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English translation unavailable for onestla - centre-sud - ​MME GUYLAINE ROMANESKY, NOMMÉE FINALISTE DU GALA E37 DE LA CHAMBRE DE COMMERCE ET D'INDUSTRIE DE DRUMMOND.

​Mme Guylaine Romanesky, nommée finaliste du Gala E37 de la Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Drummond

Nous sommes très fiers de notre directrice générale, Mme Guylaine Romanesky, nommée finaliste du Gala E37 de la Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Drummond dans la catégorie Gestionnaire féminine de l'année! Le gala se déroule le 27 mai prochain en mode virtuel.

Gestionnaire hors pair, Mme Romanesky a célébré ses 40 années de service au cours de la dernière année. En 40 ans de carrière, elle fut la première femme à diriger une Société mutuelle dans le Groupe Promutuel, et avec son équipe, elle a fait en sorte que Promutuel Assurance Centre-Sud soit aujourd'hui une entreprise bien ancrée dans le paysage régional et reconnue pour son expertise inégalée dans son domaine.

Cette reconnaissance est d’autant plus impressionnante en tenant compte du contexte particulier que nous vivons depuis une année déjà mais c’est avec brio que Mme Romanesky et toute l’équipe de Promutuel Centre-Sud ont su s’adapter à cette situation exceptionnelle et permis ainsi aux membres-assurés de bénéficier de la même qualité de service.

Nous sommes heureux de faire partie de son équipe et nous lui souhaitons bonne chance pour le Gala!

Félicitations également à tous les finalistes!

Consultez la liste des finalistes

Feux de cuisson : comment les prévenir?

Did you know that in Québec more than a quarter of household fires start in the kitchen? Every year, some 1,250 kitchen fires are reported, causing serious damage and putting the lives of thousands in danger. In 84% of these devastating fires, cooking tools are the culprits.

That’s why it’s so important to be extra careful whenever you cook to reduce the risks of fire. Let’s take a closer look at the main causes of kitchen fires and what you can do to avoid them.

Kitchen fires, a real and present danger

Whether you’re a beginner cook or a seasoned chef, no one is immune to kitchen fires. They’re the cause of many household fires in Québec. According to Sécurité publique du Québec, cooking appliances (stove, fryer, microwave, etc.) are the heat sources responsible for the highest number of household fires, accounting for more than 25% of all fires reported by the fire department. That means one in four household fires is caused by a cooking appliance (not including chimney fires).

In addition to putting thousands of people at risk, household fires are a huge financial burden for society. Every year, the property losses caused by household fires are estimated at over $540 million. Moreover, the home insurance claims paid out for losses caused by these fires account for over 30% of the total claims filed by insurers every year.

Human error to blame

What causes kitchen fires? Québec public safety data shows that about 40% of kitchen fires are caused by human error, specifically distraction. Improper use of flammable products (fondue fuel, cooking oil, etc.) and flames is one of the most common ways kitchen fires get started.

Cooking dos and don’ts

Since many cooking fires come down to human error, you can play a big role in preventing kitchen fires by avoiding bad habits and putting safety first. Here are some mistakes to avoid and good habits to get into when cooking your meals:

Don’t:

  • Leave food unattended while cooking
  • Try to do too many things at once
  • Turn burners up too high
  • Fry food in a pot or saucepan
  • Leave flammable substances and objects near your stove
  • Move burning pots and pans
  • Underestimate the danger of hot oil
  • Try to put out an oil fire with water (water actually feeds and spreads oil fires!)
  • Forget to turn off your burners after cooking

In addition to avoiding the mistakes above, here are some good habits to get into when cooking:

  • Use a timer.
  • Always have a pot lid and oven mitts within reach.
  • Use a high quality fryer equipped with a thermostat and turn it off as soon as you’re done.
  • Keep your cooking surfaces clean and clear of any clutter.
  • Clean your hood regularly to avoid grease buildup.
  • Wear appropriate clothing (avoid long sleeves, dangling strings, etc.).
  • Use a pot or pan whose diameter is the same size as or bigger than the burner and don’t overfill it.
  • Choose the right pot or pan for the job.
    • Stovetop: To reduce the risks of kitchen fires, opt for an induction range. Induction cooktops do not get hot and the elements only work when your pot or pan is in place.
    • Fryer: Choose a CSA- or ULC-certified model equipped with a thermostat and heat the oil slowly.
    • Microwave: Don’t cook food for too long or use metal (packaging, aluminum foil, staples, etc.) and be careful when microwaving combustible materials (paper or plastic containers, etc.).
    • Raclette grills and other portable cooking appliances: Secure the power cord to a table leg and let the appliance cool off completely before putting it away.
    • Fondue burner: Place it on a stable surface and never fiddle with the burner (lit or unlit) when there’s still liquid inside. Don’t move the fondue pot when it’s hot. Make sure the burner is completely cool before adding fuel and use a metal cover to extinguish it once you’re done.
  • Keep a portable fire extinguisher in the kitchen and learn how to use it safely.

