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The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit - What You Need To Know

The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit - What You Need To Know
The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) portal is finally live as of Monday, April 6. This is a resource for all those who have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadians who qualify for this benefit can visit the Canada.ca website for more information or call the toll-free line at 1-800-959-2019. There are two ways to acce...ss the funds – which amount to $2,000 a month for up to four months – either by setting up a direct deposit or by mail. The direct deposit payments should between three-to-five days to come through whereas the payments by mail may take up to 10 days. Those who have been applying for employment insurance will be automatically enrolled into CERB. With a high volume of applicants expected, a system has been put in place to ensure that the portal does not become overloaded and crash. Applications will be staggered over the work week based on birth months. This means that those born in January through March should apply on April 6 and people born in April through June should apply on April 7. Those born in July through September should apply on April 8 and finally those born in October through December should apply on April 9. On April 10 and moving forward however, applications will no longer be dependent on birth month. Those who apply online will need to sign into their CRA My Accounts and follow the procedure set forth on the website. This will include selecting the period the application is for as well as declaring that they qualify for the benefit. Once the right payment information is confirmed, it should only take three-to-five days for the direct deposit to come through. If applying on the phone, call the toll-free line listed above – this is a dedicated CERB line. Applicants who choose to use the line are advised to have their Social Insurance Number and Postal Code at hand to verify their identity. While these services will run seven days a week, they will be closed from 3 A.M. ET to 6 A.M. ET for maintenance. This benefit is available from March 15 to October 3rd – with the deadline for these applications being on December 2nd. There are certain criteria that those who apply for CERB need to meet. This includes being over the age of 15 and residing in Canada and having stopped working because of COVID-19. Moreover, applicants will need to have had an income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12-month period prior to the date of the application. Applicants will also need to have been or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week-period. The aforementioned income of $5,000 can be from a combination of any of the following: employment, self-employment, maternity and parental benefits under EI, or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan. The bottom line is that this benefit only applies to those who have stopped working and receiving income because of COVID-19. If you have any questions regarding how this could effect your insurance or benefits, contact one of our experts today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. document.getElementById('cloak1db901668a235508d7b07d435810778c').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addy1db901668a235508d7b07d435810778c = 'better' + '@'; addy1db901668a235508d7b07d435810778c = addy1db901668a235508d7b07d435810778c + 'hubbardinsurance' + '.' + 'com'; var addy_text1db901668a235508d7b07d435810778c = 'better' + '@' + 'hubbardinsurance' + '.' + 'com';document.getElementById('cloak1db901668a235508d7b07d435810778c').innerHTML += ''+addy_text1db901668a235508d7b07d435810778c+''; or by simply calling us at 905-696-9090. Source - CBC More
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COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update
The situation with the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and we wanted to provide you with an updated overview of the changes we have implemented to keep business running as smoothly as possible. The insurance industry is deemed an essential service along with mail and courier services, so we are here and fully operational. We wanted to reach o...ut and address some of the questions we have been receiving regarding our office and your insurance coverage. What has changed at Hubbard Insurance? We remain operational; all staff have secure, confidential, and full system/phone access from home offices. Our physical office is closed and we will not be having face-to-face meetings. However, we are fully reachable via email and phones in the traditional way, as well as video conference as necessary.   What is the impact on my insurance coverage if I have to close business locations? Policy wordings do restrict coverages when locations are unoccupied or vacant. However, in the current situation this is an area where insurers are indicating they will show some flexibility as they completely understand the necessity of everyone needing to play a role and either work remotely or close their business completely.   While this clause will only kick in typically over the 30 days mark, we think it is a wise risk management process to have someone check on your business location every 2-3 days just to make sure the heat is still on and everything is okay. Government of Canada Announcements   The Government of Canada announced an aid package to help Canadians and businesses cope with COVID-19, including income supports, wage subsidies, and tax deferrals. The Emergency Care Benefit, of up to $900 bi-weekly and 15 weeks, provides income support for workers, including self-employed who have to stay home and do not qualify for employment insurance. There is also an Emergency Support Benefit to provide up to $5 billion for workers not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.   