Every winter, we see an increase in insurance claims that are related to venturing into inclement weather and not being cautious indoors. This winter season, avoid common insurance claims by preparing for the elements, we’ll tell you how!
Water damage and freezing
Frozen pipes can lead to disastrous outcomes. When water freezes, it expands, causing great pressure in pipes and containers. This can lead to pipes bursting or leaking, causing significant water damage in your home. You can prepare for winter by ensuring that:
- All pipes on an exterior wall are well insulated and protected from drafts
- You have someone check on your home regularly while you are away or out of town so that no problems or emergencies go left unchecked. You may want to check with your broker to find out how often your house must be checked.
- you have drained and properly stored all exterior hoses and sprinkler systems well before the first frost
If you do have issues with your pipes in the winter, try to prevent freezing this year by maintaining a warmer interior temperature, keep a tap open with a drip in the problem area, or ensure you can quickly identify and defrost pipes in the event they do freeze.
A leading cause of house fires, especially in the winter months, is unattended candles, stoves, or heaters. Always ensure that you:
- Never leave burning fires, candles, or lanterns unattended – especially if you have small children or pets at home.
- Always set timers and reminders for long cooking times on the stove or oven, or slow cooker.
- Never leave the house with food on the stove or the oven.
- Test your smoke, leak, and carbon monoxide detectors regularly to ensure they are always working
- Never operate a portable heater beside or under a blanket, or near any flammable objects, and never leave them unattended
Vehicle Damage due to weather or wildlife
This winter, always check the weather network and highway hotline for up-to-date information on weather conditions. If you commute into Saskatoon for work, consider having a weather plan. A weather plan can include:
- A safe place to stay in the city with a friend or relative
- An emergency kit for your all your vehicles
- Ensure your car has winter tires, especially if you travel often on the highway
- Before venturing on the highway, ensure your cell phone is fully charged
Being prepared for inclement weather and always ensuring your car’s lights are working properly, is the best way to avoid both a costly deductible and dangerous road conditions. Keep an eye out for wildlife, especially at dawn and dusk, and ensure someone always knows you’re traveling and the route you are taking. If you’re a driver, we think you should also consider an AutoPak add-on to your basic coverage. This adds extra liability insurance, lowers your deductible and provides coverage for theft, window damage, and more.
Liability claims due to injury on your business or home property
During the winter months, it is important that you work fast to clear snow and ice from your property to avoid accidents and liability claims. Liability insurance is available to you, but you can avoid injury in the first place through prompt maintenance and care. If you have a home, business, or rental property, always ensure that you have the following on hand:
- Good quality shovel, ice breaking tool, and an outdoor broom
- De-icer, salt, or sand for your stairs and sidewalks
- Caretaker or snow removal service for large areas such as parking lots
ATV and Snowmobile insurance
Winter sports are a great way to get out and make the most of the snow, but you must ensure that you have insured your ATV and/or snowmobiles. While registration is not required/available for ATV’s, they do need to be insured with a $200,000 (min) liability policy before you can ride them in public areas. You must register your snowmobile before you can ride it on public roads (where allowed), ditches, other highway rights of way, provincial parks, Crown land, designated snowmobile trails, or on rivers or lakes. Insurance may provide –depending on the coverage purchased, coverage for damage to your atv or sled, and also Third Party Liability. Talk to us today about the available insurance types for all your leisure vehicles, including boats, RTVs, and motorcycles. Always make sure that you ride safely:
- It is illegal to operate any vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Ensure you understand signs and pay close attention to indications of buried hazards
- All minors without a valid license must complete an ATV training course, or be supervised by an adult with a valid driver’s license
- Any person operating or riding as a passenger on an ATV is required to wear a helmet and appropriate eye protection at all times
Practice vehicle safety with your winter fun. Always follow the law and travel with caution especially when on or near highways.
With Kessler, you are covered
Even when we are safe, accidents can happen. Ensure your home, auto, and business insurance is up to date and appropriate for your lifestyle. Contact us today to talk about your current insurance, and any additions that you should add.