These days it feels like we regularly hear about significant weather events, from intense rain storms with hail to tornados. Climate change is impacting our weather system and this is having an impact on all our lives, and on the insurance industry.
In 2020, severe weather caused $2.4 billion in insured damage.1 From snowstorms in Ontario and Quebec to flooding in Fort McMurray to a major hailstorm in Calgary, 2020 was a year of intense storms and the expectation is that extreme weather conditions will continue to escalate.
“Severe weather is projected to increase over the next 40 years.”
— Insurance Bureau of Canada, Telling The Weather Story
As the weather becomes more volatile and unpredictable, homeowners are wondering if their home insurance covers severe weather damage and if their homes are adequately protected. In this article, we answer the question ‘Does My Home Insurance Cover Severe Weather?’ and shed some light on what coverage is included in your policy.
What types of weather events are included in my home insurance policy?
Dumfries’ home insurance policies provide homeowners with protection against a wide range of weather-related events, including:
- Extreme winds
- And more
Additional coverages, like earthquake protection, are also available and may be relevant depending on the location of your home.
While there may be particular exclusions (like outdoor antenna) that are not covered, you can rest assured that your home itself has coverage for the types of significant weather events listed above.
Why does my home insurance premium increase even when I haven’t made a claim?
The truth is that damaging storms and weather events are on the rise and every year the number of claims increases. Across Canada, extreme weather damage has cost almost $10 billion since 1998, and claim payouts from severe weather have doubled every five to 10 years since the 1980s.2
As homeowners and business owners submit an ever increasing number of claims to insurers across the country, the costs to pay for the rebuilding and repairing of structures are rising exponentially. The top 10 highest loss years on record in Canada are all from the period 1998 to 2020 with total losses into the billions of dollars each year.3
Extreme weather events, like wildfires, also cause massive damage to forests, and this impacts wood supply. As many have recently experienced, the costs of wood and other rebuilding materials have risen dramatically.4
At the end of the day, costs continue to increase and the pool of funds required to assist homeowners in effectively resolving their claims by rebuilding or repairing their homes needs to increase as well. This can result in premium increases, even if you haven’t had a claim.
How can I protect my home from severe weather?
In a nutshell, be prepared. Consider the following to help protect your home and your family:
- Monitor weather alerts via Environment Canada or your trusted online source. Pay special attention to the four types of weather alerts (Special Weather Statements, Advisory, Watch, Warning) and respond accordingly. You can check nationwide alerts here: https://weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html
- Ensure that your roof and eavestrough are examined and maintained.
- Develop and practice a family emergency plan so you will all know what safety steps to take and what to do to keep your family safe.
- Secure outdoor items around the exterior of your home. This could include patio furniture, gardening items, sports equipment, decorative items, and more. These items can become projectiles in high winds, causing significant damage and even injury.
- Keep an eye on your trees to ensure that none have weak or damaged branches that should be cut for safety. Weakened limbs and trees often come down in storms, causing damage to vehicles and other property. They can also lead to power shortages that damage your personal property.
By staying on top of weather alerts, ensuring that your home is secure, and that you have the protection you need, you can rest assured that you are protected. The team at Dumfries Mutual Insurance is here to help. If you have any questions about your home coverage, contact us.
Our team strives to present accurate information at the time of publication. In the interests of time and space, complete wordings are not included. If you have specific questions about our insurance products, please contact an agent or broker. The information in this article is non-binding to the company.