What if I can’t pay my monthly premium or miss a payment? We are, as previously indicated, still waiting for formal written positions from each of the insurance companies; however, they are indicating: ·      They will NOT cancel policies for non-payment in the current environment ·      They will NOT charge NSF fee’s ·      They will offer some flexibility on monthly withdrawals should there need to be a delay in payment(s) Why doesn’t Business Interruption coverage for my business respond due to COVID 19? The current Covid-19 pandemic situation we are all faced with is not something that insurance polices are designed to cover. Business interruption insurance is usually triggered only because of a peril covered under a commercial property policy as previously indicated. As such, we are expecting to see insurance carriers take the position that COVID-19 does not trigger coverage and generally speaking, that this is a largely uninsurable event. We are however, taking the position that it is in our clients’ best interests – if they are not sure and this situation has had an impact on their business – to report a claim and let the insurance company come back with a formal decision on coverage. Our feeling is that if the Government does offer support for businesses that have lost income, we imagine that it would require evidence that the insurance policy does not respond – before a businesses can access those funds. Therefore, in our view, having a formal written position from the insurance company could be a valuable tool. To this end, we are advising business insurance clients to maintain records detailing any reduction in revenue and other costs. What steps should we take in regard to our Group Benefits Coverage? As you can probably expect, there have been many questions asked by employers regarding the impact to Benefit Plans resulting from Covid-19. Most common questions (so far) have been.  ·         What if my benefits are up for renewal now? o   Every situation is different and insurers recognize the challenging times we are in. There may be delays with renewals getting to you. Premium payment deferments may be able to be arranged but again this is insurer dependent.  It is best to have a conversation with us in advance to better understand your situation before we approach insurer(s) on your behalf. ·         What if I have to lay off employees or reduce their hours? What happens to their benefits? o   Insurers are stepping up here and allowing for continuation of benefits (Short Term Disability and Long Term Disability on a limited basis) for 90 days and this is subject to change depending on how long we are under this Covid-19 cloud. Again, it is best to have a conversation with us. ·         What if I have to reduce work hours for my employees? o   Effective immediately and until May 31st, 2020 most insurers are waiving the ‘minimum hours’ required to be eligible for benefits. ·         Out-of-country trip limit increases o   If an employee and/or family member is quarantined or unable to get back to Canada in a timely fashion, these exceptional cases will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with a view to providing further support. ·         Providing paramedical services virtually o   Many providers have started offering services virtually (i.e. Dietitian, Naturopath, Physiotherapist, Psychologist, etc.) and most insurers are accepting these claims assuming they are part of your plan design and covered services. Our office is participating at the provincial level on calls with brokers and insurers and as more information is available, we will reach out to you and will, as promised, continue to keep you up to date. This is, of course, still a very fluid situation. In the interim, if you have questions, reach out and talk to us. We are here for you. Useful Links 5 Tips For Working From Home Essential Workplaces in Ontario Canada’s Economic Response Plan Again, we are available to connect with you by phone or email if you have questions or concerns. We greatly value our relationship with you and maybe it is time that all of us take stock of what really matters, family & community. Let us look after each other, be good neighbours - stay healthy and take care! More
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Surge In Demand For Delivery Drivers

Surge In Demand For Delivery Drivers
Frontline workers represent the best of us right now – the medical professionals putting themselves at risk every day to ensure our safety, the service industry workers working tirelessly to keep everyone fed, and the delivery drivers who make sure we can get our food without exposing ourselves to the virus. This in turn has resulted in a demand f...or delivery drivers. Some may think they have auto insurance in place and therefore can jump right in and start deliveries BUT do they have the right insurance coverage? Are they protected? According to Pete Karageorgos, the director of consumer industry relations at the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), there are a few things to take into consideration. He states that “Anytime you’re using your vehicle for a business purpose, anytime you’re turning your car from a private passenger vehicle into a commercial, money-making enterprise … that use needs to be noted by your insurance company so they are aware of your changing risk.” Using your vehicle for deliveries turns it’s use into “business use” and you must advise your insurance company to ensure you have the proper coverage in place to protect you and others in case of an accident or claim. With the government forcing restaurants to restrict business to take-out and delivery services only, the demands for delivery drivers is expected to surge. Major corporations such as Walmart Canada and Dominos have