Good Student Discount

We are all looking for ways to reduce the costs of insurance.  There are several discounts available through Newman Insurance to ensure you’ve got the best coverage with the lowest possible rate.

With school being out and report cards in hand, take a look closely at your child’s grade point average.  If it’s 80% or greater you can qualify for the Good Student Discount.

Economical and Pembridge both offer a discount for any student with a grade point average of 80% or greater!

For more information please visit our website and contact us to have this discount applied to your new auto policy.

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EF2 Strength Tornado Slams Angus, ON.

The Tornado Path as it makes its way along its 15 minute ground journey.  Angus Tornado Path


A distant picture of the Tornado on the ground. Angus Tornado


The walls have been sheared away, yet the pillows remain on the bed!Angus Tornado Bedroom


My most recent posting was about Tornado safety, and in that post I stated that they’re not really all that common here in Ontario, Canada.  You can imagine how ironic it is that less than 2 weeks after writing that post an EF2 tornado slams into a neighbourhood a little less than 2 hours from here, and one of our client’s was one of the hardest hit homes!

Luckily, there were no injuries sustained, but the home was a total loss.  Several other homes in the area were devastated as well, but the community stands  strong and are helping each other reinforce fencing and find personal belongings that have been scattered throughout the neighbourhood.

The number 1 question everyone has when a natural disaster such as this happens is “AM I COVERED???”

The answer is YES. A tornado is covered under windstorm coverage.

Read our tornado safety tips here !!!

Please visit our website to obtain a Home Inventory Spreadsheet to document your items in advance of a natural disaster.  It’s easier to take note ahead of time rather than attempt a much larger version of that Bridal/Baby Shower game of  “memory” where they show you a plate full of random items and then see how many you can remember when they take them away from you. I was never very good at that game myself….


Tornado Safety

Funnel Cloud


I know we don’t exactly live in Tornado Alley, or Texas, and this isn’t The Wizard of Oz, but it’s always good to have some safety tips for inclement weather because…you just never know!

A funnel cloud was seen on Saturday in an area that I have lived in my entire life, and I have yet to witness a tornado….so you can never be too careful.

Prevention and Practice are a MUST: Have a family tornado plan in place based on the type of home you live in, practice it once a year, and have a “safe area”
A safe area is defined as the safest place in your home. If you have a basement be under the stairs against a wall with something to cover you.  If you don’t have a basement go to an interior closet or bathroom and get into the tub, cover yourself with towels or a mattress if you can get one quick enough.

Flying debris is the greatest danger in tornadoes so a mattress, blankets, sleeping bags etc. should be close to your “safe area” and within an arms reach.  You never get a lot of advance warning with Tornadoes so be prepared to move fast!

Don’t bother cracking a window to equalize pressure. It doesn’t work and the tornado will more than likely blow them out for you, so it’s a wasted effort.

If you shop frequently at stores, familiarize yourself where bathrooms, storage rooms or other interior shelter areas are located AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

Know the signs of a Tornado!

1. Strong, persistent rotation in the cloud base (see picture above)
2. Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base-sometimes tornadoes have no funnel!
3. Hail or heavy rain followed by either dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift. Many tornadoes are wrapped in heavy precipitation and can’t be seen.
4. Day or Night-loud, continuous roar or rumble sounding like a train, which doesn’t fade after a few seconds like thunder.
5. Night-small, bright, blue-green to white flashes at ground level near a thunderstorm.  These lights mean power lines are being snapped by a very strong wind-possibly a tornado.
6.Night-persistent lowering from the cloud base, illuminated or silhouetted by lightning, especially if it is on the ground, or there is a blue-green-white power flash underneath.


What to do:

In a house with a basement: Avoid windows!!! Get in the basement and under some kind of sturdy protection, like a heavy table or work bench, and cover yourself with a mattress or sleeping bag. Know where heavy objects rest on the floor above (piano’s, refrigerators, etc) and do NOT go under them. They could fall down through a weakened floor.

In a house with NO basement, a dorm, or an apartment for example: AVOID WINDOWS! Go to the lowest floor, a small center room (bathroom or closet) under a stairwell, or an interior hallway with no windows. Crouch as low as possible and cover your head with your hands. A bath tub may offer a shell of partial protection. Always try to cover yourself with some sort of thick padding to prevent yourself from injury by falling debris.

In an office building, hospital etc: AVOID WINDOWS! See above direction.

In a Mobile Home/ Trailer: GET THE HECK OUT IMMEDIATELY!!! Most tornadoes destroy even tied-down mobile homes. Seek shelter in an underground shelter or permanent sturdy building.

