Home insurance – Leaves are about to wither and the temperature may drop anytime soon. Indeed, the Christmas season is fast approaching. Yet, it is not the only thing we should prepare for because winter is coming. Are you thrilled about building a snowman or taking the sled out to have fun?
Snowfalls are aesthetically pleasing but can be compromising to your health and safety. As such, you have to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and warm. But what about your home and personal belongings? Are they protected from the potential damages?
Snow and ice can be troublesome. They can cause concrete and wall cracks, and roof collapse. So, aside from inspecting your house before the season, having it insured is a wise move on your part. This article will talk about how winter can damage your house and why you should get home insurance.
Potential home damages during winter
Snow and frost can take their toll on your home without you knowing it. In 2020, snowstorms in Canada led to $132 million in home insurance damages. That is why you must check and prepare everything you need before autumn ends.
Below are some problems that winter can cause:
Roof leaks and collapse
The weight of the snow and ice can cause roof leaks and even collapse. When they accumulate, snow can damage the structural framing or main support. For example, gutters may break away from the edge of the roof and cause its collapse. The extent of its damage is like what happens to ice dams.
Your chimney and walls are also subject to snow damages. Beware of leaks in your attic or melted snow or ice that might flow to electric wires. Falling branches and whole trees may also hit your roof and walls.
External faucets and those in your garage are susceptible to freezing or bursting. This is because these are the typical unheated areas during winter. With that, you must apply insulation to prevent pressure build-ups. Also, turn off these faucets when you go out of town.
Once the snow and the water are gone, you may notice cracks on your driveway and patio. Concrete grounds are not spared from the rage of winter. The weight of the snow and ice can cause concrete cracks. Afterward, the melted snow often gets into small cracks and refreezes. As such, it expands the cracks and causes more damage. So, have these repaired or sealed.
The cold outside and the warmth inside can damage door and window caulkings. The cold breeze may seep into the openings.
Winter may also cause wood rots, which may invite termites. As such, your door and its frames may incur further damages without you realizing it. The cost involves higher bills, caulk cures, or replacements for doors and windows.
Winter does not directly cause fire incidents. Yet, we must understand that using your fireplace is inevitable during this season. The cold of winter can get into your bones and wearing thick clothes can’t ease it at times. But, you do not always notice if you are putting too much wood. When left unchecked, the fire may become too big. It may crawl towards flammable materials like your furniture and Christmas tree. Kitchen fires are also common in winter due to frequent gatherings.
About 50% of home heating fires take place between December and February. Heating equipment comprises 15-17% of home fires in Canada. Meanwhile, 33% of them are caused by candles.
Why you need to get home insurance
The effects of climate change have become more evident in recent years. Natural disasters are becoming more unpredictable, destructive, and frequent. As such, home insurance rates in Canada are increasing. In Alberta and Ontario, home insurance rates in 2020-2021 rose by 31% and 10%, respectively. They may further increase by 64% and 140%, respectively.
Meanwhile, hailstorms have always been on top of Canada’s list of weather stories. Earlier this year, a hailstorm in Calgary caused $247 million in home insurance claims. Since hail is more solid than an ice pellet, it causes more massive damages. As such, you must protect your home through home maintenance and home insurance. Good thing it is still autumn now, so hails are infrequent.
Even so, you should not be too complacent because winter poses dangers to your home. As mentioned earlier, snowstorms in Canada drove home insurance claims to millions. For this reason, you must consider purchasing home insurance now. It will provide financial support in case of vandalism, fire, and natural disasters.
The last thing you need to worry about now is how to afford a new house or an apartment. In general, insurance policies provide minimum coverage of $100,000. But if you pay higher premiums, you can receive $300,000 – $500,000. In comparison, building a single-family home in Canada ranges from $90 to $260 per square foot. Meanwhile, a customized single-family home goes from $250 to $1090 per square foot.
Yes, winter can be appealing. But, it can also be devastating if you are not prepared. It is best to start your preparations while autumn is not yet over. Plus, the changing weather conditions are pushing us to be ready at all times. So, getting home insurance is the wisest move you can make to have your home and your safety covered.