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‘Water is the New Fire’: The Rise of Water Damage Claims

This is especially important as home water damage claims have continued to rise.

“Water is the new fire,” says the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) on March, 5.

According to IBC, water damage has surpassed fire damage as the leading cause of home insurance payouts.

“Insurers are paying out more with regards to water damage claims than fire damage – even though home insurance really started out as a fire protection policy,” says Pete Karageorgos, the bureau’s Ontario director of consumer and industry relations.

Karageorgos told The Toronto Star, water damages have included anything from plumbing fixtures and internal leaks, to more from external type of water.

“People are recognizing there are severe weather events such as rainstorms that are occurring that are depositing larger amounts of rain in shorter amounts of time and impacting our communities.”

It’s important to review your home insurance policy, as some policies only cover particular types of water damage claims such as a burst water pipe or an overflowing appliance. A Licensed Insurance Advisor can help explain what your current policy does cover and if there are any additional protection options available.

In the meantime, there are ways you can help prevent flooding in your home. Some tips include:

  • Have a qualified roofer inspect and maintain your roof.
  • Inspect windows, skylights and doors for gaps or leaks, and make repairs.
  • Clean out rainwater leaders, eavestroughs, downspouts and drains.
  • Water damage can come from roofs, windows and doors. Doors can be an entry point for flooding. Consider applying weather protection sealant on the base of ground-level doors. You can also use weather protection sealant around any basement windows.
  • Have a licenced plumber inspect your pipes to make sure they are working properly and there’s no sign of leakage.
  • Inspect your basement after heavy rainfall. If you notice any water has made its way into your home, it could be possible there are cracks in the foundation.
  • Check any dishwashers and washing machines for any signs of leaks.
  • Install an alert program that will sense any possible water leaks. Desjardins Insurance has a free water and freeze detector, which will send an alert to your smartphone, allowing you to act quickly to help limit the amount of water or freezing damage.

Some tips on safety and reducing damage

  • Have a home emergency kit ready.
  • Ensure any electrical components such as switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring should be a foot above flood level.
  • Update or start a home inventory of valuable and prized possessions. An inventory can help in case you need to make a water damage claim.

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‘Water is the New Fire’: The Rise of Water Damage Claims

Flooding can cause a huge amount of damage to our homes. It’s crucial to take preventative measures to protect your home against future floods.