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According to Public Safety Canada, floods are the most common natural hazard in the country and among the costliest. When it comes to protecting homes from floods, most property owners assume their home insurance policies will provide adequate coverage. However, just a few centimetres of water from flooding can cause costly, irreversible damage to your home. Dedicating protection in the form of overland flood insurance a must. We’ve answered some of the most common questions about overland water coverage and water damage for you below.

Does overland water coverage have a deductible?

This can vary, depending on the insurance provider. For some insurers, overland water coverage may have its own deductible, which is separate from your policy’s overall deductible. With other insurers, overland water coverage has the same deductible as your policy’s overall deductible.

Why wouldn’t an insurance company offer me overland water coverage?

Although overland water coverage is offered to most Canadians, if you live in an area that’s at extreme risk of overland flooding, you might not be eligible. If you have a too many past overland water claims, you might also be ineligible.

I’m renting. Do I need overland water coverage?

Yes. If you’re renting a unit in a high rise, you’ll need to protect any items in basement storage. If you have to move out of your eighth floor condo because the bottom floor has been flooded, this coverage will kick in to cover hotel costs, extra transport costs, and even some food costs! The same applies to a basement apartment since you’d risk water damage to all your belongings if overland water comes into your home. If you’re renting a whole house with a furnished basement, you’ll want to protect that, too.

Fact: 60% of claims last year from SGI were in fact water damage claims, which is why it’s very important to make sure you have proper coverage!

What is overland coverage compared to sewer backup coverage?

Sewer backup is any water that is coming from an external fixture from the home. So, if you’re attached to the sewer system, and that backs up, that’s considered sewer backup. Overland water is anything that is coming from the outside water that shouldn’t be. Say there is a river beside you, the river overflows and enters into your home – that’s an overland water event

Can I have overland water coverage without sewer backup coverage?

Generally, no. The two coverages go hand-in-hand. Although many providers allow you to buy sewer backup coverage on its own, remember that if sewer backup occurs due to overland water, you will not be covered.

What is ground water coverage?

In addition to overland flood coverage, companies are beginning to offer ground water coverage. This protects against water damage from underground natural sources, such as basement walls, foundations, and floors (as long as the loss is sudden and accidental).

How much is flood insurance in Ontario?

Most Canadian homeowners can purchase overland flood insurance for between $100 and $300 annually, according to the IBC. Policyholders living in flood-risk areas can expect to pay $500 to $1,000 a year.

What is surface water exclusion?

Homeowner property policies often contain exclusions for loss caused by surface water runoff. While it may seem that the term “surface water” are self-explanatory, not all damage from running water is excluded.

Does home insurance cover flood water damage?

Generally, home insurance policies don’t cover certain types of unexpected events, such as floods, earthquakes, landslides and sewer backup.

Can I get overland water coverage?

About 90 percent of the population is eligible for overland water coverage. If you live in a high-risk area, you may be limited to the coverage you can get or it may not be offered. The benefit of working with an isure broker is that we have various markets, meaning we can look and see which companies offer it. Just because one company doesn’t provide it, doesn’t mean all companies don’t.

I live on a hill, so why do I need overland water/sewer back up?

Overland water insurance can cover more than just water rising over the river banks. Torrential downpours or spring melting are both significant sources of surface water that can enter your home. Water coming in from sewer pipes or drains, from septic back up or failed sump pumps are also common claims that are covered with sewer back-up on your policy.

As always, if you have any other water damage questions or want to discuss coverage, please contact us today.

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