Storm brewing, tornado warnings ahead. Looks like a typical eastern Ontario summer. Get your insurance claim ready.
Just Another Day
Sept. 21, 2018 was just another day in Ottawa-Gatineau, until six tornadoes ripped through Canada’s capital. Power lines downed, 40 homes flattened, several injured. Beleaguered Dunrobin on Ottawa’s western outskirts and Arlington Woods took the worst, tornados with wind speeds up to 265 kmh.
Beer Fridge Survives
Sledge hockey Paralympian Todd Nicholson was grateful his beer fridge and kids’ glass fishbowl survived intact. “We weren’t far from home, but when we finally did make it back to the house, the foundation is what’s left — we’ve pretty much lost everything,” he told CBC News (Sept. 22, 2018), standing amid his home’s remains a day later.
Deck Chairs Take a Flyer
Camden East shared its own tense moments two years later when a 130 kmh tornado slammed into town on a rainy August afternoon. The lightening fast, seconds-long windstorm knocked out trees, ripped off shingles and took a municipal hall’s roof with it before exiting as quickly as it arrived. Scott Jones discovered deck chairs really can fly. “Then I looked out my front window and watched these trees implode. It was insane.” (Kingston Whig-Standard, Aug. 2, 2020)
Who Needs Insurance?
You need insurance. It seems obvious, but believe it or not some Ontarians don’t have even basic home owner or renters’ insurance. No one is required to buy home insurance in Canada, but mortgage lenders require it to protect their investment.
Covering Your Liabilities
It’s easy to forget about your liabilities when you live in a tight-knit neighbourhood or housing co-op. But what would you do if those airborne lawn chairs landed on the friendly, regular kind of guy next door? Home insurance covers you if your mail deliverer, courier or neighbour gets hurt in your home or on your property. Best part: you may be blocks or even a province away and still be covered by your home owner policy.
Who Pays Condo Damages
Condo owners beware. Not only will you need condo insurance for your unit contents, clothing and appliances, but don’t forget the common spaces. Your strata fees could take a hit if the strata council is negligent in maintaining those icy sidewalks in winter. Then there’s the storage locker and parking spot. Shocked condo owners everywhere have found themselves being sued by a thief who gets injured breaking into their home or storage unit or making off with their bicycle. It never hurts to have personal liability coverage either, just in case a visitor slips on your expensive Tibetan wool rug.
Insurance Keeps Going Up and Up
Insurance costs do go up all the time. Fraud, severe weather from climate change, vandalism and property theft can make insurance premiums seem like an extravagance. Maybe you just won’t bother? We can’t recommend it.
Protecting Your Assets is Cheap
Home insurance in Ontario is cheap by comparison to rebuilding or repairing your home, being sued by a landlord for leaving a pot on the stove or replacing your precious collectibles and a lifetime of family photos. The average home owner pays $104 a month or $1,250 a year and renters about a third of that. It’s cheap protection against fires, windstorm, floods or human catastrophes.
Bringing Insurance Costs in Line
Increasing your deductible, given the likelihood you’ll only rarely file a claim, or installing security cameras or sprinklers can keep costs more in line with your budget. You may be over insured — many families are — or claim a discount if you turn 55 or stop smoking. Take advantage of deals for members of associations or college alumni. It could be worth your while.
Don’t Outwit Yourself
Thrifty you opted for basic or named perils insurance. It’s a bargain compared to comprehensive coverage for your home and contents or broad coverage, the in-between option. Don’t outwit yourself by leaving out riders for expensive, hard to replace items like antique jewelery, cameras, glassware or your rare stamp collection. It’s funny how something you rarely think of can be so irreplaceable.
Proving Your Insurance Loss
What to do if you lose property to a thief, windstorm or vandalism? Contact your insurance agency with as many details as you can. Email or drop off photos and an itemized list of stolen or damaged items. If you’re making a claim for human-caused damages like theft or vandalism, witness statements can help. Your insurance claims adjuster will give you a proof of loss form to make your claim. Now the waiting begins.
Get a Sworn Statement of Insurance Claim
Get your sworn proof of loss or statement of insurance claim signed by an Axess Law Ontario commissioner of oaths. Licensed commissioners view declarations online and e-sign your statement to make it legally valid. Meet in person at our Ottawa, Toronto, Scarborough, Vaughan, Etobicoke, Mississauga Winston Churchill or Mississauga Heartland law offices. Online video conference appointments can be made 7 days a week, day or evening, by dialing 1-877-522-9377 or in Greater Toronto 647-479-0118 or using our online booking form.
Click here to learn more about Axess Law’s commissioner of oaths services.
Photo by Roland Steinmann|Pixabay.