home is protected from theft, vandalism and natural disasters. You wouldn’t pack for vacation without ticking off a checklist, so why not do the same and create a simple home security and maintenance checklist too?

Protect the Inside of Your Home

  • Use timers on your interior lights. Keep burglars away at night by making it appear as if someone is home with lights that are set to go on and off at normal evening hours.
  • It’s impossible to know when a power surge will hit your home, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the worst. Disconnect any major appliances that won’t be in use like your TVs and computers, plugging everything else into a surge protector.
  • Don’t forget to set your alarm before you leave the house. Contact your alarm company to let them know you will be away from home for an extended period of time.
  • Don’t give burglars an excuse to invite themselves in. Secure your valuables that you keep in the house and, if possible, store jewellery and other valuables in a safe deposit box.
  • While this may seem obvious, double check that you’ve locked all windows and doors before jetting off.

 Outdoor Safety

  • Will you be away from home for more than a week? If so, it’s a good idea to arrange for lawn care. You can ask a neighbor to tackle your lawn or simply hire a local service but trimmed trees and a well-manicured lawn are great for deterring burglars.
  • Set up timers for exterior lights as well, making sure they follow your regular night time schedule.
  • Prevent mail and newspaper deliveries from piling up by putting a temporary hold on your accounts. You can also have them picked up regularly by a trusted friend or neighbour, just to make sure you’re not an easy target for burglars.
  • If you have any hidden keys on your property, remove them from their hiding spots and put them in a safe place.
  • Lock your garage. Even if it doesn’t provide access into the house, any valuables kept inside are at risk of being stolen.

Protect Your Home with Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

Want to learn more about the benefits of investing in a comprehensive home insurance policy from The Insurance Services Department of London Drugs? Contact our friendly team online today to get a quote!

5 Winter Driving Tips

Whether you’re a new driver or you’ve tackled your fair share of Canadian winters, everyone knows that icy weather can be rough on your car. With freezing temperatures, slick roadways and blankets of snow falling down – it’s inevitable that your vehicle will experience winter wear and tear. But poor winter weather can also make for dangerous driving conditions. Failing to match your driving habits to inclement winter weather can put you and others in harm’s way. Here are our simple tips to help keep yourself and others safe on the road this winter.

1. Remember to Leave Space

When visibility is poor, it’s very important to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. When roads are wet they may become frozen and icy, and stopping distances increase dramatically. This means that if you fail to maintain plenty of distance, you may not have enough time to stop safely and could crash.

2. Don’t Drive With an Obstructed View

When winter weather conditions make it difficult to see the road clearly, you still need to navigate through snow, ice, mud and other elements to get home safely. Make sure you’ve invested in a high-quality ice scraper and replace your windshield wipers as soon as they begin to wear out. Additionally, obstructed or dim headlights can make it difficult to see where you’re going. So don’t forget to replace the bulbs as needed to help keep your car free from icy buildup that blocks your view.

3. Properly Winterize Your Vehicle

Once the weather starts to cool down, it’s a good idea to put away your regular tires in favor of snow tires. Along with a good ice scraper, you should include a set of chains in your vehicle, especially if you live in a hilly area. In fact, certain roadways require chains during inclement weather for any vehicle that is lacking four-wheel drive or snow tires. The addition of a few blankets and an emergency road safety kit are also helpful when winterizing your vehicle.

4. Adjust Your Speed Appropriately

Even if you’re familiar with the regular route to your home or office, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to slow down during a storm. Instead of rushing and driving too fast, allow for extra time to get around town and be careful whenever you have to brake, take curves, or change lanes. The danger of skidding on ice is greatest when you’re taken by surprise, so remember to drive at an appropriate speed during winter storms.

5. Go Easy on the Brakes

Chances are that if you’re driving too fast and too close to other cars, you’ll have to brake hard to avoid an accident. Try to go easy on your brakes whenever possible to avoid making one or more of your wheels lock. Locked-up wheels are dangerous because they can easily send you into a spin and become very dangerous on winter roadways.

Stay Safe and Enjoy a Happy Winter

As your trusted insurance broker, we want to make sure that you and your loved ones stay safe on the roads this winter. By following a few key safety steps you can protect yourself and others all year long. Visit us online at LDInsurance.ca for more information!

How will you stay safe this winter? Comment below!







5 Expert Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Tips for new home buyers london drugs blog

Buying a new home can be a very exciting and daunting task. While the excitement is great, the tiny details associated with closing on a new home don’t have to take over your life. While the learning curve can certainly be steep, a little homework can help first-time buyers navigate the process feeling accomplished and happy to enjoy their new home. Make sure your home-buying experience goes smoothly with a few expert tips.

1. Check your credit

Your credit score is one of the most important factors in qualifying for a home loan. So before you begin your search, be sure to go over your credit report carefully to screen for possible mistakes and any unpaid or collection accounts. Even if you pay your bills on time each month, you could have a less-than-perfect credit score. Everything from your credit utilization ratio to the age of your accounts can have an impact on your current rating.

