After a challenging and unpredictable year, many of us are ready for a fresh start in 2021. And since COVID-19 has forced many of us to spend more time at home than ever before, it’s a good opportunity to make New Year’s resolutions to look after your home as well.
From maintenance and repairs to taking stock of what you own, here are 7 things you can do every year to care for your home from CDSPI Home & Auto Insurance* partner, The Personal.
1. Give your home an annual checkup
- Inspect all major systems: air conditioning units, gas appliances, sump pump, and water lines.
- Have your chimney cleaned and furnace inspected by a professional – or if there are lockdown restrictions in your area, wait for them to ease up before doing so.
- Check outdoor walkways, railings and the roof for damage.
- Replace caulking as needed.
- Clear out the eavestroughs.
- Clean the dryer vent.
2. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers are an easy, cost-effective way to protect your family and home. Test them monthly and replace alkaline batteries every year. Make sure you have a CSA-approved carbon monoxide detector on every floor in your home.
3. Re-evaluate your home security
Home security doesn’t have to be expensive! Your first line of defense is to keep doors and windows locked. You can also install motion-activated lights around entryways.
If you do invest in an alarm system, don’t forget to install alarms on doors and windows in “hidden” areas of the house that are dark or obscured by trees.
4. Update your emergency kit
Every home needs a disaster or emergency kit – essential supplies that can keep you going in the event of severe weather, an accident or a power outage.
Once a year, check your kit to ensure it has things like a first-aid kit, non-perishable food (and can opener), water, a working flashlight, a battery-powered radio, printed road maps, fresh batteries, warm blankets, and a whistle.
Plus, don’t forget to review or create an emergency plan with your family in the event of a fire, flood or tornado.
5. Create or update your home inventory
It’s a good idea to have an up-to-date inventory of your home’s contents, along with the replacement value. Having a written list means you can check that you’ve got enough insurance coverage. It can also make your life easier if you need to make a claim.
- Keep bills, receipts, warranties and instruction manuals for high-ticket items – these can serve as proof of ownership for an insurance claim.
- Store your records and receipts in a safe place, like a safety deposit box or a secure online option.
- Take photographs or video footage of valuables.
- When you do renovations that increase your home’s value, keep receipts and take photos.
- If you buy expensive furniture, art or jewellery, let us know so that you can make sure you’re covered.
6. Update your paperwork
Keeping all your household information in one handy place means you can find important documents when you need them. It can also make your life a lot simpler when it comes to selling the house.
Go through your insurance papers, repair receipts, and other important paperwork once a year and get rid of outdated documents. Keeping electronic copies is also a great idea. If you can, store important government documents such as tax information, birth certificates and passports in a fireproof box.
7. Review your insurance policy
Once a year, look over your homeowner’s policy to make sure it:
- Offers the coverage you need.
- Covers weather hazards specific to your region.
- Includes enough coverage for your valuables.
CDSPI Home Insurance offers you exclusive rates and customizable coverage. If your situation has changed recently, you may need to update your coverage. Call The Personal toll-free at 1.877.277.7230 to review your coverage.
*CDSPI Home & Auto Insurance is underwritten by The Personal Insurance Company and is distributed by CDSPI Advisory Services Inc. Home Insurance is not currently available to residents of Quebec.
This article is adapted and posted with permission from The Personal’s website: www.thepersonal.com