Wednesday, 15 July 2015

5 Things You Need To Know About Your Water Coverage Right Now

Insurance is changing

Insurance in Alberta and the rest of Canada is evolving to keep up with our changing weather patterns and our needs as insurance consumers. What you may not know are your options, and changes that may currently be on your policy that could cost you thousands in the event of a claim! We have outlined the limitations and changes some of the major insurance companies in Canada have made to their coverage, how this affects you, and new insurance options that could save you money and give you more water protection.

1) Sewer backup limitations:  Many insurance companies have put strict payout limitations on claims resulting from sewer backup. Check your policy to see what your limits are on sewer backup. Some are as low as $15,000 that would barely cover the costs of cleaning out your basement. Ask yourself this: Is your basement finished? Is it furnished? How much would it cost to not only clean out the water damage, replace the flooring, and drywall, and but to also replace any furniture or fixtures you have in there.  Your sewer backup limit should be sufficient to cover the costs these repairs.

2) Not eligible for coverage: In some cases, depending on your area, you may not be covered for sewer backup, or you may have very low limits. If this is the case, you can prevent much damage to your home by either installing a back-flow valve (which can be very pricey) or by making sure your sump pump is working, has a backup energy source, as well as a monitored alarm. Mitigating costly risks is a big part of being a responsible homeowner especially if you live in a high risk area.

3) Limitations on roof coverage: Due to the increasing amounts of wind and hail claims the past five years in Alberta, many insurance companies have put limitations on roof replacement claims. This is to help reduce the costs of insurance for all Albertans. Limitations that may exist on your policy that you should look out for include:  ACV (actual cash value) repairs on roof meaning, you will not be given the full payout to have your roof replaced in the event of a claim, due to the age of your roof. If your roof shows signs of aging such as lifted tiles, your claim could be rejected altogether. If this is the case for you, shop around, or go to a broker who will do that for you to find an insurance company that does not have these limitations. 

4) Get overland water insurance: Overland water insurance or, freshwater flood insurance,  was introduced in early spring by some of the leading insurers in Canada.  It’s a fact: overland water damage is becoming more and more prevalent every year. This is not just the case for individuals living in or around the flood zones. We are seeing a lot more instances of torrential downpours which could cause sewers to clog up and overflow on the streets and into your home. If you’re not in the flood zone, this coverage could cost you as little as a Starbucks Frappuccino per month, but could save you thousands in water damage repairs. Overland water coverage just makes sense!

5) Overland water and Sewer back up coverage: these two are your ultimate armor for water insurance protection. Here are the facts: Insurance companies have put tighter regulations on what constitutes a sewer backup claim. For most if not all companies, as soon as there is evidence of overland water entering your home during a sewer backup incident, your claim payout could either be severely limited or denied altogether. Both of these coverages will ensure that you are not left owing thousands in repairs due to stringent limitations  and exclusions found on your policy.

For more information about water insurance or for your free, no obligation flood insurance quote, please visit