Top Ten Tips to Protect Your Home Against Water Damage This Spring
TORONTO, March 25, 2014 /CNW/ - After the worst year for water damage
claims in Canadian history, Aviva Canada Inc., one of the country's
leading providers of home, auto, leisure and business insurance, is
encouraging Canadians to take steps to protect their property this
"With last year's storms, water damage reached an all time high making
up 51% of all Aviva Canada property claims," states Wayne Ross, Vice
President of Property Claims for Aviva Canada. "The flooding in Alberta
and Toronto certainly played a big part in the increase, but the
general trend is upward. And as severe weather events are growing in
frequency, we expect to see more situations like this in the future."
Aviva Canada paid out a record of over $190 million in water damage
claims in 2013, a 69% increase versus 2012. If the 2013 Alberta and
Toronto catastrophes were removed from the calculation, water damage
would have still made up 40% of all property claims for Aviva Canada.
The 40% is still a large portion of total property damage claims and
illustrates the need to be aware of how to protect your property this
spring with the winter melt underway.
Data also shows that in 2013, the average cost of a water damage claim
rose to $20,537, a 130% increase versus the $8,944 that the company
experienced 10 years earlier. Even with the flooding catastrophes
removed, the figures have trended higher for a number of years.
"The reasons for the upward trend are rather simple," commented Wayne
Ross. "The increasing investment Canadians are putting into their
basements, combined with more frequent severe weather events and an
aging sewer system that is unable to deal with large amounts of water
within a short time period, results in a lot of homes experiencing
Aviva Canada applauds the recent infrastructure investment announcements
made by the Alberta and Manitoba governments and would love to see
other provinces follow suit.
And while an insurance policy is in place to protect against certain
weather events, Canadians need to protect themselves against loss. Many
Canadians are unaware that overland flooding, such as water swells from
nearby rivers or lakes, is not covered under standard home insurance
policies and that this coverage is not widely available.
The top ten steps Canadians should take this spring to safeguard their
homes and possessions from water damage are:
Inspect your roof: To prevent leaks, get the roof inspected every few years to check the
condition of the shingles and replace when necessary.
Clear out gutters: Prevent blockages, such as leaves and other debris that could force
water into your home.
Install a backwater valve: These valves close automatically if the sewer backs up and can prevent
thousands of dollars in damage.
Scope out your sump pump: If your basement has one, examine it and conduct a test run if it
doesn't get used frequently.
Slope right: Ensure that soil, walkways and patios slope away from the home to allow
for proper drainage.
Check your foundation: As ice melts, if you notice water pooling in certain areas, clear it
away from your home.
Ensure your window wells are debris-free: Clear any accumulated garbage or leaves to allow water to drain
Ensure street catch basins are not blocked: These prevent snow from building up on the street level, protecting
water from seeping towards your property.
Protect your valuables: If your home is prone to water damage, consider moving valuables away
from high-risk areas such as the basement, or place items on high
shelves or risers.
Start right: If you are finishing your basement, make sure to seal your exterior
Without taking such precautions, homeowners could put their homes and
family belongings at great risk. A provincial breakdown of the
comparison in the average cost of water damage claims from 2003 versus
2013 is included below. The data highlights the increases we
experienced in Alberta and Ontario, and also the trend that has taken
place across the country over the last ten years.
Canadians are encouraged to reach out to their insurance broker to make
sure they know the extent of their water damage coverage.
About Aviva Canada
Aviva Canada is one of the leading Property and Casualty insurance
groups in Canada providing home, automobile, recreational vehicle,
group and business insurance to more than three million customers. A
wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more
than 3,000 employees, 25 locations and 1,700 independent broker
partners. Aviva Canada and its employees invest in positive change
including through the Aviva Community Fund and Eva's Initiatives, its
partner in Aviva's global Street to School program to help homeless and
other at-risk youth reach their potential.
For more information visit AvivaCanada.com, our blog or our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
Image with caption: "Comparison of Average Cost of Water Damage Claims 2003 vs. 2013 (CNW Group/Aviva Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140325_C6948_PHOTO_EN_38306.jpg
SOURCE: Aviva Canada Inc.
For further information:
Senior Manager, Public Relations and Social Media
Aviva Canada Inc.
Desk: (416) 288-2685
Mobile: (416) 523-3225