April showers may bring more than flowers

IBC's Top 10 tips for reducing your risk of water damage

HALIFAX, April 16, 2015 /CNW/ - While the winter has been long, April brings hope of warmer temperatures and rain to help wash away the snow. Rain, however, can also cause damage to homes, especially as it melts tall snowbanks that are still in some parts of the region. That's why Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is offering Atlantic Canadians its Top 10 tips for reducing the risk of water damage.

"IBC understands that this winter has been especially tough on Atlantic Canadians," said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC. "We want to help make sure this spring doesn't end up being quite as tough by offering some tips to help reduce the risk of water damage to your homes and cars."

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

  1. Keep all of your floor drains clear of obstructions.
  2. Clear and adjust your eavestroughs and downspouts so that water is directed away from your home.
  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 (your insurance policy likely stipulates how frequently it should be checked).
  4. Ensure there is proper grading around your home so surface water flows away from your foundation.
  5. Install a sump pump or make sure the one you have is working properly.
  6. Install backflow valves in drains, toilets and other sewer connections.
  7. Elevate the furnace, hot water heater and electrical panel in the basement if possible or make plans to do so especially if you live in a flood-prone area.
  8. Store important documents and irreplaceable personal objects where they cannot be damaged by water.
  9. Do not finish areas, such as utility rooms in 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?

  • Water that enters the home by seeping through windows, siding or the foundation is typically not covered.
  • Most insurance companies do not cover overland flooding. Overland flooding occurs when water from rivers, streams or other water bodies flows onto dry land.
  • 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 ext 228," adds Dean. "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 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.  

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Altlantic or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2-ASK-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: Celyeste Power, Manager, Media Relations, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312 (office), 647-384-9872 (after hours), cpower@ibc.ca

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