Extreme weather events and the impact on your insurance
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As Canadians, we’re now more frequently experiencing extreme weather events across the country than what has historically been recorded. According to findings by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, severe weather events across Canada cost the insurance industry $2.4 billion and were the top cause of property insurance claims in 2020. From hailstorms and severe winds, to flooding and wildfires – our weather is changing, and because of its impact on business, home and car insurance, the insurance industry is needing to evolve by imposing changes on available coverages, policies, and increases to what insureds pay for their insurance.
Many Canadians are not aware of what damage caused by weather is covered by their home insurance. It’s important to be well informed and know what your risks are.
Adapting and preparing
No one can predict the weather, but there are preventative measures you can take to reduce the level of damage. When you are building or renovating a home, consider using weather-resistant roofing and siding, to reduce physical damage to the exterior. Install a sump pump or back-up valve, to reduce damage from a flood. Have a source of back-up power, in the event of a power outage. As the insurance industry is forever evolving, insurance policy wordings can change year to year. Always complete an annual review of your policies with an advisor to ensure you are aware of current coverage limits and types of coverages that may or may not be available.
If you want to look at ways to curb your insurance costs, try increasing your deductible. A deductible is the amount you pay if you make a claim on your insurance policy. These can vary in amounts from $500 to $5,000. If, for example, you have a current deductible of $1,000 and your property sustains a $6,000 loss, your insurance company will pay $5,000 and you will pay your $1,000 deductible. A higher deductible can reduce the annual amount that you pay on your insurance policy. Just remember that although an increased deductible will help you reduce your premium, you will have to pay it in the event of a loss before the insurance company pays their part.
Being prepared for the new normal
Having a plan in place when severe weather hits will ensure you’re ready when it happens. Follow these steps so that you’re prepared.
- Prepare emergency supply kits for your home and cars. These should always be accessible throughout the year.
- Complete a Home Inventory Checklist. It’s important to have a record of all your belongings when submitting a claim for a weather-related loss.
- Frequently check your property for weak branches or trees. Trim or cut down anything that could potentially fall or blow onto your house and cause damage.
- Have an emergency plan in place. In the event you have to leave your home, know your plan before it happens and ensure all members of your family are versed in what they should do in an emergency.
- For steps on protecting your home and car from hail damage click here.
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