Does Your Home Insurance Cover Flooding?
Floods are the most frequent natural hazard in Canada, and can cause significant and extensive damage to homes. Allstate data shows that when you combine issues such as clogged drains or sewer back-ups, overflow from rivers or lakes and seepage through a home’s foundation or window wells, they become the third most common reason to make a home insurance claim.
To reduce the risk for water damage in your home, applying prevention measures to divert water from entering is an important first step. The Good Hands Advice team has shared tips and tricks for protecting your home from flooding as well as landscaping tips to help prevent flooding.
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However, homeowners should consider exploring an optional endorsement (or add-on) to their insurance policies to protect the investment made into a home from damage caused by sewer back-up and overland water.
Sewer back-up coverage has been around for many years. However, overland water protection is relatively new in Canada; Allstate introduced this type of coverage in 2018. Both are optional, meaning they’re typically not included with standard home insurance plans. If you set-up your insurance policy a long time ago, or haven’t reviewed it in a while, consider speaking with your insurance professional about your home insurance protection and ask yourself if it meets your needs.
When considering coverage for water damage, your insurance professional may be interested in a number of factors, depending where you live. For example, if you’re close to a river, lake or dam, your home may be at increased risk of flooding. It’s important to ask what coverage you qualify for and understand the details of that endorsement.
Many insurance companies provide some form of protection from water damage. Allstate offers customers in Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Alberta sewer back-up or a more comprehensive option called Enhanced Water Damage Endorsement*.
Let’s explore what those terms mean for Allstate Canada customers:
With this option, coverage is provided for damage caused by water that escaped from a municipal sewer system or private septic tank on your property. This can happen when, for example, draining systems are clogged and water flow is blocked, backing-up into the home. This add-on can also provide coverage if you have a sump pump that malfunctions.
Enhanced Water Damage
This endorsement combines coverage for sewer back-up with overland or ground water accumulation that can put a home at risk. Adding this coverage to your home policy can provide insurance for water damage caused by sudden flood from a river, stream, lake, heavy rainfall or when ground and surface water enters your home. The package also includes coverage for repairing broken service lines to your home, including water, sewer, gas, electricity, cable and phone lines.
Both options could include sewer back-up mitigation coverage, which provides up to $1,000 to install in your home a certified back flow valve or sump pump (with back-up power) if you have a sewer back-up claim.
Consider exploring what other steps you can take to protect your home. For example, many modern home security systems can be equipped with special sensors that can detect water in your house and provide a warning. In fact, having these types of sensors may qualify you for a discount on your home insurance policy.
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Reducing the risk of water entering your home is still the best way to help ensure your valued and treasured items remain safe from water damage. However, if water does enter your home, having the right coverage in your home insurance policy can help ensure you have the resources to repair any damage as quickly as possible.
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