26 April 2012 – Personal Injury Law News on LawFuel.com – Ottawa Injury lawyers, Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP are commencing a public awareness campaign for the travelling public in what remains of the heating season. The issue is with respect to the freezing of water pipes, in a home, arising from a failed furnace, thermostat, or otherwise.
There is a popular misconception among homeowners and tenants alike that the only arrangements needed to be made when they are away from their homes for more than a few days is that arrangements be made for someone to look in on the home every few days. The unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of home-owners insurance policies require that arrangements are made for a responsible person to enter and look around the house every day when the owner or tenant is away for more than four consecutive days.
As March break approaches and people are travelling it is of profound importance that homeowners and tenants review their insurance policies to determine what is required of them when they travel in the heating season. Standard policies require, to maintain coverage for losses arising from frozen pipes, that a responsible person has looked in on a home on a daily basis or alternatively that the water in the home was shut off at the main valve into the house.
The consequence of failing to meet this obligation is that the home insurer could deny coverage for any losses sustained by the homeowner or tenant. Cases brought to Court involving claims where homeowners have failed to comply strictly with the terms of their policy have been dismissed. Courts have held that the requirements of the insurance policy are clear and unambiguous and therefore a failure to make appropriate arrangements results in a failed claim for losses sustained.
At Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP we have been involved in several cases where homeowners have had pipes burst in their homes while they were away resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in damages. Some of these cases have resulted in the homeowner having to bear the costs of the loss entirely themselves as a result of failing to comply with the conditions of their policy.
It is most likely that your homeowner’s policy contains the same type of requirements. Before you travel, check your insurance policy or call your broker to clarify what your obligations are to maintain proper insurance coverage. Failing this precaution you could come home to a very unwelcome surprise.
For more information contact
Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP
Personal Injury Lawyers
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1V8