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2014-01-09
The Science of Ice Quakes

The Science of Frost Quakes

A series of explosion-like sounds rattled residents of the GTA over the Christmas break, left many wondering what this phenomena may be.  Geologists say the booms were a phenomenon commonly known as an ice quake, frost quake, or cryoseism. It's caused by water that sinks into the soil and bedrock where it freezes and expands, causing an explosive popping sound that feels like a mild earthquake.


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U.S. polar vortex sets record low temps, kills 21


The arctic blast that created a deep freeze across North America this week eased its grip on much of Canada and the U.S. Wednesday, with winds calming and the weather warming slightly a day after temperature records — some more than a century-old — shattered up and down the Eastern Seaboard.    read more


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Insurance lessons from the Alberta flood

 

The Alberta flood catastrophe was a rude awakening in more ways than one.

It made it very clear that Canada isn’t immune to disaster. Watching the water rush into whole neighbourhoods, wash out bridges and turn roads into rivers made things pretty real.

 It also shone a big, bright spotlight on the fact that there is a lot of confusion around insurance coverage.

Sadly, the fact that overland flooding was not covered by their home insurance policies came as a devastating surprise to many. This is not news you want to hear when you are knee-deep in floodwater.

 In weeks following the flood, we also saw situations where one homeowner was covered for their property damage while a next-door neighbour with similar damage wasn’t …not pretty.

 There are some important insurance “lessons” to be learned from the flood disaster. Here are some important facts that homeowners should know:

  • Every insurance company is different, and each home insurance policy is unique. Many people were shocked to learn that not all insurance companies offer the same product or service. Unlike auto insurance, home insurance policies aren’t standardized. Different companies vary on the types of coverages they provide. That’s why it’s important to consider more than price when shopping for a policy.

  • Insurance isn’t a catch-all. Insurance covers a lot, but not everything. Get crystal clear on what your policy covers. Your insurance representative can tell you about the limitations of your coverage and any exclusions.

  • Sewer back-up coverage isn’t automatically included on your policy. Most people can buy sewer-backup coverage to protect against direct loss or physical damage caused by the backing up or escape of water from a sewer, sump or septic tank.  But you have to buy it separately -- it isn’t automatically included in your policy. If you do buy this coverage, be sure to ask your insurance representative to tell you about all the conditions that could result in a denied claim.

Remember, taking time now to understand your insurance could save you heartache later!