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Would you like to know about the leak in your fridge before it becomes a flood in your basement?

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Would you like to know about the leak in your fridge before it becomes a flood in your basement?
OMA Insurance
Sign up for the Alert prevention program from The Personal and get the ALERT water and freeze detector free.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada water damage is the primary cause of home insurance losses in Canada1 and accounts for close to half of all home insurance claims. The primary cause is global warming and extreme weather events: heavier rainfall and snowfall, more frequent ice storms, and deep freezes followed by quick thaws. Very often, heavy rainfall can overload the municipal sewer systems and cause sewer backups. Or water can pool around a house and seep in through the foundation. They all take a toll on our homes.2

Other common causes of water damage include ruptured appliance hoses, leaky icemaker water lines, leaky pipes, leaky roofs and improperly sealed windows. A good rule of thumb is that you should replace water supply hoses on appliances every five to seven years. ​

A crack in a 1/8 inch pipe can leak 250 gallons of water in a day.3

Keep in mind, though, that while home insurance may cover the water damage to the ceiling, floor, walls or furniture, it won't pay for replacing the worn-out pipe or the leaky roof (unless the roof was damaged by a covered peril, such as hail or a fallen tree).

If water damage happens to you, call your insurance company first, even before calling a damage clean-up company. Most insurers have a 24-hour emergency service, and they can give you the advice you need to see you through the cleanup and claims process.​

Why should you call you​r insurer first?

  • Your insurer has the experience and knowledge to tell you what to do right away so the damage doesn't get worse.
  • Your insurer will direct you to qualified professionals who can cleanup. Insurers have their own commercial partners, selected on the quality and speed of their service. You don't have to choose the supplier your insurer recommends, but it's to your advantage.​

What to do in case of ​water damage

  • Turn off the main shut-off valve, if you haven't already.
  • Remove and mop up as much water as possible, ideally within the first 24 hours.
  • Clean up the water with a wet/dry vacuum cleaner.
  • Use a dehumidifier (commonly used in basements) and air out the room with an electric fan.
  • Don't overheat the room. Keep it at a normal temperature for the time of year.
  • Wipe off wet surfaces and dry out fabrics.
  • Remove wet cushions from couches and armchairs and stand them on end so they can dry evenly.
  • Sponge-dry wet carpets and rugs with clean, white towels to avoid colour transfer.
  • Move furniture and other items to a dry area or raise them up on Styrofoam blocks or panels.
  • Take photos of the damage.
  • Save invoices and supporting documents of your expenses.
  • If possible, don't throw out damaged items right away. If they pose a health hazard, put them outside.​

Alert: Help protect your home from potential water damage. React quickly to minimize water damage through real-time mobile notifications of water leaks or freezing risks.​

Alert is an innovative prevention program available on The Personal App. Once you have signed up, order your first water and freeze detector for FREE. It will be mailed to you with instructions on how to sync it to your smartphone. Receive alerts on your smartphone in real-time if a water leak or a risk of freezing is detected at your home. Additional detectors are available for purchase through the app, at a discounted price.

How does Alert work?

  1. Download The Personal App to your smartphone.
  2. Open the app to order your detector.
  3. Follow the installation steps. (Requires an at-home Wi-Fi connection. Data plan is not required.)
  4. Now you're ready to receive alerts in case of water damage or freezing in your home.
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​Work estima​​te

When you get a supplier's work estimate, read it through carefully. Make sure you understand all the steps and that it includes: the employees' hourly rate, the estimated number of days to complete the work, any extra products or services (e.g., ventilators, furniture storage) and the costs.


1  IBC Facts 2016.

2 Content of this article was provided by The Personal.

3   Water Damage Statistics | Arguello, Hope and Associates, Web. 17 Jan. 2014.