Winter and home insurance policies
Winter is not only rough on most Canadians but also on our homes. If you are currently experiencing issues with your home due to volatile winter weather, be aware that most home insurance policies offered to policyholders will cover damages such as the collapse of the roof due to the weight of the snow or ice, water infiltration, ice storm, etc.
These types of damages are the leading causes of home insurance claims. Also called residential insurance, home insurance, whether all-risk or extended, provides coverage for property damage to your home. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) (http://www.bac-quebec.qc.ca/) strongly suggests that you contact your broker to find out about the options for your home property insurance coverage.
What to do to avoid the damage? Planning!
First, refer to the website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (http://www.rbq.gouv.qc.ca/) to read the recommendations for the amount of ice and snow allowed on your roof, especially for flat roofs. This information could help you avoid significant water infiltration or roof collapse damage. If you need to clear snow from your roof, it is recommended that you entrust the task to a professional who has civil liability insurance in the event of an accident.
What about water infiltration for my home insurance policies ?
If you have to leave your home for several days due to a problem of water infiltration or severe snow damage, there are certain safety measures that must be taken to prevent this water damage from worsening. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) strongly recommends that the victims empty the hot water tank and the sanitary facilities and incorporate antifreeze liquid into them when you leave your residence. It is also important to turn off the water heater and all electrical appliances, especially large appliances such as the fridge and freezer, empty them and leave their door open to reduce unpleasant odors.
Stay alert when the snow melts. The phenomenon of freezing and constant thaw during the winter season can be devastating. Make sure there is no snow or ice on the roof, around the doors and windows, that there are no cracks in your foundation and most importantly, clean the gutters so that those it lets the water flow easily. Also check that your french drain works well and that your sump does not accumulate.
What is covered and what is not ?
Important: what is covered and what is not! Sewer backups, water infiltration and overflows are covered by your home insurance policy by additional warranties. Check with your insurance broker to be well covered for these types of damages. These are optional endorsements. On the other hand, floods caused by a river or any type of watercourse are not covered by your home insurance.
Is flooding covered by home insurance?
If you live near a flood zone, you will only be covered for damage related to fire, theft and vandalism. For more information refer to the following site: Info Assurance. (https://infoassurance.ca/fr/accueil.aspx) . This site was initiated by the Insurance Bureau of Canada(IBC) and le Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA) (https://gaa.qc.ca/).