As the snow begins to melt and the rainy season begins, the risk of flooding in and around your home may increase, which could lead to a home insurance claim. Help to protect your home by following our flood prevention tips and by making sure to speak with your insurance broker about having adequate coverage on your home insurance policy.
Spring showers may bring May flowers, but they also bring the risk of floods that can cause expensive damage to your home and personal belongings, and result in a home insurance claim. Ontario residents are more likely to experience a flood than a fire, especially in the spring months, so be sure to prepare your home and make sure your home insurance policy is up to date to avoid the costliest natural hazard in Ontario.
Flood Prevention Tips
Clear Out Gutters and Eavestroughs
If your gutters are filled with leaves, debris, and other elements from the previous months, this can inhibit water from flowing freely and may lead to an increased risk of leaks, water damage, or flooding. Be sure to inspect these areas to ensure water is not getting backed up.
Check for Cracks or Needed Repairs
Inspecting your home in the spring is a great way to prevent floods. Check out the condition of your roof, siding, window seals, and foundation after the winter months. If there are any cracks or damage, have it repaired immediately to prevent water from leaking or flooding into your home. Call in professionals to do so when necessary, it is better for you in the long run if the cracks or holes are repaired properly now.
Install a Sump Pump and Backwater Valve
Winter weather can cause roof damages you may not even be aware of. Ensure your roof shingles aren’t cracked, loose, or missing! If there are any cracks bigger than the size of a dime, be sure to call in professionals. It’s best to catch leaks as early as possible.
Cover Window Wells
Your basement window wells are likely to gather water throughout the snowy and rainy months. Installing window well covers will help to keep them dry and reduce the risk of a flood. These covers often come in clear acrylic material to ensure sunlight still reaches your basement.
Keep Snow Away From the Foundation
During the winter, be aware of the snow piling up around the foundation of your home. Shovel it away when you can to help keep the snow from melting too closely to your home’s foundation.
Keep Your Basement Floors Clear
Install shelves in your basement where you can to keep items lifted off the ground. If there is a flood, this will help reduce the damage costs and keep your belongings in the best condition possible.
Steps to Take If Your Home Floods
Call for Help
Depending on the severity of the flood, 911 should be called if medical attention is needed. If not, your next call will need to be your landlord if you rent or your insurance broker if you own the home. Informing your insurance broker as soon as possible will help keep the process smooth and efficient.
Although your first instinct might be to start cleaning up right away, it is important to document everything first. Take pictures or videos of all the affected areas of your home, making note of what is damaged and how severely. It is also important to ask your insurance broker what other requirements will be needed to submit your claim. This documentation will help your insurer understand the severity of the flood and the extent of the entire situation.
Begin the Clean-Up Process
Now that the details have been noted and communicated, you can begin the clean-up process. This should be executed carefully and with extra precaution as there can be dangers when cleaning up after a flood. While removing the water and cleaning your home, be sure to wear safety gear like waterproof gloves, a ventilated mask, and safety goggles, as there can be bacteria and other materials in the water you will want to protect yourself from. Be sure to clean and sanitize all the hard surfaces affected by the flood. Try to keep air circulating by using fans, to help prevent mould from growing.
Discuss Your Home Insurance Policy with Your Insurance Broker BEFORE a Flood Occurs
It is extremely important to have your home insurance policy agreed upon in advance so that if a flood does occur, you are well aware of what will be covered and what kind of protection you are paying for. You should inquire about the different add-ons your insurance broker offers that may be suggested for you, depending on where you live or the condition and age of your home.
Residential overland flooding is one example of an add-on that is not typically included in a standard home insurance policy but may be something that would benefit you if you live in an area vulnerable to flooding.
To be confident that your policy is covering everything necessary, discuss your options with your insurance broker now to avoid a lack of protection later!
Let us help you navigate the terms and conditions of your policy. Contact Youngs Insurance Brokers if you have any questions or would like a no-obligation personal home insurance quote.
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Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as professional insurance advice. The coverage, terms, and conditions of each insurance policy are unique and subject to individual circumstances. The information provided does not guarantee the availability or suitability of any insurance policy for your specific needs. You should not rely on the information in the blog as an alternative to professional advice from your insurance broker or insurance company. If you have any specific questions about any insurance matter, please consult a licensed insurance broker for personalized advice and guidance.