As a region North America is prone to tornadoes and extreme weather. As per weather data the US experiences more tornadoes than Canada. In Canada alone, there are about 80 tornadoes every year.
The provinces most susceptible to tornadoes in Canada are Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the interior of British Columbia. In Alberta alone, on an average there are 15 tornadoes every year and the peak season is between late June and mid August.
Take warning signs seriously
Even when they are small, tornadoes can cause extensive damage. They can uproot trees, break down houses, and destroy personal property, sheds, and swimming pools, and damage vehicles. Due to this reason, it is a good idea to identify the warning signs of a tornado and ensure that you have home insurance Alberta to provide relief in case damages occur. Warning signs can be:
– A tornado is preceded by severe thunderstorms. Often there is frequent thunder and lightning.
– The sky becomes dark and there are green or yellow clouds.
– A tornado has a rumbling sound that lasts longer than the clap of ordinary thunder.
– It has a shape of a funnel cloud and is accompanied by heavy rain or hail.
– There is a cloud of debris.
– Sometimes there is heavy hail but no rain.
Ensure that your home insurance Alberta policy covers tornadoes
Home insurance policies in Canada provide protection against tornadoes. Damage caused by tornadoes is classified as “wind damage” and covers your home and all your belongings inside your home. However, it usually does not cover damage to things outside your home such as trees, bushes, antennas, and satellite dishes that is caused by wind.
The degree of coverage is not uniform and varies not only from policy to policy, but also from company to company. Some insurance companies treat wind insurance as a named peril. Say for instance you have opted for a named-perils policy form; you need to check the list of covered perils in wording booklet of your policy to verify whether wind damage is covered.
In case you have opted for a comprehensive coverage, then by default you are covered for all risks as long as they are not mentioned in the list of exclusions. Here again you need to check if your list of exclusions to be sure. Most likely, you would be covered.
Insurance against windstorms
Alberta also experiences windstorms from time to time. Windstorms are storms that are characterized by high speed winds or violent gusts that are very strong and cause damage to trees and buildings. Even the structure of your buildings could get affected.
For instance shingles could get lifted, windows and doors could get blown out, furniture could get thrown around and get damaged and glass could get broken or cracked. There is also risk of tree branches and fully grown trees falling on the building and damaging it.
However, you need not worry because as long as your home insurance Alberta covers wind damage, then it means that tornadoes and windstorms are included in the cover.
Protecting your home against windstorms
Nevertheless, it is still a good idea to protect your home in the face of an impending windstorm. Below are a few things that you can do:
– Keep the roof of your house in good shape
Maintain the roof of your house. In case shingles are worn out, then repair them because they can either fall apart, or get blown away during a windstorm.
– Assess the expected life of the roof
Determine the condition of your roof and make an assessment of its expected life. If it is in poor condition, or near the end of its expected life, then home insurance Alberta will limit coverage to the depreciated value of the roof, rather than its replacement cost.
– Trim the trees and maintain the landscape
Important is to ensure that trees don’t get unshapely and unstable. Therefore, it is important to keep them trimmed and to remove dead branches from them.
– Secure your loose furniture pieces
If you have loose furniture lying in your patio or balcony, then it is best to secure them to avoid the chances of getting them blown away and damaging someone else’s property, or injuring someone.
Protecting your home from winter storms
Winter storms are also common in Alberta and bring with them snow, rain, and ice causing significant damage to your home and property. It makes sense to seek home insurance Alberta to provide coverage against below-mentioned risks:
– Damage from fallen trees
Your home is covered for damages caused by falling trees. In winter trees become brittle in sub-zero temperature. Hence they fall down when there is a winter storm.
– Damage from ice dams
Sometimes ice dams are formed on the roof of your house and if unchecked, then the water trapped behind an ice dam can seep through the roof causing damage to the structure of the building. While your home insurance Alberta typically includes some type of water damage coverage, it may or may not include damage caused by ice dams. In some cases, this cover is in the form of an add-on.
– Protection from melting snow
Homes in Alberta get flooded when the snow begins to melt. This flooding is known as overland flooding and typically not covered in home insurance Alberta. Homeowners, therefore take coverage as an add-on. In the recent past due to incidents of flooding, insurers have started providing cover against this risk.
– Protection from slip and fall incidents
After winter storms are over, roads and walkways become slippery and even though one might shovel, salt and sand these surfaces, there is always the possibility of someone falling on them and getting injured. This is where liability coverage of home insurance policy helps.
Preparing for winter storms
If there is an impending winter storm approaching then it is better to prepare for it.
– You should stock up on groceries and provisions for at least a week.
– Prepare an emergency kit with basic medical supplies.
– Adjust your refrigerator and freezer so that food remains colder for a longer period.
– Fill your car with petrol or diesel.
– Ensure that your home has a working fire/ carbon mono oxide detector.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your home and your belongings are well-protected against tornadoes, wind storms and winter storms.