Many Canadians are already experiencing challenging weather conditions with snow and sub-zero cold. These freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on homes, causing pipes to freeze and ice damming. Water is the most common cause of damage and accounts for 50% of home insurance claims costs. And although home insurance policies cover accidental damage resulting from a burst water pipe, a leaking dishwasher or an overflowing bathtub, a recent Desjardins survey reveals that 50% of respondents do not know what types of water damage is covered. When asked if their home was ever damaged by water, 26% say yes but most (43%) said they don't know how to prevent water damage to their home.
Increase in claims
With more frequent and severe weather incidents like heavy rain, lightning storms, hail, freezing-thawing cycles and flooding, there has been an increase in the number of water-related insurance claims across Canada, says Desjardins. When asked if they feel weather severity has increased in frequency in the last 10 years, 75% of respondents believe that's true, with 58% indicating they are worried about climate change impacting their personal safety or safety of their property.
Tech solutions can mitigate damage
"As one of Canada's leading property and casualty insurers, we understand the level of stress people can experience because of water damage. Lost or damaged valuables and family treasures cannot be replaced. This is why we focus on innovation to prevent and reduce the frequency and severity of claims and, above all else, to bring peace of mind to our clients," says Alain Hade, Vice-President, Marketing and Member Client Experience at Desjardins Insurance.
Alert is an innovative prevention programme from Desjardins offered to home insurance policyholders. It comes with a free water and freeze detector and, if the unexpected happens, like a burst pipe or leaking toilet, clients get an alert on their smartphone and can act fast to limit the damage.
Radar will send policyholders an alert when there is a risk of severe weather, like a hail storm, heavy rain, high winds, a hurricane or tornado, within 500 metres of their specific addresses. Clients are alerted by push notification via SMS or email as a warning that can help them protect their property.
These programmes from Desjardins give policyholders prevention and awareness tools to help limit the damage caused by water and freezing.
Links to additional resources for policyholders include:
- Tips and tools to prevent water damage
- More information on Radar
- More information on Alert
- About Desjardins's flood coverage for Canadians
About the Survey
The online survey, conducted in March 2018, polled 3,020 respondents of driving age across Canada.