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How to File a Home Insurance Claim

Insurance can cover many things, but as Benjamin Franklin once said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Franklin was addressing fire safety, and that axiom is as true today as it was when Franklin made the statement. Avoiding costly and inconvenient insurance claims can lower your premiums, and keep your family and belonging safe for years to come.

Water damage is the leading cause of home insurance claims – backed-up sewer, broken or burst pipes, heavy rain, or the spring thaw, water seems to make its way into even the smallest nooks and crannies – making up about half of all claims across Canada. To prevent hefty water damage claims, keep these tips in mind:

  • Store valuable or irreplaceable items in a dry, elevated place;
  • Clean out your eavestroughs and downspouts at least once a year, repair any leaky areas, and angle downspouts at least six feet away from your house;
  • Keep your drain pipes clog-free and running smoothly; and
  • Seal any cracks in your home’s foundation and basement floors before the next spring thaw or a heavy downpour.

Damage caused by hail and wind is the first runner up – and an increasing concern in Alberta. To protect yourself:

  • Inspect your roof at least once a year, and have any missing or damaged shingles replaced by a professional roofing contractor;
  • Keep your trees and shrubs trimmed, and safely secure or store any patio furniture, planters, or outdoor tools that could be damaged by the hail or moved by the wind; and
  • Avoid personal injury by staying indoors and keeping kids and pets away from glass windows and doors that could be shattered or broken in by flying debris.

Although common, fire is one of the most preventable causes of home insurance claims. To keep your home fire-free:

  • Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home and test them each month;
  • Extinguish candles or other open flames before leaving the room;
  • If you smoke, take it outside and park your butts in a can of water or sand;
  • Avoid kitchen fires by rolling up your sleeves, placing lids on bubbling pans, and turning pot handles away from curious kids and pets; and
  • Keep your fireplace safe, have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional every year, and always use a fireplace screen to keep your floors free of embers

Theft is personal, it can be tough on your emotions, especially losing sentimental, one-of-a-kind, or antique items. Try these low-effort, no-cost steps you can take to deter theft:

  • Lock all windows and doors when you leave the house, and don’t forget your garage and garden shed;
  • Leave your spare key with a trusted neighbor instead of hiding it under the doormat or elsewhere on your property where thieves know to look;
  • Don’t share family travel plans on Facebook, for example, it can tip off potential burglars; and
  • Consider installing a security system to monitor your home – it could even get you a discount on your home insurance policy.

To learn more about filing a home insurance claim in Edmonton, contact an insurance broker at Drayden Insurance. You can reach us by phone at (780) 482-6300, or book an in person meeting at our head office at 170 Street Edmonton, Alberta.

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