Nearly 40 per cent of all home insurance claims are the result of water damage, Aviva Canada data shows

Nearly 40 per cent of all home insurance claims are the result of water 
damage, Aviva Canada data shows 
Top Ten Tips to Protect Your Home Against Water Damage This Spring 
TORONTO, April 10, 2013 /CNW/ - With a heavy spring thaw underway, Canadians 
are seeking various ways to protect their homes this season. Approximately 40 
per cent of all home insurance claims are the result of water damage, 
according to data from Aviva Canada Inc., one of the country's leading 
providers of home, auto, leisure and business insurance. 
The data also shows that the average cost of water damage claims rose 117%, 
from $7,192 in 2002 to over $15,500 in 2012, a year in which the company paid 
out over $111 million in property water damage claims. Last year's spring thaw 
was unusually uneventful, due to the dry winter that preceded it but with a 
more normal snow-filled winter winding down, Canadians should be more 
proactive in 2013. 
"With so many Canadians making a significant investment in their basements as 
more of a comfortable living space than a grungy storage room, a greater value 
in belongings in a high-risk area of the home has led to an increase in number 
of water damage claims," said Wayne Ross, Vice President of Property Claims 
for Aviva Canada. "We strongly encourage homeowners to take matters into their 
own hands in order to protect their homes." 
The top ten steps Canadians should take this spring to safeguard their homes 
and possessions from water damage are: 
1. Inspect your roof: To prevent leaks, get the roof inspected every 
 few years to check the condition of the shingles and replace when 
  2. Clear out gutters: Prevent blockages, such as leaves and other 
 debris that could force water into your home.
  3. Install a backwater valve: These valves close automatically if the 
 sewer backs up and can prevent thousands of dollars in damage.
  4. Scope out your sump pump: If your basement has one, examine it and 
 conduct a test run if it doesn't get used frequently.
  5. Divert snow away from your home: Ensure that snow is removed from 
 around your home, its foundation, doors and basement windows.
  6. Check your foundation: As ice melts, if you notice water pooling 
 in certain areas, clear the liquid away from your home.
  7. Ensure your window wells are debris-free: Clear any accumulated 
 garbage or leaves to allow water to drain properly.
  8. Ensure street catch basins are not blocked: These prevent snow 
 from building up on the street level, protecting water from 
 seeping towards your property.
  9. Protect your valuables: If your home is prone to water damage, 
 consider moving valuables away from high-risk areas, such as the 
 basement, or place items on high shelves or risers.
 10. Start right: If you are finishing your basement, make sure to seal 
 your exterior walls. 
Without taking such precautions, homeowners could put their homes and family 
belongings at great risk. A provincial breakdown of the increase in the 
average cost of water damage claims from 2002 to 2012 is included below. The 
data highlights that BC and Ontario have seen the highest percentage in the 
average cost of a water damage claim over the last ten years.  
|                         |% increase in average cost of water |
|Province *               |   damage claim from 2002 to 2012   |
|British Columbia         |                        154%        |
|Ontario                  |                        136%        |
|Alberta                  |                        109%        |
|Newfoundland and Labrador|                        107%        |
|Quebec                   |                         84%        |
|Nova Scotia              |                         61%        |
|New Brunswick            |                         50%        |
|National Average         |                        117%        |
* Saskatchewan, Manitoba, PEI and the territories were not broken out due to 
small number of claims. 
Consumers are encouraged to speak with their insurance broker or insurer to 
understand what types of water damage are covered in their policy. For 
examples, many Canadians are unaware that overland flooding, such as water 
swells from nearby rivers or lakes is not covered under standard home 
insurance policies and that this coverage is not widely available. 
About Aviva Canada 
Aviva Canada is one of the leading Property and Casualty insurance groups in 
Canada providing home, automobile, recreational vehicle, group and business 
insurance to more than three million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of 
UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 3,000 employees, 25 locations 
and 1,700 independent broker partners. Aviva Canada and its employees invest 
in positive change including through the Aviva Community Fund and Eva's 
Initiatives, its partner in Aviva's global Street to School program to help 
homeless and other at-risk youth reach their potential. 
For more information visit, our blog or our Twitter, Facebook 
and LinkedIn pages. 
Media Contact: Glenn Cooper Senior Manager, Public Relations and Social 
Media Aviva Canada Inc. Desk: (416) 288-2685 Mobile: (416) 523-3225  
Heather MacDonald Account Coordinator Kaiser Lachance Communications Desk: 
(647) 725-2520 ext. 207 Mobile: (647) 400-0538 
SOURCE: Aviva Canada Inc. 
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CO: Aviva Canada Inc.
ST: Ontario
-0- Apr/10/2013 13:00 GMT
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