Whether you are a small business owner, a tenant, a traveller, or own real estate, insurance is an important way to protect yourself from unexpected loss or damage.
Below you will find a list of insurance topics that may help identify problems before they arise:
Know your policy coverage
Drastic changes in Saskatchewan weather can mean severe temperature changes. As the temperature fluctuates, make sure your insurance policy provides coverage for damage caused by weather-related events.
Some other helpful insurance tips to keep in mind:
- Review your insurance policy to determine your coverage. Not all policies are the same.
- Policy requirements may differ between insurance companies if you are away from your home for a period of time. Discuss this with your broker or agent before going away for extended periods of time.
- When discussing policy changes with your broker or agent, ask about policy discounts. Some companies offer discounts based on specific requirements.
- Have an inventory of your belongings. If your home or contents are damaged, you will be required to prove your loss. Before damage occurs, take photos of your belongings. Store the files or pictures in a safe place for future reference.
Sewer backup insurance
You never know when a sewer backup might occur. Not all policies cover sewer backups, so talk to your broker or agent to find out if you’re covered.
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t assume you are covered; check your home insurance policy.
- Sewer backup insurance varies from one insurer to another; make sure you understand your current policy.
- Sewer backup insurance is not included in standard coverage, you have to request it. Talk to your insurance provider to learn more.
Winter maintenance tips
Frigid temperatures and mounds of snow can wreak havoc on a home, but regular maintenance can help to avoid unwanted insurance claims.Not all policies cover losses caused by ice damming or burst pipes, so talk to your broker or agent about the specifics of your coverage.
Avoid unwanted house insurance claims by following a few maintenance tips:
- Test and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Ensure furnaces, wood stoves, and any other heating sources are in good working condition.
- If you go away on vacation, even for a few days, leave the heat on and have someone you trust check on your home while you are away.
- Run water through all plumbing fixtures regularly and test plumbing shut off valves.
- Inspect your attic for frost accumulation and check your eaves troughs and roof for potential ice dams or icicles.
- Keep your sidewalk and any stairs clear of snow and ice.
- Keep snow away from basement windows, gas meters, and exhaust vents.
- Prevent exposed pipes from freezing by fitting them with insulation sleeves or wrapping.
- Prevent snow from building up on your roof.
Renting from a landlord
Renters have many of the same concerns as owners when it comes to protecting their property and dealing with liability claims from third parties. The landlord will likely have insurance that covers any loss or damage to the building, but that insurance does not extend to your belongings as a renter or your liability as the occupier of the property. As a renter, you may want to consider having our own insurance as a way to protect your interests.
There are many different kinds of insurance available. For example, there is insurance that can help you replace belongings that are lost or damaged due to fire, flood, theft, or vandalism, and insurance that can provide compensation if you have to relocate temporarily or otherwise. There is also insurance that helps protect renters from liability for injuries to people visiting the property (guests or delivery people slipping on icy sidewalks, for example).
Landlords can require you to have insurance coverage, but they cannot require you to purchase a particular policy or type of coverage, nor can they give you advice about different policies. If you decide to purchase renter’s insurance, discuss your needs with a licensed insurance broker or agent. Before buying a policy, make sure to read it carefully and know exactly what it does and does not cover.
Protect your property from water damage
Seasonal changes, specifically ice melting and high water levels can affect your property. Protect yourself by reviewing your insurance policy for water damage coverage and talk with your broker, agent or insurance company if you have any questions or concerns.
There are multiple ways water can damage your home or property and not all water damage is automatically covered in basic insurance policy packages. You might have to pay for additional coverage. Make sure to thoroughly read your policy, and to contact your broker or agent if you are unsure of your coverage.
Types of water damage that insurance may cover include:
- Mechanical breakdown – e.g. pipes burst, dishwasher leaks
- Nature caused – e.g. seepage, sewer backup
- Overland flooding - e.g. flash flood
Here are some tips to help minimize water damage this spring:
- Keep water out of window wells.
- Put water sealant around basement windows.
- Consider installing a sump pump.
- Remove snow around the foundation.
Protect your property from severe weather damage
Are you prepared for extreme weather events such as flash flooding and tornadoes? Have you considered if your home and car are is protected from hail and wind damage? It’s important to be prepared for severe weather. Protect your property by making sure your home and auto insurance policies adequately covers severe weather damage.
Here are some severe weather tips to consider:
- Know what’s covered – Read your policy, find out what types of damage are covered and what types are not. Certain types of damages may not be covered in a standard home policy. For instance, overland flooding usually requires a separate endorsement added to the standard policy. Make sure you understand what is covered and what is excluded in your policy.
- Contact an insurance company, agent or broker if you have any questions – They will be able to help you find the coverage that suits your needs and protects your property in the event of severe weather damage.
- Be prepared in case of a severe weather emergency by making a plan –
- Have a home inventory of your belongings including an estimate of the value of each item. If your home or contents are damaged, you will be required to prove your loss. Before damage occurs, take photos of your belongings and store the files or pictures in a safe place for future reference.
- Have emergency supply kits for your home and vehicle. This should include items such as a flashlight, food and water, first-aid kit, blankets and extra clothing.
- Have an evacuation plan. It’s important to be prepared and identify designated meeting places for your family, alternate routes out of your area, means of transportation and arrangement for pets.
- Take precautions around your home. Secure loose items that may be damaged or cause damage in strong winds. Keep gutters and downspouts clear to keep water moving away from your home.
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