Your home insurance has likely been on your mind lately. A lot of media attention has been paid to rate increases and changes to coverage. You might wonder why these changes are happening and how it will affect you. Don’t hesitate to call your BrokerLink broker to discuss your coverage or continue reading to find out more.
The main reason property insurance is changing can also be found in the headlines. We’re experiencing more frequent catastrophic weather events than ever before. Hail, rain, wind storms and tornados are causing more damage across the country. In fact, insured damage from these types of events has increased 650% over the past six years to reach $1.19 billion in 2012. Just one 2012 hail storm in Alberta produced $520 million worth of claims alone.
This trend of increasing weather disasters shows no signs of stopping and is getting worse each year. This year, floods in Southern Alberta and the Greater Toronto Area set records for the devastation caused. The June flooding in Alberta is estimated to cost $1.7 billion in insured damages, making it the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history. Just a few days after those floods, the Toronto region was hit with flooding of its own, resulting in $850 million worth of damages – the largest in the province’s history.
Not only are Canadians dealing with more frequent natural disasters, but the effects of these events are amplified by aging municipal infrastructures. Many cities and towns were designed and built years before urbanization and climate change. More people opted to living in the city, placing a greater load on utility systems, such as electrical grids and sewer systems. With this increased demand placed on the infrastructure, it doesn’t take a major weather event to cause damage. Regular weather has resulted in thousands of claims for sewer back-up and water damage.
The majority of these damages occur in the basements of homes across the country. More and more homeowners are investing thousands of dollars to finish their basements and increase the living space in their homes. Basements are no longer used for storage or unused items. Now, they are filled with high-end entertainment systems, exercise equipment, wine cellars and other big-ticket items. These possessions, along with the construction materials used to develop the basement, can be costly to replace if damage occurs.
As weather and changing homeowner trends are expected to continue in the future, there will be more of a strain on insurance providers and homeowners alike. This is why you’re hearing a lot of talk about rate increases and coverage limits. Your home is likely your most important financial asset and we want to make sure it’s properly protected.
Protection doesn’t just mean insurance coverage. We encourage customers to take a good look at the risks facing their property. Do you live near a river? Is your area frequently hit with hail? Do you have a finished basement? There are preventative measures you can take to make sure your home is protected against future losses. Not only can you eliminate or reduce possible future claims, but you could also qualify for discounts on your insurance policy.
We encourage you to get in touch with your BrokerLink broker to discuss your insurance options. We can explain what’s happening with your home insurance, give you tips on protecting your home, and shop around to find coverage to fit your needs. It’s our job to make sure you’re satisfied, finding the most appropriate coverage at the best possible price.