We hear it all the time ” It will not happen to me”. However, water damage has surpassed fire as the leading cause of home insurance claims. The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates that insurers have paid out an average of $400 million a year for severe weather events, most of which are water related. The 2017 Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec flood caused an estimated $117 million in insured damage.
While coverage for fire damage is standard in your homeowner’s policy, water is not. In the past Sewer Backup coverage was the only water endorsement available. With an increase in flooding insurers saw a need to offer additional coverage and distinguish between the different scenarios. Most insurers now offer Overland Water Damage and/or Ground Water Coverage endorsements.
So what do all of those terms really mean?
Overland Water Coverage
This coverage offers protection against damage caused by overflow of a lake or river, heavy rain or rapid snow melt that enters your home from a point at or above ground level.
Sewer Back-Up Coverage
This coverage offers protection only when water backs-up and flows into your home from your municipal sewer system, private septic system or through sump pump failure.
If you experience a flooding event at the same time your sewer backs up and you DO NOT have overland water coverage the claim will likely be denied.
Ground Water Coverage
This endorsement offers protection for damage caused when water enters your home suddenly and accidentally through a basement wall, the foundation or through the floor.
Availability of coverage will depend on your home’s location, the area’s past flooding record and your claims history. Contact us if you are unsure of your coverage or if you would like to obtain a quote to add it to your policy.