2. Explore different financing options

Most first-time home buyers should have a number of different financing options available to help them purchase a new home. Your bank or credit union may have special programs for first-time homebuyers or you may be able to secure a federally backed loan. Keep in mind that your mortgage interest rate will greatly impact the total price that you end up paying for your home, so take the time to shop around.

3. Figure out your down payment

It can take a great amount of effort to gather the down payment for your new home, but don’t forget that you may have access to programs that offer financial assistance for new home buyers. Stumped where to look for help? Reach out to friends, family members and co-workers to find out which lenders they enjoyed working with and which lenders to avoid. A personal recommendation to a lender can often lead to better service!

New Home Buyer Insurance London Drugs Blog

4. Complete a home inspection

Professional home inspections help evaluate new homes for quality, safety and overall condition. If an inspection reveals any serious defects that the seller failed to disclose, you should be able to rescind your offer and get your deposit back. Additionally, once finding out the state of the home, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to make the necessary repairs before completing the sale.

5. Invest in comprehensive home insurance coverage

Purchasing a new home is often the largest financial commitment a person will make in their lifetime. That’s why protecting your home and your loved ones with the most comprehensive home insurance policy available is extremely important. But not all home insurance policies are created equal. Each policy should be unique as the home and people it protects, so be sure to invest in coverage you can count on.

If you are in the process of buying a new home, be sure to protect your investment with the best home insurance policy available. Don’t get caught without the right level of insurance protection when you need it the most. Visit the Insurance Services Department at London Drugs today to learn more and request a quote.

My Family Cruise Nightmare: Why Travel Insurance is Always a Good Idea

When I prepare for a big trip I always include a few travel essentials on my list. I make sure to pack plenty of clothing options, comfortable shoes, toiletries, a good book and an extra phone charger just in case. But a few years ago, my family learned that the most important travel accessory is one that you can’t even see: travel insurance. While some people may be wary of purchasing this optional coverage, on our last family vacation we very quickly learned about the value of travel insurance.

An Alaskan Dream Cruise

Don’t take a chance on your next vacation

My family went on a travel cruise to Alaska back in September 2011 with the greatest of vacations in mind. We were looking forward to seeing some beautiful natural areas and relaxing on the cruise ship during our downtime. Typically, my Dad does all of the planning because he is an experienced traveler and likes to choose activities at each destination.

At the time of booking the cruise trip, my Dad was 84 years-old and looking forward to spending time traveling with his kids and grandchildren too. The travel insurance premium for our one-week cruise ended up being over $300 but my Dad knew it would be a good investment, just in case something went wrong. Later on, he would find out first-hand just how valuable that small investment was.


A Slip and Fall at Sea

As everyone got ready for dinner on the second day of the cruise, my Dad slipped and fell in the shower. After first trying to shrug it off, he eventually started complaining of back pain, so we took him to the ship doctor to be checked out. The doctor examined him and eventually gave him a few pain pills and muscle relaxers to help sort him out. After resting that evening, it seemed like he was doing much better. In fact, he felt good enough to join us all for a whale watching excursion! After a day of fun with the family, the last thing on our minds was the cruise trip accident.

The next morning, as I was enjoying some coffee with my husband on deck, we heard a page asking for a medic to be sent to my parents’ stateroom. We made our way back down below deck as quickly as possible but once we got there, my Dad was being taken from the room on a stretcher. As we scrambled to compose ourselves in front of the kids, we were told that he was experiencing facial seizures.

A Long Road to Recovery

Luckily, my Dad was quickly taken off of the ship and transported by ambulance to Whitehorse for a CT scan. There we discovered that he had a subdural hematoma and needed to be transported to VGH to undergo a brain operation. He ended up staying in the hospital for over three months due to the traumatic brain injury and a fractured vertebra in his back. Fortunately for us, all of the ship’s medical expenses and ambulance charges were covered by TUGO. Later, my Dad told us that his one regret was the fact that he didn’t purchase trip interruption coverage, because he wasn’t reimbursed for the cost of the cruise.

Invest in TUGO Travel Insurance On Your Next Trip

Without the protection of travel insurance from the Insurance Services Department of London Drugs, our family would have paid for all medical expenses out-of-pocket. Before you travel with your loved ones, be sure to invest in travel medical for your next trip. Visit LDInsurance.ca today for coverage starting at just $20.

Buying a New Vehicle? Don’t Skip the Replacement Cost Insurance.

Make sure you get the right insurance when you buy a new car.

Protecting a shiny new car takes more than your average auto insurance. If your vehicle is totaled in a car accident, basic coverage often won’t cover the full cost you paid at the dealership. After all, your car’s value depreciates over time. Let’s say you bought the vehicle for $25,000 in 2016, but its present-day value is only $14,000. As a result, you’re likely only covered for $14,000 in the event of a collision.

There is, however, an easy solution. By purchasing replacement cost insurance, your new vehicle can be insured for its original cost or the full cost of its dealership repairs. If the car is irreparably damaged, you’ll be reimbursed for a new car of the identical make and model, minus the deductible. We’ll tell you a true story below to show you why you should buy replacement cost insurance from The Insurance Services Department of London Drugs.

