Albertans who have lived anywhere else in Canada know they get more hail in Alberta than the rest of Canada. But one particular storm in August that pelted Calgary with hail cost insurers over $550 million in claims against homeowner's insurance. This, coupled with the rising trend of extreme weather, could make homeowner's insurance a little more expensive in Alberta in coming years.
Protecting Your Roof
Hail will usually attack your roof first. One thing to look for when purchasing new roof shingles is that they are manufactured to acceptable Canadian standards. Shingles manufactured to American standards such as a UL rating may not hold up under tougher Canadian weather conditions. The Canadian Shingle Asphalt Manufacturer's Association gives a helpful list of standards to look for here. You'll also want to ask questions about impact tests and how the shingles hold up under the tough conditions in Alberta. It's worth paying a little more for shingles up front to protect your home and to keep your insurance premiums from increasing if you have to make a claim against your home insurance.
Unless you are a roofer yourself, roofing is typically not a "do-it-yourself" project.
We suggest you hire a roofer that comes highly recommended through friends and professional colleagues in your community if you need roofing work done, and save yourself the many headaches you're in store for with a poorly done DIY job.
Minimizing Water Damage
If you have a basement that is prone to flooding or any other kind of water damage, store household items in another area of the home, or install a shelving system to raise them off the floor. If you can afford it, bring in a general contractor to quote you on measures you can take to minimize or eliminate potential water damage in your basement, particularly if you are in an area that is known for flooding. Keep in mind that most home insurance doesn't protect against flooding, so talk to your broker if this is a concern to see what you can do to protect your home. Water damage is an optional rider on many policies, and you need to let your broker know that this is a concern for you so they can add it to your policy.
Protecting Your Insurance Rates
After taking proactive measures to protect your house, you'll want to take the same proactive measures with your insurance. An insurance broker is an advocate on your behalf if the industry does drive up insurance rates. They'll help you shop around for the best rates and coverage on the market, and they know what to ask about and who to talk to in order to get what you need. Insurance is supposed to alleviate your concerns, not be a cause for worry, and there is no better person than an insurance broker to keep the process stress-free.
First Foundation is the go-to insurance brokerage firm in Alberta. Our offices in Calgary and Edmonton are staffed with homeowners just like you who understand your special concerns. We would love to work with you and assist you in securing an insurance policy that protects you against all the elements - even rising insurance costs.