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New Flood Coverage Available!

More extreme weather in Ontario means more damage from flooding

Did you know that there has been a drastic increase in extreme weather events in recent years? In fact, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), extreme events that would only occur every 40 years, now happen every 6 years. These events combined with the aging storm drain infrastructures to result in more flooding in the affected areas. Also, in the past 50 years or so, there’s been a rising trend to finish our basements so when overland flooding or sewer backup does occur, there’s more damage to your home which may or may not be covered by a regular home insurance policy.

Traditionally, overland water coverage wasn’t offered in home insurance policies which were created to help community members recover from a house fire. As home and property insurance evolved to cover more losses than it excluded, provision for flood coverage was still considered too costly to warrant the risk. That is, until the 2013 floods in Alberta and Toronto which cost insurers $3.2 billion in claims payouts. After that, home and property insurers began developing forms of extended water coverage that were affordable for clients and were introduced in early 2016.

What exactly is extended water coverage?

Sewer backup coverage, which covers water that suddenly and accidentally backs up from the sewer or septic system and flows into your home, has been available as an added coverage for a while now. But, depending on where your house is located, you may be able to add additional provisions like Overland Water or Ground Water coverage.

What’s the difference? Overland Water coverage covers water that travels over land to reach your house. This includes lakes or rivers that overflow, heavy rain or rapid snow melt. Ground Water is water that seeps up from the ground and through your basement, foundation or floor. The damage by the ground water has to have occurred suddenly and accidentally, however, so houses with documented leaky basements wouldn’t qualify for this coverage.

There are also options for Water and Sewer Line coverage to help repair or replace damaged lines.

How do I get extended water protection?

Most houses in Ontario qualify for at least some form of the enhanced water coverage, but the extent of available coverage depends on where you live and the claims history of the house. Since many of these coverage options are new in 2016, many insurance companies don’t currently offer some or all of these options. If this coverage is of particular interest to you please let us know and we will review your policy with you so you can make an informed decision.

If you have questions about the need for extended water coverage in your area and how that would affect your premium feel free to call your Real Insurance broker at 1-800-265-3007.