Keeping your home insurance in Calgary as affordable as possible means avoiding claims, and with summer upon us, now is the time to look at some of the season’s most common property hazards. Being aware of the risks and taking proactive steps to avoid them is the best strategy for a claims-free summer.
Flooding and Water Damage
Flooding devastated Alberta in the spring of 2013, and most area residents don’t need to be reminded that it caused nearly $6 billion worth of property damage. Avoiding water damage in your home can be tricky, since you’re not in control of water levels and flood risks, but there are still a few helpful tips you can use to safeguard yourself:
- Avoid storing valuables in basements, especially on floor areas, since these are most likely to be affected by incoming flood waters
- Install back-flow valves to prevent water from seeping into your home through municipal drainage systems
- Make sure your eaves and downspouts are functioning properly and are not clogged by debris
- Check your hot water tank to ensure it isn’t becoming corroded
- Reduce your household water consumption during periods of heavy precipitation
- Never pour oils or fats down your household drains
You can also protect yourself with a water damage insurance endorsement, which is now available throughout Alberta.
Keep Hail and Wind Damage at Bay
Hailstorms are a common feature of Alberta summers, and when they’re paired with strong winds, the results can be destructive. First, you should review your current home insurance coverage to make sure you’re protected in the event of hail or wind damage, as these endorsements are not always automatically included with standard policies.
You can further protect yourself by parking all vehicles in a garage or covered area during stormy weather, tying down patio furniture or any other yard elements that might become dislodged, and reporting any hail or wind damage to your insurance company immediately. It’s also a good idea to protect all glass openings, including sunroofs, to help mitigate risks.
Fire Safety in the Alberta Climate
The typical Alberta summer is hot and dry, creating conditions that allow fires to easily start. In particular, fire pits pose a significant hazard, and as such, it’s vital to review fire pit safety if you have one on your property.
You can also reduce your fire risks by:
- Smoking outdoors, and ensuring cigarettes are completely extinguished and disposed of in proper receptacles
- Carefully maintaining your barbecue and following manufacture’s maintenance and usage guidelines
- Using a funnel to pour gasoline into vehicles or motorized equipment, and storing jerry cans in a safe place
- Observing all municipal guidelines for burning trash and lighting grass fires, if these activities are permitted where you live
Extended Vacations and Renting Out Your Property
If you’re going to take an extended vacation this summer, you should contact your home insurance provider to report your plans. Homeowners’ insurance policies are subject to limitations that require your continuous presence at the house, and your coverage can be nullified if you’re away for more than 30 days and failed to get the necessary exception or waiver from your provider.
Websites like Airbnb have also made it possible for homeowners to rent out spare rooms or even their entire space to visitors. While this can be a great source of supplementary income, it also poses insurance risks that you should take into careful consideration. Also, keep in mind that you may have to purchase additional coverage to ensure you are fully protected if you’re planning to rent out your property to guests.
These same principles apply to cottages and vacation homes. If you have any questions about your coverage or responsibilities, be sure to talk to your insurer before renting your property.
Do You Know the Value of Your Home’s Contents?
Finally, it’s also a good idea to carry out a thorough home inventory and property assessment to ensure you’re up to date on the contents of your home, and that your valuables are fully protected. Follow these important guidelines to help you along.
Trust Lane’s Insurance for Your Home Insurance in Calgary
Lane’s Insurance is a top Calgary-based brokerage serving all of Alberta, offering comprehensive resources and excellent claims support in addition to low rates on all your insurance needs. Visit Lane’s Insurance for a free home insurance quote, and remember that you can save 20 percent by bundling your auto and home insurance.