Whether it is from fall storms, winter thaw or spring showers, water damage is becoming a growing issue for Canadians.  Therefore, it is essential for homeowners to understand the coverage that is available to protect their assets.

First, let’s look at some of the factors that have led to a significant increase in the number of water damage claims:

  • Weather changes – severe weather events and annual precipitation are increasing in Canada and studies indicate that we should expect this trend to continue. For example, a 2012 paper by a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado revealed that, as average temperatures rise, we should expect to see record levels of precipitation more often.
  • Increased urbanization – the impervious surfaces that make up large areas of our modern cities result in a much higher percentage of run-off than areas with natural ground cover.
  • Land use policies – we continue to see increased development in and around floodplains.
  • Lifestyle changes – more homes contain finished basements which results in significantly more expensive damage over an unfinished basement. While a cement floor unfinished basement of the 70’s may have contained a washer/dryer and some old abandoned toys, modern basements often contain expensive electronics, high-end finishes and potentially an entire self-contained suite.

So, what can homeowners do to protect themselves from the growing epidemic of water damage disasters?  Taking some proactive steps in and around your home to protect your property from water damage is essential.  Check out these useful tips for protecting your home from internal and external sources of water damage.

It is also vital to understand the insurance coverage that is available to protect your valuable assets.  In recent years, there have been some changes to the coverage available in Canada, so it is important to keep up to date with the latest tools for protecting your home.

Fight Back with the Right Coverage

Water damage that is caused by a burst pipe or faulty appliance has typically been covered under the standard home insurance policy purchased by most Canadians.  Water damage from back-up through sewers into the home has also been covered via Sewer Back-up coverage, which may be included in some policies or purchased as an additional endorsement.

But for many years, Overland Water Coverage, which provides coverage when bodies of fresh water such as rivers or dams overflow onto dry land, or from heavy rainstorms, has not been available to most Canadian homeowners.

However, this coverage is now readily available to many Canadians.  Members of Engineers and Geoscientists BC can also access this valuable coverage via the Association’s Member Insurance Program.  Please contact us to learn more.

We strongly encourage you to follow the tips provided to protect your home from flood damage and to ensure that your home is protected with the right insurance coverage.

Please contact our experienced insurance advisors to learn more about your insurance options.  We are here to help!