Home: Protect your home and belongings

Here are some often-overlooked dangers that homeowners can and should prepare for.

With the pending return of fall and winter with their harsher weather conditions

With the pending return of fall and winter with their harsher weather conditions

As the weather begins to change, harsh conditions are in our future.

Are you doing all you can to protect your home? Here are some often-overlooked dangers that homeowners can and should prepare for:

Every major new purchase changes your protection picture

A recent Western Financial Group study found that millions of Canadian have no idea what the contents of their home are worth and that very few have a strong grasp on what coverage they have or what special limitations there may be on their policy in short, they are vulnerable.

“Most people have neither taken the time, nor accessed the tools to determine what their contents are worth,” says Denise Lang, a regional vice-president with Western Financial Group.

“Yes, they probably have some type of contents insurance, although they lack an accurate picture and this means they may not be properly protected.”

It is essential to work with a trusted broker to make sure you have appropriate coverage. Moreover, if you make any significant purchases (like a wedding ring or piece of art) you should update your policy immediately.

Long-term vacancy can lead to long-term repercussions

Each year when the cold weather arrives, many of us go south leaving our homes unoccupied for weeks, even months. This, too, can affect your insurance protection. A property left vacant for as little as four days may no longer qualify for all coverage under the policy. To avoid risk, you should arrange for someone responsible to look in on your home and contents and, as always, you should advise your insurance broker of your absence and discuss any changes to your policy that may be required.

Beware of atypical weather damage

When we walk out our front doors, many of us immediately do a mental checklist of things we might have forgotten:

“Did I turn off the stove?”

“Is the back door locked?”

“Did I close the windows?”

While this type of worrying seems comical, it matters. Aside from the obvious (like a fire or break-in), a seemingly minor oversight like leaving windows open can lead to water damage to the interior of your home in a rainstorm, which is not typically covered by policies.

“With the heavy rains we’ve seen in the last few years, small incidences of negligence have become more and more common. Closing a window can really mean the difference of thousands of dollars,” Lang explains. “Additionally, most policies don’t cover seepage, so you should talk to your broker if this is a risk.” You can never prepare for every eventuality, but you can do your best to safeguard your home against an array of often-overlooked dangers. Additional information is available at westernfinancialgroup.ca.

 

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