Learning From Our Mistakes

A current staff member, let’s call her Dawn, tells a cringe-worthy account of driving to Edmonton in 2015 with her husband in their one-month-old car, which they had declined to insure with replacement cost insurance. “We figured we are pretty safe drivers and we are not going to have any accidents,” explains Dawn.

But during that fateful trip down Coquihalla Highway, Dawn and her husband collided with a deer that ran into their path. “The vehicle was a total write-off from that accident,” she says. Things were, unfortunately, about to get even worse. “While we were waiting to be towed,” Dawn continues, “A tour bus full of US tourists slammed onto the tow truck, which consequently slammed onto our vehicle damaging it even more.”

The Cost of Being an Underinsured Motorist

Since Dawn and her husband didn’t have replacement cost insurance, ICBC only paid for the vehicle’s value at the time of the accident. After the incident, the couple vowed to never buy a new vehicle without investing in replacement cost coverage. “Whenever I have a client who is insuring a vehicle that’s less than 3 years-old, I always tell them my story so that they don’t make the same mistake that I made,” Dawn says knowingly.

Travel safe with the right kind of insurance.In January 2018, Dawn’s new Toyota was stuck in a crash, causing significant damage to its front bumper. But this time, she was prepared with replacement cost coverage. The insurance not only covered the repair costs, but it ensured that genuine Toyota parts were used, instead of generic ones.

Protecting Your New Car Today

If your car is involved in an accident, replacement cost auto insurance can protect you from depreciation and inflation. As a result, your settlement could cover the cost of a brand new vehicle. Visit us at the Insurance Services Department at London Drugs.

We love pets too!

Whether you have a cat or a dog, a companion bird or something more exotic, the chances are, you consider your pet a much-loved member of the family. Pets enhance our well being and entrust us with theirs.

We’d like to help you provide your furred, feathered or scaly friend/s with the healthiest and longest life possible…

Do you know that London Drugs pharmacists can also fill your pet’s prescription?
Our knowledgeable pharmacists are medication experts who provide counselling services and confer with your doctor when necessary. And we’ll do the same for your pet! We fill many pet prescriptions, such as antibiotics, antihistamines, painkillers and heart medications and will contact your veterinarian if needed. Our pharmacies provide insulin, needles, and other diabetic supplies for companion animals and offer the same everyday value for pet prescriptions as for human prescriptions.

We know how important your non-human family members are to you and will work with you to help them stay healthy and well cared-for.

Health Insurance for Cats & Dogs
When Lindy went for a bike ride through the park with Digger, her 7-month-old Schnauzer pup, the last thing on her mind that bright spring day was an accident.

“I wouldn’t normally exercise my dog while riding my bike, but I was pressed for time,” she explains. “I was all geared up to prevent injury to myself, but I never thought that Digger might get hurt.”

As it happened, Digger’s back leg was fractured in 2 places when he was startled by a larger dog that chased Lindy’s bike. His leash became caught in her back wheel, and he was thrown, catching his leg in the spokes.

“I learned two big lessons that day,” says Lindy. “One, Make sure you have a proper leash unit for your bike and two, spending that little bit extra each month for pet insurance is well worth it!”

Since Digger had a complicated fracture, his x-rays, surgery and pain medication totalled just under $5000.

“I would have had to take out a loan if my brother hadn’t advised me to buy pet insurance,” Lindy continues. “It certainly isn’t something I would have considered on my own, but it’s already proven well worth the monthly investment.”

Why we need Pet Insurance
In Canada, we have the benefit of having our basic medical care paid for by our provincial health plans. When anyone in our family is sick or injured, we go to the doctor or emergency room. Fortunately we don’t have to worry about the cost of treatment. We do what is necessary to get better, as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, the four-legged members of our families are not afforded the same luxury. With recent advances in veterinary medicine, pets can have most of the treatment options that we do, including chemotherapy, MRIs, advanced diagnostics and specialized medications – but these treatments are not covered by the same plans that cover us.

This means that for some beloved pets, it’s the end of the road as their owners can no longer afford medical care. (For senior pets, this can run in the $1000s annually.) Others choose to give their pet whatever is needed, often putting themselves and their families into a state of financial hardship.

This is where pet insurance comes in.

To provide affordable insurance for cats and dogs, London Drugs has teamed with Petsecure, Canada’s number one pet health insurance provider. Petsecure pet health insurance is Canadian owned and has been providing insurance for furry family members since 1989.

Petsecure offers four plans, covering accidents and illnesses to various degrees, and also offers coverage for annual preventive care and dental plans.

Pet owners can be sure to find coverage that meets their needs at an affordable cost.

With one in three pets requiring medical attention every year and the cost of veterinary care rising, health insurance for pets makes as much sense as dental insurance and extended healthcare benefits for people.

For more information on Petsecure pet health insurance programs, please call 1-800-268-1169 or visit Londondrugs.com. You can also visit any of our 8 locations.