5 Common Home Insurance Claims in Alberta

White room interior decor with burning hand-made candle and bouquet of fresh roses on table, luxury home decorations in daylight closeup.

There are plenty of reasons why a home insurance claim can happen including an accident, bad weather, poor maintenance, or a criminal act. In any case, the best way to lessen your chance of having to make a claim is to be aware of the risks and take the necessary precautions to protect your home. Here are 5 common causes of home insurance claims in Alberta:

  1. Fires started by fire.
  2. Hail damage.
  3. Burst pipes.
  4. Theft.
  5. Barbeque fires.

Below, we’ll discuss these in a little more detail. Plus, we have a few ways you can prevent these common claims.

1. A fire started by candles.

You might not think much of your little decorative candle, but in reality, they can pose a massive hazard to your home. It can be easy to forget to extinguish a candle before leaving a room or going to sleep. Candles are easy to knock over – by pets, by kids, and even by you. If one is left lit and unsupervised, you might be surprised at the damages that can result. To avoid this sort of threat, be sure to avoid lighting candles in your bedroom or near curtains. Always extinguish a candle before going to sleep or leaving the room it is in. Finally, if a candle is becoming shorter than two or three inches, dispose of it and replace it. You should also ensure that the candle is held in a proper receptacle.

2. Hail damage.

Hail storms tend to be a common occurrence in Alberta. We even have “hail alley,” which stretches from High River north to Edmonton. It’s no surprise hail damage is one of the most common causes of home insurance claims in Alberta. Summer storms cause more costly losses in this province than in any other in Canada. Damage resulting from hail affects roofs, siding, and windows. It can also damage outdoor furniture and structures like decks and sheds.

You can help prevent or mitigate hail damage to your roof by installing protective roofing. Exterior materials such as brick and stucco also bear the brunt of hail far better than normal siding. Shuttered windows can also help protect your home if you deal with hail and wind regularly.

3. Burst Pipes

A burst pipe is often caused by the pipe freezing. This is generally caused by extremely low temperatures and weather fluctuations. A burst pipe is a very common cause of home insurance claims in Alberta and it’s one of the largest causes of water damage, as well. A burst pipe can damage your belongings, floor, drywall, and even your wall studs. It can also occur on an upper floor, leading to more damage as water travels downwards.

To prevent burst pipes, ensure your pipes are well insulated. You can wrap them in special tape. You can also install insulation to your attic and any other area where your pipes are left more exposed. Keeping your home’s thermostat at 12C or warmer will also help. You can also drip taps to help keep water moving. This will discharge pressure and prevent them from erupting. Keep your garage and outside doors closed shut.

4. Theft

There is an increasing number of home insurance claims thanks to theft and burglary. Deterrents are effective – theives often go for the easiest targets. Make sure your windows are closed and your doors locked (including the garage). Fences, lighting, cameras, and signs all act as deterrents. Alarm systems are also a good idea, as long as they’re turned on. You can get discounts from many home insurance providers for having security on your home. Talk to your broker for more info.

5. Barbecue Fires

Grease and fat, both highly flammable, can build up at the bottom of a grill and spark a flame. If this should happen and spread to other regions of your property, you could be faced with significant damage. There are ways to prevent this, however. Make sure your grill is well maintained and cleaned every use. This helps prevent the buildup of any flammable material. It’s also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher or baking soda near the barbeque so you can stop a fire before it gets out of hand.

While these are only preventative measures or means to mitigate damage to your home, not everything can be anticipated. Accidents happen. That’s why home insurance is key. Your broker can provide more information on how you can protect your home and your loved ones from these common causes of home insurance claims in Alberta.