Does Your Property Insurance Cover Water Damage?
March 22, 2019 - It's World Water Day and Spring is officially here, and with that comes more daylight, lighter jackets and also melting snow and increased rainfall. While spring is most certainly a welcome change from the unforgivably harsh winter weather, not effectively dealing with all that water can result in some very UNwelcome damage. In fact, water damage has officially overtaken fire as the #1 peril in Canada, responsible for nearly 50% of homeowners’ claims costs.
There are many different insurance policies with respect to water, so it is important to understand what you are buying and what is covered. Talking this through with your insurance broker is often the best way to make sure you have the coverage that is right for you, but here’s a basic run-down on some of what’s available:
Basic Home Insurance
Homeowners insurance policies typically cover water damage from sudden and accidental losses from a plumbing system or water container. This includes water line breaks and overflow or leaks from your appliances (though you’ll want to know whether you have coverage for the appliance itself!), as well as damage from hail or wind that causes water to enter your home. Check out our Water Damage Prevention Checklist for tips on mitigating the risk of water damage, and look into additional coverage for situations involving sewer backups or overland water flooding.
Sewer backup most commonly happens when rain or melting snow overwhelms the city sewer system (thanks a lot, Mother Nature!). Coverage for instances where water has entered your home through pipes, drains, septic tanks, or sumps is not included in your basic property insurance policy, but adding sewer backup coverage is often a nominal cost compared to the potential expense to repair your home.
Overland flooding refers to a body of fresh water that overflows onto dry land. It is one of the most frequent and costly natural hazards in Canada, resulting in over $20 billion in damage between 2003-2012. Adding insult to injury is that many Canadians aren’t insured for overland flooding, leaving them stranded to deal with extensive and expensive repairs. Homeowners in certain areas are more likely to require this type of policy as their homes may be more vulnerable to flooding. While there is currently no standardized flood mapping system used for insurance in Alberta, Alberta.ca has a useful Flood Hazard Map that illustrates high-risk areas.
Peace Hills’ Water Plus product covers water damage caused by the overflow of a lake or river, heavy rain or rapid snowmelt that enters your home from a point at or above ground level. It offers comprehensive coverage for freshwater flooding and sewer backup and mitigation. Check out our Water Plus video for tips and more information on this “all of the above”-type policy.
Water is all around us and it is important to make sure you are protected in the event of a loss. Peace Hills Insurance works with over 478 independent broker offices across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon Territory. Talk to a local broker today to make sure you have the water coverage that is right for you.