Water claims have overtaken all other causes as the number one reason for damage and insurance claims in Canada. In a way it’s understandable. We have aging infrastructure, we have increasing population density and we have increasing frequency for sudden and extreme storms.
In 2013 two major events caused substantial damage and insured loss. Flooding in Calgary and surrounding areas along with the severe rain storm in Toronto caused billions of dollars in damage and led to the loss of lives. The Calgary flood cost $1.9 billion in insured losses and affected Alberta economically to the tune of a further $4.7 billion. The insurance repair bill for the Toronto flooding could well top $1 billion.
Sudden rainstorms, or cloudbursts, are difficult to predict and can hit almost anywhere with enough water to overwhelm storm sewers. All these reasons together have prompted many insurance companies to raise their sewer back-up rates and deductibles, reduce coverage and re-evaluate how they determine risks associated with water.
Related Read: Summertime Safety.
What can you do? There are many actions you can take to help mitigate against water damage, from the relatively simple, to the more complex and costly.
- Have emergency kits in case of power outages – flashlights, water, blankets, foodstuffs, emergency radio are a good start
- Plumbing – Keep a watchful eye on small plumbing issues. Sometimes they become large problems quickly
- Check water appliances and their connection lines to make sure they are running in peak condition and replace if necessary – appliances like your fridge, dishwasher and water heater
- Have a backflow valve installed on the main waste line. This prevents water backing up into your home.
- Ensure the gradient flows away from your foundation and has not degraded
- Make sure your sump pump is working properly and you have a back-up unit in case of failure
- Check basement window wells with a view to keeping debris away to ensure drainage works properly
The insurance of water risk is becoming more and more complex and insurance companies are requiring homeowners to become more active in the maintenance of their homes. Coverage definitions, deductibles, exclusions and more are being changed, by many insurance companies. Having a broker in your corner means you’ll have someone to make sure your best interests are being protected. How do you know? Because at Erb and Erb we take the time to explain your options.
At Erb and Erb Insurance Brokers Ltd. we can provide easy home, condo or tenants quotes.
Click Here to Get Back to the Summer 2014 Newsletter.
Have a question or suggestion, please comment below. We’d love to hear it.