A good kitchen setup reduces the risk of fire

Having a good kitchen setup not only makes it easier to prepare meals, but also helps prevent fires and the injuries and property damage they bring.

Rule of thumb: You need to have 450 millimetres (18 in.) of clearance between your stove and adjacent walls. Any walls within 450 millimetres (18 in.) of the stove must be protected by a non-combustible covering extending up at least 450 millimetres (18 in.) above the cooktop.

What to do in the event of a kitchen fire?

If, despite your precautions, a kitchen fire occurs, follow these steps:

  1. 1. Do not try to move a burning pot or pan.
  2. IMPORTANT: Do not use water to put out a kitchen fire. Water and oil don’t mix!
  3. 2. Shut off all heating sources (turn off burners or unplug power cables) and the hood.
  4. 3. Using oven mitts, cover the flaming pot with a lid. This will cut off the supply of air and hopefully extinguish the fire.
  5. 4. If the fire is still going, use your portable fire extinguisher, following the user instructions.

Regardless of whether you manage to put out the fire, call the fire department. The flames may have gotten into the ductwork of your hood.

If the fire is out, open windows and doors to clear out the smoke from your home.

If the fire is spreading, block air flow by closing windows and doors if it is safe to do so and evacuate your home.

Home insurance, your last line of defence against fires

Whether you’re a renter, co-owner or owner, it’s very important to buy home insurance so you’re covered in case your property is damaged. That way, if a fire breaks out and destroys your property, your home insurance will compensate you for the losses (up to the limits set out in your policy). Plus, this type of insurance also includes third-party liability, which covers you in the event the fire causes bodily injury or property damage to others (e.g., if the fire spreads to a neighbour’s home).

Unfortunately, renters all too often overlook this crucial coverage, which can lead to some very unpleasant surprises should disaster strike. If a fire breaks out in a rental unit, any loss of or damage to the tenant’s property will not be covered by the landlord’s building insurance. It’s up to renters to make sure they have sufficient coverage.

As you can see, although taking out home insurance does offer peace of mind, the most important thing is to avoid kitchen fires altogether by being careful and avoiding distractions when cooking. By ditching bad kitchen habits and following our tips, you’ll reduce the risk fires, injuries, and burns.

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Valeur d’une maison : comment bien estimer la valeur marchande

A house’s value isn’t only about square feet. Market value is based on several factors. Are you looking for your dream house or do you want to sell your home but aren’t sure how to estimate its market value? Read on to see what to take into account to properly determine the real value of a home so you can get a good deal.

Market value versus municipal assessed value

First you need to understand the difference between a property’s market value, assessed value, and purchase price.

According to the Government of Québec, fair market value is the price that two knowledgeable parties acting at arm’s length would agree upon in a market where there is free competition.” Market value must not be confused with the cost to rebuild, which determines the amount of insurance needed to cover a property.

The municipal assessed value is determined by certified appraisers employed by the municipality or a private firm. Assessments are made every three years. Unlike fair market value, the assessed value therefore does not reflect changes that may have occurred in the real estate market between assessments.

It’s also important to remember that the purchase price does not necessarily reflect the property’s fair market value. Properties can be “overbid,” that is, sold for more than their asking price—and often more than the market value.

Property value: Eight decisive criteria

Numerous factors other than square footage affect property values. Here are the eight criteria most likely to influence the sale price:

1. Location

Location influences property values the most. A property in a popular neighbourhood where the quality of life is high and there is good public transportation, easy access, and lots of services is worth more than a similar property in a less attractive area. Similarly, a well-located property has a better chance of maintaining its value over time. The opposite is also true. For example, a house located on a main thoroughfare or in a noisy area will sell for less.

2. Property type

The type of property is another factor that determines market value. Single-family homes—single homes on private lots—are the most popular, most sought-after properties in Québec. The market for such homes has historically been one of the most stable and most profitable.

3. Size

The lot size, livable square footage, and number and size of the rooms are key in determining a house’s value. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms are particularly important for buyers.

4. Age

An old home that hasn’t been renovated will be harder to sell than a recently built or renovated one. A house that needs a lot of work is likely to give rise to negotiations. That’s why a lot of sellers have profitable renovations done before putting their house up for sale.

5. Construction materials and quality

The quality of the materials and the construction work affect a property’s longevity and the costs to maintain it. Durable materials reduce the risk of breakage, luxury materials such as marble and quartz are more expensive, and those that insulate better reduce heating and electricity bills. These are all advantages that come with a price!

6. Fixtures

Additional fixtures may also increase a property’s value. This is especially true of garages, sheds, fireplaces, swimming pools, gas ranges, and decks.

