Survey: 56 percent of Canadians wrongly believe the government will cover earthquake damage

According to Natural Resources Canada, there were 195 earthquakes across Canada between August 1 and 25. While most of these earthquakes occurred in the West Coast, 18 percent occurred elsewhere in Canada. Of the seven earthquakes that were felt during this time period, five were in Central Canada, one was in the Prairie Provinces, and only one was in the West Coast.

"According to our recent survey, virtually all Canadians correctly assume that earthquakes can occur anywhere in the country," states Daniel Mirkovic, president of Vancouver-based Square One. "But, a majority wrongly believes the government will provide financial assistance for earthquake damage."

Square One used Google Consumer Surveys to ask Canadians four earthquake-related questions. A total of 593 people completed the survey between August 18 and 25. The survey revealed that:

  • 90 percent recognize that earthquakes can occur anywhere in Canada.
  • 56 percent believe the government will provide financial assistance to homeowners and renters for earthquake damage.
  • 30 percent are unaware that earthquake protection is automatically included in, or can be added to, home insurance
  • 46 percent have little confidence that home insurance companies would be able to pay covered claims resulting from a major earthquake.
  • Insurance companies buy catastrophe protection from reinsurance companies. This helps spread the risk (and cost) of disasters globally.

Mirkovic indicates, "There are some misconceptions that need to be addressed. For starters, the government will not provide financial assistance to cover damages from earthquakes." The provincial and territorial disaster financial assistance programs only cover damages due to uninsurable events, like overland flooding and groundwater seepage. Since earthquake damage is insurable, homeowners and renters are not eligible for assistance under the government programs.

Canadians should speak with their home insurance providers about earthquake protection. A few policies automatically include this protection, but most require that it be specifically added. The cost of earthquake insurance depends on the limit and deductible selected, as well as the home's location. Estimates from across the country for earthquake insurance on a $300,000 house and its contents are:


City

Annual premium

Toronto, ON

$15

Winnipeg, MB

$25

Montreal, QC

$178

Edmonton, AB

$284

Halifax, NS

$313

Vancouver, BC

$332

Richmond, BC

$515

While earthquake insurance can be pricey for those who own houses, Square One recommends it always be purchased on primary residences. It's simply not worth the risk of going without earthquake insurance. For those renting their homes, or living in apartments or condos, earthquake insurance usually ranges from $5 to $50 per year.

Many who don't buy earthquake protection have little to no confidence that home insurance companies will be able to pay covered claims resulting from a major event. The reality is that numerous earthquakes and other disasters occur around the world each year. Insurance companies factor earthquakes into their prices, building reserves to pay for resulting claims. Some of the other things that help ensure insurance companies are able to meet their commitments:

  • Insurance companies are heavily regulated by both provincial and federal governments. Among other things, these governmental bodies supervise the solvency of companies.
  • Insurance companies must be members of the Property and Casualty Insurance Compensation Corporation (PACICC). If an insurance company fails, PACICC will automatically respond to all valid claims for participating members. PACICC is similar to the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation, which protects savings in case a bank fails.

Square One recommends that all Canadians should take steps to prepare for an earthquake. Exploring earthquake insurance options should be one of those steps. To learn more about earthquake insurance, talk with an insurance provider or visit www.squareoneinsurance.ca/earthquake-insurance.

Tips on optimum air conditioner usage

Given our HOT summer temps, many are using an air conditioners in their homes. Here's important info to know to ensure your A/C is running at optimal operation.

An air conditioner controls and regulates humidity and temperature, and filters, cleans and re-circulates the air within a house. A unit that is too small will run continuously without sufficiently cooling the area. A unit that is too large will cool the area quickly and shut off before sufficiently removing moisture from the air.

In a split system (most commonly used for residential purposes), the compressor-condenser is located outside and the evaporator coils are located in the house either in the attic or inside the warm-air plenum of the furnace. The compressor-condenser is connected to the evaporator by two copper pipes – the smaller pipe is the liquid line which carries the high-pressure liquid refrigerant from the condenser to the expansion valve. The larger pipe, or suction line (which should be insulated), carries low-pressure gas from the evaporator coils to the compressor.

