Reduce Risk By Ensuring Your Pathways Are Clear: Winter Home Insurance Tips

Bow Valley Insurance has been saving Canadians money on their insurance premiums since 1979. As insurance brokers we shop for the best rates and coverages for our clients from several insurance companies.

In addition to using the services of a brokerage firm like ours, there are also several other ways to save on home insurance. You may want to consider bundling your home and auto insurance policies for a discount, paying only one deductible in case of a claim that involves both the auto and the home policy.

With Calgary winter upon us, do your best to safeguard your home insurance policy from a claim. Take some simple measures against wintry conditions and cold weather accident threats.

Snow Removal — It’s Not Just The Law, It’s a Good Idea

If you didn’t already know, Calgary’s Street Bylaw 20M88 requires you, the homeowner, to clear all ice and snow from city owned sidewalks that are adjacent to your property. Within 24 hours of snow and/or ice being deposited, you must have your pathways clear or face compliance notices and possible fines from the authorities.

Accumulated snow and ice on your walks, steps, and even the public sidewalk, also exposes you to “occupier liability.” If a neighbour, mail carrier, or delivery person slips and injures him or herself on your walk, they could make a claim against your home insurance policy.

Safe and Sane Snow and Ice Removal

For some, it may be wise to employ a professional service to ensure your snow removal is completed properly. Shovelling snow and chipping ice can be a  highly strenuous activity.

It’s important to dress properly for snow removal. You want to be layered, and generate as little sweat as possible while working. Wear footwear that won’t numb your toes. If you feel yourself getting too cold, go inside and take a warming break.

The cold can even impair your judgement regarding safety, and make us do things like try to clear the discharge chute of a running snowblower with your hand.

Use snow removal equipment suited to your physical condition. There are various kinds of snow shovels and ice chippers on the market, not to mention salts and other deicing compounds. If it is getting harder for you to remove snow with a traditionally sized aluminum snow shovel, there are alternatives out there that allow you to lift less snow per attempt, or to push the snow like a bulldozer.

Don’t Forget About Your Car

With the temperatures regularly dropping below zero nowadays, it’s important that your vehicle(s) are ready for winter so that you don’t have a preventable claim against your car insurance.

Make sure you have tires are in good condition for driving in winter conditions. Check that you have good wipers and proper winter windshield washer fluid. Inspect all of the lights on your car, and when you are driving in inclement weather, be an even more defensive driver.

Actively limit your claims experience and be eligible for the lowest rates possible.