You're aware of many factors that can reduce or increase your premium rates on your home insurance. It may have never crossed your mind that climate change is becoming a factor for insurance companies. Whether you accept the theory of climate change or you're a total skeptic, weather events in this part of the world are leading insurers to take notice.
Eastern Canada is no stranger to hurricanes that barrel up the Atlantic coastline. These usually have an impact on the Maritime provinces, along with Newfoundland and Labrador. However, more unusual events, such as Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, can occur when a storm travels much further inland. Hurricane Sandy brought heavy rain, strong winds, hail and even snow to areas of Quebec and Ontario. That meant some $100 million in property damage in those provinces.
Other particularly noteworthy Canada hurricanes in the 21st century included Juan in 2003, causing $200 million in property damage, and Igor in 2010 at $200 million in damage.
Many homeowners who are at risk of flooded property don't buy supplemental flood insurance because it's expensive. Flooded waterways, high waves and excessive rainwater often cause some of the worst storm damage, including during hurricanes.
If your region has been hit by unusual flooding in the past several years, you can be sure that insurance companies are closely monitoring the situation. You should be doing so as well and deciding whether to add flood insurance to your policy.
What Can You Do Next?
If you live in an area that appears increasingly vulnerable to serious weather events, it's never too early to address potential issues with your homeowners insurance policy. Talk with your insurance broker about any upcoming changes your insurer is likely to make in rates or in coverage. Learn whether your policy has any exclusions that would prevent you from collecting on certain types of property damage claims.
If you're not completely satisfied with your current home insurance, get information about policies provided by other carriers and the pricing. You'll be able to make a smart decision about whether to stay with your current provider or make a change.
In addition, take steps to protect your property from potential storm damage. Have a good sump pump installed and invest in a generator so you can keep that pump running if the power goes out. Have a professional tree service evaluate your trees and remove any large branches that are at significant risk of breaking and damaging buildings or vehicles on your property.