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Reducing your home insurance risks

Since the introduction of home insurance, the size, design and uses of space within houses has changed significantly.

According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the average home almost tripled in size from 800 square feet in 1950 up to 2,300 square feet in 2005. The average home built today is now 2,000 square feet1.

The functional space within homes has also changed. The concept of a finished basement is relatively new and one of the more significant changes from the 1950s. Once used to store junk or stack canned goods, basements are increasingly finished and furnished living spaces. The materials now used in semi or fully developed basements, along with the furniture, possessions and often electronics can be costly to replace if water damage does occur.

Another cause of evolution in home design includes the location of the home. Some new homes are being built in areas that make them more prone to damage. For example, flood plains, forests/mountains prone to wild fires.

With water damage being one of the biggest causes of home insurance claims, it is important to consider what you can do to minimize the risk and impact of water damage occurring in your home.

Coupled with water damage, severe weather is one of the top challenges faced by Canadians having the largest impact to the exterior of your home. The materials used for roofing and the exterior finishing of a home greatly determine how it will stand up to severe weather and how easily it can be repaired, especially when it comes to wind and hail storms.

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1. Source: Canadian Home Builders’ Association, Pulse Survey March 2014.