After last winter’s huge insurance claims due mainly to the ice storm that hit over the holidays, Toronto homeowners are getting slammed by their insurance companies in a big way. From updated roofing to costly drain cleaning in Toronto, here are some of the issues insurance customers are dealing with. If you fail to implement them you risk much higher premiums on renewal and possible rejection of any claims that you make.

New Roofing

Policyholders whose roofs need attention may be required to replace or even remodel the roof. Flat roofs typically attract higher premiums, and outdated shingles and roofs that require repair are a sure-fire way to get a rain or snow damage claim rejected. If your roof blows off in a storm or collapses under the weight of snow and ice, your replacement costs could be much higher than the maintenance work needed.

Price ticket for a new roof: Upwards of $10,000, depending on the size of your home.

Drain Problems

Flooded basements don’t happen just because you’ve neglected your maintenance. One homeowner found his basement flooded as a result of a city drain surge, and his insurance company sent out an emergency cleaning service. After tearing down the walls of the finished basement, the company refused to pay for the restoration work, claiming it had fulfilled its obligations for drain cleaning in Toronto.

Price ticket for restoring the finished basement: $7,000 in 2014.

Regular Inspections

Part of the reason for flooding is often delinquent water and drainage pipes, and these can be prevented much of the time by having regular inspections. Scheduled maintenance is also useful, but while insurance companies can request this there’s no reason for them to cover the costs. They can refuse to compensate for damages that could have been allayed by having an inspection, however. If you’ve recently renewed your insurance policy, check the small print to make sure it doesn’t stipulate an expiry period for plumbing inspections.

Price ticket for a camera inspection: Between $100 and $200 unless you have a maintenance agreement with your local plumber, in which case inspections may be free.

Upgraded Flood Equipment

One of the primary reasons for basement flooding is the failure of equipment such as your backwater valve and sump pump. In some cases, policyholders have seen their insurance claims rejected because of a lack of maintenance or outdated equipment. In addition to scheduling regular drain cleaning in Toronto, it’s wise to check your policy to determine how often you need to service or replace your equipment to stay ahead of the game.

Price ticket for new equipment: $150 to $500, depending on the location of the pump and the type of equipment you need.

Think Of It As an Investment

All these costs might seem exorbitant, but the alternative can be the cost of restoring your home and replacing your belongings after a flood. And that’s on top of the insurance premiums you are already paying. So check your policy’s small print and make sure you’re in compliance, and try to think of the expenditure as an investment in the value of your home.