How water-wise are you?
Your home can be damaged by water in numerous ways—burst pipes and appliances, sewer backups, rainstorms and even floods.
Take this quick quiz to learn more about how insurance can protect your home from water and flooding.
True or false: My standard home insurance policy protects me from all water damage.
If you asked your home insurance broker, you will know that standard home insurance policies typically only cover water damage caused by burst pipes or appliances, such as washing machines.
That said, additional coverages can be added to your policy to expand your protection, including:
- Sewer backup, which can cover damages caused by water or sewage that enters the home from a sewer, septic tank or sump pump.
- Overland water, which can cover damages caused by a river or lake overflowing its banks, as well as from torrential rainfall or snowmelt.
- Service line, which can cover damages to an underground service and/or water line that runs from your property line to your home.
True or false: Alberta is a landlocked province so overland water coverage isn’t critical.
The Southern Alberta floods of 2013 were one of the costliest natural disasters in Canada. In the years since, some insurance providers have responded by offering overland water coverage.
In addition to damage caused by flooded rivers and lakes, this coverage also provides protection from rapid accumulation of rainwater, which can enter your home through window wells or cause sump pumps to fail and cause water to pool in your house. Overland water coverage does not cover damages caused by sea water or tsunamis.
True or false: My home insurance policy may cover damage caused by burst water pipes or overflowing appliances.
Standard all risk home insurance policies provide some water coverage if the damage is sudden or accidental.
Take special note of the wording sudden or accidental. This means your claim can be denied if you do not keep up with regular maintenance (such as not repairing leaking pipes) or if you neglect to protect your property from water damage (such as turning the heat down too low and leaving your home unoccupied for a period of time).
True or false: Everyone should consider having sewer backup coverage.
Yes, even those who live in condo units on the 10th floor should speak with their broker about sewer backup coverage, as well as overland water coverage.
Sewage backups and flooding may cause significant damage to condominium and apartment buildings, which can affect all residents even if there’s no damage to your personal unit. Adequate coverage could help cover additional living expenses if you must find alternative, temporary housing as well as any loss assessment.
True or false: Flooding is the most significant natural hazard in Canada.
Canadians are exposed to flooding more than any other weather event and water-related damages account for most insurance payouts related to extreme weather, which totals approximately $1 billion each year. This underlines the importance of speaking with your broker to make sure you’re adequately covered for water damage and flooding.
Thanks for taking our water-wise quiz! Contact us, or your broker directly, if you have any questions about water damage insurance or want to update your home insurance policy.
Also, checkout this post to learn how you can prevent water damage at home.