Get your home ready for winter

Winter is just around the corner and we all know it can be hard on our homes. When the temperature drops, the heating goes on—and that calls for extra precautions. Here are some tips to help you reduce and prevent unexpected property damage.

How well do you know your home insurance?

Many inconveniences can result from a claim but it’s even more worrisome when there is a financial burden added to the mix. The Insurance Bureau of Canada wanted to find out how well people understand their home insurance and whether policyholders thought they were at risk of suffering a loss. The IBC surveyed 600 insured homeowners, and got some surprising results.1

More than 65% of respondents didn’t think their home was at risk of damage from wind, hail, earthquakes or sewer back-up. However, extreme weather events in the news are a frequent reminder of the damage they can cause.

Further, only 8% of those surveyed said they were worried about sewer back-up—a surprisingly low number given that this type of loss has seen the biggest increase in the past 10 years.

Did you know that coverage for sewer back-up and water seepage through the roof aren’t automatically included with most home insurance policies?—These types of coverages are optional and usually need to be purchased. You should familiarize yourself with your home insurance policy and take a few minutes to review your coverage to ensure you have the right coverage that meets your needs in the event of a loss. If you’re insured with The Personal, you can check your policy directly through our Online Services.

How to prevent damage

Maintenance is the key to preventing both water damage and fire risks.

To prevent water damage, you should, amongst other things, inspect your roof, foundations and water heater every year. Also check your washing machine and dishwasher hoses—do this regularly, not just when you’re getting ready for winter! If you’re insured with The Personal, you can take advantage of our new Alert program, which warns you if there’s a water leak or a risk of frozen pipes.

As for fire prevention, reduce your risk by ensuring regular maintenance of your heating systems and ducts.

Get your home ready for winter

Outside:

  • Clean the eavestroughs and window wells of debris.
  • Look for cracks in the foundation and, if necessary, have them sealed by a professional.
  • Prune tree branches that are likely to break under the weight of snow or freezing rain.
  • Turn off outside water taps.

Inside:

  • Have your chimney cleaned regularly and install a fireplace screen to stop sparks from reaching the surrounding floor coverings.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home.
  • Make sure your heating appliances are in good condition (furnace, fireplace, wood burning stove and other heat sources). Have them inspected, maintained and cleaned.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended. Blow them out before leaving the room.

Sources:
1. Assurance habitation : un sinistre ça n’arrive pas qu’aux autres, by Insurance Bureau of Canada, partner of Protégez-vous, April 2014 (French only)
Update your insurance, Insurance Bureau of Canada


Other topics of interest:

Certain conditions, limitations and exclusions may apply.

These tips are provided for information 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.