In a vehicle: Vehicles are extremely risky in a tornado. There is no safe option when caught in a tornado in a car, just slightly less-dangerous ones. If the tornado is visible, far away and traffic is light, you MAY be able to drive out of its path by moving at right angles to the tornado. Seek shelter in a sturdy building or underground if possible. If you are caught by extreme winds or flying debris, park the car as quickly and safely as possible, out of traffic lanes. Stay in the car with your seat belt ON. Put your head down below the windows and cover your head with a blanket, coat or anything else you can find. AVOID SEEKING SHELTER UNDER BRIDGES, this offers little to no protection against flying debris.

To summarize: Windows are bad. Keep as far away from them as possible.

After the tornado:

Keep your family together and wait for emergency personnel to arrive. Carefully assist those who are injured. Stay away from power lines and puddles with wires in them; they may still be carrying electricity! Watch your step to avoid broken glass, nails and other sharp objects. Stay out of heavily damaged houses or buildings, they could collapse at any time. Do not use matches or lighters (as tempting as it may be to fire up a cigarette in a stressful emotional time) in case of leaking natural gas pipes or fuel tanks nearby. Remain calm and alert and listen for information and instructions from emergency crews or local officials.

Hopefully no one reading this will ever, or has ever, had to use any of these safety tips.  They’re a good thing to know with our ever-changing weather patterns you can never predict unruly weather.

Newman Insurance & Economical Mutual donate to Campbellford Memorial Hospital!

Cheque Presentation

The picture above is a shot of the one and only Calvin Newman, President of Newman Insurance (far left in the suit) donating a cheque in the amount of $12,909 to our local hospital fund here, Campbellford Memorial Hospital.

Calvin has been Chairman of the Board for the Campbellford Memorial Hospital Foundation since 2007 and has been an active participant with local donations going to the Foundation.

MR – joint news release re Campbellford Memorial Hospital Foundation April 23 2014

Please join me in saying a huge thank you to Calvin & Economical Mutual Insurance for their generosity!

Another Municipality in State of Emergency!

Trent Hills State of Emergency

The Trent River officially burst its banks and broke though the lines of sand bags on Tuesday April 22, 2014.  A state of emergency was declared by Mayor Hector Macmillan at 11:00am Tuesday Morning.

The following roads remain impassable:

Muskie Mile Lane – impassable, COMPLETELY CLOSED

Cedar Drive- temporarily closed, local traffic only

Bradley Bay Road-temporarily closed, local traffic only

First Line East-temporarily closed, local traffic only

The rate of rise in the water is expected to slow over the weekend, however, there is precipitation in the forecast for this region mid-week next week which may impact water levels.

Trent Hills, the Municipality of Tweed, Quinte West and the City of Belleville  will be applying to the province for funding assistance with the cleanup costs associated with the flooding. Below are some certain parameters needed in order to receive assistance from the province:

1. Municipal Disaster Information Report must be completed outlining the extent of municipal damage suffered and expenses incurred by other municipalities.

2.Preliminary estimated cost to restore, replace and/or repair damage to municipal property and infrastructure to pre-disaster condition

3. The magnitude of estimated private damage suffered by individuals/families, farms, small businesses and non-profit organizations

4. Number of damaged properties covered by insurance policies

5. Preliminary estimate cost to restore, replace or repair essential property and contents to pre-disaster condition. (gathered from affected parties through a municipal survey or registration process)

Hopefully the local communities affected by the flooding both current and past will be able to obtain funding from this organization in order to offset the costs associated with the cleanup. i.e volunteers, sandbags etc.

Have you been affected by the recent flooding? If so tell us your story!

Gas Prices are WHAT????

Gas Prices are WHAT

Once again there was a MAJOR hike in gas prices overnight.  Montrealers woke up to a surprise hike of more than 9 cents per litre Wednesday morning!  At an average price of $1.53/litre, the city now has the delightful distinction  of having the highest gas prices in Canada, according to website

In Regina and Edmonton, prices went up by an average of 5 cents per litre. In Calgary and Quebec, the jump was 4 cents. Vancouver has the second-highest prices at $1.51/litre, while Toronto is looking sweet at just a mere $1.40/litre for regular.

Many of you are asking, “WHY?!”

Spring is typically a time for fluctuating gas prices, as refineries move from making a blend of gasoline made more for winter driving, into a new blend that’s  more geared towards summer driving.  Refineries are also making less petroleum products such as heating oil, and readjust production towards gasoline to keep up with the active  summer driving season.

Here’s a quick survey for everyone, and you can put your comments below:

How high does the price of gas need to be before you either trade your vehicle in or amend your driving habits i.e. carpool, less frequent trips etc.

  • $1.40-$1.50/litre
  • $1.51-$1.60/litre
  • $1.61-$1.70/litre
  • Greater than $1.70

For all your commercial, personal or farm insurance needs, visit for an instant quote with 16 different markets with 1 click!