7. Charm

A home’s look and feel, historical features, and charm may also be decisive for a buyer. Charm can create an emotional attachment, and that can mean higher market value.

8. A unique advantage

A view of the river, access to a river, and unique architecture are all advantages that can increase a property’s value.

The economy and the real estate market

Both the economy—a country’s general economic outlook—and the level of supply and demand significantly affect real estate prices. They are the reason the housing market has boomed during the pandemic.

During an economic crisis, interest rates are generally reduced to promote consumption. In addition, many jobs are usually lost, which decreases demand for real estate.

But since the pandemic began, low interest rates and more time at home have piqued people’s interest in the housing market. The lack of homes for sale and the very high demand have led to overbidding, increasing the price of a two-storey house by more than 4.5% per quarter.

So what about the market value of an overbid property? According to economists, the Canadian housing market is currently overvalued by 10% to 15%. Some cities in Québec—especially Québec City and Montréal— are in greater danger of experiencing a real estate bubble than others. A number of market watchers predict that real estate prices will rise more slowly over the next few months. That means a recent buyer may have to hang on to their investment for a few years before its market value exceeds the price they paid.

Construction and property value

With the government promoting programs such as the Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings, many buyers are considering new homes. Not only do new homes offer more design options and the ability to use better insulating, less toxic materials, they are not necessarily more expensive to buy than already lived-in homes.

Are you thinking of building? What is the market value of a new home? The short answer is that it is harder to push the value of a new home up in the short term because unlike an older home, it doesn’t need renovation. Demand and the economic context can, however, increase your new home’s value. That is why you must make the right choices to give it optimum market value during construction.

To increase the resale value of your new construction, consider the following:

  • Choose the lot well. Your house will lose value over time, but the land won’t! As location is the most important factor determining a property’s value, it is to your advantage to choose a lot that is close to services, easily accessible, and in a neighbourhood that is popular or has strong development potential. Remember that your lot should cost 25% to 30% of your total budget.
  • Hire an architect or engineer to ensure your new home has the most living space and best design possible.
  • Shop around for a general contractor to get the best construction quality while keeping costs down.
  • Use good materials. Make sure they are durable, insulate well, and will stand the test of time.

Renovate to capitalize further

Some (not all!) renovations can increase a home’s value. If you're thinking about renovating, opt for profitable renovations. Here are a few tips to get the best return on your investment:

  • Set a budget and stick to it. Compare your house to others in your neighbourhood that have been renovated and try to determine how much you can invest to capitalize on your renovations. Make sure you don’t go over budget!
  • Renovate the kitchen or bathroom. These are the two renovations most likely to increase your home’s value. Adding a kitchen island or a bathtub are two projects among others that are considered profitable.
  • Improve your home’s energy efficiency. Energy efficient homes are gaining in popularity. Changing the windows, improving the insulation, and installing smart systems are improvements that add value from the buyer’s perspective.
  • Make small but noticeable changes. Small budget? No problem. Repainting the exterior and changing accessories (like cabinet doors and light fixtures) are examples of low-cost renovations with high-yield potential.

Lastly, if you do renovate, remember to contact your insurer to make sure your home insurance covers the alterations and adjustments you make. Whatever your real estate plans, from buying to selling to renovating, don’t hesitate to contact your insurance agent. They will guide you to the policy that best meets your needs.

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Virtual annual meeting

To comply with current health regulations, the PromutuelAssurance Centre-Sud annual meeting of members (the “meeting") will be held at 7 p.m. on May 20, 2021 in virtual format only and broadcast live.

Any member, regardless of where they are, will be able to attend, vote, and submit written questions using the virtual platform if they so wish. Insured members who want to participate must register by contacting the Mutual at 1 877 799-8844, ext. 3250, or by email at [email protected], or by filling out the form available no later than May 17, 2021 at 12 p.m.. Click here to view the meeting notice (french only).

English translation unavailable for onestla - centre-sud - Gala reconnaissance Estrie 2021.

Analyste risques particuliers - Un des bureaux - Centre-Sud

Gala Reconnaissance Estrie

Félicitations à notre directrice générale, Mme Guylaine Romanesky, pour son implication comme présidente d’honneur de la 34e édition virtuelle du Gala Reconnaissance Estrie de la Chambre de commerce de Sherbrooke.

Le gala se déroulait vendredi soir dernier le 23 avril et pour notre société mutuelle, il est une occasion précieuse de reconnaître les entrepreneurs et les gens d’affaires de notre région, et de contribuer au succès de leurs projets. Nous sommes fiers de figurer parmi les partenaires majeurs de la Chambre.

Voici les lauréats de la soirée : Gagnants 2020-2021 – Chambre de commerce et industrie de Sherbrooke.

Quoi faire en cas de collision avec un animal?

