Yes, you can prevent
Whether you’re a homeowner, condo owner or tenant, you’re sure to have possessions that are irreplaceable. The last thing you want is water damage.
1. Think prevention in your home
Most water damage results from sewer backups, ruptured pipes or leaks from water heaters or plumbing fixtures, so it’s important to take certain precautions inside your home.1 Some of the main things to check are:
- Water shut-off valve: Everyone in the household should know where the water supply comes in and where the main shut-off valve is located.
- Plumbing: Have a professional inspect all of your plumbing for signs of cracks or leaks.
- Fixtures: Make sure all plumbing fixtures are working properly; check caulking and grout around bathtubs and showers.
- Water heater: Inspect your hot water tank regularly for signs of wear or corrosion; check the date of manufacture—replacing the tank every 10 years is recommended.
- Washing machine and dishwasher: Check water hoses for any cracks or leaks, and keep all filters clean. Never leave the washing machine or dishwasher running when you leave the house.
- Sump pump: Get a sump pump installed. If you already have one, make sure it’s in proper working order. A sump pump helps keep your basement safe and dry by collecting and disposing of water.
- Backflow valve: When there is a heavy rain, the municipal sewer system may be overloaded, and sewage can back up through floor drains, toilets and sinks. A backflow valve, or backwater valve, closes automatically to prevent waste water from backing up through the main drain of your home. Get one installed, and have a plumber check that it’s working properly.
2. Winter and summer, keep the odds in your favour!
Here at home, winter means cold weather. And cold brings the risk of freezing, so some extra precautions are needed.
- Keep enough heat on to prevent your pipes from freezing and cracking or bursting.
- If you go away for more than a couple of days during the heating season, shut off the water, drain the pipes, and make sure there will be some heat on in the house while you’re gone.
Remember that some insurance policies cover damage caused by the water tank, electrical appliances or water pipes freezing, provided the home remains heated and certain conditions are met.
3. Water damage: covered or not?
Did you know that your home insurance policy covers you against water damage, but not in all cases? In some situations, damage may be covered if you have added specific protection to your policy. Here are some examples.2
- Your bathtub overflows and floods your bathroom: covered.
- Your kitchen floor is damaged when the hose on your dishwasher breaks, while the machine is running: covered.
- After a heavy rainstorm in your area, sewage backs up into your basement: covered IF you have added sewer backup coverage to your home insurance policy.
- The aging city water main that supplies your home breaks, and your newly renovated basement is flooded: covered.
4. Ask your broker
No matter how careful you are, there’s still a chance that water damage could happen. It’s best to have the right insurance coverage. To make sure you’re adequately protected, or for any other questions about your insurance coverage, contact your insurance broker—your best source for information and advice.
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