Cambell & Haliburton Insurance & Investments

Insurance and Investment Blog

house

5 Tips for Home Damage Prevention

June 14, 2018

As temperatures have been warming up, it is a good idea to take stock of your home and determine if there are any issues which have arisen over the winter and spring melt. Look over your basement, exterior of your home, and check for cracks on interior walls from settling or ground movement. Were those cracks there last year, or are they new? What needs to be done? Here are a few tips for preventing damage to your home:

1) Clear out your Gutters!

It’s simple and effective – clean your gutters! Over time dirt and leaves can get into your gutters and cause water to build up, ignoring the entire reason for having gutters on your home. When these blockages occur, the gutters can produce cracks, or water may overflow into your roof. Getting out the ladder may seem a daunting task, but compared to water damage in your house, the potential gains from doing this far outweigh the drawbacks, just make sure to practice safe ladder use! In the same vein,

2) Extend your Downspouts

Your gutters may be doing their job preventing water from running down the walls and into the ground surrounding your home, therefore preventing ground water from entering your home, but if your downspouts are only extending out a foot or two all this is doing is building up that water in one area of your basement. If your downspouts don’t extend at least 6 feet away from your dwelling, consider an extension in order to prevent water from seeping into the foundation. Even consider going further to be on the safe side!

3) Check your Smoke Detectors

This may be common sense, but many people don’t do regular checks on their smoke detectors. Though sometimes just doing the button test is not enough, as there is an end date on the effectiveness of most smoke detectors due to the materials used in them. If you check your smoke detectors regularly to ensure they are still operational, be sure to check if they are still being used within their effective dates. Using myself as an example, I check my detectors regularly, but recently discovered that one was about 3 years past its effective date and, much to my surprise, after holding a match up to it, it did not go off! Many new detectors will beep when they are nearing this date to let you know, but if it is an older unit, you may want to check.

4) Check your Shingles

There have been days in the past weeks and months that have been particularly windy, though not many I have noticed with hail. Regardless, you may want to check your shingles to ensure that they are all still intact and doing what they need to do. Your shingles are your first line of defence against rainwater entering your home, so having them in working order is of utmost importance. It may be advantageous to have an expert out to take a look at your shingles to determine the wear on them, you may be closer to needing to replace than you think, and having this information beforehand will give you time to prepare and have less of a sudden sticker shock when it comes time to replace.

5) Check your Basement Walls

It lends to reason that this may only be possible when your basement is not finished, but make sure to check your basement walls during the early days of the spring melt. Are there any wet spots? Any new cracks? Getting in before there are large issues could be the difference between being flooded and staying dry. Fill in any cracks you find so that no water can enter the premises, and check with Campbell & Haliburton to determine whether you would be covered in case of water entering during a flood, either through the walls or through the windows.

Thank you for reading. I hope you found this informative. If you did, please let us know the next time you are in the office to see us, we always appreciate hearing from our clients, and let us know your stories! In any case of the above points, don’t climb up on your roof if you are not comfortable. Hire a trained and insured professional to do so if need be. Please consider giving us a like on Facebook, and if you like the service we provide please consider giving us a Google review as well! Are there any tips we missed that you feel would be of use to people? You can let me know at bpetrie@campbellhaliburton.ca. Be watching for new tips for preventing damage to your home in the future!

Best Wishes!

Blaine Petrie Insurance Broker

Blaine Petrie

Used Car for Sale

4 Things to Take Away From the 2018-19 Provincial Budget – Auto Edition

April 11, 2018

There have been some changes in the past week to the way PST gets charged on used vehicles in the province. As such, here are a few things to be aware of in the new budget as it pertains to used vehicles:

1) There is now a $5,000 evaluation on privately purchased or farm use vehicles.

Previously when purchasing a privately used vehicle there existed a deduction of $3000 for the taxable limit of the purchase price. This deduction is gone, but in its place there is now a $5000 exemption from taxes on private or farm use used vehicles. The major distinction is in the words deduction and exemption. Previously if you were to purchase a used personal use light vehicle for $6000, and tax had not been previously paid on it, you would be responsible for the PST only on the limit exceeding $3000, as the first $3000 was deducted and treated like it did not exist, essentially. Under the new rules for that same $6000 vehicle, PST would be payable on the entire amount, without a deduction as under the old rules, subject to the value of the vehicle being greater than the purchase price per point 2. However, if the purchase price and value were $5000 or less, you would be exempt from PST in that situation.

There are exceptions to this, of course. The exemption does not apply to commercial classes of vehicle, to vehicles purchased out of country, or to used vehicles purchased from a dealer (see point 4 for more on dealerships). If in doubt, you can refer to our office, or to the SGI website for more details: www.sgi.sk.ca.

2) Tax is Based on the Value of the Vehicle

Let’s say you got a great deal on a vehicle and purchased a $15,000 vehicle for $5000. I for one would like to know how you did that, because I can’t negotiate to save my life, but what value do you pay insurance on? Per the new budget considerations, The Saskatchewan Ministry of Finance will charge PST based on the purchase price or Red Book value, whichever is the greatest.

3) PST is Now Payable on All Used Vehicles

Prior to April 11, 2018, PST was only payable on a vehicle once for most light vehicles. There always existed exemptions to this, such as commercial use vehicles or sales on trailers or recreational vehicles, but for the most part a used light vehicle would not have had PST owing unless it had never been paid in Saskatchewan. Per the 2018-19 Provincial budget, this has now changed. All vehicles sold used are now subject to PST if they are sold over $5000, regardless of whether PST has been paid previously or not, and is based on the value displayed in the red book or the sale price, whichever is higher.

4) The Good Part

In the 2017-18 Saskatchewan budget a key portion of trading in vehicles was removed: The PST payable portion of a vehicle if a trade in happens. This has been reinstated effective April 11, 2018 as per the 2018-19 budget set forth by the Government of Saskatchewan. So now if you purchase a vehicle for $30,000, and trade in a vehicle worth $10,000 on that vehicle, you will only pay PST on $20,000 again as had been the case prior to the 2017-18 budget. If your trade in is enough to bring the total price to you below $5000, you will not qualify for the exemption still, as we had mentioned in point 1 that vehicles purchased from dealerships do not qualify for the exemption.
So while the taxes on used personal use vehicles have changed, there are bright sides as well. The amount for exemption from tax has increased. The trade in allowance has been reinstated. If you have any question about whether tax is payable on a vehicle, or any other questions pertaining to the change to how PST is collected on a vehicle as there are a few areas not covered by this post, be sure to call us at 306-757-0621, and we can help so you aren’t caught surprised when you go to register your new-to-you used vehicle, as long as you have information about the vehicle.

If you have any other questions it is always a good idea to check out SGI’s website, as they have many pages of information that goes beyond what we have covered here.

Hope you all have a great day, and a great weekend,
Blaine Petrie Insurance Broker

Blaine Petrie
Campbell & Haliburton