Canvas shelters: 14 fast facts

Each winter, insurers receive many home and auto insurance claims resulting from faulty installation or poor maintenance of canvas shelters.

If you rent or own one, follow the advice in La Capitale’s blog to reduce the risks!

  1. Before buying or renting a canvas shelter, check to see if your municipality permits the installation of temporary car shelters. Most municipalities do allow their citizens to install a canvas shelter, under certain conditions. Make sure you comply with the regulations to avoid problems.
  2. Your shelter should be installed solidly enough to withstand the harshest winter conditions, including high winds, accumulations of snow, freezing rain, etc.
  3. The anchors usually included with brand new canvas shelters are not designed for use in high wind areas or paving stones. They may also be impossible to install in certain parking areas. They can generally be used on gravel, asphalt or grass, if you live in an area where high winds are a rare occurrence.
  4. Permanent anchors are recommended for high wind areas. They also provide a good alternative for those who are not able to install the anchors included with the shelter in their parking area. They should ideally be installed by an expert for safety.
  5. Adding sandbags on the outer sides of the canvas or the installation of anti-wind straps, along with the anchors, is a simple and effective way to make your shelter extra secure.
  6. Don’t use concrete blocks. Yes, you can find them in all hardware stores but, no, you shouldn’t use them! Concrete blocks can shift, so they are not suitable for securing a canvas shelter well enough to withstand winter gusts.
  7. Inspect your shelter frequently to ensure that the bolts, anchors and structure are still holding up.
  8. In the event of a storm or strong wind warning issued by Environment Canada, make sure the doors are firmly closed.
  9. To minimize wear and tear and reduce the risk of collapse, clear the snow from your shelter after each accumulation.
  10. Always clear the snow off a canvas shelter from the outside, using a broom or roof snow removal tool. For heavier accumulations, it’s recommended that you remove a small amount of snow at a time, alternating sides, to minimize risk to the stability of your structure.
  11. When putting away the canvas and structure, make sure that they are clean and dry, and store them in an area that is dry, ventilated and protected from the sun and elements. By doing so, you will increase their lifespan and reduce the risk of unpleasant surprises next fall.
  12. If your shelter is damaged because of strong winds or a heavy snow accumulation, your home insurance should cover the damage.
  13. If your shelter causes damage to your car, your auto insurance may cover the damage.
  14. If your shelter causes damage to a neighbour’s property or injury to the neighbour, the applicable insurance coverage depends on the circumstances.
    • If the neighbour’s property damage is due to an uncontrollable event, such as strong winds, and your shelter was adequately installed and maintained, the neighbour’s insurance will provide compensation.
    • If it can be demonstrated that the damage is due to your negligence with regard to maintenance or installation of the shelter, your neighbour could sue you for compensation. In that case, the civil liability insurance included with your home insurance will cover the damage.

Take advantage of the partnership with La Capitale!

If you’re a DuProprio buyer or seller, ask La Capitale General Insurance for a quote. You’ll receive an additional 5% discount, and you could save up to $425 by bundling your home, auto and leisure vehicle insurance.

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