Owning a home in Toronto is an expensive proposition. Not only are property values exceptionally high, but homeowners need to be vigilant about keeping property in a state of good repair. Toronto winters, an older housing stock, and aging infrastructure are all factors that can contribute to damage to your home.
Fortunately, most (but not all) of the common causes of damage to your home are covered by home insurance policies. If your home has been damaged in some way, check your insurance policy to make sure the loss was caused by an insured peril (specified act or cause) before making a claim.
For major claims, working with an insurance lawyer is a must. Talk to an insurance lawyer about home insurance claims made easy in Toronto. The following are the most likely causes of damage to your home, and you can take steps to prevent them.
Every year, there are around 6,000 residential fires across Ontario, ranging in severity from minor to total losses. The most common causes of fire damage in Toronto are:
- Heating appliances
- Christmas trees
Fire-related incidents always increase during the winter holidays, so be careful as Christmas approaches. One easy safety tip is to stick to an artificial Christmas tree. Artificial trees don’t dry out and are not as flammable as real trees.
Water can wreak havoc on a house and the belongings inside. Most insurance policies consider water damage to be the result of leaks or overflow from plumbing. Water damage is often only covered if it is NOT the result of the owner’s negligence or failure to provide good maintenance.
Water damage in Toronto homes can have multiple causes, including:
- Leaks caused by frozen and/or burst pipes;
- Overflow from sewage backups after extensive rainfall;
- Plumbing issues; or
- Animals creating vulnerabilities in the roof.
Toronto basement flooding is a major concern and often happens during periods of intense rainfall when the sewage system becomes overwhelmed. Stormwater can seep into your home and sewers can back up into your pipes causing extensive damage.
Flooding is becoming a greater risk across the country as the weather changes and more rainfall lands before cities can implement an action plan. Flooding is putting a strain on drainage infrastructure that often can’t keep up.
With a rise in the incidence of flooding in Toronto, you may want to see if you can add flood insurance to your policy.
Damage from Insects and Rodents
Insects and rodents can do a lot of harm to the structure of your home. Mice, rats, termites, and even raccoons can cause a wide variety of property damage. In addition to pest control, don’t forget to repair the damage done. Often rodents and insects can expose vulnerabilities that will become further damaged by the elements.
Earthquakes are rare in the Toronto area, but moderate ones do occur from time to time. While Torontonians are nowhere near the same risk as residents on the west coast, “earthquake” remains a commonly insured peril and can cause a lot of property damage.
Worried about potential property damage to your home? Give your property a quick examination and do what you can to prevent damage from fire, water, flooding, and pests.
You might be interested in reading, “Home Safety Tips for the Holidays“.