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How to avoid being "Gone with the Wind"

Guthrie Insurance

Your home is your castle. It's a place where, as monarch, you are responsible for rations (groceries), agriculture (gardening) and maintaining order (cleaning). One of your biggest duties is to protect your castle from such natural threats as severe winds.

SEVEN TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR CASTLE FROM STRONG WINDS:

- To optimize safety, install doors that have three or more hinges, a deadbolt security lock and a bolt at least 2.5 cm long.
- Anchor your door frames to the wall framing. Double doors should be secured with head and foot bolts.
- Cover your window glass with protective film that will not shatter if it breaks (Editors note - 3M available at Home Depot and others).
- Check your garage doors to see if they can resist high winds. Permanent wood or metal stiffeners can be installed to strengthen the door.
- Use shredded bark in your landscaping outside your home rather than gravel or rock.
- Trim your trees and shrubbery
- Remove weak branches and trees that could fall on your house.

And don't forget these insurance facts when it comes to wind damage:

- Most home and automobile insurance policies cover property damage caused by wind. However, due to the many different choices available to policyholders with regard to home insurance coverage, it is strongly recommended that policyholders who have incurred damage contact their insurer or broker as soon as possible to verify the extent of their coverage (Ed note - Suggest you contact well in advance, perhaps after reading this).

- Some losses, such as damage to outdoor swimming pools, for example, are not necessarily included in basic home insurance policies. Furthermore, trees and shrubs damaged by the wind are not usually covered.
- IBC would also like to remind policyholders that damage sustained by automotive vehicles is covered under car insurance policies if they have purchased "all risk" protection, "comprehensive" coverage or "specified perils" protection.

Finally, IBC also advises policyholders to keep all receipts and bills for expenses incurred due to wind damage and to take photographs or videotape footage of damaged property.

For more information on how to protect your home from severe winds, download the Tornado Flyer (click to open) from the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.

Be prepared. Disasters can strike at any time.

Source: IBC Insurance Bureau of Canada

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