This post will answer some of the question you may have regarding overland water protection. Reading this will give you a better understanding of overland water coverage and why exactly you should have it. So let’s begin with the basics:
What is Overland Water Protection?
Overland Water Protection is a new coverage that was created to protect you against damages caused by ground water that enters the home through the foundation, basement floors or walls, and/or sewer lines. Overland water protection will cover damages caused by fresh water floods such as overflow from lakes, rivers or any other body of fresh water. Furthermore, any accumulation of water due to heavy rainfall, spring run off or any natural overflow of a dam, dike or levee.
What type of damages are not Covered?
Overland water damage must be caused by a weather-related event. Continuous or repeated seepage of water into your dwelling which has been happening over a period of time is not covered. Continuous or repeated seepage of water into your dwelling is a maintenance problem and should be fixed before something worse occurs. An example of these damages (not covered) would be a leaky pipe or a crack in the foundation. Additional damages that are not covered would be the intentional breaches of man made structures such as dams, dikes or levees is excluded unless it was a result of an official flood control measure. Salt water floods and storm surges are not covered.
On a second note, Overland Water Protection is not the same as flood insurance. It is similar however; a flood can refer to coastal flooding from salt water waves, tides, tsunamis and storms. If you remember, salt water floods are not covered by Overland Water Protection.
If You Have Sewer Backup Coverage. Why do You need Overland Water Protection?
Sewer backup covers you for the backing up of the sewer line but not if it backs up in the time preceding, during or after a flood or if overland water enters your dwelling from any other entry point. Since June 2013, insurance companies have changed their policies to exclude sewer backup when it occurs before, during or after a flood. You must have both sewer backup and overland water protection to be adequately covered in the event of a fresh water flood.
Should You Get Overland Water Protection if You Don’t Live Near a Body of Water or Live on High Ground?
Overland Water damage can be caused from other factors than just bodies of water. It can be caused by spring thaw (snow and frozen grounds), snow melt runoff and heavy rains. Furthermore, gutters and drains can overflow due to the causes just mentioned, resulting in water entering the home through the foundation, underground level doors and any other entry point.
Additionally, if you live on the higher floors of an apartment and the building is damaged by overland water and you need to be evacuated, additional living expense such as the cost of temporarily relocating, will be covered by Overland Water Protection. Furthermore, for those tenants who store valuables in the basement, coverage is needed for the stored belongings.
If You Have a Septic Tank, Do You Need Overland Water Protection?
This question is controversial. You may need Overland Water Protection if there are heavy rains and the septic field gets saturated. There may be no where for the water to go and it can accumulate and enter your dwelling. In the end, it is your call.
Can anyone be eligible for Overland Water Protection?
Not all properties and locations are eligible. However, most homes including your primary, seasonal and secondary homes, condos, and rented properties are eligible. Overland Water Protection is not available for mobile homes and a few seasonal properties. Furthermore, coverage is only available in Alberta and Ontario at the moment but may soon be introduced for properties in other Canadian provinces.
High risk flood areas or homes with reverse driveways will not be eligible for Overland Water Damage. Also properties within 100 metres of a river or other flowing body of water do not qualify. Waterfront lake properties qualify provided they meet these requirement, and if that lake is completely enclosed, the 100 metre rule does not apply.
Overland Water Protection is actually a form of flood insurance, which has never been available in Canada before. Overland Water can be defined as overflow coming from bodies of water that builds up due to heavy precipitation or volumes of melting snow in the spring.
Other important details:
- Flood insurance won’t cover water damage resulting from the planned release of a dam, dike or levee, unless this action was taken as a flood control measure.
- Any water that originated in the home are not covered. This could be leaks from a burst pipe for example.
- Overland Water Protection is designed to offer insurance for weather-related events only.
Overland Water Protection covers damages cause by fresh water only. Salt water does not qualify.
If you have any more questions regarding this coverage please feel free to call us.