Over 50% of all home insurance claims caused by water damage in 2013, Aviva Canada data shows

Over 50% of all home insurance claims caused by water damage in 2013, Aviva 
Canada data shows 
Top Ten Tips to Protect Your Home Against Water Damage This Spring 
TORONTO, March 25, 2014 /CNW/ - After the worst year for water damage claims 
in Canadian history, Aviva Canada Inc., one of the country's leading providers 
of home, auto, leisure and business insurance, is encouraging Canadians to 
take steps to protect their property this spring. 
"With last year's storms, water damage reached an all time high making up 51% 
of all Aviva Canada property claims," states Wayne Ross, Vice President of 
Property Claims for Aviva Canada. "The flooding in Alberta and Toronto 
certainly played a big part in the increase, but the general trend is upward. 
And as severe weather events are growing in frequency, we expect to see more 
situations like this in the future." 
Aviva Canada paid out a record of over $190 million in water damage claims in 
2013, a 69% increase versus 2012. If the 2013 Alberta and Toronto catastrophes 
were removed from the calculation, water damage would have still made up 40% 
of all property claims for Aviva Canada. The 40% is still a large portion of 
total property damage claims and illustrates the need to be aware of how to 
protect your property this spring with the winter melt underway. 
Data also shows that in 2013, the average cost of a water damage claim rose to 
$20,537, a 130% increase versus the $8,944 that the company experienced 10 
years earlier. Even with the flooding catastrophes removed, the figures have 
trended higher for a number of years. 
"The reasons for the upward trend are rather simple," commented Wayne Ross. 
"The increasing investment Canadians are putting into their basements, 
combined with more frequent severe weather events and an aging sewer system 
that is unable to deal with large amounts of water within a short time period, 
results in a lot of homes experiencing damage." 
Aviva Canada applauds the recent infrastructure investment announcements made 
by the Alberta and Manitoba governments and would love to see other provinces 
follow suit. 
And while an insurance policy is in place to protect against certain weather 
events, Canadians need to protect themselves against loss. 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. 
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. Slope right:Ensure that soil, walkways and patios slope away from
         the home to allow for proper drainage.
      6. Check your foundation:As ice melts, if you notice water pooling in
         certain areas, clear it 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 comparison in the 
average cost of water damage claims from 2003 versus 2013 is included below. 
The data highlights the increases we experienced in Alberta and Ontario, and 
also the trend that has taken place across the country over the last ten years.

Canadians are encouraged to reach out to their insurance broker to make sure 
they know the extent of their water damage coverage.

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 AvivaCanada.com, our blog or our Twitter, Facebook 
and LinkedIn pages.

SOURCE  Aviva Canada Inc. 
Media Contact: Glenn Cooper Senior Manager, Public Relations and Social 
Media Aviva Canada Inc. Desk: (416) 288-2685 Mobile: (416) 523-3225 
Image with caption: "Comparison of Average Cost of Water Damage Claims 2003 
vs. 2013 (CNW Group/Aviva Canada Inc.)". Image available at:  
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CO: Aviva Canada Inc.
ST: Ontario
-0- Mar/25/2014 13:00 GMT
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