Hitting an animal with your car is a terrible experience that can happen any time of year. Many of the vehicle accidents that happen on Québec’s roads involve wildlife or domesticated animals. Not only are these accidents traumatic, they can also cause injuries and serious damage.

So what should you do if you hit an animal with your car? And how is it different from hitting a random object? Does your car insurance cover collisions with animals? How can you adjust your driving habits to reduce the risk of such collisions? Let’s go over it step-by-step.

Animal–vehicle collisions: One step at a time

It would be great if it never happened. But the fact is, anyone can wind up hitting an animal. Although there are high-risk places and times of year, there is always a certain probability that you’ll encounter an animal on the road. If you hit an animal, read the following carefully to find out what to do.

Find a safe place and check for injuries

The first thing to do is to find a safe place, away from the animal, and stop your vehicle there to check that everyone is OK. A collision with a big or heavy animal and the sudden braking that precedes it can cause serious injuries. The impact is even greater in the case of head-on collisions.

Don’t approach the animal

Stay well away from an animal you’ve run into with your car. If it’s alive and injured, it’s likely to be panicky and dangerous. Let emergency services get it off the road, if necessary.

Call emergency services

Call emergency services if someone is injured or if the animal is blocking the road. Éducaloi tells us that under the Highway Safety Code, you are required to report any collision with wildlife or a domesticated animal if it weighs more than 25 kilograms. An animal that size on the road can be a hazard for other drivers and lead to other accidents.

The penalty for failing to report is a fine of up to $300 and 9 demerit points on your driving record. With some animals, you can safely make assumptions about their weight (squirrels don’t need to be reported, and moose do) but if in doubt, it’s best to report the incident.

Good to know: According to Infoinsurance, there are over 7,000 large-animal collisions on Québec roads each year, most often involving white-tailed deer. November is the month with the highest risk of wildlife collisions.

Check if the animal is subject to mandatory reporting

Québec also has a list of declarable animals under an Act respecting the conservation and development of wildlife regulation. Any injury or death of any of the following animals must be reported to a wildlife protection officer:

  • Mammals:
    • Musk-ox
    • Wolverine
    • Caribou
    • White-tailed deer
    • Cougar
    • Coyote
    • Wolf
    • Canadian lynx
    • Bobcat
    • Virginia opossum
    • Moose
    • Polar bear
    • Black bear
    • Grey fox
  • Birds:
    • Wild turkey
    • All diurnal and nocturnal birds of prey

If you hit a domesticated animal

If you hit a domesticated animal, such as a dog, see if its owners are around and if they need help. Remember that the rule about reporting accidents involving animals weighing more than 25 kg applies to domesticated animals too.

If another vehicle is involved

If another vehicle is involved, complete a joint report so the police can get all the necessary information and file a report as soon as possible.

Damage, injuries, and car insurance

It’s important to contact your insurer right away to let them know you were in a collision with an animal and get them your joint report and the police file number.

Physical damage

Will your car insurance cover you for the damage to your vehicle? You can be compensated for repairs to your vehicle, but only if you have one of the following policies:*

  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Collision and upset coverage
  • Coverage for perils other than collision or upset

In those circumstances, you’ll have to pay the deductible listed in your insurance policy. If you don’t have third-party liability coverage, your car insurance won’t cover you for the damage.

Good to know: If your car insurance doesn’t cover the damage to your vehicle, you can try to sue the pet owner. Under the law, pet owners can be held liable for damages caused by their pet. Get legal advice if you need to go that route.

Personal injuries

SAAQ (Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec) steps in if you’ve been physically injured. SAAQ pays compensation to all victims, regardless of driver responsibility. To learn more about the process, contact SAAQ.

Prevention tips

Although accidents can happen to anyone, there are ways to reduce the risk of animal collisions. How? By always paying attention and driving defensively. Here are some ways to do that, courtesy of Québec’s Ministère des Transports:

  • Watch for road signs to alert you to the danger of deer and moose collisions.
  • Stay alert, watch for animals, and slow down in high-risk areas.
  • If you see an animal by the side of the road, slow down and honk your horn. Watch carefully. Animals are often unpredictable and tend to go around in groups.
  • Don’t swerve suddenly to avoid an animal at the last moment. It can lead to a more serious accident.
  • Watch out on curves, slopes, stretches with vegetation beside the road, and anything else that might make it harder to see an animal.
  • Be extra careful at sunrise and sunset and in June, July, October, and November.

Now you know how to reduce the risk of hitting an animal with your car. If it happens all the same, just follow the instructions above and stay as calm as possible. For your peace of mind, you should also have car insurance that meets your needs. Ask for a car insurance quote from Promutuel Insurance. By comparing quotes, you’ll find the best insurance for your needs.

*Some exclusions may apply, as stated in the insurance policy.

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