April showers may bring more than flowers - IBC's Top 10 tips for reducing your risk of water damage

EDMONTON, April 7, 2016 /CNW/ - With April we can expect warmer weather and rain, and while both gets rid of the snow and greens the grass, it can be damaging to a home. That's why Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is offering Western Canadians its Top 10 tips for reducing the risk of water damage.

"With the weather already warming up, we can expect more rain, and in some areas of the West, melting snow," said Bill Adams Vice-President, Western & Pacific, IBC. "That's why IBC created the list below to help you protect your homes and cars from water damage."

IBC's Top 10 tips to reduce the risk of water damage are:

  1. Keep all of your floor drains clear of obstructions.
  2. Clean out and adjust your eavestroughs and downspouts so that water is directed away from your home. If there are storm drains in front of your home make sure to clear them of debris built up over the winter.
  3. If you're planning to be away from your home for an extended period, arrange for someone to check your property in case there is severe weather – and be sure to notify your insurer.
  4. Ensure there is proper grading around your home so that surface water flows away from your foundation.
  5. Install a sump pump or make sure the one that you have is working properly.
  6. Install backflow valves or plugs in drains and other sewer connections.
  7. Make sure that the furnace, hot water heater and electrical panel are elevated.
  8. Store important documents and irreplaceable personal objects where they cannot be damaged by water.
  9. Do not finish areas, such as the basement, that may be prone to flooding.
  10. If you have a finished basement and it's susceptible to flooding, don't keep any expensive items there.

What's covered?

  • Damage caused by water that enters the home by seeping through windows, siding or the foundation is typically not covered.
  • Most standard insurance companies do not cover overland flooding. Overland flooding occurs when water from rivers, streams or other water bodies flows onto dry land. Review your policy and check with your insurance provider for potential coverage availability.
  • A sewer backup may be covered by home insurance policies if this coverage was purchased as an add-on.
  • Water damage to vehicles is usually covered by comprehensive or all perils auto insurance. This coverage isn't mandatory so check your policy.

"If you have questions about your policy, ask your insurance representative or contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2-ASK-IBC," adds Adams. "We're here to help."

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_West or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Ariella Kimmel, Manager, Media Relations, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312, akimmel@ibc.ca


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