stated they will be mass hiring delivery workers . s some people lose income because of this pandemic, many will turn to delivery as a means of getting by- but it isn’t as simple as just using your care to deliver goods. The IBC have made it clear to their customers that they need to let their insurance companies and brokers know if they are planning on pursuing work in delivery. If adjustments aren’t made to policies that do not account for these changes, it could leave delivery drivers at increased risks for not being able to access claim payments if something was to go wrong. Pete Karageorgos adds that “insurance is based on the principle of utmost good faith and that requires the client, the insured, to notify their insurer of any changes to their driving habits [and] to their risk factors,” and that “It’s up to insurance professionals to educate people and advise them of why it’s necessary to call in the change — and to outline the possible repercussions if that doesn’t happen and there’s a claim.” On the plus side, if your policy already covers deliveries, then a surge in demand for deliveries is highly unlikely to cause an increase in premiums at this time. To understand what your policy covers during this time, reach out to our expert brokers by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. document.getElementById('cloakca7b61b7cb89865c74c22f1838fff16b').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addyca7b61b7cb89865c74c22f1838fff16b = 'better' + '@'; addyca7b61b7cb89865c74c22f1838fff16b = addyca7b61b7cb89865c74c22f1838fff16b + 'hubbardinsurance' + '.' + 'com'; var addy_textca7b61b7cb89865c74c22f1838fff16b = 'better' + '@' + 'hubbardinsurance' + '.' + 'com';document.getElementById('cloakca7b61b7cb89865c74c22f1838fff16b').innerHTML += ''+addy_textca7b61b7cb89865c74c22f1838fff16b+''; or calling 905-696-9090.     Source: Canadian Underwriter More
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The Best 5 Tips For Working From Home

The Best 5 Tips For Working From Home
With the aggressive spread of COVID-19 throughout the world, strict social-distancing and self-isolation techniques are being employed by people around the globe. For many, this has meant a major shift in their work environments – as working from home is fast-becoming the main solution as companies work to battle the spread of the virus. However, ...working from home isn’t as simple as it sounds. The rhythm and flow of an average workday is completely railroaded by the distractions of a home. Furthermore, finding motivation and entering the work-mindset can be difficult when the working environment has changed so drastically. To make working from home a more productive endeavour, follow these 5 rules.   Dedicated Location While working from your bed in pyjamas sounds brilliant in theory, it simply does not work in practice. Areas in the house that we associate with a relaxed frame of mind make it a challenge to be motivated and productive. Instead, the best move is to dedicate a certain area as the working area – and to associate it entirely with productivity and getting work done. This helps with staying on task and fighting off the distractions that come with working from home.   Finding A Friend An extremely underrated aspect of staying productive and motivated is to have positive social interactions in the work environment. Chatting with coworkers can be the perfect combination of taking a short break to reset and adding a dose of mental stimulation that can help make the rest of the day successful. Whilst this becomes more challenging when working from home, it has never been easier than it is today to connect with people digitally. Now this doesn’t mean spend all day on the phone with a friend, but experts suggest that reaching out to a colleague when feeling the need to speak to someone can greatly improve productivity and mood.   Create A Plan Anyone who has worked from home will know that getting distracted is the easiest thing in the world. You set out to complete a task, lose focus halfway through because you checked your phone, and now it’s 3 hours later. Recreating a strict 9-5 workday at home doesn’t work for many. Instead, experts encourage those working from home to create more structured daily schedules that allow for bursts of productivity. This means taking breaks more frequently than you would at the office – but taking these breaks with the prospect of becoming more productive once the break is over. Physical activities such as playing with your pet and going for long walks have proven to help people become more focused and finish their tasks on hand.   Communication For many, in-person communication is a critical part of doing their jobs to the best of their ability. The personal element is lost once that communication moves towards email correspondence and other text-based forms of interaction. In a time such as this, experts strongly suggest utilizing applications such as Zoom and Teams for videoconferencing purposes – with the added face-to-face functionality doing wonders for productivity. Within those apps, tools such as screen-sharing can help focus meetings into more meaningful avenues as everyone can stay on the same page and bounce around ideas. Moreover, throwing lunch parties through these applications has become a trend that experts are encouraging. Anecdotal evidence suggests that offices which throw digital pizza parties once a week have increased team cohesion which leads to a more effective work-from-home environment.   We Are All Different Ultimately, different things will work for different people. While to some the idea of working from home is wonderful, it can be incredibly stressful for others and that is something we all need to be mindful of. Experts are recommending that Managers reach out to their employees and be proactive in combatting the struggles that some may be having with this shift. While the changes from office-based to home-based employment will not be permanent, it is still imperative to make the best of this situation. Staying healthy in general will lead to an overall better experience during this time.     More
