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Al Hattie Insurance
Al Hattie Insurance
Al Hattie Insurance
Al Hattie Insurance
Al Hattie Insurance
Al Hattie Insurance
Al Hattie Insurance
3020C Arlington Ave
Saskatoon, SK, S7J 2J9
Phone: (306) 955-2700
As a family owned and operated business with many years of experience, Al Hattie Insurance understands the importance of convenience and quality customer service when it comes to insurance. With easy-to-use online tools and a convenient location just off Circle Drive, Al Hattie Insurance is committed to making it easy for you to insure yourself properly.
With a wide range of insurance products and services, Al Hattie can provide you with the coverage you need for almost anything, from condo insurance to cargo insurance. Read on as co-owner Brent Hattie shares with us the history of Al Hattie Insurance and discusses some common misconceptions about home, auto, and travel insurance.
Tell us about the history of the business.
My sister Colleen and I purchased the agency from our parents 13 years ago. Our parents started the business back in 1982 in the very same shopping centre you can find us in today.
How have things changed since your parents started the business?
A lot of other things have changed over the years. Back in the old days your plates could only be renewed once a year, and on that day there was a huge lineup all the way down the mall. It was quite dramatic. We used to fill everything out on paper and then send it to Regina. Our processes have clearly changed a lot since, as computers have allowed for a whole new way of doing things. Today, people don’t even have to physically come down to our location to renew their plates. Through our website saskplates.com, people can very easily renew, cancel, and pay invoices to SGI from the comfort of their homes. People can also simply give our office a call at (306) 955-2700. As far as products and services go, we now offer a wide range of insurance with the biggest categories being home, auto, health, travel, and special event insurance. We also do a lot of commercial insurance for businesses and contractors.
Are there any common misconceptions about auto insurance?
Since we have compulsory insurance in Saskatchewan that everyone is required to purchase, there’s a large segment of people who don’t understand that the insurance you get with your license plate is not designed to be comprehensive. It is very basic. An auto policy adds much more coverage, and we always encourage our customers to look at auto policy options to ensure they are properly covered based on their lifestyle. There are a lot of different ways to add to the coverage you get with your plates. For example, with one auto policy, if you hit an animal or bird or if your vehicle is stolen, you will have a zero deductible instead of the $700 deductible. Another example of additional insurance you can add would be loss of use insurance, which gives you the ability to rent a car if you should be without a vehicle. Additional coverage like this can be very affordable and can be paid monthly just like the insurance that comes with your license plate. We strongly recommend that anyone who is driving without an auto policy give us a call to talk about the options.
What are some other important things that auto policies cover?
Liability is a big one. Liability claims can be excessive, and property damage claims can be millions of dollars. Your license plate insurance will not do you much good in a situation with a high degree of property damage. For example, if you are in an accident that derails a train or causes an explosion that damages a building, there will be major property damage claims against you. It is all very circumstantial, but bad things can happen. Fortunately, a policy that offers a significant amount of liability insurance can cost less than $50 per year for most people. Of course auto insurance is rated so the price of it can vary, but generally speaking it is quite affordable to get that extra coverage. If you go to saskplates.com there’s an icon for an e-quote, where you can get an auto policy quote right off the website. There are some variables and not everyone is able to purchase straight off the website, but if that is the case it just takes a quick phone call to complete the process.
How does the auto insurance rating system work?
Auto insurance is based mainly on your driving record, the coverages you purchase, and your location. Some companies do postal code rates and some consider the age of your vehicle. If you have traffic tickets, you will see an increase in cost for an auto policy, but not on license plate insurance unless they are fines for something like speeding in a school zone or construction zone. Most vehicles today are repaired rather than written off, so potential repair costs are considered to be more important than the actual value of your vehicle. Collision claims are the biggest factor of all. If you are in two collisions in a three year period, your premium will double. Fortunately, you’re not stuck at that higher rate forever, as with time your safety rating score will begin to increase again.
Exactly how does your safety rating affect the cost of your insurance?
Your driving history is analyzed and your pluses and minuses are added up to give you a safety rating score. With a score of 10 or higher, you get a 20% discount on your license plate insurance. If it drops below 10 due to safety rating infractions, you start to lose your discount. When your score exceeds 10, everything above serves as a cushion. A person may have a score of 16, and if something happens and they move down 6 units to 10, they still get their discount. As the years pass and the longer you go without a ticket, the bigger your cushion. A score of 10 is the magic number in terms of getting the 20% discount.
What should people know about home insurance?
It is so important for people to take the time to review their insurance to be sure they are getting the protection they need. It is required that you update your home valuation if you do improvements or renovations. If you don’t, you will be underinsured. If you have a claim and you are underinsured, there can be a major problem. An insurance company may not pay the entire claim, but rather only their share of the claim in relation to what you should have insured. It can be a big deal, even if it’s a small claim. With new products and new additions to policies, if you keep renewing and not reviewing, you may be missing out on valuable protection that could have been available to you.
