Storm damage can be devastating to your home. Leaks, floods, heavy rains, and damage from high winds can all result in costly repairs.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, 2022 was the third worst year for insurance damage in Canadian history, resulting in $3.1 billion in damage. Not only did 2022 see more damaging storms and severe weather incidents, but there was also an increase in costly storms across the country.
The derecho storm that hit Ontario and Quebec on May 21, 2022, racked up nearly $1 billion in insured damages and is the sixth most costly disaster in Canadian history. According to CBC, the storm wreaked havoc on the Ottawa region, and residents lost power due to the heavy rains and winds that reached 190 km/h.
Researchers at Western University’s Northern Tornado Project predict severe weather and storms will be more frequent and cause more damage across Canada.
So, what can you do? Here are six ways to protect your home and wallet from storm damage.
Inspect the roof
Problems with your roof can lead to leaks, especially during a bad storm. So, you’ll want to inspect your roof, eaves, and downspouts to check for any damage.
Clear any debris and blockages so water from heavy rains can flow properly. And replace any weak shingles that could lead to leaks and water damage.
Test your sump pump
A good sump pump will help keep your basement dry in case of heavy rains and floods. Test your sump pump each spring to confirm it is working well. You should also inspect and clean the pump of dirt, gravel, or debris so you know your basement stays dry no matter the weather. Finally, consider installing a battery backup for your sump pump so you know it will work even when the power is out.
Consider the trees
Take some time to care for the trees around your yard. When a storm strikes, dead or cracked trees, branches hanging over the house or growing near powerlines could damage your home. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for mushrooms around the trunk, as it signifies the tree is in trouble.
If there are any trees you are concerned about, call a certified arborist to inspect your yard and clean up any dangerous limbs or trees. It’s also a good idea to have the trees on your property checked every three years to avoid any surprises during a storm.
Check the yard
You should inspect your fence, shed, and detached garage every spring. Make sure to fix any broken fence pieces or anything that could come loose during high winds. Also, check the siding on your house or garage and replace any damaged areas.
Keep your eye on the forecast
You’ll never want a big storm to catch you by surprise. So, make sure to subscribe to weather alerts and regularly check the forecast. Before an upcoming storm, take the time to store or secure items like patio furniture, trampolines, and barbecues.
When a severe storm occurs, Public Safety Canada recommends staying away from windows and taking shelter in the basement or an interior ground-floor room.
Review your insurance
Do you know what is covered in your home insurance policy? It’s a good idea to check your insurance policy to see what you’re covered for before storm season starts and consult with your insurance provider with any questions about your coverage.
Damage to detached buildings such as a garage or shed on your property is typically covered under your home policy. If any of your trees, shrubs or outdoor plants get destroyed they are often covered up to a specified limit in home insurance policies.
If a storm knocks out the power to your home for an extended period, your insurance policy may provide coverage for spoiled food in your fridge or freezer.
You’ll also want to review your auto insurance policy. One powerful storm can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your vehicle. But if you have comprehensive coverage, hail damage to your vehicle is covered.
If a storm is in the forecast, park it in your garage or invest in a portable shelter for your vehicle.
We’re here to help
While our insurance agents can’t forecast the weather, we can answer your insurance questions on how to protect your home from any future storms. If you have questions, you can always talk to us, and we will be happy to help you navigate your coverage.
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2 Property Insurance is underwritten by CAA Insurance Company. Certain conditions, limitations and underwriting guidelines apply.
Certain conditions, limitations and underwriting guidelines apply.