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Top 5 Ways To Stay Healthy During The COVID-19 Outbreak

Top 5 Ways To Stay Healthy During The COVID-19 Outbreak
Staying healthy is usually pretty simple – it all comes down to the basic fundamentals of a balanced diet, exercise, positive social interactions, and getting a good amount of sleep. However, with the vast majority of people self-isolating due to the pandemic, it’s all becoming a bit tricky! So how does one stay mentally and physically healthy du...ring a time such as this? Here are the top five things to consider.   Nutrition Since many are stocking up with non-perishable food items, maintaining a healthy diet can be quite difficult. Canned foods tend to be loaded with sodium, fat, and preservatives that can cause damage to the digestive system if consumed in excess. Cameron Byker Shanks, an associate professor of food, nutrition, and sustainable food systems suggests that now is in fact a good time to purchase fresh produce. “Buy those fruits and vegetables, cut them up and put them in your freezer, because they can be used for months to come” she stated. While most people seem to be going for grains, flour, and canned foods, now is an opportune time to stock up on fresh food items and make use of your freezer. It is important to have a plan going into a grocery store in order to avoid impulse purchases and panic-buying unnecessary items. Moreover, having a set meal plan will also help prevent boredom and stress-eating – two things that become increasingly common in self-isolation.   Fitness Going to the gym right now is simply not possible and that is negatively impacting a lot of people. However, this does not mean that you can’t do any exercise at all. It is crucial in these times to get up and moving when possible – not just for your physical health, but for mental health as well. Though gyms are closed, going for a walk or a bike ride is still a viable option – as long as you maintain a safe, six-foot distance between yourself and other people. On top of this, if you do go for a walk or bike ride, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands before leaving and after returning. Moreover, there are many different exercises that can be done in the comfort of your own home! Body-weight exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, burpees, and planks can make-up a complete workout without needing any extra equipment. It is also important to note that exercise is not limited to gym-like workouts. Physical activities such as walking, gardening, and cleaning have all been shown to improve overall health.   Sleep Stress and anxiety can become real issues for those who are self-isolating and that can lead to terrible sleep patterns and quality – which, in turn, causes more anxiety and stress. Activities such as yoga and meditation are excellent for managing stress and anxiety – leading to better, healthier sleep as well as a positive state of mind. Creating technology and stimulus-free spaces in the house has also shown to benefit mental health by helping the mind reset and remain calm. Jamie Gold, a wellness design consultant, states that “over-exposure to news, over-exposure to chaos, creates a lot of anxiety.” She further suggests that “if you can create a quiet space to reflect, to journal, it helps to calm you.” It is important to balance this alone, quiet time with positive social interactions to combat the anxieties of isolation and feelings of loneliness that can compound declining mental health levels. With all of us interconnected through technology, it has never been easier to maintain these interactions without leaving the house.   Cleaning Time for a little bit of science. COVID-19, or the Coronavirus, isn’t a strain on its own. In fact, there is another virus called SARS-Cov-2 that causes the Coronavirus – and research suggests that this original virus can live on in plastic and stainless-steel surfaces for up to 72 hours. While surface contamination is not presently the main way this virus is spreading, it is still vital to keep all surfaces clean – using household cleaners to wipe down commonly used surfaces such as doorknobs, railings, and faucets. Experts suggest that, unless someone is sick in the household, obsessive cleaning is not necessary – but that does not mean a higher level of care should not go into daily cleaning. This along with washing your hands frequently will help prevent the spread of this virus. As a bonus, cleaning counts as a workout so you’re taking care of two birds with one stone!   Health Care Health care experts urge everyone to postpone all non-essential visits to clinics and hospitals – as the likelihood of contacting the virus increases exponentially in spaces where multiple people are sick. An alternative to important pre-scheduled appointments, according to experts, is telemedicine. This does not mean that health care should not be sought during this time – those who need help should seek it. However, if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or fear you may have contracted the virus, it is imperative to call your doctor or hospital prior to making a visit. Doing this allows for doctors to set containment procedures that will help make sure that you don’t infect someone else.   As always in such a time, staying calm is the name of the game. Panic-buying and hoarding resources hurts the populous as a whole and worsens the hysteria surrounding the virus. Stay level-headed, follow proper procedure, and we will all come out of this on the other side without too much damage. More
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