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Homeowner Information

Going away for the holidays?

Updated: Apr 10 13
 Created: Dec 31 69

If you plan to be away for more than a few days, following these few simple steps could prevent an unpleasant homecoming:
  • arrange for someone to check that everything is in good condition while you are away, especially during the heating season.
  • make sure to turn off your water! Check that your washing machine taps are off. You should also shut off your outside taps during the winter months.
  • washing machine: check hoses for bulging, cracking, fraying and leaks around hose ends; replace the hose if a problem is found
  • notify your broker if your home / rented dwelling becomes vacant or unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days.

Water Damage Prevention

Updated: Apr 10 13
 Created: Dec 31 69

Due to a high number of water damage claims across the insurance industry, water damage deductibles are on the rise. Here are a few tips to avoid any loss of property due to water damage.

Ensure the home is checked during absences, especially through the heating season.

1) Sewer backup
  • installation of a backwater valve can help prevent sewage from backing up into the home. Backwater valves should be installed by a professional plumber and allow access for regular maintenance.
  • disconnect any downspouts connected to the municipal sewer system.
  • make sure downspouts extend at least 6 feet (where possible) from basement walls and drain away from the house.
2) Sump Pump Failure
  • install a reliable backup source (battery or generator) so the sump pump works in the event of a power outage
  • make sure to replace batteries every 2-3 years
  • follow manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance.
3) Toilets, tubs and sinks
  • replace aging fixtures, tubs and toilets
  • never leave running taps unattended.
4) Appliance Leaks
  • replace plastic connection lines with steel braided hoses
  • have hot water tank checked by provider (if rented)
  • avoid running appliances when no one is home.

Oil Heating

Updated: Apr 10 13
 Created: Dec 31 69

Common causes of oil spills
  • pinhole leaks from interior or exterior corrosion
  • damaged fuel lines or filters from falling objects, snow or ice
  • leaking pump, atomizer or fuel oil filter
  • valves or fuel lines burst from pressurization during the filling process when a vent pipe is blocked
  • oil tank topples as a result of an unstable base or footing
  • oil tank is overfilled at the time of delivery
  • vehicle impact to outside oil tank
Preventative Measures
  • be aware of the smell of oil. Contact your heating contractor immediately if you smell the odour of fuel oil
  • check to ensure that your oil tank is approved by Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC)
  • never buy or install used oil tanks; never transfer oil from an old tank to a new tank, as water and contaminates can also be transferred
  • oil tanks should be located at least 100ft. from the nearest well
  • tanks located beside driveways should be protected with concrete posts
  • ice shields are available to protect your tank and lines from falling snow or ice. If your tank is at risk have a shield installed
  • oil tank should rest on a solid, non-combustible, level surface
  • oil tanks should not be touching a wall, resting on word or wood supports, or raised on stacked blocks
  • have your furnace and oil tank serviced yearly by a qualified heating contractor
  • if your tank has reached its expiry date, consider replacing the tank with a new one. Below are approved oil tank manufacturers
ZCL Fibreglass Tank 1-800-661-8265
Granby Ecogaurd & Protect 20 1800-839-2070
Tank Tub 1800-645-8827
Roth Double Wall Tank 1-800-969-7684

Replacement Value vs. Market Value

Updated: Apr 10 13
 Created: Dec 31 69

Replacement cost is very different from market value. Insurance premiums are not based on the current resale value of your home, but on the cost to rebuild and / or replace it. Replacement cost factors can include material costs, fuel and energy costs, cost and availability of skilled labour, debris removal, site accessibility, winter heating of the construction site and changing construction codes. Market value factors look at desirability (location), land value and market value of surrounding homes.  These factors have no direct association to your home's replacement cost.

It is very important that your home be insured to its accurate replacement value. The purpose of Insurance To Value (ITV) is to determine the replacement value of your home if it was severely damaged or destroyed. It is a good idea to re-evalute your home's replacement cost every 5 years to reflect any changes in the cost of construction, building materials and labour in your region. In addition, new replacement cost figures should be established after any renovations, upgrades or alterations to your home.

When was the last time you had your house properly evaluated?