With the increasing frequency of severe storms there has been substantial concern around weather related insurance coverage. What is covered and what is not covered?

Most homes today have basements that have been transformed into living areas. As a result, in most cases, there is a significant investment for the homeowner to protect.

At this point we need to differentiate between types of water related insurance coverage…..

1) Sewer Backup: Most insurance policies will provide coverage for water backing up in your basement through the drains connected to the sewer line. Be aware that there may be limitations as to the amount of coverage provided and the various deductibles associated with a sewer back up claims. Sewer back up also includes the backing up of a septic system and sump pump malfunction.

2) Floods: Floods typically include water that has risen over dry land by rising lakes and rivers, storms, waves, and the breaking or overflow of levees from any body of water, whether man made or not. Residential insurance policies do not cover flood damage. If you live beside a lake or river you have to be aware that there is no coverage for flooding. As an example: every year in Manitoba, the Red River floods and there is no coverage to residential homes that are damaged.

3) Overland Water: This is the newest form of coverage that is becoming available today.  The overland water coverage now addresses some of the previously excluded flood damage that may have occurred from a torrential storm. It covers the water that comes in through the doors and windows into your basement as a result of a large storm. Purchasing an “Overland Water Rider” on your policy, would mean, for example, that the flooded basements that resulted from the torrential storms in Toronto last year, would now be covered. It will also cover the flooding of lakes and rivers that occurs after a torrential rainfall. These are also subject to various deductibles and conditions.

The best way to see if you are properly protected is to speak with one of brokers.  They will be able to address your situation individually and off your the best options for protection.