Property Claims & Extreme Weather Conditions
Basements flooding, pipes bursting, trees falling on your roof, wind, hail and ice damage. Insurance claims are mounting across Ontario and the rest of Canada as we are now seeing major storms that occurred once every 40 years, occur more often.
The insurance Bureau of Canada reports that insured losses from extreme weather in Canada now stands at approximately $3.2 billion. The late year ice storm that wreaked havoc on parts of southern Ontario and eastern Canada, generated an estimated $ 200 million in insured losses, pushing the annual total to a record high. As a result, you are likely to see an increase in your Property Insurance Premium.
Insurance products must evolve to adapt to the changing climate and in the event that your property is damaged by extreme weather conditions, you want to be sure that your policy reflects coverage for these situations.
Casandra Haas, Chief Operating Officer at Haas Insurance offers the following advice to ensure you have the coverage you need. “Not all policies are equal so definitely check with your insurance provider to see what type of damage is covered and what is not”
Pipes bursting are you covered?
“Usually” pipes bursting are covered unless you’ve been away from your home for more then 4 consecutive days during the usual heating season. That time period of days can vary by insurance company. Should your furnace stop working, your pipes are likely to freeze. If you’re going to be away, you should arrange for someone to check on your home everyday, or you can shut off your water and drain your pipes before you leave. As long as you were living in the house and weren’t away, you will be covered.
Basement Flooding & Water, are you covered?
What most homeowners don’t know is that under regular house insurance, “flood” isn’t covered and isn’t easily purchased.
Sewer backup and water damage is covered if you have purchased that extra coverage. The manner in which the damage resulted is clearly defined on each insurance policy and can differ, but common wording states, “if the water has escaped from a sump pump, sewer drain or septic tank”. If you haven’t outlined this specific coverage in your policy, then this damage is not covered. Most policies cover “water” but there are exclusions that are very specific so it is important to review your coverage with your insurance broker.
“Seepage” where water comes in through your foundation walls is usually not covered and you can’t purchase it from most insurance companies. To prevent an uninsured loss, make sure that you have proper drainage on the exterior of your home, that there are no low spots against your foundation where water can pool, and that your property is properly graded. Haas Insurance also recommends regular eaves trough maintenance to prevent damage from build up. You can’t purchase foundation damage insurance so you want to make sure that you take these proper preventative measures.
Wind Damage, are you covered?
Damage to the house as a result of a tree falling on your home is covered. The replacement cost of your damaged tree is not covered, nor is the tree removal cost.
Most Comprehensive Homeowners policies start off covering everything, but then limit coverage with exclusions to coverage. Unless it’s excluded then it’s usually covered. Follow up with your insurance broker to see what their common exclusions are.
A Haas Insurance broker is waiting to answer all your questions. Contact Haas Insurance today.