If you’re a parent in Manitoba then no doubt you’ve heard about the changes to the insurance coverage regarding car seats.

I thought I’d highlight this article on CBC news that talks with a Manitoba mom and MPI – the Manitoba Public Insurance.

As it turns out on May 1, 2015 new policy came into affect where MPI would not be covering the cost to replace car seats after an accident. Rather, they will be doing it on a case by case basis depending on the severity of the accident.

Now, being a mom myself I understand the importance of a secure car seat. I also know how expensive these things can cost on top of all the expenses I had when I first had children. I understand that replacing car seats can be expensive for the insurance companies, but can’t they factor that in to their rates?

Now apparently there have been “Recent studies demonstrate that child safety seats can withstand minor crash impacts without any documented degradation in subsequent performance.” I haven’t been able to find them but I suspect this was based on these studies and other recommendations.

My stance is pretty neutral right now until I find out some more information. My primary concern is the health and safety of our children. Although there is no law to replace a car seat if it’s been in a minor accident, this has always been the recommendation from the manufacturers and health and safety bodies.

If the car seat still meet some sort of top performance standard then perhaps it can be used. But I know in the back of my mind I would always be wondering. Will this just leave a lot of parents with a large car seat replacement bill? Who knows. We’ll see as it unfolds.

What’s your opinion on the matter? Leave your comments below.


Congratulations on your new car purchase! This is a really exciting time. Getting that new set of wheels opens up a lot of different opportunities. Being a retired insurance broker in the Calgary area for most of my life, I have worked with a number of Calgary insurance companies to find people just like you the perfect match for car insurance.

Now, while this is an exciting time, it’s very important that you find the coverage you need before driving that vehicle off the lot.

Here are a few things you’re going to need to know when you call your car insurance broker:

What is the make, model, and year of the vehicle

Did you get your hands on a nice new 2016 Honda Civic hybrid? Sweet! Be sure you know that information ready when you call your broker.

How much did you pay for the vehicle?

How much did it cost, and did you refinance another loan into this?

What is the VIN, or vehicle information number

The dealer likely has already provided this information but in case they haven’t you can find it on the dashboard of the drivers side by the front window.

How many KM or miles are on your vehicle?

Pick up a used car with 100,000 KM? Or a new one fresh off the lot? Make sure you provide this information during your quote.

Where do you live? Your address and postal code

The broker is going to need to know where you live – what’s the street address, postal code, and city and province where the vehicle is going to stay.

What is this vehicle being used for?

Is it just casual usage – going to pick up groceries, run errands, etc?

Will you need to use this car to get back and forth to a job or workplace?

Or do you use this car as a part of your business?

Knowing the usage is very important as it will determine the type and amount of coverage you need for your vehicle.

Where will the vehicle be parked?

Will it be parked on the street, or in a driveway? Or perhaps in a covered garage? These are all things you should know before calling.

Who will be the primary driver?

Is this your first or second vehicle? Who will be using the vehicle the most? You? Your spouse? Depending on who the primary and named drivers are on the vehicle the broker or insurance company will need to pull a drivers history to look at any past accidents or claims.

These are only some of the things you’ll need to know before calling to get your car insurance quote. However, they are important to know.

Remember – it’s very important to have proper coverage before driving your car off the lot. Even if you don’t have the insurance paper for your vehicle, have the insurance company fax a copy of your coverage and policy information to the dealership so it’s recorded.

If you have any questions about car insurance, or getting coverage, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me an email.


Getting the right coverage for your home is very important. This is why a broker needs adequate information to provide you with the best coverage at the best price. When you call your insurance broker to get a home insurance quote, you will undoubtedly need to answer a series of questions about your home.

I want to share with you some of the questions so that you can be best prepared when you call for a home insurance quote.

The type of home

Is your home a split entry, bungalow, semi-detached, etc. If you are buying the home, you can ask the sellers or your realtor if you are unsure what the style is called of the home you are buying.

The age of your home

When possible, be as precise as you can with this one. There are sometimes windows of time that can be used, but the closer to the exact year the more accurate the quote will be. Needless to say, older homes usually have more issues than newer homes so this needs to be factored in.

Purchase price of the home

If you’re buying the home now, what is the purchase price of your accepted offer? If you’re shopping for new insurance, what was the original purchase price? This will help the broker determine a value to rebuild the home in case of fire.

Estimated value of belongings within the home

Again, as accurate as you can be here the better. If you’re an expensive china collector, let them know. If there’s anything of extreme value being stored in your home make sure your insurance broker knows about it so that they can ensure its covered.

If you’re not sure, ask yourself if I lost everything tomorrow how much money would I need to spend to replace everything?.

The type and age heating system

Are you using oil heat – air or water? Electric heat? Wood stove? Geo-thermal system? Heat pump? Be sure that you know your heating system and when it was installed.

The type and age of the roof

When was the roof installed? This is usually a very important questions so an exact time would be best. You can always estimate for the sake of the quote, but make sure you find out the specific time that your roof was installed to ensure accurate coverage and price. Some insurance companies don’t cover certain things if the roof is past a certain age.

What type of foundation, if any, do you have?

Do you have a basement? Is it concrete? Block? Has there ever been any water damage in the basement? There are a few questions regarding the foundation that your insurance broker might ask so the more you know the better.

What type of electrical wiring is in the home?

Hopefully you’re not running old knob and tube and you have an upgraded electrical system. You’ll also want to know what Amperage your box is as well.

How old and what type of plumbing is in the home?

Do you have copper piping or new Pex pipes? How long ago was the plumbing installed and was it ever upgraded?

What is the water and sewer source?

Are you hooked into a municipal water and sewer or do you have your own septic tank and well? If you have your own well, has it been professionally tested?

Do you operate a business from your home?

If you work from home or run a home-based business there may be special circumstances surrounding your quote, so be sure to let your insurance broker know if that’s the case.

There will likely be additional questions that need to be answered but this will give you a good foundation of what you should know. Basically, the more you can know about your home or potential home the better.

If you have any questions about home insurance feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to answer.