Flooding & YOUR HOME
In today's world of extreme weather events, flooding and water related can cost billions of dollars in catastrophic losses. Flooding and sewer backup damage is costly for homeowners, businesses, municipalities and insurance companies.
Historically in Canada, homeowners insurance policies haven't covered loss or damage caused by overland flood damage which occurs when rivers overflow onto dry land. However, since flooding caused more than $4 billion in uninsured losses in Alberta in 2013 more than three-fourths of Canada's property insurance market are now covering overland flooding.
As of June 2018, sixteen insurers representing 77% of the market now offer overland flood coverage. However, it is still a concern as overland flood insurance is not available at affordable rates, mainly because they live in areas deemed by insurers to be at a high risk of flooding.
There are ways to prepare for water-related damage, from ensuring that important documents aren't stored in your basement to installing a sump pump. Keep a current and detailed home inventory. If your neighborhood is prone to flooding take precautions throughout your home and property. Put together a disaster safety kit, and create a 72-hour emergency preparedness plan for your family. Most insurers have a 24-hour claims service, so be sure to have that information on hand.
Be sure to talk to your insurance representative to ensure you have proper coverage. Things to be aware of:
Damage to your home caused by the sudden and accidental bursting of pipes is usually covered by home insurance policies.
Water damage in a basement that backs up through sewers, floor drains, toilets and showers may be covered if your policy covers sewer backup.
Damage to homes caused by hail or wind is usually covered. This includes damage caused by flying debris or falling branches or trees, or damage caused by water entering openings caused by wind or hail.
In some circumstances homeowners who must leave their home due to insurable damage are usually entitled to additional living expenses, so be sure you talk to your insurance representative to understand the coverage you purchased.