MAINTENANCE FOR A CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONER

  • Do not operate the system at temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
  • Do not operate unless the compressor has had power for at least 24 hours.
  • Do not locate the condenser coils in direct sunlight.
  • Clean the condenser coils at least once a season.
  • The unit should be placed on a level slab on grade or mounted level on the outside wall.
  • There should be a clearance of 137 centimetres (54 inches) above and 38 centimetres (15 inches) on all sides of the outside unit.
  • Clean the air filter every month during the cooling season.
  • The condensate drain should have a U-shaped trap (especially if connected directly to a waste pipe or floor drain).
  • Signs of rust and mineral deposits around the plenum may indicate a clogged condensate tray/drain or faulty installation.
  • Frost on a low-pressure line indicates a deficiency in refrigerant or dirty evaporator coils or insufficient air flow through the evaporator.

This information provided by Spruceview Inspection Services Ltd. – http://www.spruceviewinspections.com and facebook.com/spruceviewinspections -- serving northeast Alberta with home and commercial property inspections for more than 10 years. Bill Goodwin, Registered Home Inspector (RHI) -- a member of Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors -- www.cahpi.ca

Tips for cleaning and organizing your fridge

I personally know that once-in-a-while my refrigerator gets out of control. Old food can be left for weeks (yuck).

However there is help from our friends at unclutterer.com. Check out their tips for cleaning and organizing the fridge in your home.

Click on the link below to read more:

http://ow.ly/z9ktx

Things to know BEFORE choosing a paint colour

Elledecor.com has an excellent blog explaining the different paint types. A must read for anybody about to tackle a paint project in the near future.

For a direct link to this article, simply click on the link below:

http://ow.ly/yUTfv

Tips for organizing important home documents

As blogged on community.ally.com, it happens to all of us. We start searching through important documents for something specific and quickly realize we’ve managed to accumulate mounds of documents, receipts, forms, pamphlets, brochures and notes.

Keeping your financial documents in order is key to simplifying your life.  There are many different ways to organize important documents, however, the question remains – what documents should we keep on-hand at all times and NEVER throw away and which are ok to keep for a while and then toss out?

To read more, click on the link below:

http://ow.ly/yKv34

Tips for watering plants while on vacation

If your home is full of plants like ours, you will appreciate these tips on watering your plants while away on vacation.

Courtesy of Coldwell Banker, click on the link below to read:

http://ow.ly/ywt4B

Tips for winning a bidding war on a home

As blogged in CNN.com, in many hot housing markets, bidding wars have been breaking out on a regular basis and some house hunters are getting beaten out time and again.

But it's not always about who has the most money. Sellers will accept lower offers if it means less hassle.

To learn some tips to win that bidding war on the home of your dreams, click on the link below:

http://ow.ly/xYzrO

Doing a kitchen reno in the near future? Here is your guide

As blogged on SheKnows.com, homeowners make the decision to renovate a kitchen for many reasons — the kitchen may be outdated, they dislike the design made by a previous owner, they need more space, etc. But for whichever reason you had for renovating your kitchen, one simple idea comes to mind: "to minimize the bad and maximize the good." This quote, taken directly from the blog Manhattan Nest, is a great philosophy to keep in mind when designing and creating the kitchen of your dreams.

To read the rest of this blog, click on the link below:

http://ow.ly/xSTB2

5 simple DIY "green" home projects to celebrate World Environment Day

Tomorrow June 5 is World Environment Day. There are a number of things you can do at home to help the Earth and save money at the same time. However, many people shy away from “do it yourself” projects because they are concerned about the effort and skill needed to successfully complete the job. DIY home improvement does not have to be difficult. These five ideas are perfect weekend jobs that even newcomers can dig into.

As blogged on greenlivingideas.com, click on the link below for your green DIY projects for your home:

http://ow.ly/xFe8o

Step-by-step tips for installing a ceiling fan

As blogged on hippshelp.com, there is nothing worse than walking from the hot outdoors into the hot indoors – running the air conditioning during the late spring and summer months almost seems like a necessity to keep the home cool and comfortable. But, running window units and even central air can be expensive and inefficient. Installing ceiling fans throughout the home can often help circulate cool air and increase the energy efficiency of the home throughout the warmer seasons.

To get step-by-step instructions for installing a ceiling fan in your home, click on the link below:

http://ow.ly/xCAJn

Unscheduled Home Repairs: Are You Financially Prepared?

As blogged on www.fool.com, financial experts recommend that homeowners set aside from one to three percent of their home value every year to pay for routine maintenance and as a reserve fund for an emergency repair. For a $300,000 home, that means you should have savings of $3,000 to $9,000 that you can access for home projects. You can estimate how much you may need based on not only the current value of your home, but also the age and condition. Clearly, a new home can be less likely to need major repairs and replacements than an older home that has not been recently renovated.

