Homeowners Insurance

Are you prepared? House Fires

Each week about seven people die from home fires in Canada. To protect yourself, it is important to understand the basics about house fires. Fire spreads quickly; there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames. Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling the super-hot air can sear your lungs. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a 3 to 1 ratio. Learn About Fires Every day, Canadians experience the horror of fire, but most people don’t understand it. 1. Fire is FAST In…read more →

Prevent Water Damage Before It’s Too Late

Did you know that the cause of one of the most common homeowners insurance claims is completely preventable? No … it’s not fires or theft; it’s water damage. This is not damage due to flooding, heavy rain storms or snow on the roof—rather, it’s due to simple maintenance tasks that are often ignored or go unnoticed. Water Damage Prevention How does water damage occur? It’s simple: homeowners fail to check the connection between the water line and their washing machine or other similar appliances. Eventually, the connection fails, and water leaks into the home until someone discovers the mess. If this occurs while you are gone for the day at work or out of town, the damage could be extensive and expensive to fix. Sources of leaks include: Dishwasher hoses Automatic ice-maker lines Hot water heaters Washing machine hoses Hot…read more →

Building That New Home? What About Insurance?

If you’re building a new home, congratulations! However, if you don’t insure your new residence during construction, you’re exposing yourself to a huge risk if a fire, theft, or other event damages or destroys your partially-completed home. You can protect yourself by buying a standard homeowners policy on the new dwelling. This will cover you for any damage to the home as it’s being built, and might also provide some coverage for theft of building supplies (although the building contractor’s insurance should also cover this). The policy includes liability insurance, which would come in handy if one of your friends trips during a “tour” of your dream house and decides to sue you. However, homeowners insurance will not cover your personal property until the building is secure or “lockable.” Once construction reaches this point, you can add coverage for your…read more →

Home preparation for winter

As you get ready to bundle up for winter, consider prepping your home, too. Several tips ensure it is protected and comfortable all season. Inspect and Clean the Chimney Whether you have a fireplace or wood stove, the chimney needs to be professionally cleaned and inspected. Remove any debris or creosote buildup, and repair any cracks or chips before you start your first fire of the season. Change the Furnace Filter Dust and other debris can compromise your furnace filter’s ability to do its job. Improve your furnace’s functionality and longevity when you change the filter this fall. Install Detectors Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are essential in your home year round but especially during the winter months. Install these detectors on each floor, and test them at least once a month. Repair the Roof By repairing roof leaks…read more →

Reducing your risk of basement flooding

Winter weather brings more than cold air and wet snow. It also provides the perfect conditions for basement flooding. Reduce your risks with these tips. Fix Your Foundation Your home’s foundation is the first defense against basement flooding. Any cracks, fissures or holes can allow water to seep into your basement and cause problems. Fixing your home’s foundation starts with a visual inspection. Use a flashlight to find any visible fissures or cracks outside and also on the inside basement walls. Remember to check around basement windows for gaps and cracks, too. You’ll also want to make sure the foundation grading slopes away from your house so that excess water drains away rather than into your basement. Inspect the Gutter System Leaves, twigs and other debris collect in your home’s gutter system and prevent melting snow or rain from draining…read more →

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