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Spring thaws, excessive rain and climate change are all wreaking havoc on local communities across the country. The varying degrees of water damage across Canada is leaving many policy holders stunned when they realize they do not have the right insurance coverage in place to help clean up, and in some cases rebuild, homes and businesses.

The good news is that most insurance companies offer water damage insurance, sewer backup insurance and flood insurance, although important to note they all mean very different things:

Water Damage: Almost all residential and commercial policies have coverage for “water damage”, this provides coverage for damage caused by sudden and accidental water escape – like a hose bursting on your washing machine. However, that wet spot in your basement that is probably the result of a crack in your foundation and is likely not covered.  In fact, it is probably excluded under “leakage and seepage”.  It is always best to call your insurance professional and see if your insurer offers a “leakage and seepage damage endorsement”.

Sewer Backup: One of the worst things you can experience as a building owner is a sewer backup. If you have sewer back-up coverage it will be listed on your declarations page.  You should see “Sewer Backup Endorsement” with a limit and deductible beside it.  It is also important for you to make an assessment to determine if you have sufficient coverage to cover the costs of your basement’s contents and potential rebuild. The extra premium is well worth the investment when having to deal with sewer waste backup.

Flood and Overland Water: Water damage coverage and sewer backup endorsements explicitly exclude the damages caused by flooding and overland water. If your property is adjacent to a body of water, you need this coverage. Unfortunately, most homes and businesses you see being swept away by flood waters do not have this coverage in place. What is worse is that emergency relief offered by provincial and/or federal governments only extends to those whose principal residents were damaged. Therefore, some cottages, vacation homes and retirement dreams have all been literally washed away. No insurance, no governmental relief.

Call your insurance professional and go over your water damage coverage, you might be glad you did. To learn more about the group home and auto insurance programs we offer to our members, click here.

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