Home insurance: How to avoid a claim

4 min.

Protect your dream home or condominium with our best prevention tips to avoid water damage, burglaries and fires.

Homeowners and co-owners are proud to live in the house or condo of their dreams. But when the unexpected happens—water damage, fire or burglary, for example—it’s often a difficult ordeal to overcome. Worse still, a hike to their premium following a claim can’t be ruled out come time for renewal.

Here’s our best prevention advice to help you protect your most precious asset: your home!

Water damage: Six tips to avoid a claim

Water damage is without a doubt the leading reason for home insurance claims, and it can quickly hike the price of your policy. Basically, a home insurance policy covers damage caused by water in certain situations, such as a cracked pipe in your dishwasher, an overflown bathtub or a leaky toilet.

But as CAA-Quebec explains, your home insurance policy will cover you in the event of water damage—just not in all cases. This means that you should opt for additional home or tenant insurance coverage to insure your home against below- and above-ground water ingress. Here are some tips to help you prevent the risk of water damage.

  1. Replace the flexible pipes in your washing machine with metal-reinforced pipes. Also, plan to stay home while your dish washer and washing machine are running!
  2. Regularly check the silicone joints around your shower and bathtub to prevent water from seeping out. If necessary, re-caulk.
  3. Are you going away for a few weeks or taking a long trip to the cabin for a winter getaway? Your insurer recommends that you take measures to prevent frozen pipes and the damage that a burst pipe could cause. Ask a family member or friend to stop by from time to time to check that your heat is still on. If a precautionary pop in isn’t possible, shut off the water main and run all the taps to drain the pipes before you leave.
  4. Don’t forget about your sump pump. It requires annual maintenance to operate properly. Regularly pour water into the sump to make sure the pump is starting automatically.
  5. During the winter, hire a company specializing in roof snow removal to prevent potential damage.
  6. Make sure that water is properly draining through your gutters and away from the foundation of your house. As temperatures warm in the spring, snow and ice that has accumulated on the building and grounds begin to melt. A simple downspout extension will often do the trick!

Burglary: Five tips to avoid a claim

Car theft has been on everybody’s mind lately. But burglary is also a common reason for insurance claims. That said, a central alarm system improves the surveillance of your property and reduces the risk of break-ins.

  1. Equip your property with a residential alarm system with at least one surveillance camera. Being tied into a central alarm system could even make you eligible for a discount on your home insurance premium.
  2. If you’re away from home, you can check your security provider’s mobile app and monitor the footage streamed from the security camera at your home.
  3. Use smart plugs to make it seem like there’s activity in your house. These will turn a light on in one room and turn it off a few hours later and so on in another room, according to a randomized schedule. That way, it always looks like there’s someone home!
  4. Inform trusted neighbours that you’ll be away, but don’t announce it on social media.
  5. Make sure all the doors and windows are locked when you leave. Prevention is always your best bet against thieves!

Fire: Ten tips to avoid a claim

Fire is devastating for a property. Smokers need to be particularly careful when they light up and put out their cigarettes. For example, the potting mix and mulch used for gardening are made with combustible material, so mind your butts! Generally speaking, by adopting the right habits, you can rest easy and reduce the risk of fire.

  1. Never leave your range unattended. And be sure to stress the importance of this rule to your independence-hungry teens.
  2. Upgrade your fondue set and switch out your liquid or gel fuel burner with an electric version. It’s convenient and easy!
  3. Beware those popular air fryers. Some models are the subject of product recalls.
  4. Get a portable fire extinguisher and keep it in a kitchen cabinet. Some fire extinguishers work like aerosol cans—an easy option that doesn’t compromise on safety!
  5. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your kitchen and on each floor. Get into the habit of switching their batteries when you spring forward and fall back.
  6. Don’t play with fire when there’s a power outage. Instead of candles, grab a flashlight.
  7. Use surge protectors to prevent damage to your electronics in the event of a power surge.
  8. Do you live and breathe barbecue? Remember to always open the lid before turning on the gas and lighting your prized grill. There are actually many safety measures you should take before putting BBQ on the menu.
  9. To streamline the reimbursement or replacement process in the event of a claim, create an inventory of your possessions.
  10. Electrical work should be done by an electrician. Leave it to the professionals!

Auto and home insurance: it’s indispensable!

The life of a homeowner is punctuated by unexpected events. Water, fire and criminals can all be at the root of a loss. But there are a few simple measures you can take that will help you avoid having to make a claim. And even if a bit of bad luck were to affect your home, the coverage you carefully choose with your insurance company can under certain conditions come to the rescue.

And now, all that’s left to do is to wish you a lovely stay at the cabin!


Need advice?

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re wanting to shop around for new home insurance. One of our insurance agents will be happy to assist you and answer all your questions.

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