Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Flooding?
One of the main reasons people buy homeowner’s insurance is to make sure their home is protected in case of major damage. When most people think of major damage to their home, they usually assume it’ll be due to a fire or, depending on where you live, like a hurricane or a tornado.
Another thing you need to keep in mind if you want to protect yourself against major damage to your home is to ensure that your home insurance protects you against flooding. While flooding insurance is becoming more common, it is generally not included in a standard insurance policy.
The most important thing to be aware of is that while water usually does the same type of damage despite the source (e.g. destroyed floors, mouldy drywall, etc.), what causes the flooding can make a huge difference between whether your homeowner’s insurance policy covers the damage or not.
We’ll tell you about:
- How common flooding is in Canada
- What source of flooding are covered in a standard homeowners insurance policy
- What sources of flooding you’ll need extra homeowners insurance coverage for
How common is flooding in Canada?
According to the Red Cross, floods are one of the most common and costly disasters in Canada. There are so many different things that can cause flooding:
- Spring thaw causing rivers to overflow
- Heavy storm rainfall
- Ice jams
We are seeing more and more extreme weather nowadays, so even areas that weren’t necessarily at risk of flooding before can now be potential danger areas.
What sources of flooding are covered in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy?
A standard homeowners insurance policy should cover what is considered an incidental source of flooding such as:
- Pipes breaking
- A washing machine hose suddenly bursting
- A dishwasher backing up with no warning
Your insurance will only cover the cost of replacing or repairing damaged floors and belongings if the damage is not due to poor maintenance. For example, if your toilet was leaking for a month and you didn’t try to fix it — and the leak then caused water damage — it’s unlikely your insurance would cover it. Likewise, if you left your home unattended during the heating season and your pipes froze and broke you would not be covered.
Your homeowner’s insurance will also likely not cover the source of the water damage. So, you will be reimbursed (minus the deductible) the cost of fixing the damaged floor or surroundings, but you won’t be able to claim the costs to replace or repair the source of the damage.
What sources of flooding will I need extra homeowners insurance coverage for?
Standard or traditional homeowners insurance generally does not cover what is referred to as “overland flooding.” Overland flooding occurs when normally dry land is flooded, and water then enters your home via the doors, windows, or even your basement!
You can also purchase protection against sewer backup damage. A sewer backup can happen when the sewer system cannot handle a high amount of water that occurs suddenly, e.g. due to a storm or tornado. If this happens, water can back up into your home through the toilets and the drains and make a large mess.
How can we help you make sure that your home is protected against flooding?
At Archway Insurance, we want to ensure that your home is protected, no matter what the circumstances. Living on the east coast of Canada means we are sometimes in the path of heavy storms and hurricanes, and it pays to be prepared. If you are concerned about flooding and flooding coverage, then we can:
- Walk you through your current homeowner’s insurance policy to discuss what kind of coverage you currently have for flooding.
- Talk to you about the area you live in and whether you are in a high or low-risk area for flooding.
- Suggest ways you can help prevent or reduce the impact of flooding. For example, you can renovate your home to include water-resistant materials and move wiring and plumbing up to a higher level.
- Talk to you about available additional coverage, including how much it will increase your premiums and what kind of protection it can provide.
Of course, homeowner’s insurance isn’t just about making sure that your home is protected from flooding. It should also cover:
If you haven’t done so already, put together a list of your belongings and their estimated value. This will help ensure that you have sufficient personal property coverage.
This covers both your home itself as well as any outlying buildings (e.g. a shed, fences, a carport).
Liability coverage protects you if someone gets injured either in your house or on your property. It will also usually cover you if you cause property damage to someone else’s house.
Insurance can’t stop bad things — like flooding — from happening to you, but it can make sure you have the protection you need to get back on your feet as soon as possible.