That’s why we’re sharing the 9 leading causes of home insurance claims and how you can help avoid them.
1. Bathroom leaks
Overflowing tubs, leaky toilets, and slow-draining showers can all lead to water damage – one of the most costly types of home insurance claims. To help protect yourself:
- Regularly inspect the pipes supplying your toilet tank and the pipes under your sink to ensure they aren’t damaged or leaking. We recommend using metal-reinforced pipes where possible since they are more durable and damage resistant.
- Install backflow valves in basement bathrooms to prevent sewage backups.
- Regularly inspect the joints around your shower and bath to prevent water from seeping in and causing damage.
2. Leaking dishwasher or washing machine hoses
Corrosion, wear and tear, or damaged fittings can cause serious leaks and expensive repairs. To help avoid damage that will lead to a claim:
- Regularly inspect pipes and consider using metal-reinforced hoses
- Don’t run the dishwasher or washing machine if you plan on leaving the house
3. Kitchen fires
Cooking-related incidents are one of the leading causes of house fires. To help minimize kitchen fire risks:
- Never leave your stove or cooktop unattended, especially when cooking with oil
- Use Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC) approved deep fryers instead of using a pot (and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions)
- Equip your kitchen with a fire extinguisher and smoke alarms
4. Barbecues (BBQs)
Barbecuing is a great way to cook food, but – if not done properly – it can pose a safety risk and fire hazard. To help stay safe:
- Never use a gas or charcoal grill indoors and only barbecue in a well-ventilated area
- Position your BBQ away from flammable materials and do not block any exits
- Always lift the lid before opening the valve of the tank and lighting the BBQ
- Clean the burners every year using a brush specifically designed for this purpose
- Always store the propane tank outside (if applicable)
5. Electrical fires
Electrical problems can trigger fires and pose a significant threat to your home. To help reduce your risk:
- Use surge protectors for electronic devices
- Avoid plug dividers, as they can overload an electrical outlet
- Use extension cords that are properly rated to handle the total amps or watts of the lights, appliances or devices you will be powering
- Avoid hiding extension cords under carpets or rugs (since this can cause the cords to overheat)
- Hire a licensed electrician to ensure that any work completed on your house meets all residential building and safety code requirements
Take these precautions to help avoid accidental fires from candles:
- Always supervise lit candles and never leave them unattended
- Use sturdy, non-combustible candleholders
- Place them away from any flammable materials like drapes, bedding, carpet or books
Cigarette-related fires are a major cause of property damage. Help prevent them by:
- Never smoking on a bed or sofa (it’s too easy to fall asleep!)
- Always wetting your cigarette butts before throwing them in the trash
- Never extinguishing cigarette butts in flowerpots or planters (because soil can contain combustible materials that could ignite)
Having your home broken into can be frightening and traumatic. Safeguard against theft by:
- Installing a security system with surveillance cameras and alarms
- Reinforcing doors and windows with sturdy locks
- Letting trustworthy neighbours know when you'll be away for an extended period
9. Natural disasters and weather-related damage
Hailstorms, violent winds, and other natural disasters can severely damage your property, so if you’re building a new home, renovating, or repairing damage following bad weather, take this opportunity to choose building materials that are well-suited to the specific risks of your home’s location. For example, if your area is prone to severe rain, hail or thunderstorms, you may want to:
- Replace your standard roofing shingles with class 4 shingles, which are more much resistant to these types of strong weather events
- Ensure you have positive slopes and gutter extensions to help prevent water from seeping into your home
- Consider adding a retention tank with a submersible pump (also known as a “sump pump”) to gradually discharge any water into the drainage system or outside of your home in the event of significant rainfall
No one knows what the future holds – but following a few simple prevention measures can help you prepare for the unexpected and reduce unnecessary insurance claims. Plus, if you’re looking for even more peace of mind, check out our AlertTM program, which features a DIY home security system and professional monitoring service* so you can act fast to prevent damage from smoke, water, power outages and more.
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AlertTM is a trademark of Desjardins General Insurance Group Inc., used under licence.
*The home security system is offered by Roost, Inc. and is designed to be used with The Personal app. Information about Roost’s home security system and its professional monitoring service is provided on behalf of Roost, Inc. The Personal cannot be held liable for the accuracy of this information.
The Roost word mark and logo are trademarks of Roost, Inc., and have been registered in the United States and in certain other jurisdictions.
The Alert program is available in Canada only: in Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.
Some cities, towns, or municipalities require you to register or to obtain a permit or authorization certificate before you install a home security system. Please ensure you comply with all applicable requirements.
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and The Personal cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
Some conditions, exclusions and limitations may apply. The conditions of the coverages described are set out in the insurance policy, which always prevails.