5 Ways To Minimize Home Insurance Claims Due To Weather

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5 Ways To Minimize Home Insurance Claims Due To Weather

Natural disaster claims in Canada have more than quadrupled over the past 15 years. In 2023, the Canadian insurance industry paid out $3.1 billion in claims due to natural disasters including floods and wildfires that wreaked havoc across the country. For Canadians, these worsening disasters have already meant higher insurance premiums and difficulty getting the necessary protection for their homes and businesses – and that threatens to send ripples through the economy as rates increase. 

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, which regulates the insurance industry, has deemed climate as a systemic risk to the economy. Climate change is everyone’s responsibility. While insurance companies must be able to show their strategies and finances will withstand increasingly costly weather-related damage, Canadians can take certain steps to help reduce claims caused by increasingly intense rain, hailstorms and risks of wildfires. Even though you can’t control the weather, you can help make your home more resilient to climate change and reduce the probability that you’ll need to make a claim after a weather event happens.

5 Ways To Minimize Insurance Claims Caused By Weather

1. Cheap & easy: Follow these “Three Steps to Home Flood Protection”, developed by the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo.

Step 1: Maintain what you’ve got at least twice per year- Remove debris, Clean out leaves, Check for leaks, Test your sump pump, Clean out backwater valve. 
Step 2: Complete simple upgrades- Install window well covers, Extend downspouts, Store valuables materials in watertight containers, Remove obstructions to floor drain. Install and maintain flood alarms.
Step 3: Complete more complex upgrades- Install window wells, Disconnect downspouts, cap foundation drains and extend downspouts, Correct grading, Install backwater valve, Install backup sump pump and battery. 
Homeowners should undertake these steps twice a year, including removing debris from storm drains, cleaning eavestroughs, checking for leaks in plumbing and appliances, testing sump pumps and keeping backwater valves clean. 

2. Small investment & effort: For less than $250, window wells can be protected with covers, downspouts extended two meters from building foundations, valuables and hazardous materials stored in watertight containers, and flood alarms can be installed. 

3. Longer-term flood-fixes: For $250 and up, property owners can hire contractors to slope yards down away from foundations, add window wells that stick up 10 to 15 centimeters above grade and install sump pumps and backwater valves. 

4. Control the burn: To minimize fire risk, homeowners should reduce the effects of wildland-urban interface by thinning out nearby trees and branches, removing dead limbs and brush to create a safety zone around buildings. Prune tree branches to at least 2.5 meters aboveground, store firewood away from the house and avoid combustible materials (wood chips) in landscaping. 

5. From the start: New buildings should be constructed using materials and methods that can best withstand regional weather risks, such as installing hail-resistant roofing, non-flammable siding and underground drainage systems that direct water away from foundations.

It is important to note that even with these measures taken care of, natural disasters are something we can’t avoid. Having the right home insurance in place is necessary for financial aid. A-Kan Insurance can help you find the coverage you need to protect your home and belongings. Compare and choose the best coverage for your needs. 

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