June 19th, 2018

Insurance Understood: Hiding with fire bans

By Medicine Hat News on September 9, 2017.

How were your summer holidays? Did everything go as planned? Last week, my family and I went to Waterton for the day. Beforehand, I texted some friends to learn about appropriate hikes for my family and decided on Forum Lake. I also checked online for the fire ban situation and we were set to go. We woke up early Saturday morning and started the journey. Unfortunately, while en route we learned that the B.C. government closed the Forum Lake trail that morning. Well, as any family does, we adjusted our plan and chose another hike, Bertha Falls. Overall we felt that we could make lemonade of the situation. It was not always easy to have one child on my back while holding another in my arms for part of the hike. Yet when we arrived at the Falls and cooled our feet off in the stream, we were all happy. When we left Waterton later that night, there was a noticeable increase in the smoke from forest fires. A few days later, all Waterton hikes were closed due to fire safety. We have some family friends who planned to go this weekend but have had to cancel their hike completely.

This reminds me of insurance. Over the summer I helped clients implement insurance programs to protect what matters most to them. Do you have the appropriate coverage in place? You may have a plan to obtain appropriate insurance policies in the future. Unfortunately, for some people there are some forest fires looming in their life. Are you aware of your situation? You may find that you can still obtain insurance but with some adjustments. Those adjustments may be an increase in the amount you pay, the amount of coverage you can obtain, or potential exclusions for health conditions, occupational or travel risks. Some fires of life could close down your ability to put the right insurance in place — then you are not able to protect what matters most. It’s worth a reminder here that fires of other family members can affect your insurability too.

My firm has worked through many of the forest fires of clients’ lives this past summer. With a changing landscape, it is not always possible to give them the same outcome as they originally planned for. They are understanding and only wish that they had started sooner. Yet for a few, the fires of life came too close and they no longer have the ability to make adjustments. There is no option for them for a considerable amount of time or even at all.

Steve Meldrum B.Mgt. CFP¨ CLU¨ is the founder of Swell Private Wealth Ltd. For over a decade he has specialized in helping individuals and businesses expand protect and perpetuate their wealth. For further information or tailored advice, contact him at 403-487-0490, steve@swellwealth.com or connect on social media.

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