Short, dark days and colder temperatures are a reminder to start preparing your home for winter, advises the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).
Winter storms can strike without warning, the IBC reminds us all. These storms can bring with them poor visibility, low temperatures, high winds, significant snowfall and, on occasion, freezing rain. Ice dams on roofs or frozen pipes can cause problems when the temperature drops. Being prepared is your best defence, advises the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), which suggests the following steps.
Are you prepared?
- Prepare a detailed home inventory.
- Prepare your home.
- Assemble a disaster safety kit.
- Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family.
Are you covered?
1. Talk to your insurance representative to ensure that you have appropriate insurance coverage.
2. Damage to homes caused by hail or wind is usually covered. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage to your home and contents from water entering through openings caused by wind or hail.
3. Damage to vehicles from wind, hail or water is usually covered if comprehensive or all-perils coverage auto insurance has been purchased. This coverage is not mandatory, so check your policy.
4. Sudden and accidental bursting of plumbing pipes and appliances is covered by all residential policies. However, damage may not be covered when freezing causes the escape of water. Water damage in a basement due to a sewer backup is only covered if specific sewer backup coverage has been purchased.
Read the December EDGE
Legal Beat: Wet basement a reminder of buyer beware precedent
Miss Real Estate Manners: Protect your clients
5. Damage to homes caused by snow, rain or wind is generally covered. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage to your home and its contents when water or snow enters through openings caused by high winds.
6. Damage to mobile homes or trailers may be covered from wind damage, policy wordings vary so it's best to check with your insurance representative.
7. Damage to cars from ice, wind or water is typically covered if you have comprehensive or all-perils car insurance. This coverage isn't mandatory so check your policy.
8. In certain circumstances, home owners who are unable to live in their homes because of insurable damage are entitled to additional living expenses. Ask your insurance representative for more information.
By knowing your coverage and taking a few precautions now, you can save grief and money later. Visit www.ibc.ca for details.
Download a text-only PDF of the December EDGE
To receive The EDGE direct to your inbox update your details now