What is an example of a new home insurance policy that people should be aware of?
We now offer a Prestige Home policy which is available for homes built in the last 35 years, and can include homes up to 50 years old if certain improvements have been made. The home must be worth $350,000, which is most houses nowadays! With this policy, a deductible of $1,000 covers things most policies don’t cover. For example, if there is hail damage to part of the roof, and the shingles can’t be matched, they'll replace the whole roof. It is a great policy to look into if you qualify for it, and we would love to review it with you.
Tell us about commercial insurance.
The needs of each commercial insurance customer are very unique. There is a lot of learning on our end when it comes to commercial insurance because we have to know about a wide variety of businesses in order to provide the correct insurance for each. Everything has its own standard business practices, rules, and liabilities. We really have to spend time learning about the specific business a person is going into and the things that may be affected by it. We also do bonding for a lot of licenses for trades like plumbers, electricians, and gas fitters. We can do bid bonds for commercial projects as well. Commercial insurance also includes farming, of course. My wife and I ran an agency in Langham for a while, so we have a large knowledge of the farming industry from that experience.
What is important for people to know about travel insurance?
Unfortunately, more people go without it than you’d think. People should know that it is actually pretty inexpensive, but the most important thing is to really understand what you’re buying. Take the time to read the policy book and understand what you're getting with your travel insurance. The biggest reason a medical claim is denied is due to something called ‘stability’. If a person has an existing condition, most companies cover it if there have been no changes, testing, treatment or hospitalization over a certain time period. If you've had a test or treatment, or if you’ve been hospitalized, the condition is not considered to be stable anymore. A person’s health is always changing, and it is up to the individual to know what his or her health has been like and whether any changes have occurred. The person across the desk can’t know the changes a customer has had in their health, so the best we can do is try to make sure people are aware.
You mentioned that you offer speciality insurance policies. What are they?
A specialty policy is often used for an event such as a wedding or party. Hosting an event that involves alcohol creates exposure to a lawsuit, so alcohol liability insurance is essential. Hole-in-one insurance is also included in this category. Have you ever seen a competition at a golf tournament where if you hit from a certain point and get the ball in the hole you win a big prize, like $10,000 or a new car? Typically the company who sponsors the hole-in-one hasn’t actually put up the money or the car, but rather has simply purchased an insurance policy on the hole. There are many factors involved, but the price for the policy can be very reasonable, and this is a great opportunity for a business to get its name out there. It’s also a fun way to build excitement at an event. They often aren't insurmountable hole-in-ones either! We provided hole-in-one insurance to two separate tournaments one summer and had a winner for both, and I played in a tournament with a hole-in-one prize and my shot landed only six feet away from the pin!
Does Al Hattie Insurance primarily serve a particular area of Saskatoon?
Since we are located on Arlington Avenue right between Circle Drive and Preston Avenue, we are easily accessible from many areas of the city. Being one light away from Circle Drive, a lot of customers come to us from Stonebridge, and of course from the Eastview area we are located in. We see people from all around the city though, and we even have customers province-wide. Some of our customers have moved away from the city but find that with a quick phone call or email it’s just as easy to continue to deal with us. We’re not limited to the geographic boundary of Saskatoon. We can help anyone who lives in Saskatchewan.
How many family members are part of your staff today?
My wife and two of our sons work for us, and my daughter works here in the summers. My sister Colleen and her husband and all three of their daughters are also here. We also have three great non-family employees who add a good spice that compliments the family flavour! The most important thing in a family business is to take the time and effort to work at getting along. If everyone does what they have to do and puts the needs of our customers first, then everything else falls into place.
Do you give back to the community in any way?
The biggest thing would be my sister Colleen’s charity for her son who we lost in an accident. He was a baseball player, so we have a memorial tournament in his honour every year at Cairns Field. We also sponsor a customer appreciation day every year in June, which includes a drop-in car seat clinic and a community paper shred. Other businesses in the mall get involved, so we have food and fun activities for kids to make it more of a family thing. We accept donations of non-perishable food items for the food bank as part of the event as well. We usually have a very large turnout. We’ve done it for a lot of years now, so it’s starting to become known in the community.
We enjoy asking everyone this question: What do you love about Saskatoon?
I love the people and the variety of weather. I like the seasons. If I lived somewhere like California, I don’t think I would appreciate the summer as much as I do here. As a community we tend to be less active in the winter, but when summer comes we’re rearing to go out and make good use of all our nice sunshine. I enjoy all the festivals and events we have during the summer, and I try to cover as many as I can.
Al Hattie Insurance is your local, family-owned and operated insurance brokerage in Saskatoon. Providing amazing customer service paired with the ability to conveniently manage insurance over the phone or computer, Al Hattie Insurance is committed to ensuring that quality insurance service is easily accessed by Saskatchewan residents.
If you are interested in re-evaluating your home or auto insurance, you are in need of travel or special event insurance, or you’d like to learn more about commercial insurance or health insurance, contact Al Hattie Insurance today!