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5 Common Causes of Home Insurance Claims in Alberta

5 Common Causes of Home Insurance Claims in Alberta

We want to do our best to try and prevent disasters from happening within the home, even though sometimes it’s beyond our control. Claims happen for a variety of reasons, from inclement weather (especially in Alberta), a flaw in construction, an intentional act, or simply an accident. Trying to be proactive and take steps to help prevent such occurrences is the best thing you can do to keep your family and your home safe. Here are five of the most common causes of home insurance claims and how you can prevent them.

1. Freezing/Burst Pipes.

Burst pipes are one of the leading causes of flooding in the home and are common with the temperature fluctuations in Alberta. What causes a burst pipe? The most common reason is the pipe itself freezing. A burst pipe can result in costly damage to the floor, drywall, and even things such as joists and wall studs. Of course, it can also damage your personal belongings.

Perhaps the most important line of defense here is insulation. Especially in areas such as the basement or attic where the temperature may be more erratic, ensuring the area is properly insulated and that any cracks or openings are properly sealed. You can also fit your pipes with fiberglass sleeves, which is inexpensive but can make a huge difference.

Keep your home at a warm enough temperature (above 12 degrees Celsius) and keep outside and garage doors closed as much as possible during cold snaps. Also, if you are particularly fearful about pipes freezing, you may want to let the faucets drip. This releases pressure and helps keep the pipe from bursting.

2. Candles.

Statistics have shown that just over a third of candle-induced fires begin in the bedroom. Yes, the ambiance may be great, but the problem is people tend to fall asleep without extinguishing the candle, which is knocked over or not properly contained. Refraining from lighting a candle in the bedroom is a good idea, especially if you’re not going to be closely supervising it. Additionally, if candles are getting short (shorter than 2-3 inches) it’s time to toss them and get some new ones.

3. Theft.

Home insurance claims due to burglary are sadly on the rise. We hate to think the worst of people and be ruled by paranoia, but using common sense to protect your home could help to prevent costly theft-related claims. At night or when you’re away from home make sure the doors and windows are locked. You might also consider installing a professional grade alarm system. This may save you some money on your premium depending on your insurance company. Security cameras are also a good option. With the smart home technology available today, there are a number of anti-theft solutions designed to keep your home protected. 

4. BBQ Fires.

What Albertan doesn’t love a juicy steak on the grill? The problem,  however, is that often the grease and fat can build up and start a fairly significant fire. If this gets out of control it could spread from within the confines of the grill. A few simple steps can help you prevent such a catastrophe:

  • Always clean your grill and scrap the grids after each use.
  • Keep either baking soda or a fire extinguisher nearby. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to try and extinguish a grease fire with water. This will not work and could result in injury.

5. Hail.

The damage inflicted by hailstorms could result in a costly home insurance claim. Unfortunately, they’re also pretty common in Alberta. One thing you may want to consider is hail resistant roofing. There are various types of shingles that are designed to withstand heavier snow loads, higher winds and hail. You can read more about the best roofing options for Alberta weather here.

Also, make sure your windows are shuttered. Glass is particularly vulnerable to the force of hail and can potentially shatter.

You may not be able to prevent everything, but you can take steps to help make your home more secure and less vulnerable to certain types of disasters. Talk to your insurance broker for more information about protecting what matters most to you.

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