Monday, November 14, 2011

Natural Disaster at 123 Mainstreet, Ottawa - Millions Impacted …. More on the Six O’Clock News

I was recently reading an article called Floods, fires and fiascos – a homeowner’s primer in the Times Colonist. The first line of the article really hit home for me, “When people think of disasters, they generally think of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods.” You are likely never going to see the headline in my title, but the disasters that happen everyday, have no less impact for the individuals where disaster strikes. It takes over their life and has huge effects on their living arrangements and quality of life! Being insurance Brokers, we deal with it every day. People’s lives are truly turned upside down when any disaster happens to them, whether it be a major fire or flood, or something more minor. I personally experienced this when I went to my basement to find water seeping up from under my laminate flooring. Believe me when I tell you that despite knowing more about the insurance claims process than the general public, it was no walk in the park.

The point in mentioning this is that most people think it can never happen to them. Hopefully you are right, but just in case, please do the following things:
  • Take precautions so you are more prepared if it does happen (ex. Know where your water shut off valves are)
  • Take precautions to try to avoid or minimize the impact of the disaster (ex. Going on vacation in the winter? Have someone competent check on your home every day, or shut off the main water valve and drain the pipes before leaving.)
  • Read and understand your insurance policy. Not everything is covered. The last time you want to find that out is when you call to make a claim, especially if it could have been covered if you had asked. Talk to your insurance broker, they work for you. We can explain and answer questions, but need clients to take an interest in it before the disaster has happened.