To read more on this important topic, click on the link below:

http://ow.ly/xxhPU

Home energy saving tips

As blogged on dudesustainable.com, conserving energy is something all homeowners should try to do. Energy conservation can help to reduce power bills while also improving the environment. Conservation is not complex. There are several ways to conserve energy at home.

To read these tips, click on the link below:

http://ow.ly/xrhfw

5 ways homebuyers make real estate agents crazy

As blogged on realestate.aol.com, the process of buying a home can be long and challenging. It can be stressful for both buyers and their real estate agents. Through it all, it's helpful to understand that, though agents are there to support you, they can't be all things to every buyer. From time to time, a buyer can unintentionally make the buying process more difficult, much to the agent's frustration. Here are five ways buyers create stress and complications not only for their agents but for sellers and even themselves.

To read more, click on the link below:

http://ow.ly/xoyxC

6 Low-cost and easy ways to increase curb appeal to your home

If you can maximize your curb appeal to your home at little or no cost, why not go for it? Perhaps one of the easiest ways to increase the value of your home right before you put it up for sale.

Check out these six low-cost curb appeal upgrades as blogged on dailysavings.allyou.com. Click on the link below to read:

http://ow.ly/xmhsP

5 Awesome reasons to install a fire pit on your property

As blogged on theurbanhousewife.com, home improvement projects would be an awesome way to increase not just the beauty but also the value of your home. In major household overhaul projects, it would be necessary to have mini excavators which can help especially when digging is part of your project. One fine example of an addition that would be perfect for your yard is a fire pit which may or may not require some digging. These fire pits are not just perfect when the weather is chilly but it can be great for year-round family events. Here are some ideas on what you can do with fire pits to enhance your living space.

To read the rest of this blog, click on the link below:

http://ow.ly/xlViH

4 Things that homebuyers should never reveal when negotiating on a home

There are some common-sense things a homebuyer should never reveal while they are negotiating on a home. Keeping your cards close to your chest will only help you get the best deal possible.

Here are a few tips from a blog on realestate.aol.com. To read, simply click on the link below:

http://ow.ly/xiO3L

51 Budget backyard DIYs that are perfect for entertaining

As blogged on buzzfeed.com, we Canadians spend most of the winter months in our homes so when summer arrives we are ready to spend extra time outdoors.

Why not make your backyard an oasis for entertaining. Here are some great budget DIY suggestions to spruce up your summer enjoyment.

For photos and to read this blog, click on the link below:

http://ow.ly/xglwc

When your DIY home project needs to call an expert

As blogged on wisebread.com, what makes a project a good Do-it-yourself candidate? Low-risk, for one: making a collage isn’t going to implode your roof, and cutting up your old denim to make a quilt isn’t going to result in a trip to the emergency room. (Unless of course you forget to take the jeans off before starting…)

But some home projects just shouldn’t be attempted by anyone other than a professional. Don’t believe it? Just watch these crazy DIY fails.

To watch the videos and read more, click on the link below:

http://ow.ly/x6GCf

Step-by-step tips for building a vertical garden wall

I personally love vertical gardens as they add a nice piece of décor to any property. If you don’t have a green thumb like me, Home Depot has a great blog on how to build your own vertical wall garden with not much effort at all.

For photos and to read more, click on the link below:

http://ow.ly/x499z

11 unique ideas for decorating with flowers

As blogged on sasinteriors.net, Spring is here, finally right?!  After that horrific winter, we welcomed this new season with open arms.  Whether spring is drawn out or we jump right into Summer, it’s nice to break out of hibernation to smell the fresh air of the warmer season to come.

The first thought that comes to mind for me when I think of Spring is, flowers.  As the perennials are starting to peak their way through – it’s always interesting to see what will come up each year – I’ve started to think of how I can create simple, but unexpected flower displays and vignettes throughout the garden (and indoors too).

Let’s get ready to gush over some major inspiration for unique and unexpected ways to display + decorate with flowers…

To read more and see some great photos, click on the link below:

http://ow.ly/wVzZ3

Upcoming Events

Are you organizing or do you know of an upcoming event that would be of interest to Alberta home owners? Examples include tradeshows, farmer’s markets, homeowner seminars, etc.

Click here for a free job posting!

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