Your property is a valuable possession that can be better protected with preparation. Knowing you have taken preventative measures does not negate the consequences of an emergency but it can help you to sleep at night and make a tremendous difference in the event of an emergency. The tips outlined below are recommended to protect your home and its contents from disaster, including avoiding predictable water, wind and freezing damage (which are commonly uninsured perils). Creating and keeping an inventory of your possessions, building an emergency kit and insuring your home and contents are also critical components of emergency preparedness in protecting your property before disaster strikes. As a trusted home insurance broker in Edmonton, MBS Insurance will work with you to determine the types of coverage you need to keep your property safe.
Avert Water Damage
Floodwater (due to overflow from a body of water) has the ability to seep through and get into everything in its path, including finished basements floors and your concrete foundation. Installing a sump pump is fortunately relatively easy and can diminish exposure of your belongings to water damage. For a sump pump to function effectively, floor drains should be clear of obstructions. In addition, where bylaws permit, there are options to install back flow valves, plugs for drains and toilets, and other sewer connections that can prevent water from entering your home. An easy preventative measure to avoid basement seepage is to install a rain barrel to catch run-off from your roof.
In the event that water gets into your basement, you need to be prepared by elevating furnaces, hot water heaters, electrical panels and any valuables. Since water tends to flow down the walls, leaving some space between the walls and any appliances or furniture could prevent damage. Anything of sentimental value or importance should be stored securely; common sense should be used to evaluate what should and shouldn’t be kept in your basement or in areas that could be considered risky for water damage.
If you are away for more than three days, it is best to have someone check on your home daily. Water’s biggest tool of destruction is time and this can be avoided with vigilance. Only water damage arising from a sudden rupture of an indoor pipe would be covered by homeowners insurance in Edmonton. Sewer backup/water damage coverage may be purchased as an add-on to your existing policy.
Prevent Wind Damage
Protecting your home against wind can be as simple as installing resistant windows, storm shutters and reinforcing your garage doors. It may be prudent to occasionally do a visual check around your house to see if there are any loose pieces that could bang or dislodge against the property. Be additionally careful to keep trees and shrubbery well-trimmed to prevent wind damage.
Prevent Damage from Freezing
To keep water in your pipes from freezing, put insulated sleeves over exposed pipes and keep your attic floor well insulated. During cold spells, open pipe cabinets so warm air can circulate around the pipes. Damage arising from freezing outside the home is not covered, nor is melting or moving snow and ice and heaving frost. Additional coverage for damage caused by roof ice damming may be available.
Create a Home Inventory
Creating an inventory of your possessions can be extremely helpful for both home owners and tenants alike. Home inventory software is available free from the Electronic or print copies of the inventory and your other key documents should be kept in a safe deposit box or Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).at a trusted friend’s house or relative’s home along with pictures or video or your possessions for insurance purposes. A “personal articles floater” can be added to the insurance policy if you have particular valuables in your home that you want to insure.
Living in Alberta has the downside of a harsh environment: tornadoes, wildfires and heavy rains can cause flash flooding. For peace of mind, it is recommended that you build a disaster kit ready to take with you. Your emergency preparedness kit should include the following for a 72 hour supply: canned food, a manual can opener, energy bars and dried fruit, a gallon of water per person per day, a first aid kit, a battery-powered flash light, extra keys to your home and car, cash in small bills and change for payphones, a copy of your emergency plan and contact information, and if applicable: prescription medication, infant formula, and equipment for people with disabilities. Many additional items recommended can be found here.
Obtaining Insurance Protection
As part of preparing your property before disaster strikes, it is recommended that you obtain the homeowner’s insurance or tenant’s insurance policy coverage you need to protect your property and/or possessions against numerous possible incidents. As trusted home insurance brokers in Edmonton, MBS Insurance Brokers Ltd. can help you obtain low cost rates as we work with a wide range of insurers. We can arrange your Edmonton area homeowners insurance, auto insurance and any commercial insurance at the same time with any available multi-policy discounts. Call us at 708-436-7880 or contact us online to speak to one of insurance agents today.