To help homeowners prepare, the Insurance Bureau of Canada says property owners should take some precautions before the chill sets in.
A top priority, according to IBC’s Jack Chadirdjian, is taking precautions for the potential of water damaging a home.
“Water damage accounts for about half of all claims paid out in home insurance in Quebec, well ahead of fire and theft,” said Chadirdjian, director of public affairs at IBC. “Every year, it costs the Canadian insurance industry more than $1 billion to compensate policyholders who have suffered water damage.”
In light of this, homeowners are encouraged to check the condition of their roofs. If the shingles are 20 years old, they should be inspected by a trained professional, as they may need to be replaced. Foundations should also be inspected for cracks, as these can increase in size if water seeps in and freezes.
Fire is another hazard in the winter. In addition to making sure their home insurance policy includes coverage for fire, IBC says homeowners should have their chimneys cleaned and batteries in their smoke alarms should be changed.