Snow and ice storms: What you need to know and how to prepare

During the winter, many Canadians are impacted by harsh winter storms such as blizzards and freezing rain. These winter storms can cause significant damage to your home and can make driving conditions dangerous. 

Some steps you can take to prepare for winter snow and ice storms:

  • Assemble an emergency preparedness kit and make sure to replenish any missing items regularly. This kit should include water, non-perishable food, radio, flashlight, first aid kit and more. See a full list of items recommended by the Red Cross here.

  • Ensure you’ve taken the steps to winterize your vehicle, including installing winter tires and having a mechanic check that your car is operating properly. You should also keep items in your car to be prepared for winter storms, such as a windshield scraper, snow removal brush and an emergency supply kit.

  • Keep up to date on local weather forecasts and driving conditions so you can plan accordingly and avoid driving under harsh, dangerous conditions.

  • Protect your pipes from freezing to prevent damage to your home by adding additional insulation to pipes in unheated areas of your home.

Know what your insurance covers

It’s important to always read your insurance policies, so you know what coverage you have before you need it. Many disputes arise because consumers believe their insurance policy covers something, when it does not.

If you’re unsure if your insurance policy covers damage related to snow or ice storms, you can contact your insurer to have them confirm.

What to do if you suffered damage from a snow or ice related storm

Start a claim by contacting your insurance company. Make sure you include as much detail as possible about the damage.

If your insurance company is a GIO member, you can find out how to submit a claim or contact them in our member directory.

What to do if you are unhappy the results of your claim

If you’re unhappy with the results of your insurance claim or have questions about the process, GIO is here to help. We offer free, independent and impartial help with your home, auto and business insurance disputes. Find out how to submit a complaint.  

Additional resources to help you prepare:

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