After a long cold winter, those first few days of warming temperatures are always welcomed. The signal that the last of the snow has fallen and it is time to transition to warmer days and outdoor living. As the snow begins to melt, rain begins to fall, the last concern on the minds of most is flooding. Or at least it was prior to June of 2013 when Calgary experienced a major flood. It was devastating for many living in and around the city. As a result of the flood, there were injuries, displaced residents, property damage and ultimately cost the economy billions of dollars. With spring approaching, Albertans should turn their attention to their flood insurance. Do you have it? Do you know what it covers?
Flooding is one of the most common natural disasters in Canada and can be caused by many factors. When it comes to flooding and insurance, there are two main endorsements to consider: overland water and sewer back-up.
Overland Water Endorsement
An overland water endorsement covers damage that is caused by water entering your house from the ground level. The flooding could be the result of melting snow, excessive rainwater and the overflow of river banks. If you live in a high flood zone, the overland water endorsement may not be available or may be very costly to purchase.
With the risk of overland flooding, there are several preventative measures you can take, including:
- remove any valuable items from your basement and ensure they are placed on higher floors;
- clear your eaves troughs and downspouts to ensure water can be directed away from your home;
- ask someone to check-in on the status of your home if you are away.
Sewer Back-Up Endorsement
A sewer back-up endorsement covers damage that is caused by the back-up of sewers, septic tanks, eaves troughs and downspouts.
Many Albertans believe that their home insurance policy covers the effects of flooding however this is generally NOT the case. It is important to review your policy to confirm whether your insurance includes a specific flood endorsement. If so, ensure you take note of your deductible and the limits on payouts for sewer backup claims or overland water claims. In reviewing, if you are unsure or addition questions arise contact your insurance broker to discuss this and your insurance options. Knowing what coverage you have in place will provide you peace of mind in mitigating against unforeseen circumstances.
If you are the victim of a flood, there are several things you should do:
- contact your insurance broker;
- take photos of the damage to your property;
- keep all receipts for expenses that you have incurred as a result of the flooding.
Did you know: flooding that is caused by a body of salt water, such as a tsunami, tidal waves and ocean currents, are excluded from insurance policies?
When discussing insurance options, it is important that these options are understood, especially when choosing insurance coverage that best fits your needs. If you ever have questions regarding your home insurance policy or coverage in general, contact Rizk Insurance today and we’ll help answer any inquiries you may have.