Life in Canada has its perks, but energy bills certainly isn't one of them. Every year Canadian residents pay through their teeth just to keep their homes warm, but high energy bills seem to just come with the territory when you live this far North. What if there was a way to reduce some of those costs without sacrificing comfort? These 6 simple tips can, over time, help to reduce your winter and year round energy costs.
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If you've been following the latest updates to home insurance in Alberta the past couple of months, you've heard mention of Backwater Valves and Backflow Prevention. There are a number of new and existing home insurance discounts that require you you have this device. Not to mention that it just might save your basement one day.
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Saying that it's been a tough couple of years for property owners in our province is a bit of an understatement at this point. In fact, Alberta receives the largest distribution of catastrophes in Canada - 62% of Canada's monetary property losses happened in Alberta in 2012.
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Economical Insurance announced some changes to their property insurance policies last week that may seem minor when compared to the reactions to Alberta's severe weather claims that we've seen from other insurance companies. But, while these changes aren't laden with over the top rate increases, they are important for Economical policy holders to review.
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Did you know that the city of Edmonton will send qualified personnel out to your house to spend an hour with you reviewing possible measures you can take to help avoid flooding in your house? They do and it's free of charge. While they're there, you can ask them what to do to make sure that you qualify for their backwater valve subsidy program as well.
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Choosing a home security system can be a daunting task. It’s a purchase many make only once or twice in a lifetime, so it’s not uncommon for you to be unfamiliar with the process. You know you want to protect your family and home but just exactly what you need to do that might be a mystery. Don’t let the unknown scare you, here are some quick tips to help you get the right security system for your home.
Picking the Right Company
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Ice dams are typically caused by uneven heat loss from your home in wintry conditions such as snow, heat melting the snow, and cold temperatures re-freezing melted snow. The heat is typically caused by inadequate attic insulation or from warm air seeping into the attic from living spaces below. This causes the roof to warm above freezing temperature, which allows snow to melt and then re-freeze before it reaches the roof’s edge. If this cycle repeats over and over, an ice dam forms and water collects behind it. As the water pools, it backs up under your roofing material and can cause expensive water damage.
Here are our top 6 things you can do to prevent Ice Dams from forming on your roof this spring!
- Keep the attic well ventilated. One-third square metre of free ventilation opening is recommended for every 45 square metres of attic space.
- Seal air leaks to prevent warm air leakage from plumbing vents, junction boxes from ceiling fixtures and attic hatches.
- Keep the attic floor well insulated (between 40 and 56 centimetres of insulation) to minimize the amount of heat rising into the attic from below.
- Clean leaves and other debris from gutters before the first snow. This will help prevent ice buildup in your gutters. Also consider using an ice shield under your shingles when your house is getting re-roofed.
- Use a roof rake to clear the snow above the gutter. Clear about one metre above the gutter to allow water to drain freely into the gutter.
- Consider hiring an energy specialist to evaluate the performance of your home, and recommend some things you can do to minimize energy waste.
Too Late? Already Have Ice Dams?
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While it may seem like a viable option to lower your property insurance coverage to save some money, this may end up costing you big in the long run. If your policy limits are too low, the cost to fix your home may exceed your limits, even if your home’s value has lessened recently.
Property Insurance Considerations
Though housing prices are declining, home repair costs are escalating. Rebuilding is often more expensive because demolition and removal of damaged property are pricey. Workers must also work around your existing landscape, power lines and other structures. This can make rebuilding difficult and limiting.
Limits on your Homeowners Insurance are established to protect your family in the event that something would go wrong (fire, destruction to your property due to weather, etc.). In an effort to remain protected and save money, consider the following savings tips:
- Increase your credit score by paying your bills on time, avoiding writing bad checks, etc. Insurance companies believe that having a poor credit score means that you are not responsible and are consequently a greater risk to insure.
- Avoid filing nuisance claims. Use your coverage to protect against losses that you cannot recover by yourself and take care of minor incidents on your own.
- Increase your deductible to lower your monthly premium. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), increasing your deductible from $250 to $500 can cut costs by 12 per cent. If you increase to a $1,000 deductible, you could save as much as 25 per cent or 30 per cent if you increase up to a $2,500 deductible.
- Consider buying multiple lines of coverage from the same carrier to incur discounts, such as your Homeowners Insurance, Automobile Insurance, Life Insurance, etc.
Safety = Savings Tip
Another way to save on Homeowners Insurance: install a security system and deadbolt locks. These safety measures reduce the likelihood that intruders will be able to successfully enter your home, which would result in an insurance claim.
You can count on us for all your home matters, including Homeowners and Renters Insurance.
Or call us for more information on our affordable coverage options:
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