FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montréal (QC), April 10, 2018 – This spring, as house hunters go about searching for their dream homes, they may be overlooking critical checklist items to consider before making an offer. And as snow melts away, current homeowners may be planning regular maintenance jobs but overlooking critical fixes that could help avoid costly issues down the road. A new survey by Léger, conducted on behalf of Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, revealed that a quarter (25 per cent) of Quebec homeowners say they experienced considerable issues within the first five years of purchasing their home, indicating that homebuyers may be misinformed when it comes to what to look for and ask about while shopping for a new property. Of those, seven per cent faced damages between $1,500 and $5,000 and five per cent ran into damages exceeding $10,000 in repairs, according to the survey.
“Regardless of whether you’re shopping for a new home or renovating your current property, assessing the home and its surroundings for potential issues is important,” says André Parra, Regional Claims Director at Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. “Being aware of what to look out for will help you properly prepare and potentially fix pre-existing problems before they become bigger, more costly issues.”
Lessons Learned: Homeowners’ Hindsight is 20/20
In Quebec, four in ten homeowners (40 per cent) surveyed say they would go about things differently if they could redo their home-buying experience. Among them, 18 per cent would hire a building inspector or be more cautious in looking for potential damages or risk factors (17 per cent).
Before buying their property, nearly half of Quebec homeowners (45 per cent) looked for information or inquired on their own, about the risks of sewer backup or water infiltration.
Poll findings also showed that property seekers could be doing more research and background checks prior to purchase:
• Only a third (35 per cent) verified if the property is located in a flood zone, near a large body of freshwater or a former swampy ground
• A third (32 per cent) inquired about previous damage or insurance claims on their property as a result of flooding or fire
• A quarter of homeowners (26 per cent) inquired if there had ever been any complaints, class actions or lawsuits against the contractor who built their property
• One in five homeowners (20 per cent) researched how their property could be impacted by urban development around it
Before committing to a new home or project, homebuyers and owners are encouraged to do their research and work with an expert to complete a home inspection or assessment prior to purchase, maintenance or renovations. See infographic available at www.goodhandsadvice.ca.
Which Areas of the Home Should be Inspected?
According to the Allstate Insurance Safe Homeowners Study, which analyzed Allstate household incident claims data from 2017, the most frequent and costly home insurance claim in Quebec are due to water damage, followed by damage caused by wind or hail, with fire-related claims landing in third place.
Water damage now accounts for the most frequent and costly home insurance claims in Quebec. Water claims due to burst pipes are the most frequent (34 per cent) according to Allstate data, followed by toilet and shower leaks (25 per cent). Other sources of water damage come from washing machine leak (7 per cent) and hot water tank leak (7 per cent). The main impact of wind and hail related damage (nearly half of the claims) is water infiltration through the roof (47 per cent), followed by falling shingles or siding (23 per cent).
Guide for New Homeowners and House Hunters
When considering buying a property, look beyond esthetics and design layout. Research potential outside factors and pay special attention to your surroundings while on-site to avoid surprises down the road. The Allstate Insurance Safe Homeowners Study includes a Guide for New Homeowners and House Hunters (available at www.goodhandsadvice.ca) that provides helpful tips and recommendations for potential buyers to keep in mind while on the hunt for their next home, and for homeowners to refer to when making regular maintenance decisions.
About the Léger Survey
The survey was conducted by Léger between February 20, 2018 and February 28, 2018 via omnibus online survey among a representative sample of 618 Quebec homeowners aged 18 and over. Using Statistics Canada data, results are weighted based on gender, age, regional, language spoken at home, education and children present in the household to make the sample representative of the entire population under study. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of 618 respondents would have a margin of error of ±3.9%, 19 times out of 20 (95 per cent).
About the Allstate Insurance Safe Homeowners Study
Allstate Canada conducted an in-depth analysis of the company’s property claims data to determine the most frequent cause of damages in Quebec households. The study is released annually and compares data over a 10-year period of claims experience. Households claims frequency refers to a percentage of homes insured by Allstate Canada involved in a property damage that resulted in a claim.
To ensure the data provides a realistic outlook for what is happening in the province and highlight any trends, claims information from all communities are analyzed in charts looking at 10 years of insured property data split between seven types of general perils. Each peril is then divided in up to 20 possible causes of loss.
Claims data is limited to damages for which there was a payout. The data ranks frequency of damage, not severity of loss. The study itself does not include personally identifying information of Allstate customers.
About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of the country's leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products, serving Canadians since 1953. The company strives to keep its customers in "Good Hands®" as well as its employees, and is proud to be named a Best Employer in Canada for the sixth consecutive year. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as MADD Canada, United Way, and the Old Brewery Mission. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit www.allstate.ca. For safety tips and advice, visit www.goodhandsadvice.ca.
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Senior Communications Specialist
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada