Allstate Canada provides advice for a safer, more organized home

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Goodbye salt, shovels and snow suits; hello spring cleaning

TORONTO, March 22, 2011 – Spring is a great time to clean and purge items from your home, but with recent attention given to hoarders and hoarding, it is clear that some people have a difficult time letting go. Besides health and safety concerns, there could be insurance implications if your home or garage becomes overrun by clutter.

“Hoarding on its own would not cancel an insurance policy, but there could be other related issues that may affect it,” says Eric Michalko, official spokesperson for Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. “For example, fire hazards, excessive mould or too many animals living in the house as a result of hoarding could have an impact on someone’s policy.”

While hoarding is an extreme situation, many people do own more items than they can reasonably store in their home, which is why many Canadians opt for renting a storage unit. Though some may think out of sight out of mind, think again. Items in a storage unit are only insured by a typical homeowner policy for a period of 30 days. After 30 days, the items are then only covered for theft, not other causes of loss such as fire or water damage. Before renting the storage unit, speak to the storage facility about their insurance coverage and be sure to check with your insurance provider for full details on your specific policy.

One doesn’t have to be a hoarder to put valued possessions at risk. To guarantee Canadians insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow, Allstate Canada has prepared the following spring cleaning tips:

Organizing your home

  • Set a goal. Know what you would like to accomplish by the end of the day whether it be cleaning out a drawer, closet or room.
  • Get rid of unused items. If you haven’t used something in over a year, there is a good chance you wouldn’t miss it if it’s gone. Take the time to go through items such as clothing, shoes, electronics, DVDs and books and purge items you no longer need or use.
  • Recycle. Take the opportunity to donate usable items to local charities. Some charities may even come to your house to pick up your donation. Consider holding a garage sale with the unwanted items and donate the money earned to a charity of your choice.

Keeping your home organized and safe

  • Go through items on a regular basis. To keep your newly organized space clean, donate items regularly. When you acquire something new get rid of an item that you no longer use.
  • Protect your items and your home. Batteries in your fire alarm should be changed twice a year. It is good practice to pick two memorable dates six months apart that you will remember, such as daylight savings time. If you haven’t already changed the batteries, take the time to change them now.

For more information on understanding your risks visit goodhandsadvice.ca.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of Canada’s leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products. “The Good Hands Network®” enables consumers to contact Allstate Canada through one of 93 community-based Agencies, directly online at www.allstate.ca and through the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-Allstate. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), Crime Stoppers, United Way and Junior Achievement. In 2010, Allstate Canada, in partnership with the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), created the Allstate All-Canadians program, a mentorship program designed to guide the next generation of Canada’s hockey youth. Learn more at www.allstate.all-canadians.com.