Warm winter brings a reminder from IBC: Protect your home from water damage

TORONTO, Feb. 9, 2012 – With Environment Canada predicting warmer-than-normal temperatures for the rest of the winter across the country, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) asks homeowners: Is your home protected from water damage?

“While everyone is talking about the weather, it’s a good time to think about how protected your home is from water damage,” says Ralph Palumbo, Ontario Vice-President, IBC. “Don’t wait until the water is rising in your finished basement to take steps to protect your property and valuables.”

Here are some steps homeowners can take to reduce the risk of water damage to their homes caused by both flooding and maintenance problems around the house:

  • keep floor drains clear of obstruction
  • arrange to have someone check your property if you are going to be away from home for more than three days
  • ensure that there is proper grading around your home
  • install a sump pump
  • install backflow valves or plugs for drains, toilets and other sewer connections to prevent water from entering the home
  • store important documents and irreplaceable personal objects (such as photographs) where they will not get damaged

“Homeowners should also talk to their insurance representative about purchasing sewer backup coverage as an add-on to their insurance policy,” suggests Palumbo.

While overland flooding is not covered by insurance anywhere in Canada, obtaining sewer backup coverage is prudent in low-lying areas, especially if the area has combined storm and sanitary sewers.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada’s home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the private property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 114,000 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $40 billion.

For more information about insurance topics, and to view media releases, visit IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca.