According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, water damage claims are consistently on the rise1 and it is important to us that you understand what type of water damage insurance coverage you have/need on your policy and what steps you can take to reduce your risk of water damage in your home.
Most standard residential insurance policies cover damage resulting from water damage in your home (e.g. damage to your contents from a burst pipe) but sewer back-up and overland water (water originating from outside of your home) are not included in the basic policy wording. These two types of insurance can often be purchased as add-ons to protect you in the event of damage to your home or contents as a result of sewer pipes backing up or overland water (originating from the abrupt overflow of natural or man-made bodies of water, excluding salt-water sources). The availability and cost of these endorsements are determined based on several factors determined by each individual insurance company. We strongly recommend that our clients contact us if you wish to discuss your current water damage coverage or inquire about increasing or adding this type of coverage to your policy.
In additional to obtaining the proper insurance coverage for your home, here are some tips from the IBC2 that can help you avoid costly and time-consuming spring thaw damage to your home:
Why it’s important to have sewer back-up and 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 the dwelling from any other entry point. You must have both sewer backup and overland water protection to be adequately covered in the event of a fresh water flood. It is also important to carry this coverage so that you are protected if external water damage results in having to leave your home, most basic policies include Additional Living Expense coverage, this section is only paid in the event of an insured peril. To clarify, this means that your policy must include coverage for the incident that forced you out of your home to benefit from the additional living expense coverage while you are temporarily displaced.
In closing, I would like to point out that one of the most frequent responses we have when discussing overland water coverage is “I don’t live next to a body of water, I don’t need it”. We at Rozon want you to be fully informed and understand that 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.
As always, we invite our clients to contact us if you have any questions or wish to update your policy coverage. If you aren’t a client of Rozon Insurance, we encourage you to contact our office for a no-obligation quotation, the experts at Rozon Insurance would be pleased for an opportunity to work with you to protect your home, car, farm or business and assess your individual insurance needs.
1: Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), Water damage, are you protected?http://assets.ibc.ca/Documents/Brochures/Water-Damage-on-the-Rise.pdf
2: IBC Top 10 tips reducing risk of water damage.http://www.ibc.ca/sk/disaster/spring-season#thaw