Home Fire Safety

House Fire

Each week about 7 people die from home fires in Canada. To protect yourself, it is important to understand the basics about house fires. Fire spreads QUICKLY; there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

Learn About Fires:

Fire is FAST- in less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames. Most deadly fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won’t have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape!

Fire is HOT- Heat is more dangerous than flames. A fire’s heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 37.8 degrees Celsius at floor level and rise to 315.5 degrees celsius at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs. This heat can melt clothes to your skin. In five minutes, a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once; this is called “flash over”

Fire is DARK- Fire isn’t bright-it’s pitch black! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire, you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you’ve lived in for years.

Fire is DEADLY- Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases. Breathing in even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odourless,colourless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.

Only when you know the true nature of fire can you prepare your families and yourselves.

Before a Fire

Fire Escape Plan

In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly.

Twice each year, practise your home fire escape plan. These tips can help you prepare your plan:

  • Find two ways to get out of each room.

o    If the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke, you will need a second way out. A secondary route might be a window onto a neighbouring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows.

  • Only purchase collapsible ladders evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory.
  • Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly and security bars can be opened.
  • Practise feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Windows and doors with security bars must have quick release devices to allow them to be opened immediately in an emergency. Make sure everyone in the family understands and practises how to properly operate and open locked or barred doors and windows.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters.

Escaping the Fire

  • Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut. Make sure security gratings on windows have a fire safety opening feature so they can be easily opened from the inside.
  • Consider escape ladders if your residence has more than one level.
  • Teach family members to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer) when escaping from a fire.
  • Clean out storage areas. Do not let trash such as old newspapers and magazines accumulate.

Have a meeting place outside of the home and far enough away to be safe from the flames. 

  • Fire Escape Planning for Older Adults and People with Access or Functional Needs
    • Live near an exit. You’ll be safest on the ground floor if you live in an apartment building. If you live in a multi-story home, arrange to sleep on the ground floor, and near an exit.
    • If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to make sure you can get through the doorways.
    • Make any necessary accommodations, such as providing exit ramps and widening doorways, to facilitate an emergency escape.
    • Speak to your family members, building manager or neighbours about your fire safety plan and practise it with them.
    • Contact your local fire department’s non-emergency line and explain your special needs. Ask emergency providers to keep your special needs information on file.
    • Keep a phone near your bed and be ready to call 911 if a fire occurs.

    Smoke Alarms

    A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

    • Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, or dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
    • Test batteries monthly.
    • Replace batteries in battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year (except non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries).
    • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. It is recommended that you install smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
    • Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions when installing smoke alarms.
    • Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every eight to 10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking—it can be a deadly mistake. Open a window or door and press the “hush” button, wave a towel at the alarm to clear the air or move the entire alarm a metre or two away from the location.

    More Fire Safety Tips

    • Sleep with your door closed.
    • Only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers should consider using them when appropriate. Contact your local fire department for information on training in your area and what kind to buy for your home.
    • Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your residence.
    • Ask your local fire department to inspect your residence for fire safety and prevention.

    During a Fire

    • Crawl low under any smoke to your exit—heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
    • When the smoke alarm sounds, get out fast. You may have only seconds to escape safely.
    • If there is smoke blocking your door or first way out, use your second way out.
    • Smoke is toxic. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.
    • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
    • If there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
    • If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
    • If you can’t get to someone who needs assistance, leave the home and call 911, or tell firefighters if they are already at the scene. Tell the 911 dispatcher or the firefighters where the person is located.
    • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
    • If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out. Call 911. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-coloured cloth or a flashlight.
    • If your clothes catch fire, stop moving immediately, drop to the ground and cover your face with your hands, and roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out. If you or someone else cannot stop, drop and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel. Use cool water to treat the burn immediately. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help right away.

    After a Fire

    Recovering from a fire can be a physically and mentally draining process. When fire strikes, lives are suddenly turned around. Often, the hardest part is not knowing where to begin or who to contact. The following checklist serves as a quick reference guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.

    • Contact a local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
    • If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies. If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for aid and assistance.
    • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
    • The fire department should make sure utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
    • Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items. Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.
    • Try to locate valuable documents and records.
    • If you leave your home, contact the local police department to let them know the site will be unoccupied.
    • Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
    • Notify your mortgage company of the fire.
    • Check with an accountant about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss.

In addition to insuring your home, Newman, Oliver & McCarten Insurance Brokers Ltd. is committed to helping you and your loved ones stay safe when disaster strikes. If you would like more information on developing a family emergency plan or building a disaster supply kit, please contact us at 705-653-1940 or today. Also available on our website is a Household Contents Inventory

We recommend keeping it in a fire safe box, or a safe deposit box to alleviate some stress of remembering every item in your home during the stressful aftermath of a house fire.

Have you ever had a housefire? Please share your experiences below if you feel comfortable doing so.