IBC: Make sure your home is prepared for winter weather

TORONTO, Dec. 22, 2010 – As we head into winter and the temperature drops, make sure that your home is prepared for the cold. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) recommends that homeowners who are planning trips during the Christmas and New Year’s break take precautions to reduce their risk of returning home to frozen and/or burst water pipes. IBC suggests that you:

  • Leave central heating on at a low temperature;
  • If you will be away for more than four days, arrange for a friend or neighbour to come by daily to make sure the heat is on.
  • If going away for an extended break, turn off the water supply at the source and drain all pipes, sinks and toilets before you leave.

Homeowners’ insurance typically covers damage from a burst pipe due to freezing within a heated portion of your home, but only if you’ve taken appropriate precautions and arranged for somebody to check on your property.

“There are many simple steps homeowners can take to ensure their homes will better withstand winter weather conditions,” said Ralph Palumbo, Vice-President, Ontario. “Homeowners should take the time to make sure the weather won’t put their properties in danger.”

Additionally, IBC offers these tips to minimize damage due to windstorms:

  • Prepare your property and, in particular, your trees. Trim the branches from trees near and on your property if they overhang power lines, or if the trees are likely to fall on power lines or your home should a severe windstorm or ice storm occur.
  • Bring furniture and other outdoor items indoors when a windstorm watch is announced. Anything left outdoors can become a projectile in a windstorm.

About IBC

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 110,000 Canadians, pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $40 billion. www.ibc.ca.