As a Canadian, you may think you know winter and how to survive everything Mother Nature throws at you, but do you understand how your home winter insurance will cover winter-related damage and claims?
Here are some clarification on what is and isn’t covered by most policies.
Blizzards and winter insurance
The good news is that most of what winter throws at you is a no-brainer. If blowing wind causes a branch, piece of ice, or debris to damage your home, your insurance company will cover these winter mishaps. If a tree falls on your roof, fence, or backyard shed, then you’re good to go (although the tree itself may not be replaced, depending on your policy).
Direct damage to your property is usually covered without hesitation.
Winter liability hazards
But what about if you forget to shovel the driveway, and someone slips on your property? Every Canadian has heard of the legal horror stories associated with this type of accident. You’ll be happy to know that if a guest slips on ice and falls on your walkway or driveway, that will be covered by the liability section of your home policy.
You are also covered if a neighbor’s kid is hurt on a backyard rink or if someone helping you clear snow off the roof takes a tumble.
Snow and ice buildup: double-check your coverage
Melting and freezing snow and ice is a different story. If water works its way into your foundation and then freezes, causing damage, that is likely not covered by your home insurer. Similarly, if melting snow seeps into your basement and causes a flood, your insurance will not be responsible for this winter damage.
You are expected to maintain your property to keep water out under most policies. Remember to winterize your home and cottage to avoid this kind of situation!
Freezing pipes and winter insurance
The damage that can be caused by a frozen pipe can be severe. While your insurance coverage will likely step in and pay to repair the damage, there are a few caveats. The first stipulation is that you took care to ensure the pipe wouldn’t freeze. That means that heat was maintained at proper levels and the area in question had appropriate insulation.
The second covers if you left the home unattended for a few days that you had someone check periodically to ensure the furnace was working properly. To be extra safe, you may even want to install a temperature alarm that will notify you should your home succumb to winter’s wrath.
We would recommend that you drain the water from your pipes if you are leaving for a few days. Take it from us: you do not want to deal with the winter insurance headache of frozen pipes.
A Canadian winter can be hard on your property. Be sure to take precautions to prevent the weather from doing harm, while living with the peace of mind that your insurance is there to step in for most catastrophes.
Make sure you’re covered! You’re always welcome to get an aha insurance quote for your home online or call us and we’ll be glad to explain what’s covered, what’s not, and everything in between.